tv House Progressive Caucus on Inflation Reduction Act CSPAN August 13, 2022 12:55am-1:42am EDT
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anywhere. >> members of the house progressive caucus talked about the democrats' tax health care and climate change bill from the u.s. capitol. this is about 40 minutes. >> good morning, everybody. i am so excited to be here with my colleagues from the >> good morning, everybody. i am so excited to be here with my colleagues from the congressional progressive caucus executive board. ms. jayapal: and today, after more than a year of negotiations, the house democrats are going to send the inflation reduction act to the president's desk for signature. this landmark legislation marks the largest ever federal
investment in climate action, putting the united states back on track to cut carbon pollution by 40% by 2030. 40% by 2030. with renewable energy technologies saving the average american family $1,000 a year and creating nine million jocks. it invests roughly $60 billion in environmental justice to front line communities and billions to utilities and rural coops so that rural coops can retire coal-fired power plants. progressives have been very clear from the very beginning that we don't support the expansion of fossil fuel leasing. but critically, as we dug into the details of this bill, independent analysis show that their impact will be far outweighed by the bill's carbon pollution cuts. that doesn't mean we're not going to stay extremely vigilant as we go forward. the inflation reduction act will immediately also extend affordable health coverage for 13 million people, it will tap
seniors' annual drug costs at $2,000 per year. and insulin at $35 per month. for the first time ever we got our toe in the door to take on the price gouging by big pharma. for the first time ever, medicare can begin negotiating drug prices. and in a huge win for progressive economic policy, this bill is paid for entirely with a 15% minimum tax on corporations, taxing of stock buybacks, and investing in the i.r.s. to go after large corporations and wealthy individuals who cheat on their taxes. as president biden promised, it will not raise taxes on any family making less than $400,000 a year. we are at the progressive caucus heart broken to see investments in care, in housing, immigration, work force and more left on the cutting room floor. and it's particularly outrageous
that congress was poised to cut the cost -- cap the cost of insulin for everyone who had insurance at $35 a month, until republicans stripped it from the bill. we expect this bill to pass without a single republican vote. even though the legislation is supported by nearly three out of four americans across the political spectrum. i am so proud of the role that the progressive caucus played in this fight. from the beginning, progressives have fought tooth and nail to advance the full scope of the president's economic agenda. and let's be clear. we are here because progressives have the mind to turn that agenda into a house-passed piece of legislation. the act we passed today draws on the provisions from the build back better act, and together with movement, activists and volunteers from across the country, we insisted that this democratic majority deliver.
young people and climate activists made congressional climate action mandatory. patients, people with disabilities and allied advocates gave democrats the power to finally take on big pharma and the wealthiest corporations. we have won the argument for the president's full economic agenda that we passed in the build back better bill with 99% of congressional democrats and the american people supporting it. now we just need a couple more democratic senators to make the rest of that agenda a reality. so, i'm incredibly proud of the progressive caucus and i know that we are not taking our foot off the gas, we going to make sure both with our executive action slate in the remaining months, as well as after the midterm elections when we expand our majorities in the senate, that we get the rest of this done. and now it's a great honor to introduce somebody that i've worked so closely with over the last six years of my tenure in
congress, somebody that helped build the progressive caucus to what it is today, our c.p.c. chair, congressman pocan. [applause] mr. pocan: thank you. today is a big win for the american people and a big loss for the d.c. special interests. especially in big pharma and big oil. this bill really is built off of the hard work that we did around build back better, that continued to this finally getting done. and if there was one group in congress that, as you know last fall, held out as hard as we could to continue the conversations, to get what we're doing today done, it was the progressive caucus. and i want to say a special thank you to our chair, ms. jayapal, because not only did she continue with the perseverance necessary, but she had conversations with, let's say, some of our more colorful
members in the senate to help us get to this point today. and that is a big win. we're putting people over politics, as we make sure that finally people can save money on costs when it comes to health care and energy costs, as we're experiencing worldwide inflation. this country right now is dealing with it by addressing these issues, by allowing us to be able to negotiate prescription drug prices through medicare, capping senior costs, giving people more access to health care, and finally addressing some of the issues around climate change, while creating jobs right here in the united states, with the energy solutions for the future. so this is really a big day and i think it's important that as we have this big celebration today, we remember, the one group that was the strongest behind this, that held out the longest and made sure the conversations happened to this point, and that was the progressive caucus and i'm very proud to be a part of that caucus. next i want to introduce one of the other people that i looked
