For immediate release
August 8, 2022
Yesterday, Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act, 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris providing the tie-breaking vote. With the most pro-union administration of our lifetimes, we are in a moment where government can be a source of strength for working people, not an obstacle.
This historic piece of legislation includes the largest-ever investment in addressing the climate crisis, the first-ever negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry over drug prices, and historic reform of our unfair system of taxation, where companies that make record profits regularly contribute virtually no taxes to help everyday Americans who work hard and play by the rules.
It could never have passed with a Majority in the Senate and the White House if not for the hard-fought victories by the housekeepers, cooks, dishwashers, and other working people in the 2020 General Election—and the Georgia Senate runoffs.
Much ink has been spilled over the struggles to get fifty Senate Democrats to agree on the path forward for their agenda, but as we head into this fall’s election season, we need to make sure working people understand that ZERO Republicans supported these measures that will ease inflation and tackle some of the biggest issues facing our country at this moment. In fact, they all voted to deny caps on insulin prices so vital for the health of millions of Americans. This is the GOP—they put politics over the health of their constituents.
Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act means key parts of the Biden agenda have moved forward despite the 50/50 Senate stalemate typically hindering any legislative progress on a range of issues. Notably we are deeply troubled by the potential for cost-shifting to our members’ health plans. The Government will be able to negotiate prices on some drugs, but any measures to mitigate costs for health insurance plans provided by employers were excluded by the Senate Parliamentarian. That cannot continue.
But we celebrate this first step in reigning in drug prices and look to build on it in the future, much as we celebrate the rest of the accomplishments of this Congress. We know much remains to be done, from labor law reform, to investing in the care economy, to renewing the Child Tax Credit which lifted millions of children out of poverty.
And at a time when the gap between rich and poor is greater than any other time in American history, we need to build more power at the ballot box so get more done for America’s workers and their families. We need more power in the Senate—power that puts the needs of working people first. Our members are on the ground already in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada working to create that possibility through what will be our largest Midterm door-to-door ground operation we’ve run to date—and the biggest ever, by a wide margin, in Pennsylvania and Nevada. Onward.