WASHINGTON — President Biden on Tuesday signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, an ambitious measure that aims to tamp down on inflation, lower prescription drug prices, tackle climate change, reduce the deficit and impose a minimum tax on profits of the largest corporations.

At a bill signing ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House, Biden praised the legislation as among the most significant measures in the history of the country.

“Let me say from the start: With this law, the American people won and the special interests lost,” Biden said.

His administration had begun amid “a dark time in America,” Biden added, citing the coronavirus pandemic, joblessness and threats to democracy.

“And yet we’ve not wavered, we’ve not flinched and we’ve not given in,” Biden said. “Instead, we’re delivering results for the American people. We didn’t tear down. We built up. We didn’t look back. We look forward. And today – today offers further proof that the soul of America is vibrant, the future of America is bright, and the promise of America is real.”

President Biden speaks before signing the Democrats’ landmark climate change and health care bill in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on Tuesday. Susan Walsh/Associated Press

The House passed the bill Friday in a 220-207 vote, days after the Senate narrowly passed it on a party-line vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tiebreaker. The bill’s passage marked one of the most successful legislative efforts by congressional Democrats this session, ahead of contentious midterm elections – and also one that seemed increasingly unlikely for about a year and a half.


Last year, a larger $2 trillion spending package known as the Build Back Better Act stalled in Congress after hitting opposition from moderate Democratic senators. After weeks of negotiations with the White House, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said in December that he could not move forward with the bill.

But last month, Manchin announced that he had reached a surprise deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on what would become known as the Inflation Reduction Act. Although smaller than the Build Back Better plan, the new legislation aimed to achieve many of the same goals, including spending about $370 billion on climate change and clean-energy production.

On Tuesday, Schumer personally thanked Manchin “for working hard to get this done,” and credited Biden and the Democratic caucus for their persistence. The president, Schumer added, knew precisely when to step in and when to let negotiations play out.

“I am confident this bill will endure as one of the greatest legislative feats in decades: It will lower costs, create millions of good-paying jobs, and is the boldest climate bill ever,” Schumer said. “Now in normal times, getting these bills done would be a huge achievement, but to do it now, with only 50 Democratic votes in the Senate, over an intransigent Republican minority, is nothing short of amazing.”

In a dig at former President Donald Trump, Schumer also thanked Biden for restoring “dignity, respect and a sense of action back to the Oval Office.”

“After four years of a president who relished creating chaos, American are seeing what it looks like to have a president and a Congress that’s focused on delivering results that make their lives better,” Schumer said.


According to the White House, Biden will in coming weeks hold a Cabinet meeting focused on implementing the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as travel across the country to promote the ways the new law is expected to help Americans. The White House is also planning an event on Sept. 6 to celebrate the bill’s enactment.

The Inflation Reduction Act would put about $370 billion into combating climate change and bolstering U.S. energy production, using incentives for private companies to produce more renewable energy and for households to transform their energy use and consumption. The bill would also allow Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs and extend health insurance subsidies for millions of Americans.

To pay for the spending, the bill would raise hundreds of billions in revenue through new tax provisions – the biggest of which will fall on the country’s large corporations. It would also give the badly underfunded Internal Revenue Service its biggest budget increase in its history – a provision House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., criticized as one that would result in “an army of IRS agents to spy on your bank accounts.”

As White House officials have repeatedly said over the last week, Biden emphasized again Tuesday that no one making under $400,000 a year would pay “a penny more” in taxes.

At a bill enrollment ceremony for the Inflation Reduction Act on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called it “a glorious day” and noted the bill’s passage was coming on the heels of Biden signing several other key pieces of legislation into law, including one aimed at expanding aid to veterans exposed to toxic burn pits during their military service. She also criticized Republicans for uniting in opposition to the bill and said Democrats would continue to fight for provisions that had been dropped as a compromise, such as Medicare expansion and free universal prekindergarten.

“This bill honors the Democrats’ promise to American families,” Pelosi said then, referring to the Inflation Reduction Act. “After we pass it and the president signs it into law, we will continue to fight for more of the family features of the bill that are not included in this legislation. This legislation is historic, it’s transformative, and it is really a cause for celebration.”


The Washington Post’s Jeff Stein, Maxine Joselow, Rachel Roubein and John Wagner contributed to this report.

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