1 of 5 | Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, reads a letter showing support of the Inflation Reduction Act during her weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Friday. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. House passed the Democrat-led Inflation Reduction Act on Friday, almost a week after the Senate narrowly approved the sweeping legislation that aims to invest billions in climate change, tax and other economy-oriented efforts.
The House, which began debate around 9 a.m. EDT, voted 220-207 on party lines to pass the bill which will now go to President Joe Biden's desk for his signature.
It's unclear exactly when Biden could sign it as he and first lady Jill Biden are in South Carolina on a week-long vacation.
"Today is a day of extraordinary progress for America's families, as we send to President Biden the Inflation Reduction Act to be signed into law," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement after the vote.
"Thank you to all of our members for the unity, optimism and persistence you have brought to this fight."
Pelosi added on Twitter that the Inflation Reduction Act addresses "kitchen table issues and counters the impact of special interests."
"By reducing the cost of prescription drugs and health care, while taking bold action on climate, House Democrats passing this bill today puts people over politics," Pelosi said.
The Inflation Reduction Act passed by a vote of 51-50 in the Senate on Sunday after moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kirsten Sinema of Arizona both decided to support it. No Senate Republicans voted for the bill. Vice President Kamala Harris, in her role as Senate president, cast the tie-breaking vote.
The $740 billion package, which Biden is expected to sign into law, will become the United States' largest-ever investment in climate and energy programs.
It would be paid for with new taxes, mostly on corporations and the wealthy. The bill would also for the first time allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and keep healthcare subsidies from expiring for three years.
The bill, which is a pared-down version of Biden's initial $3.5 trillion Build Back Better package that the president was forced to whittle down, survived months of shaky negotiations. Manchin helped mold the newer bill that also targets $300 billion in deficit reduction.
The Senate was able to pass the bill with a simple majority through budget reconciliation, a process that allows fiscal-related legislation to avoid a filibuster.
The bill passing the House on Friday marked a huge win for Democrats just months ahead of the November midterm elections.
"This life-changing legislation increases the leverage of the people's interest over the special interest," Pelosi told House members in a memo before the vote, according to NBC News. "This bill makes a tremendous difference at the kitchen table of America's families."
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, if passed by the House, would go to President Joe Biden's desk on Friday. As the Bidens are in South Carolina on vacation, it's unclear when the president could sign the bill. Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI
Pelosi discussed four primary aspects of the bill, including deficit reduction, giving Medicare a say on drug prices, funding the Affordable Care Act for another three years, plus the climate and energy measures.
The bill, which puts focus on more frequent natural disasters and increasing global warming, would provide federal dollars to companies that invest in solar and wind power and help transition the U.S. away from fossil fuels. It also lays out a reduction in greenhouse gases in the United States by 40% by the end of the 2020s.