Joe Biden, President of the United States
After 18 months of negotiations and a marathon night of debates, the US Senate has passed Joe Biden's grand plan on climate and health, giving the president a milestone victory with less than 100 days to go. ;crucial election.
By their votes alone, Democrats have approved the more than $430 billion plan, which will return next week to the House of Representatives for a final vote, before being signed into law by Joe Biden.
The result of difficult compromises with the right wing of the Democratic Party, this envelope includes the largest investment ever committed in the United States for the climate, of 370 billion dollars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.
With this reform, an American would receive up to $7,500 in tax credits for the purchase of a car. an electric car. Installing solar panels on the roof of his home would be covered at 30%.
This envelope should also make it possible to strengthen the resilience of forests in the face of the monster fires that are ravaging the American West, the multiplication of which has been directly attributed to global warming.
Several billion dollars in tax credits will also be offered to the most polluting industries to assist them in their energy transition, a measure strongly criticized by the left wing of the party, which had to line up behind this text , failing to reach a more ambitious agreement after long months of negotiations.
Coming to power with immense ambitions for reform, Joe Biden saw them to be buried, resuscitated, then buried again by a very moderate senator from his camp, Joe Manchin. In view of the very thin Democratic majority in the Senate, this elected official from West Virginia virtually has the right to veto his projects.
At the end of July, the leader of the Senate Democrats, Chuck Schumer, finally managed to extract a compromise from Mr. Manchin, known to have made his fortune in the field of coal mining. On Saturday, the senators finally began to debate the text in the hemicycle.
In the evening, the elected officials entered a marathon procedure called vote-a-rama , in which they can propose dozens of amendments and demand a vote on each one.
This is therefore an opportunity for the Republican opposition, which considers the Biden plan too costly, and the Democratic left wing, which would like it to be more ambitious, to present their grievances.
Influential left-wing senator Bernie Sanders proposed several amendments during the night intended to strengthen the social aspect of the text, which has been considerably trimmed in recent months.
In the state, the text provides for 64 billion dollars of investment in health as well as the gradual reduction in the price of certain drugs, which can be up to ten times more expensive than in other countries. ;other rich countries. However, progressives had to abandon their ambitions of free public kindergartens and universities as well as better care for the elderly.
“Millions of retirees will continue to have rotten teeth and not get the dentures and hearing aids or glasses they deserve.
—Senator Bernie Sanders
This bill does nothing to fix that problem, the former presidential candidate assured.
However, the Democratic camp, anxious to implement this plan before the perilous legislative elections in November, joined forces and rejected any modification of the text.
Alongside these massive investments, the bill aims to reduce the public deficit with a new minimum tax of 15% for all companies whose profits exceed $1 billion. It aims to prevent certain large corporations from using the tax loopholes which until now allowed them to pay much less than the theoretical rate.
According to estimates, this measure could generate over $258 billion in US federal revenue over the next 10 years.