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Senate expected to vote Saturday to advance Inflation Reduction Act

Senate expected to vote Saturday to advance Inflation Reduction Act
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks during a hearing at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in February. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 6 (UPI) — The U.S. Senate is expected to take a procedural vote Saturday to advance the Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to reduce the federal deficit and lower healthcare costs as well as measures to combat climate change.

The bill has received backing from centrist Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona after Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer led the party to deals earning their cooperation while removing a provision that had targeted closing a tax loophole for hedge fund managers.

Democrats could pass the package through the Senate as soon as the weekend with a simple majority in a budget process known as reconciliation that allows them to avoid a filibuster as Republicans unanimously oppose the bill, CNN reported.

However, in the reconciliation process, Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough must decide whether the bill’s provisions meet strict budget rules. MacDonough on Saturday gave approval of the bill’s climate provisions and most of its plans targeting drug pricing, The Washington Post reported.

After the procedural vote, the upper chamber will then go through a process known as a “vote-a-rama” on each of the bill’s provisions before an expected final vote on party lines.

The bill would then need to be approved by the House, which is expected to take up the legislation Friday, before it can be sent to President Joe Biden‘s desk to be signed into law.

Republican lawmakers have tried to vilify the bill as a tax increase that would hurt families even though the legislation’s spending measure does not raise taxes on individuals, The Washington Post reported.

“It’ll be like hell,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Friday, according to the outlet.

The bill includes $433 billion in new spending on the largest-ever investments into green energy and the reduction of greenhouse gases in United States history and would give Medicare the ability to negotiate the prices for prescription drugs.

President Joe Biden speaks before signing two bills aimed at combating fraud in the COVID-19 small business relief programs at the White House on Friday. Pool Photo by Evan Vucci/UPI | License Photo

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