at, i have been extremely fortunate to have had the counsel and the friendship of our other chair emeritus that's with us today, representative barbara lee. [applause] ms. lee: thank you very much. and also thank you for your tremendous leadership on so many fronts. and also for your magical ability, this is a magical day. [laughter] i want to say to our chair, ms. jayapal, i have to thank you for your tenacious leadership, the months of putting the pressure on as it relates to build back better. but also your negotiations. and i had the privilege to work for congressman, a great warrior, i remember when the progressive caucus was formed and i served as co-chair, i think it was about six years with congresswoman lynn woolsey,
and i want to say, you have realized the dreams of so many who came here to congress for the strength and power of the progressive caucus to be seen and you've done that. so thank you all very much. and let me just thank all of the millions of volunteers and activists and advocacy groups who lay the groundwork for these. this is your victory as much as it is ours. this country has never worked for everyone equally. never. right now seniors are just one devastating diagnosis away from paying tens of thousands of dollars for medicine that they need to survive. when this bill passes, however, no one over 65 years of age will need to pay more than $2,000 for prescription drugs a year. that's life changing. it's life affirming. right now teachers and nurses pay a greater share of their income taxes than amazon or facebook.
when this bill passes, corporations will finally have to contribute 15% of their billions of income to our country. right now lower income families and communities of color face the brunt of pollution and climate change. when this bill passes, we will be on track to cut carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. the long-term decashization will -- decarbonization will make a difference in our communities, both at home, in the united states, and throughout the world. but let me be clear. this bill is not perfect. and i am outraged by republican senators' opposition to key provisions like a $35 cap on insulin prices. you know who that affects disproportionately? black and brown people. they're putting politics over people. families still face huge burdens from housing to child care to immigration. we have a lot less to get done. but thanks to the relentless,
and i mean relentless determination of the progressive caucus and progressives around the country, we are poised to deliver real tangible improvements in the lives of families around the country immediately. and this is our moral imperative as democrats. and with control of the governing majority, that should never be overlooked. so i look forward to heading into the capital and to vote yes on the inflation reduction act of 2022 and put the american people over politics finally. thank you all again and now let me ask my colleague, a former co-chair of the progressive caucus, another emeritus, who chairs the natural resources committee, my friend who i have known for many years through many struggles, chairman raul grijalva. [applause] mr. grijalva: emeritus, you
know, a word that kind of just hangs in the air. but very proud of that title. very proud of being a member since i got to congress. 20 years, the progressive caucus. its evolution is to the point that it's something all of us are very proud of. and throughout the legislation we'll be voting on today, that imprint of the progressive caucus and the work of the chairwoman and the leadership of the caucus at this point in history, you can see it's the imprint that makes this piece of legislation viable and right for the american people. we take a serious step forward to deal with the climate crisis. we take a step forward to continue to invest in the american people. and continue to control their cost of living and reduce their cost of living. we take steps to
create jobs for people in this country. as my friend just said, it's not perfect. there were provisions that were left out in the negotiations that we in build back better as a caucus and not only as a progressive caucus but majority wanted and passed. those provisions are not there. but the bulk and the imprint that is there is something that merits our support and has mine. as we go forward and we continue to discuss the issue of climate, one of the things that i think all of us should be conscious off, the side deal and what that means, this is one piece of legislation not involving the side deal. that needs to be studied and difficult sethed and what it means what it means on this bold
step to climate. and so, we'll look at that and we'll -- i will have an opinion and others will have an opinion and today is a celebration, both of effort, tenacity and the fact that this is what the american people want and this is what they need and we are responding and thank you very much. let me introduce congressman raskin. jamie has been since he got here, a leader in thought and action in congress. i am very proud to serve with him and his leadership and very proud of the role that he has played consistently to save, serve and protect our democracy. let me introduce the congressman. [cheers and applause] mr. raskin: good morning everybody. the heart of the word progressive is progress and
today the progressive caucus brings a lot of progress to america and the progressives are the heart and life blood of the democratic party. and today, the democratic party is the party of democracy and the democratic party is making democracy work for the people. we are in an emergency with climate change, with record forest fires in the west and record drought throughout the midwest and record flooding and erosion in the east and hurricanes and thunderstorms across the south and the democratic caucus is standing up today saying we need to act and need to reduce 40% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. what a remarkable victory for the american people and in the struggle to preserve our species and keep a planet that is
