(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden took a victory lap after the Senate passed a sweeping tax, health and climate bill, predicting it will boost Democrats in the November midterm elections.
“Do I expect it to help? Yes, I do. It’s going to immediately help,” Biden told reporters Monday in Dover, Delaware, before traveling to Kentucky to tour flood damage.
The Senate’s vote on Sunday handed Biden a long-sought win on key parts of his domestic agenda. Republicans nonetheless are still seen as having the upper hand in congressional elections this fall, with the public’s mood still sour over inflation and recession fears.
Biden’s allies hope that the measure -- along with others like his Covid rescue plan, infrastructure law, gun safety law and bills on semiconductor subsidies and veterans health care -- help give candidates a strong message to run on and inspire previously demoralized Democratic voters to cast ballots in the fall.
The president pointed out that seniors on Medicare will have their annual out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs capped at $2,000, saying “that’s a big deal” -- echoing his famously profane remark to then-President Barack Obama upon the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
He said the measure contains a “whole range” of provisions that will help lower the cost of living for many Americans, though he conceded that it could take time for ordinary people to see the benefits.
“Now some of it’s not going to kick in for a little bit, but it’s all good,” Biden said.
The bill, which the House has yet to pass, incentivizes renewable energy projects and electric vehicle sales, imposes a new minimum tax on corporations and a tax on stock buybacks, allows the government to negotiate certain drug prices and extends Obamacare premium subsidies. In total, it would spend $437 billion over a decade.
At a time of high inflation and an impending recession, the bill also gives Republicans ample material to campaign against.
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