President Joe Biden signed a sweeping tax, climate and health-care measure into law on Tuesday, sealing a major legislative victory ahead of the November midterm elections.
“With this law, the American people won and the special interests lost,” Biden said at the White House. “It’s about delivering progress and prosperity to American families.”
The measure, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, contains key parts of Biden’s policy agenda that just weeks ago appeared to have virtually no chance of becoming law. The House passed the bill Aug. 12 on a party line 220-207 vote after the Senate voted on Aug. 7 to approve it. No Republican in either chamber voted for it.
“Let’s be clear. This historic moment, Democrats sided with the American people and every single Republican in Congress sided with the special interests,” said Biden. “Every single Republican, every single one, voted against tackling the climate crisis, against lowering our energy costs, against creating good paying jobs for Americans. That’s the choice we face.”
Biden and Democrats desperately need the law, and a spate of other legislative wins, to help boost their poll numbers and improve their chances of protecting congressional majorities they are in danger of losing to Republicans in the fall. Biden’s approval rating stands at just 40%, while 55% of Americans disapprove of the job he is doing, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polling analysis.
The president and Cabinet officials are planning more than three dozen events in 23 states during the coming weeks to highlight the new law, according to a memo from the White House. Biden also plans to hold a celebration in Washington on Sept. 6 once lawmakers return from August recess.
Biden’s signature caps off a tumultuous effort that began last year when Democrats took control of Congress and the White House to approve new social and economic programs that the president promised during his 2020 campaign.
The push was derailed in December when centrist Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia pulled out of negotiations over a broader proposal called “Build Back Better” that contained more elements of Biden’s agenda.