Politics The Senate will take up Democrats' tax, climate and...

The Senate will take up Democrats’ tax, climate and health bills on Saturday, Schumer says

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) said Thursday that the Senate will vote to move forward on the Inflation Relief Act, Democrats’ package that tackles climate change, prescription drugs and inflation, later this week.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP


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J. Scott Applewhite/AP


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) said Thursday that the Senate will vote to move forward on the Inflation Relief Act, Democrats’ package that tackles climate change, prescription drugs and inflation, later this week.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Senate Democrats’ massive bill to address climate change, taxes, health care and inflation will move forward in the Senate on Saturday afternoon, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Thursday.

Democrats are trying to pass the bill under a budget process known as reconciliation, which allows Democrats to pass legislation without the threat of a Republican filibuster. All 50 Democratic senators would have to vote for the bill to pass, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote.

Saturday afternoon’s vote will be procedural to start the debate. Debates can last up to 20 hours, divided equally between the two parties. The full 20 hours won’t be needed, as Democrats expect to get most of their time back.

After that, a process known as a “vote-a-ram” begins, meaning senators can make unlimited amendments to the legislation. There may also be calls for the entire 725-page bill to be read aloud.

Schumer said Thursday that he expects the process to take a long time.

“I expect we’ll have some late nights and extended floor debates here,” he said.

Before it reaches the floor, Senate lawmakers must complete an analysis of the bill to determine whether it can be allowed under reconciliation in the first place.

And after that, the bill is still not guaranteed to pass, as Arizona Sen. Kirsten Sinema has yet to endorse it.

Meanwhile, Republicans have repeatedly criticized the legislation. McConnell called it “the goody bag of leftist environmental activists at the expense of working families.”

They also say that the bill will not relieve or worsen inflation.

Data from the Congressional Budget Office show that the legislation would reduce the deficit by roughly $300 billion, but the impact on inflation in the near term is negligible. The office said. They also acknowledged that the bill would have inflationary effects beyond next year, but CBO did not assess those effects.

Economists like Larry Summers, who have criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the economy in the past, say the bill is a positive step and push back on critics who say the bill’s impact on inflation won’t be seen for years. .

“I saw a bill that, when fully analyzed, would have a positive impact on inflation — not a huge positive impact, but a positive impact on inflation,” Summers told NPR’s All Things Considered.

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