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Aug. 7, 2022, 4:08 p.m. EDT

Senate passes Democrats’ big healthcare, climate and tax package after marathon session

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Robert Schroeder

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Also see: Betting markets now see Democrats keeping their grip on Senate in midterm elections

“Who in their right mind wants to tax and spend during a recession?” asked Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, in a Fox Business Channel interview on Friday.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, attacked the EV credits in the bill in a floor speech on Saturday.

“While Democrat tax hikes hit Americans of all incomes, their proposed benefits are targeted at a privileged few — like helping wealthy Americans purchase an $80,000 electric SUV,” Grassley charged.

The U.S., as MarketWatch has reported, is not officially in a recession. The risks of one, however, are rising, as the Federal Reserve mounts an aggressive campaign of interest-rate increases to cool the economy. The red-hot jobs data reported on Friday is all-but certain to inspire the Fed to raise rates higher.

The final Senate vote came after a marathon session of trying to change the bill known as “vote-a-rama,” in which lawmakers offer multiple amendments. The chamber gaveled in on Saturday and worked through the night and into Sunday morning, with the final vote coming before 3:30 p.m. Eastern.

During the vote-a-rama, Republicans blocked a $35 price cap on insulin costs for patients on private insurance. But Democrats’ goal to lower insulin prices for Medicare is expected to become law, as Politico writes .

Biden and congressional Democrats originally had far bigger plans for their priorities. But while the $2 trillion Build Back Better Act cleared the House last year, it never made it through the Senate. The measure included items like universal prekindergarten and paid family and medical leave. It stalled amid opposition from Manchin and Sinema.

Still, Schumer trumpeted the Inflation Reduction Act on Saturday, saying it met all of the party’s goals: “fighting climate change, lowering healthcare costs, closing tax loopholes abused by the wealth and reducing the deficit.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said Democrats’ “so-called inflation bill will not meaningfully reduce inflation at all, and will actually make inflation even worse in the short term.”

The House is planning to return Friday to vote on the bill.

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