After voting among senators resulted in a tie — all 50 Democrats voted in favor of the plans, 50 Republicans voted against — Vice President Kamala Harris’s deciding vote was decisive.
The package of measures is worth a total of 430 billion dollars. The result still needs to be ratified by the House of Representatives, but that won’t be a problem since the Democrats have a majority there. After that, the law can be officially signed by Biden.
Most of the money in the package is earmarked for the climate: around $370 billion. This will be invested by 2030. Part of this is paid for by raising taxes. Democrats want to use the investments to ensure that CO2 emissions are reduced by 40% by 2030 compared to 2005.
Biden’s plans spur innovation in electric vehicles and clean energy.
President Biden said he was very pleased with climate investments. He called it “the biggest investment in history to fight climate change”. He said the plans include creating jobs in the United States and helping reduce energy costs for Americans.
Critics from the Democratic Party’s left wing point out that climate investments are nowhere near enough to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, which agreed to keep global warming to less than 1, 5 degree.
46 against 801 billion
They also find the level of investment in the climate insufficient. After all, these span eight years and amount to approximately $46 billion on an annual basis. That’s less than 6% of US military spending, which was $801 billion in 2021, according to the Department of Defense.
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