habitable for human beings. there is tremendous progress in this legislation in terms of anti-corruption. the fact -- i'm going to give you one example, but the fact that for more than a decade now, the government has not been able to negotiate drug prices in the medicare program which is an absolute scandal and goes back to a rider that was slipped in by billy townsend, the republican chairman of the energy and commerce committee. and it would not be the same program that the v.a. has to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. we have the monopoly power of dictating prices to the american people and costing americans $25
billion to $30 billion in extra cost. today when we vote and we pass the inflation reduction act, we are getting rid of that special interest legislative corruption that was put in long ago and we are going to allow for the first time the medicare program to be negotiating free-market style for big phrma for lower drug prices for america and i am proud that is part of it and the amount of out of pocket costs that any individual american on medicare will have to pay $2,000. we are limiting the costs of insulin which will be an absolute life carver for millions of people in the country. we are struggling with costs to address their diabetes. that is not an optional drug.
if you have diabetes you have to take the drug. we are saving people thousands and thousands of dollars. i am proud of the leadership offer representatives jayapal and pocan in order to pass this monumental achievement today. i would like to introduce my great friend, representative marie newman. ms. newman: happy inflation reduction act day. let me thank these amazing leaders. without them we wouldn't have this bill. it is years and years of work that took this. they led with integrity, kindness and grace. and with that, we have this bill
that does amazing things. reduces emissions by 40% and makes the taxes a little bit fairer. and personally, the fact that as many people that do not pay the appropriate amount of taxes and going to get fairer for everybody is my motto. forget about campaign slogans. i want people to be better and this will be better 100%. i want to thank my climate partner friends for being amazing and working hard and pushing us because that is what activism is about. we pushed the senate and we push the president. but i will say, understand this bill got to where it's at because we lost in the build back better battle. and personally, i was devastated, enraged and very
frustrated but with great leaders and the entire progressive caucus, so today, i'm incredibly are thankful for the progressive caucus and every american because americans pushed us and we pushed the colleagues and with that, i hope everybody has an amazing day and everybody's day is a little better today. i'm sorry, let me introduce representative takano. mr. takano: thank you, marie and representative jayapal and representative pocan and representative grijalva. let me note that 16 of the standing committee chairs are
members of the progressive caucus and the imprint -- the imprint of the progressive caucus on today's bill has been brought in part of these progressive chairs. they wrote the original bill build back better. i share the lament that much has been cut out but i'm celebrating what is in this bill. harry truman when he accepted the nomination for re-election, it was a democratic convention and said we are going to beat those republicans in november and what is more, we are going to make them like it. the republican voters, many of them, three-quarters of the american public like what is in this bill.
we don't have to make them like it. they know they like it. we are here to pass the act larger due to the progressive members holding the line and fighting to the president's agenda. it will lower drug costs, energy costs and act on climate change and create millions of jobs. as chairman of the committee on veterans' affairs, the v.a. uses its bargaining power to get drug costs lowered for veterans and we are going to see it happen for all of americans. all of these draw on the house-passed build back better bill and improve the lives of american families. we will not stop fighting for the pieces left on the cutting
room floor whether it is universal child care, prek and medicare expansion. we made this a progressive agenda and only needs two more votes to pass in the senate. think about that. air net 2% more in the senate means we go the full distance on the progressive agenda and i turn it over to my colleague from the great state of michigan still has a tremendous voice, debbie dingell. [applause] mrs. dingell: i had jaw surgery and he told me not to talk, can you see debbie dingell not talking? i'm a hockey player. i thank all of my colleagues behind me who are the best friends anybody could have and
not stopped fighting for men and women. this talks about the health care provisions. i will never stop fighting until we get every american health care. when you are sick you go to the doctor and be able to get the medicine and treatment you need. we aren't going to stop fighting but we take another step today. but what i want to talk about is i'm a card girl -- car girl. and i worked hard on these provisions. a lot of people tried to kill this bill in the last couple of weeks. the transportation sector is responsible for more than 30% of the carbon emissions in this country and people are trying to pit us against each other. my friend gene is here and a lot of other environmentalists.
