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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
By
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
©2022 All rights reserved
August 16, 2022

     The U.S. Senate repelled attempts to amend a $430 billion measure sought by President Joe Biden, as Democrats forged ahead with efforts to pass a bill aimed at controlling climate change and cutting prescription drug costs for the elderly.   Dems will regret their rejected amendments when they are made public in November elections.  

     Senators, working over the weekend to pass a bill central to Biden’s domestic agenda, labored through the morning in hopes of passing the bill before starting an August recess. The bill also seeks to tighten enforcement on tax payments from corporations and the wealthy. “The time is now to move forward with a big, bold package for the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said at the start of debate. He said the legislation contains “the boldest clean energy package in American history” to fight climate change while reducing consumer costs for some medicines and energy.

     Democrats have drawn harsh attacks from Republicans over the legislation’s $430 billion in new spending and more than $740 billion in new revenues.  Nevertheless, Democrats said their bill has deep support among voters. They hope its passage in the Senate and House of Representatives by the end of next week will help Democratic candidates in the Nov. 8 midterm elections at a time when Biden, their party leader, suffers from anemic public approval ratings. Democrats are in a battle to retain their narrow control of the Senate and House of Representatives.

     
After spending several hours on debating the legislation, senators dug in for a “vote-a-rama” in which Democratic and Republican amendments were offered in rapid-fire. Democrats hope to pass the bill with only a simple majority under a process called “reconciliation,” bypassing a filibuster rule requiring 60 votes in the 100-seat chamber to advance most legislation. That will enable Democrats to pass it over Republican objections. But they were unable to muster the votes necessary to retain a provision to cap soaring insulin costs at $35 a month on the private health insurance market, which fell outside the reconciliation rules. The proposal failed by three votes, despite support from seven Republicans. Democrats said the legislation would still cap insulin costs for those on Medicare.

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