President Joe Biden did not explicitly call on people to turn out to vote, but at his White House event on Tuesday celebrating the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, he and other Democrats certainly did not miss an opportunity to contrast their agenda with Republicans.
The event on the South Lawn drew thousands of people, as one of the largest gatherings the Biden administration has ever hosted at the White House. In the crowd were House and Senate Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, as well as union leaders and members, cabinet secretaries and other government officials. executive power. The White House sent out invitations far and wide, hoping to build buzz for climate and health legislation, and the event opened with a performance by James Taylor, who has spearheaded fundraising events for Biden in 2020.
Missing from the crowd: Republicans. None voted for the bill, as they have set their sights on hitting Democrats for high inflation. That was evident earlier in the day as the latest consumer price index came in higher than expected, sending the stock market into a tailspin.
Major cable news networks carried the speech, but eventually parted ways.
Pacing back and forth on a makeshift stage, with the Truman Balcony in the background, Biden delivered a spirited speech calling out certain senators, including Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI ), the latter of whom is running for re-election. Scott and Johnson have proposed regular votes on renewing Social Security and Medicare, as well as a host of other government programs and benefits, the president said.
“It’s hard to believe. I would think I was exaggerating if I didn’t look at it myself,” Biden said.
Biden spent much of his speech casting the legislation as a victory over special interests, including drug companies and big corporations. Business lobbyists opposed a provision setting a minimum tax of 15%. “The days of companies paying zero taxes are over,” Biden said.
The legislation, signed last month, includes $369 billion for energy and climate programs over the next decade, including tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles and other credits for home solar energy. The bill also includes $64 billion to extend Affordable Care Act benefits and $4 billion to address drought in western states. Another $300 billion in the bill would go toward deficit reduction.
The bill would be funded by a new 15% corporate minimum tax, raising an estimated $222 billion, according to congressional estimates. The provision was intended to capture large companies with at least $1 billion in profits that, due to accounting maneuvers and write-offs, pay at a lower rate or do not pay federal corporate taxes. Another $265 billion would come from prescription drug pricing reform, and Medicare will be able to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs. An estimated $74 billion would come from a 1% fee on share buybacks.
taylor sang Fire and rain, you can close your eyes Y America the BEAUTIFULtelling the crowd, “What a beautiful day it is, and what a hopeful time it is too.”
Also seen in the crowd: screenwriter Billy Ray and political consultant Mathew Littman, who heads the Entertainment Industry Task Force, a collection of politically engaged actors, writers and other creatives.
More to come.