Senate Democrats are preparing to begin a voting marathon this weekend as the chamber embarks on a complex process to pass a $433 billion climate and spending package – as the party deals a blow to a key part of the Senate’s drug reform plan has suffered from the draft law.
The so-called “vote-a-rama” will allow senators from both parties to offer unlimited amendments to the final bill after the debate is over. Dozens are expected to be offered and voted on in rapid-fire sessions.
The vote is required under reconciliation rules, which allow Democrats to make a final run around Republican filibusters and pass the bill with a simple majority.
For months, Senate Democrats have been working to draft a bill that would win the support of all 50 of their members. A final agreement was reached this week, and Vote-a-rama is expected to begin Saturday night or early Sunday.
Republicans have vowed to make it painful and force Democrats into potentially awkward votes ahead of November’s tough midterm elections.
“What will Vote-a-rama look like? It’s going to be like hell,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said in a news conference Thursday, Fox News reported. “You deserve it.”
The left flank of the Democrats could also cause trouble. Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) said he plans to offer a number of politically dangerous left-wing extras — including lowering the age of Medicare eligibility to 60.
While he won’t stand in the way of general passage, Sanders said the current law “does virtually nothing to address the tremendous crises facing working families across the country today,” The Hill reported.
The lion’s share of the new spending, $369 billion, will go towards a range of energy and climate protection measures, including $62 billion to support manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, electric cars and processing of critical minerals. $60 billion will be allocated for “Environmental Justice” including projects in “disadvantaged communities”, $30 billion for green energy projects by states and electric utilities, $27 billion for “Clean Energy Technology Accelerator” to reduce emissions and $20 billion in support of “Climate Action.” smart farming practices.”
Americans looking to buy a new electric car will receive a $7,500 tax credit and a $4,000 used model credit.
The bill is expected to reduce the deficit by paying for the programs with $764 billion in new tax hikes.
Revenue streams include a 15% minimum corporate tax, prescription drug pricing reform, and increased IRS enforcement.
The bill’s provisions also need to be approved by Senate MP Elizabeth MacDonough.
In a decision Saturday morning, MacDonough said most of the prescription drug reform plan was kosher but nixed a portion that would penalize drug companies for raising prices on those with private insurance policies.
“This is a great victory for the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said in a statement, Politico reported. “While there was an unfortunate verdict … the overall program remains intact and we are one step closer to finally taking on Big Pharma and driving down the prices of Rx drugs for millions of Americans.”
PROJECTED TOTAL REVENUE: Approximately $764 billion
Setting a minimum corporate tax of 15% – $258 billion
Prescription drug pricing reform – $288 billion
— Allows Medicare price negotiation, limits deductible to $2,000
Increased IRS tax enforcement – $125 billion
— Subject to spending $80 billion over 10 years to generate net income
New share repurchase tax – $73 billion
— 1% excise tax on company stock repurchases proposed by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema
Methane leak fee – $20 billion
PREDICTED TOTAL SPEND: $433 billion
Energy and climate protection: 369 billion US dollars
– Tax credits of $7.5,000 for new EV buyers, $4,000 for pre-owned models
-$62 billion to support manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, electric cars, and processing of critical minerals
-$60 billion for “environmental justice,” including projects in “disadvantaged communities”
– $30 billion green energy projects by states and electric utilities
-$27 billion for Clean Energy Technology Accelerator to reduce emissions
-$20 billion to support “low-carbon farming practices”
– $10 billion in energy rebates and grants for low-income households to retrofit affordable housing
– $9 billion for federal clean energy purchases, including $3 billion for USPS electric vehicles
– $7.6 billion in grants to support forest conservation, tree planting and coastal restoration
Healthcare: $64 billion
–Extend COVID-era Affordable Care Act subsidies through 2025, so people earning up to 150% of the poverty line can get health insurance for $0. Higher earners can insure themselves for 8.5% of their income
https://nypost.com/2022/08/06/senate-gears-up-for-marathon-vote-a-rama-on-spending-bill/ The Senate is gearing up for a marathon vote-a-rama on the spending bill