Senators are in the process of adopting the lightened version of the Build Back Better of Joe Biden, centered on health, environment and increased taxation of the richest.
This is August surprise. Less than 100 days from the mid-term elections, the Senate was in the process of adopting on Sunday August 7, the Bill on Inflation, Lightened version of the Joe Biden Build Better plan, remained a dead letter from a for lack of agreement between the Democrats. An unexpected success for a party which could no longer distance the specter from the defeat predicted by the polls for the ballot of November 8.
At the beginning of the afternoon, Saturday August 6, Senator Chuck Schumer, leader of the Democrats, introduced the text, renamed Inflation Reduction Act. This contains “historical” advances, he said: drop in the price of medicines for the elderly, unprecedented investments for the defense of the climate and green energies, increased taxes for large companies to finance the social and environmental measures while reducing the deficit.
The senator announced that the last obstacles had been raised so that the text could be adopted by a simple majority. A few hours earlier, the arbitrator of the procedural rules, the “parliamentarian” Elizabeth Macdonough, had approved the use of the so -called “reconciliation” process. This allows you to bypass the use of the filibuster (the obstruction maneuver that takes 60 votes to break) as soon as the measures contained are budgetary. In the 725 pages, the official has censored only one element: the article which provided that pharmaceutical companies reimburse private insurance if their prices increase faster than inflation.
At the end of the afternoon, then started what the political class used to call “voting-a-rama”: the unlimited introduction of amendments. The objective being to delay the inevitable: with 50 votes, more that of the vice-president Kamala Harris, the Democrats have a sufficient majority to tear the passage from the law. Provided, however, that no elected officials are missing due to COVID-19. On this subject, the Republicans accused the Democrat staff of having adopted a policy of “no test, no questions” to prevent any absence, in defiance of the security of their colleagues.
The preliminary vote, on the motion to examine the text, took place at 7:30 p.m. The motion was adopted thanks to the voice of Kamala Harris which decided equality 50-50. The deliberations were able to start, on the bottom of the text.
First to intervene, Bernie Sanders, the progressive senator of Vermont, showed the enthusiasm of his democratic friends. While they had silenced their differences and decided not to present any amendment, he took the risk of reopening injuries by offering the 50 Democrats to take advantage of their majority to vote a much more ambitious text. Fueling the republican mill, he even judged that “the so-called law on the reduction of inflation” would in fact have only “minimum impact on inflation”. In the name of the found unit, a dozen senators said that they would not vote for any of his amendments, even if they agreed on the merits.
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