You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Sen. Schumer boasts big wins for the nation, New York in just-passed climate and spending package

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 8/8/2022 Dave Goldiner, Tim Balk

A sleep-deprived Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) headed straight for New York City to take a victory lap on Monday after shepherding a historically large climate change bill through a gauntlet in the evenly split Senate.

Fresh off his hard-fought Capitol Hill win, the Democratic leader from Brooklyn boasted of achievements forged in a rare weekend Senate all-nighter, including the massive investment in clean energy and provisions to lower prescription drug costs.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) gives a thumbs-up in his office after the Senate approved Democrats' big election-year economic package in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022. © Provided by New York Daily News Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) gives a thumbs-up in his office after the Senate approved Democrats' big election-year economic package in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) gives a thumbs-up in his office after the Senate approved Democrats' big election-year economic package in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022. (Lisa Mascaro/)

“For years, people have wanted this done,” Schumer crowed at a news conference in Midtown Manhattan. He promised that the bill would force Big Pharma to lower costs for American families.

“Prices will go way down,” Schumer vowed, standing by a poster touting the benefits of the newly passed Inflation Reduction Act, and holding props that included a red apple (representing benefits for New York) and his signature flip phone (symbolizing the intensive negotiations that led up to the deal).

Senate passes Biden climate and spending plan

Democrats jammed the estimated $740 billion package through the Senate by a 51-to-50 vote Sunday, with Vice President Kamala Harris providing the crucial tie-breaking vote over blanket Republican resistance.

The bill, passed through the complicated reconciliation process, hikes taxes on corporations, includes hundreds of billions of dollars to fight climate change and would allow Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs.

The bill is on track to drag down health care costs for 3.7 million New Yorker seniors and to create some 1.5 million jobs across the U.S., according to Schumer’s office.

But Schumer said he wants Americans to take particular note of the legislation’s potential effect on surging prices. Economists say they expect the bill to fight inflation, if slowly.

“In the longer run, climate is the biggest challenge we face,” Schumer told reporters. “But the most immediate is inflation.”

“Some of the things we’re doing on climate will reduce people’s costs — electric bills, appliances,” he added.

The House is expected to pass the legislation on Friday. President Biden, hungry for another pre-midterm legislative accomplishment, is expected to sign the bill soon afterward.

FILE - In this March 28, 2017 file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy's Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. © Provided by New York Daily News FILE - In this March 28, 2017 file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy's Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo.

FILE - In this March 28, 2017 file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy's Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. (Mead Gruver/)

Schumer revived the bill by sealing a surprise compromise with moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), who appeared to have killed it weeks earlier.

“Joe Manchin and I had some really heated arguments,” Schumer said. “But we always showed each other respect.”

Schumer said the two hammered out the accord with little input from Biden, who has seen his relationship with Manchin poisoned over the last year.

“Under Joe Manchin’s request, which I honored, the White House didn’t know any of the details until everybody else did,” Schumer said.

The bill amounts to a slimmed-down version of Biden’s Build Back Better blueprint, which was once valued at $3 trillion.

The clean energy legislation omits measures like universal preschool, free community college and paid family leave. Manchin fretted that a major reweaving of the social safety net would cost too much and drive up inflation.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks during a press conference in Manhattan, New York on Monday, August 8, 2022. © Provided by New York Daily News Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks during a press conference in Manhattan, New York on Monday, August 8, 2022.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks during a press conference in Manhattan, New York on Monday, August 8, 2022.

Despite the West Virginia moderate’s support for the final package, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the minority leader, said in a Sunday statement that Democrats had fixed their focus on a “Green New Deal giveaway,” and dismissed environmental regulation as a “3% issue.”

The new bill is expected to give Democrats a major boost heading into the midterm elections in November. Schumer is hoping to cling to control of the Senate, though Republicans are favored to take the House of Representatives.

Democrats’ Senate prospects seem to have brightened markedly this summer, as fury over the conservative Supreme Court’s ruling ending the right to abortion has collided with a string of legislative successes that began with the passage of a bipartisan gun safety bill.

Gas prices are falling, the job market appears exceptionally sturdy and Biden — whose underwater approval ratings have started to tick up — just kicked a bout with COVID.

“People would say: The Democrats can’t get anything done,” Schumer said. “Well, the last six weeks have been one of the most productive six weeks in legislative history in decades.”

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from New York Daily News

New York Daily News
New York Daily News
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon