WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, today issued the following statement after the Senate voted 51-50 to pass the Inflation Reduction Act:
This reconciliation bill goes nowhere near far enough in addressing the problems facing struggling working families. But it is a step forward and I was happy to support it.
At a time when we face the existential crisis of climate change the most significant part of this bill is an unprecedented $300 billion investment in clean energy and energy efficiency, including a $7 billion solar roof top proposal that I introduced. This bill could help increase U.S. solar energy by 500 percent and more than double wind energy by 2035. That is no small thing.
This bill also begins the work of making the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes by imposing a 15 percent minimum tax on corporations. It also gives the IRS the resources they need to pursue the estimated $1 trillion in taxes not paid by the wealthiest people in this country, and will help ordinary, working people get their returns faster.
This legislation also takes a small step in dealing with the outrageous prices of prescription drugs. Finally, we are giving Medicare the power to directly negotiate prescription drug prices with manufacturers on behalf of beneficiaries. Unfortunately, that provision does not kick in until 2026 and starts with only ten drugs.