Speed Reads

a big win

Senate Democrats pass sweeping climate and health bill

The Senate on Sunday passed a $430 billion bill that funds investments to fight climate change, lowers the cost of prescription drugs, and raises some corporate taxes.

Called the Inflation Reduction Act, the legislation also puts billions of dollars toward deficit reduction, NBC News reports. The 51-50 vote was along party lines, with every Republican senator voting against it and Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote. The measure will now go to the House, where a vote is expected on Friday.

"After more than a year of hard work, the Senate is making history," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday. "I am confident that the Inflation Reduction Act will endure as one of the defining legislative feats of the 21st century."

The legislation sets aside more than $300 billion to combat climate change and boost clean energy, including incentives for ranchers and farmers to curb their methane emissions and an extension of the electric vehicle tax credit. It also allows Medicare, for the first time ever, to negotiate prices with drug companies, and caps the price of insulin for people 65 and older on Medicare. To raise revenue, the bill imposes a new 15 percent minimum tax on large corporations, with accelerated depreciation exempted, and a 1 percent excise tax on stock buybacks.

"I don't know if there's been any Congress and president that has been as productive as we've seen in this Congress," Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) told NBC News. "This president keeps putting up historic bills that are meeting the urgencies of the American public."