Speed Reads

built back finally

Democrats' sweeping health and climate package is now law

President Biden on Tuesday signed the Democrats' flagship climate and health care package into law, rounding out a recent spree of legislative wins ahead of the sure-to-be contentious November midterms.

The Inflation Reduction Act is a less ambitious package than Biden or his party had originally imagined; but after more than a year of negotiations, Democrats securing any sort of deal comes as a huge win. The legislation raises approximately $700 billion "through corporate tax increases and prescription drug savings," and spends about "$400 billion on clean energy and health care provisions," writes NBC News. It has been criticized by Republicans (none of whom voted yes) of doing little to actually combat inflation, notes The Wall Street Journal.

"With this law, the American people won and the special interests lost," Biden said Tuesday, prior to the signing. "We didn't tear down, we built up. We didn't look back, we looked forward. And today offers further proof that the soul of America is vibrant."

The president also awarded the sole pen used to sign the legislation to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who negotiated the surprise package alongside Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Manchin had opposed, and ultimately blocked, earlier versions of the bill.

"For anyone who thought Washington was broken and couldn't do big things, Democrats have shown real change is possible," Schumer added Tuesday. "If the last two months could be summed up in a word, it would be: persistence."