US President Joe Biden
US Congress finally passed on Friday Joe Biden's vast investment plan on climate and health, a significant political victory for the American president, less than three months before decisive legislative elections.
With their slim majority, Democrats in the House of Representatives pushed through the more than US$430 billion plan, following a similar vote in the Senate a few days ago.
< p class="e-p">The text, which should put the country on the right path to achieve its greenhouse gas reduction targets, will be signed into law by Joe Biden next week, the president said in a tweet.< /p>
Today, the American people won, Mr. Biden wrote. With this law, families will see lower prices for medicines, health care and energy costs.
Welcomed by the majority of associations fighting against climate change, this reform includes 370 billion dollars dedicated to the environment, and 64 billion for health.
Called the “Inflation Reduction Act”, it aims at the same time to reduce the public deficit with a new minimum tax of 15% for all companies whose profits exceed one billion dollars.
Today is a day of celebration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said just before the vote. This law will allow American families to prosper, and our planet to survive.
The Republican camp, for its part, accuses the text of generating unnecessary public expenditure, and castigates the use of the American tax authorities to finance them. Former President Donald Trump had called on his Truth Social social network for all Republicans to come out against it.
Coming to power with immense reform projects, Joe Biden was originally advocating for an even bigger investment plan.
But the elected Democrats have gradually had to revise their ambitions downwards, in order to satisfy in particular Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a state known for its coal mines. His support was essential to pass the Senate stage.
The text remains, despite everything, the largest investment ever made in the United States for the climate. It should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.
The goal set by Joe Biden is a reduction of at least 50% by that date, but other measures, including regulations, could help to partially close the gap , according to experts.
This law is a game-changer and a source of hope, welcomed Johanna Chao Kreilick, president of the “Union of Concerned Scientists “.
The steps taken will encourage other countries to step up their commitments, Dan Lashof, director of the World Resources Institute in the United States, said on Friday. States.
By creating strong incentives to invest in solar and wind power [the text] will virtually dry up the market for coal-fired electricity over the next decade, he summed up this week.
Under this reform, an American will receive up to US$7,500 in tax credits for purchasing an electric car. The installation of solar panels on its roof will be covered at 30%.
Investments are also planned for the development of CO2 capture, the resilience of forests to fires and the renovation of housing for the poorest households.
Several billion dollars of tax credits will also be offered to the most polluting industries to help them in their energy transition – a measure strongly criticized by the left wing of the party, which has nevertheless had to line up behind this text.
The second part of this major investment plan intends in part to correct the huge inequalities in access to care in the United States, in particular by lowering the price of drugs.
Medicare, a public health insurance system intended for people over 65, among others, will for the first time be able to negotiate the prices of certain drugs directly with pharmaceutical companies, and thus obtain more competitive rates.
Seniors will also be guaranteed not to have to pay more than US$2,000 per year for their medication, starting in 2025.
The bill also plans to extend protections from the “Affordable Care Act”, the iconic health insurance better known as “Obamacare”, which contained measures facilitating access to health insurance through grants to help families pay for their medical coverage.