U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today voted in favor of the landmark Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Once signed into law by President Biden, the IRA will help lower prescription drug prices, combat climate change, reduce health care and energy costs, and increase tax fairness, all while reducing the national deficit. Rep. Pascrell spoke on the House floor during debate on the IRA.
“The American people put Democrats in charge to raise our nation from its knees. Today we are putting people over powerful interests by making the wealthy pay their fair share. For years, republicans sabotaged the IRS. They safeguarded loopholes to help millionaires pay a pittance in taxes. That ends now,” said Congressman Pascrell, a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee. “Democrats are making the single largest investment in clean energy to combat climate change in human history. Our bill includes legislation I champion to expand zero-emission nuclear energy and offshore wind, where New Jersey leads the way. We are lowering health care costs for nearly 12 million Americans. The Inflation Reduction Act delivers on our promises to the American people and then some.
“It is damning beyond all comprehension that not a single Republican in Congress voted for this. In fact, Republicans actively weakened this bill by halting our $35 cap on insulin for private insurers. The other party doesn’t give a damn about regular Americans. And today’s historic vote proves it.”
The IRA is the latest landmark bill passed by this Democratic Congress to create immediate and substantial change for the American people. A number of the IRA’s key provisions championed by Congressman Pascrell are listed below:
Expands Medicarebenefits: Provides free vaccines (2023) and caps out-of-pocket drug costs to an estimated $4,000 or less in 2024 and settling at $2,000 in 2025.
Empowers Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, beginning with ten of the highest-costing drugs in 2023 and expanding to 20 each year by 2029, saving $100 billion. Negotiation will directly lower the cost of drugs for patients and taxpayers, including for conditions such as asthma and blood clots.
Lowers energy bills: Cuts energy bills by an estimated $500 to $1,000 per year.
Zero-Emission Nuclear Power Production Tax Credit: Includes language providing a tax credit for the production of electricity from a qualified nuclear power facility. This language closely mirrors Congressman Pascrell’s Zero-Emission Nuclear Power Production Credit Act (H.R. 4024).
Extension of Production Tax Credit for Offshore Wind: Includes language extending the production tax credit for offshore wind facilities which begin construction prior to the start of 2025. This language closely mirrors Congressman Pascrell’s Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act (H.R. 4887; 116th Congress).
Advanced Manufacturing Production Tax Credit: Includes language providing a new manufacturing production credit for certain offshore wind and solar components produced and sold. With respect to offshore wind, this language closely mirrors Congressman Pascrell’s Offshore Wind American Manufacturing Act (H.R. 7388).
Makes historic climate investments: Estimated to reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030.
Reinstatement of Superfund Tax: Reinstates the Hazardous Substance Superfund Financing Rate on crude oil and imported petroleum products at the rate of 16.4 cents per gallon, indexed to inflation. This language closely mirrors Congressman Pascrell’s Superfund Polluter Pays Act (H.R. 2703), which he co-leads with Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06).
Lowers health care costs: Estimated to save the average enrollee $800/year in the Affordable Care Act marketplace, allows Medicare to negotiate 100 drugs over the next decade, and requires drug companies to rebate back price increases higher than inflation.
Creates manufacturing jobs: More than $60 billion will be invested to create millions of new domestic clean manufacturing jobs.
Invests in disadvantaged communities: Cleaning up pollution and taking steps to reducing environmental injustice with $60 billion for environmental justice.
Closes tax loopholes used by wealthy: A 15% corporate minimum tax and a 1% fee on stock buybacks.
Revitalizes the IRS: Reverses damaging Republican budget cuts by providing an infusion of nearly $80 billion over ten years to improve taxpayer services and tax enforcement against wealthy tax cheats.