Organizers of the RESET 2022 sustainable tourism summit promise a bold program

WASHINGTON: After 18 months of arduous negotiations and a marathon night of debates, the US Senate on Sunday passed Joe Biden’s ambitious climate, tax and health care plan – a significant victory for the president ahead of a crucial midterm election.
Voting as a unified bloc and with the deciding vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, Democrats approved the $430 billion spending plan, which will go to the House of Representatives next week, where it is expected to pass before being voted on. to be signed into law by Biden.
The plan, crafted in sensitive talks with right-wing members of his Democratic party, would include the biggest US climate investment ever – $370 billion aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40%. greenhouse effect by 2030.
It would give Biden a clear victory on one of his main agenda items and go some way to restoring American leadership to address the global climate challenge.
Biden hailed the bill’s passage, pointing to the work that went into it — and acknowledging that not everyone is happy with the end result.
“It required many compromises. Doing important things almost always does. The House should pass this as soon as possible and I look forward to signing it,” the president said in a statement.
The bill – officially known as the “Cutting Inflation Act” – passed the Senate without any Republicans voting in favor.
Conservative lawmakers slammed the bill as an unnecessary expense, with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell accusing Democrats of voting to “double down on their economic disaster.”
The bill would give Americans a tax credit of up to $7,500 when buying an electric car, plus a 30% rebate when they install solar panels on their roofs.
It would also provide millions to help protect and conserve forests – which have been increasingly ravaged in recent years by wildfires during record heat waves that scientists say are linked to global warming.
Billions of dollars in tax credits would also go to some of the country’s dirtiest industries to help them switch to greener methods – a move fiercely opposed by some liberal Democrats who have, however, accepted it as a less bad alternative. after months of frustration.
Biden, who came to power with promises of sweeping reforms, saw his hopes dashed, then revived, then dashed again.
The narrow edge of Democrats in the Senate gave a virtual veto to moderates like Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who had previously used that power to block Biden’s much larger Build Back Better plan.
But in late July, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer managed to broker a compromise with West Virginia, whose state economy is heavily dependent on coal mining.
“This bill will change America for decades,” Schumer said after it passed, while Manchin tweeted that it “will cut inflation taxes that have been so damaging to West Virginia and American families. “.
The senators finally opened the debate on the text on Saturday, with a final passage not before Sunday afternoon.
Late Saturday, they began working through a marathon procedure known as “vote-a-rama”, in which members can propose dozens of amendments and demand a vote on each one.
It has allowed Republicans, who see Biden’s plan as too costly, and liberal Democrats, who say it doesn’t go far enough, to make their opposition clear.
Influential progressive Senator Bernie Sanders used this platform throughout the evening to propose several amendments aimed at strengthening the social elements of the legislation, which have been significantly weakened over months of negotiation.
The bill would provide $64 billion for health care initiatives and guarantee a reduction in the cost of certain drugs – which can be 10 times more expensive in the United States than in some other wealthy countries.
But progressive Democrats have long since had to give up on their ambitions for free preschools and community schools and for extending health care to the elderly.
“Millions of seniors will continue to have rotten teeth and won’t have the dentures, hearing aids or glasses they deserve,” Sanders said from the Senate. “This bill, as currently drafted, does nothing to address that.”
But their fellow Democrats, keen to pass the legislation before the November midterms when congressional scrutiny is at stake, have rejected any changes to the text.
To help offset the plan’s massive spending, it would reduce the US deficit through a new 15% minimum tax on companies making profits of $1 billion or more – a move targeting some who now pay far less.
This measure could generate more than $258 billion in tax revenue for the government over the next 10 years, according to some estimates.

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