It’s an August surprise. Less than 100 days before the midterm elections, the Senate was on track to pass an inflation bill on Sunday, August 7, a lighter version of Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan, which has remained a dead letter. Agreement between Democrats. An unexpected success for a party that can no longer stave off the specter of defeat predicted by opinion polls in the November 8 elections.
In the early afternoon of Saturday, August 6, Senator Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democrats, introduced the text, renamed the Inflation Reduction Act. This contains developments “Historical”He explained: Lower drug prices for seniors, unprecedented investments in climate advocacy and green energy, and higher taxes on large corporations to fund social and environmental actions while reducing the deficit.
The senator announced that the last obstacles had been removed so that the text could be adopted by a simple majority. A few hours ago, the arbitrator ruled the procedural rules, and “parliamentary” Elizabeth McDonough, agreed to use the so-called “reconciliation” process. This makes it possible to circumvent the use of stalling (a blocking maneuver requiring a 60-vote break) when the incoming actions are of a budgetary nature. On the 725 pages, the official censored only one item: the article that stated that drug companies compensate private insurance companies if their prices increase faster than inflation.
At the end of the afternoon, what the political class had taken on his call began “Voting in Rama” : Introduce unlimited modifications. The goal is to delay the inevitable: With 50 votes, plus Vice President Kamala Harris, Democrats have a sufficient majority to wrest the bill’s passage. Provided, however, that no elected official is lost due to Covid-19. On this subject, Republicans accused the Democratic leadership of adopting a policy “ No test, no questions » To prevent any absence, in defiance of the safety of their colleagues.
The initial vote, on a motion to proceed with consideration of the text, was taken at 7:30 p.m. The motion passed thanks to a vote by Kamala Harris, which decided a 50-50 tie. The deliberations were able to begin with the gist of the text.
The first to intervene, Bernie Sanders, a progressive senator from Vermont, tempered the enthusiasm of his Democratic friends. As they silenced their differences and decided not to introduce any amendments, he risked reopening the wounds by suggesting that 50 Democrats draw on their majority to vote on a more ambitious text. He even ruled the GOP mill The so-called inflation reduction law. He will only have one “Little effect on inflation”. In the name of the rediscovered unity, dozens of senators announced that they would not vote for any of its amendments, even if they agreed to the substance.
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