Vice President Kamala Harris breaks deadlock in Inflation Reduction Act “vote-a-rama”

Vice President Kamala Harris breaks deadlock in Inflation Reduction Act “vote-a-rama” thumbnail

The Senate worked through the night making steps on the bill that will impose new taxes

Published August 7, 2022 10: 02AM (EDT)

US Vice President Kamala Harris holds a meeting with Latina state legislators to discuss fortifying and protecting reproductive rights in their states, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, August 5, 2022. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Starting Saturday afternoon and working through the night into Sunday, the Senate has been chipping away at a “vote-a-rama” for the Inflation Reduction Act bill which will impose new taxes for health care and climate issues.

At a point of deadlock in the voting process, Vice President Kamala Harris arrived at the Capitol to cast a tie-breaker, leaving the vote at “51 to 50 to proceed to the 755-page bill,” according to The Hill. From here, a final passage of the bill will be pushed through Senate with a yet-to-be-determined timeline that could be as soon as the end of the weekend. Once the bill makes its way through Senate it will then need to be approved by the House of Representatives before President Biden signs it into law.

The Inflation Reduction Act bill “represents the largest climate investment in US history,” according to CNN. And will allow Medicare the ability to negotiate the prices of a variety of prescription drugs and extend expiring health care subsidies for three years.

In a series of statements issued on Twitter Saturday afternoon, Vice President Harris describes the work being done saying “Our Administration has been working to lower prescription drug prices. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare will be able to negotiate prices. This is a huge relief for so many families across our nation.”

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“I just cast the tie-breaking vote to start debate on the Inflation Reduction Act. This bill will lower health care and prescription drug costs for families and address the climate crisis. Let’s get this done,” Harris says.

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 “The time has come for the Senate to begin debate on this historic piece of legislation. The Inflation Reduction Act is a groundbreaking bill for the American people, for families struggling to pay the bills, for seniors struggling to pay for medication, for kids struggling with asthma,” Schumer said on the floor moments before the vote, per reporting from The Hill. “This is one of the most comprehensive and impactful bills Congress has seen in decades.” 

“The bill, when passed, will meet all of our goals – fighting climate change, lowering health care costs, closing tax loopholes abused by the wealthy and reducing the deficit,” says Schumer per CNN coverage of Saturday’s series of votes. 

Kelly McClure is a journalist and fiction writer who lives in New Orleans. She is Salon’s Nights and Weekends editor, and her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere

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