after nine months of discussion and agreed with auto workers, the auto companies, truck companies and the environmentalists and set a goal for 50% for the sale of zero emission vehicles by the year of 2023. we have to make sure we are supporting what is going to happen, and this bill does it. as a transformational piece of legislation. it is the fight. it represents the single largest investment in clean energy, environmental justice and climate action in the history of this country. [cheers and applause] mrs. dingell: the auto industry has demonstrated, it is ready for america to be the global
leader and we aren't going to see our leaders creed to any other country. we will lead, from domestic supply chain tore consumer incentives, the policies in this bill pave the way for electric try fix on all fronts. increase investments in the advanced technology bill, co-manufacturing programs and domestic manufacturing conversion grant programs. i will admit this will incentivize companies to bring those jobs back home that have been shipped overseas and there are a series of tax credits including a clean vehicle credit that was called -- the previously owned credit in extension of the income tax credit on alternative fuel
vehicles refueling property. this will bring down the cost of electric vehicles. right now, too many electric vehicles are a luxury car. we can't have that happen. ok. the reality, i'm with joe manchin and i'm not going to decrease our dependence on china any more than it is right now. we are 80% dependent on them for the minerals. we aren't going to do that. for the short-term, it will strengthen the trajectory and supply chain and reduce emissions and a couple of companies won't be able to access that tax credit until next year or in countries that aren't china or russia. but we can pave the way for success. chairman grijalva and
representative huffman, we con fend another table in bringing everybody together and how we are going to get that here. we know we have to do it. one of the things we are worried about, these are not luxury cars. that's our next job to make sure that doesn't happen. but right now, this bill is going to put this country on a path to reducing carbon emissions and reducing storms and wildfires and all the damage we are witnessing. when we work together, we can get the job done. and now i'm honored to turn it over to my colleague, representative jones. and i love him. [applause] mr. jones: i will always have
your back, debbie dingell. what a great day to be a progressive. thank you for being here and thanks to my colleagues in the most effective caucus, the congressional progressive caucus. we kept at it and fought so hard for so long, and we did it. we got congress to this moment. we never gave up and now our advocacy has paid off. we said we wanted to get back to the negotiating table and wanted to start with climate. now, we are about to pass the greatest and largest climate investment this country has ever seen. and we are timely about to lower prescription drug costs for our seniors. i am proud to be part of this historic occasion, this generational legislation and this highly effective caucus.
tackling the climate crisis is the greatest challenge that our generation will face. the stakes of this crisis could not be higher, especially for low-income communities and communities of color. the young people in particular can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that this body is about to take long overdue crucial action to save our planet. we are about to lower prescription drugs, lower prescription drug costs for people like my grandmother who worked past the age of retirement to pay for prescription drugs and medical procedures not covered by medicare. we will hold this by phrma and allowing to negotiate the cost of prescription costs.
