Biden’s Build Back Better Makes Comeback

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

On Sunday, Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act, a sweeping health care, tax, and climate change legislation that passed the 50-50 Senate through reconciliation.

The $740 billion bill is months in the making and is set to raise taxes for corporations and reduce prescription drug costs to help cover the cost of other initiatives in the bill, like climate change goals and a deficit reduction.

After spending Saturday afternoon, evening, and the early hours of Sunday morning in an intense vote-a-Rama, considering several amendments to the legislation, the bill was passed.

With most amendments, Democrats stuck together to defeat Republicans except for the SALT amendment offered by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), which was backed by seven Democrats, including Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ.).

This amendment — which would extend state and local tax deductions that were a core part of former President Donald Trump’s tax cut — threatened the bill as it raised the ceiling of deductions.

But Democrats quickly evaded that threat by passing another amendment replacing the SALT cap with a different revenue stream.

When the bill was passed, many Democratic Senators hugged Sinema and expressed gratitude for their staff, seated at the back of the chamber.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which is a pared-down version of Biden’s Build Back Better deal, came to life after Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could finally come to an agreement last week.

On Thursday (August 4), Schumer and Sinema — another holdout for Biden’s build back better — also reached an agreement, paving the way for the new legislation.