Harris casts tie-breaking vote for Inflation Reduction Act

It’s official: the Washington Examiner reports that the U.S. Senate has passed the nearly trillion dollar, so-called Inflation Reduction Act, and Vice President Kamala Harris was vital in making it happen. 

Normally, it is necessary for a measure to acquire 60 votes in the Senate in order to be passed. But, for this particular bill, the Democrats, because it is a budgetary measure, used the reconciliation procedure to bypass the Senate filibuster.

Still, the U.S. Senate has a Democrat/Republican split of 50/50, and that’s how the voting went over the weekend: it was a tie along party lines.

When there is such a tie, the vice president gets to cast the tie-breaking vote. That’s exactly what Harris did, allowing the measure to pass through the Senate.

H.R. 5376

Also vital in passing the measure were Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Both, the reader may remember, stood in the way of Biden’s Build Back Better measure, but they agreed to this one, which is considered by many to be Build Back Better-lite.

The bill is estimated to cost about $740 billion.

Breitbart News reports that “the Inflation Reduction Act focuses on reducing the deficit and curbing inflation, extending enhanced Obamacare subsidies, spending more than $300 billion on climate change programs, and allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of drugs.”

Even Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), however, admits that the bill really is going to have a “minimal impact” on inflation. Many, in fact, believe that the bill is going to make the four-decade-high inflation Americans have been witnessing even worse.

Looking forward

The Democrats, led by President Biden, are hailing this as a massive legislative victory. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) claims it will be “one of the defining legislative feats of the 21st century.”

The Democrats now are clearly going to attempt to use this legislative victory as a boost in the midterm elections.

Republicans, however, are going to attempt to use this against the Democrats. They believe, in fact, that Democrats will pay the price for the Inflation Reduction Act at the polls in November.

Next up, the bill will head over to the House. This is expected to happen at the end of this week, and, given the Democrats’ majority, the measure is expected to pass. Then, all that will be left is for Biden to sign the bill into law.

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