this is an example of government working for the people. today is a cause for celebration. this legislation is why you run for congress in the first place and democrats are continuing to deliver on their promises. i will hand it over to my brother in this fight, representative bowman. [applause] >> searching the 16th district in congress surpassing my time working in the middle school. but to be a member of the
progressive caucus and guided by the leadership of representative jayapal has been a learning experience and just such a marvel to work and you know the work in holding the line and making sure that build back better was on the table and discussed and fought for. the work that went into that. the grit, the sacrifice, the determination was just tremendous to watching and she was not alone. and give a big shot to my man who was right there doing the work. you have to recognize the staffers, but no inflation reduction act without build back better. and there would be no build back better without the progressive caucus and tried to move forward with the infrastructure bill which we supported, but we knew
we couldn't talk about physical infrastructure without focusing on human infrastructure. and that's what build back better is all about and that is what the inflation reduction act is moving forward with, putting people over politics and dealing with the climate catastrophe and we have the opportunity to address the environmental injustice that has been happening in communities of color while responding to the drought, the forest fires and the climate impact that is happening all over the world and it is historic and the progress miff caucus is to make sure that it is rooted in the president's initiatives. lowering the cost of living for seniors and every day americans is a game changer and people cannot afford to live right now. gas and groceries are too damn
high. prescription drugs are too high and people are too high. we do not have a democracy without an equitable tax code and fair tax system and corporations have been paying nothing and will now have to pay 15% and that can be rei have invested in the american economy and provide relief. so this is a huge win. we will not be without the c.p.c. and not be here without our leader representative jayapal and there is much more work to do and we will get that work done because the next thing we need to do is hold the house
win a couple of seats in the senate so we can be manchin and sinema proof and we can have a agenda. pass an h.r. 1 and getting big money out of politics and expanding the supreme court like my brother mondaire has been fighting for since the very beginning and the very thing and progressives work in alignment with the activists who have gotten us to this point. thank you. thank you. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> and we work in alignment what the american people want and we will continue to do that and continue to put people over politics because we love the people. we love the country and we love
the planet and about to save all three and this is just one big step in that decks. thank you all so much. i bring up my brother who represents washington heights in the bronx, representative espaillat. secretary esper: -- ms. escobar: -- >> we are going to crush inflation like a yankees' stadium. and so, this is a great moment. and i represent as my brother bowman said the bronx and
northern manhattan and the zip codes who have the toughest covid numbers in the country in the west bronx. and people died there not just because of the violence but because of diabetes. they died there not just because of the violence but because of asthma and died there not because of the violence but because of cardio and respiratory problems. and the only way you can treat is if you have access to health care and pay for your medication. so this bill is to have the best post-covid-19 recovery action we have taken so far. it will save lives. and seniors will no longer have to ration their insulin. they are rationing their insulin
to pay their rent and buy food at the supermarket. that cannot continue to happen in america. the environment. environment. i have a grandson who suffers from asthma. he smells peanut butter and breaks into rashes. the environment is so much connected to this asthma thing going on in the bronx where he lives. he was born in washington heights but lives in the bronx. so we want to help him. we want to help my grandson and make sure he doesn't break into a rash. he loves peanut butter but can't eat it. the way to do that is to invest in the environment. and $60 billion for environmental justice, i was on
238th street the other morning, no trees and melting asphalt brought the temperature to 125 degrees and we need to plant trees to help us breathe. it's simple. not complicated stuff, but very simple stuff. we make it complicated if we don't act but we are acting today. this is a progressive victory because it is an american victory and american values are one of a kind, they are not different. i don't know any american who wants to ration their insulin or have to pay a lot of money in co-payments or pay for prescription drugs that the pharmaceutical companies tell them to do. this is an american victory and i thank the progressive caucus
for their leadership and that is the conscience. the conscience is in this world. this is the backbone of congress, backbone of congress and i thank them for their work and camilla has done a great job in leading the congress and keep the faith. ms. jayapal: huge shoutout to our activists, signs, moms and all the people. we probably have time for two questions. >> speaker pelosi has pushed the funding agreement. [indiscernible] ms. jayapal: we are celebrating action on climate and prescription drugs. we are celebrating on
corporations paying their fair share. one more question. [indiscernible] ms. jayapal: really everything that's left is a priority because -- the economy and there were several pieces that were essential. we have to take care of people. two things that people are caring about, the child care and the other is housing. we have to invest in housing and take care of our seniors and our kids and we need to make sure there are a number of provisions around work force and immigration. we crafted the best bill in the world in build back better and
so do the american people. as soon as we get a couple of them, we made the case. it is really important that we get all of it done. thanks everybody, take >> the house went on to past the democrats taxes, health care and climate change bill by a partyline vote of 220-207. the measure hits to president biden for his signature. >> washington journal, every day we take your calls live on the air on today's news and discuss policy issues that impact you. saturday morning, education
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