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Inflation Reduction Act clears the House, head's to President Biden's desk

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The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act Friday - sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester spoke on the House floor.

“Oh what a day in America," she said. "From lowering prescription drug prices for seniors, to closing tax loopholes on the wealthiest corporations, to making the largest investment in clean energy in history to tackle the climate crisis, the Inflation Reduction Act will improve the lives of every American.”

Upon the president’s signature, $369 billion will be dispersed across all 50 states for projects to combat climate change, like Blunt-Rochester’s climate smart port provisions.

“Which invests in ports across the nation, like the Port of Wilmington, allowing them to upgrade their facilities, lower their carbon footprint, and create more good paying union jobs," Blunt-Rochester said.

$64 billion included in the bill extends the Affordable Care Act into 2025, but Medicare’s drug price negotiations won’t begin until 2026.

The bill passed entirely along party lines in the House and Senate, and pales in comparison to the Build Back Better Act which stalled earlier this year, but is still a much bigger bill than Democrats thought possible in recent months.

Critics of the bill like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders claim it does nothing to address issues American citizens are dealing with now, like the cost of food and gas and the housing crisis.

But most Democrats are happy to include so much, like a 15% tax on billion-dollar corporations.

“With this bill," Blunt-Rochester said. "We continue to put people over politics.”

Biden's original $1.7 trillion Build Back Better package proposed more social investments like universal preschool, paid family leave and an expanded child tax credit, but they were cut due to spending concerns.

Rachel Sawicki is Delaware Public Media's New Castle County Reporter. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.