US Senate adopts sweeping climate and health plan, in major victory for Biden

After 18 months of arduous negotiations and a marathon night of debate, the U.S. Senate on Aug. 7 passed Joe Biden's ambitious climate, tax and health care plan - a significant victory for the president ahead of crucial midterm elections.

Voting as a unified bloc and with the tie-breaking vote cast by Vice President Kamala Harris, Democrats approved the $430-billion spending plan, which will go to the House of Representatives next week, where it is expected to pass before being signed into law by Biden.

The plan, crafted in sensitive talks with members on the right wing of his Democratic Party, would include the biggest U.S. investment ever on climate - $370 billion aimed at effecting a 40 percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

That would give Biden a clear victory on one of his top agenda items and go some way toward restoring US leadership in meeting the global climate challenge.

Biden hailed the passage of the bill, highlighting the work that went into it -- and acknowledging that not everyone is happy with the final result.

"It required many compromises. Doing important things almost always does. The House should pass this as soon as possible and I look forward to signing it into law," the president said in a statement.

The bill, officially known as the "Inflation Reduction Act", passed the Senate with no Republicans voting in favor.

Conservative lawmakers have criticized the bill as wasteful spending, with top Republican Senator Mitch McConnell accusing Democrats of voting to "double down on their economic disaster."

The bill would provide Americans with a tax credit of up to $7,500 when purchasing an electric car, plus a 30 percent discount when they install solar panels...

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