Updated Aug 16, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden signs Democrats' $740 billion tax, climate and health care bill into law

Photo of Joe Biden signing a bill on a desk with lawmakers crowded around and behind him

President Biden signs the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 16. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden signed into law Tuesday the Democrats' $740 billion reconciliation bill.

Why it matters: The package, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, includes provisions that increase taxes on large corporations, address climate change and lower prescription drug costs. Biden has emphasized that the bill will help lower the deficit and drive down inflation, though economic models suggest it will affect overall inflation only a little.

Details: Among other actions, the Inflation Reduction Act ...

  • Invests roughly $370 billion into initiatives to promote clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Increases health care spending by $98 billion.
  • Imposes a 15% minimum tax on corporations that earn more than $1 billion in annual profits.
  • Allows the federal health secretary to negotiate the prices of certain expensive drugs for Medicare.

What they're saying: "The Inflation Reduction Act has so many things that for so many years so many of us have fought to make happen," Biden said in remarks before the signing.

  • "In this historic moment, Democrats sided with the American people, and every single Republican in Congress sided with a special interest," he added, noting that every Republican lawmaker voted against the bill.
  • "Making progress in this country as big and complicated as ours clearly is not easy. It's never been easy. But with unwavering conviction, commitment and patience, progress does come."

Worth noting: It's the largest investment in clean energy and emissions cuts the Senate has ever passed, Axios' Andrew Freedman writes.

The big picture: The bill, though much smaller and less ambitious than what many Democrats wanted, cleared its largest hurdle after negotiations with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). Vice President Harris cast the tie-breaking vote.

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