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House passes Inflation Reduction Act, and Biden wins on health and environmentInflation Reduction Act

Along party lines, the House approved the Inflation Reduction Act on Friday, capping off a string of recent victories for President Joe Biden. The act passed by a vote of 220-207 in favour, with no Republican voting with the Democrats. After months of discussions between moderate and progressive Democrats, who finally came to an agreement late last month, it now goes to Biden, who is anticipated to sign it into law next week. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, declared to USA TODAY, “We’re together! “We’re all in this together, Democrats. We are all improving the quality of life for Americans.”

The sweeping legislation on health care, climate and taxes passed through the Senate 51-50 along party lines last week after a 15-hour session of debate, amendments and negotiation ending in Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote.

“There are a few days in a congressional career that feel truly historic. To me, this is one of them,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., said on the floor ahead of the vote.

“This legislation is historic, it’s transformative and really a cause for celebration,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a news conference ahead of the vote. House Republicans criticized the Inflation Reduction Act as overreaching and said the billions of dollars in spending wouldn’t solve inflation.  “Today the majority jams through another spending spree,” House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy said in his nearly 50-minute speech on the floor ahead of the vote. “I believe the largest tone-deaf bill we’ve seen in this chamber in 230 years. Passing this bill today means more expensive bills for Americans tomorrow.”

Some voters, and progressive lawmakers like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have said the Inflation Reduction Act doesn’t do enough to immediately alleviate strains on working families. He voted for the measure despite his tepid backing, saying the bill was a worthy down payment and signaling to other progressives they should support it as well.

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