The Senate's proving an all-nighter can help get the job done.
What do you mean?
Yesterday, the upper chamber passed the 755-page Inflation Reduction Act. The $740 billion package aims to tackle climate change, cut the national deficit, and make prescription drugs more affordable. It got the green light after VP Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote. (Note: Zero Republicans voted in favor.) And came after an all-night "vote-a-rama." Here are the deets on what it does for...
Climate change…The bill would be the biggest climate investment in US history with more than $300 billion going to clean energy initiatives. And aims to boost renewable energy manufacturing for the production of solar panels and wind turbines. It also includes tax breaks for those who make their home more energy efficient and electric vehicle users. Dems say the changes will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by the end of the decade.
Health care…The bill would give Medicare the power to negotiate the cost of some pricey prescription drugs, starting in 2026. And extend Affordable Care Act subsidies for another three years. Dems tried to include a $35 price cap for insulin per month. But since politics got in the way, the cap would only apply to those covered by Medicare.
Tax reform…The legislation wants to increase funding for the underfunded IRS. It creates a 15% minimum tax for companies that make $1 billion or more. That’s expected to bring the gov about $300 billion in revenue. And it includes a 1% tax on companies’ stock buybacks.
The package heads to the House floor for a vote on Friday, where it will likely pass. Climate orgs said the bill's the “most significant action” the country has taken to fight climate change. But Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called it a costly bill that won’t “reduce inflation at all.”
For more than a year, Dems have been trying to get reforms on the table (RIP Build Back Better). Now, this bill could lead to historic changes and give Dems something to show ahead of the midterms. But the bill still falls short on other major promises like paid family leave.
On Friday, Indiana became the first state to pass a new abortion ban since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The new law, which goes into effect Sept 15, bans all abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or severe birth defects. Or, if the mother’s life is in danger. Doctors who perform illegal abortions will lose their medical license. The news out of Indiana came days after Kansas voted to protect abortion rights in the state.
At least 13 states have trigger laws in place — but Indiana is the first to pass newly written legislation. Currently, people in the state can still have an abortion up to 22 weeks of pregnancy. But that'll change when the law goes into effect next month. Planned Parenthood called it an “egregious attack” on health care. And Indiana-based companies have condemned the law, saying it’ll make recruiting employees to the state more difficult. But Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) said the new law “accomplishes" the goal of protecting life.
What people are watching…
Israel and Gaza. Yesterday, the two sides agreed to a cease-fire with the help of Egyptian mediators. On Friday, Israel launched a military operation against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), killing one of the PIJ’s senior commanders in Gaza. The PIJ is backed by Iran, which routinely provides money, weapons, and other support. The militant group fired over 700 rockets — most of which were ineffective or intercepted by the Israeli military. The violence has also killed more than 43 Palestinians, including 15 children, and injured more than 300. Meanwhile, Hamas is staying out of the fray amid worries the violence could escalate and economic deals with Israel could be at risk.
Who needs to pay up…
Alex Jones. Last week, a Texas jury ordered the Infowars host to pay over $45 million in punitive damages to the parents of a 6-year-old Sandy Hook victim. It came a day after he was ordered to pay about $4 million in other damages to the same family. Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis’ son, Jesse, was one of the 26 victims of the 2012 school shooting. They sued Jones for the suffering he put them through after he claimed the shooting was staged. Jones has since backtracked on his comments. But this isn't the last of his legal troubles. He still faces two more trials over his false claims.
Who wants to sweep the competition…
What’s got a bubbling issue…
Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter. Delivered to your inbox every morning and prepares you for your day in minutes.