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Biden swipes at Republicans on anniversary of major climate, health care law

President Biden took a victory lap Wednesday on the anniversary of the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, swiping at Republicans who uniformly opposed the sweeping legislation that contained provisions to lower health care costs and tackle the climate crisis.

Biden hosted a ceremony at the White House with Democratic leaders and private sector officials to commemorate one year since the law went into effect. He touted how the law has spurred private sector investments, created jobs and incentivized steps to address climate change, such as the use of electric heat pumps and the installation of solar panels.

Over the course of his nearly 30-minute speech, Biden took several opportunities to remind the public that Republicans didn’t provide a single vote for the law’s passage in 2022.

“It fell entirely to Democrats to deliver it,” Biden said.

He poked at GOP lawmakers who voted against the law but have publicly embraced investments in their home states made possible by the law. 

“Republicans have repeatedly tried to repeal key parts of the Inflation Reduction Act, including the Speaker of the House now,” Biden said, accusing Republicans of “taking credit for the billions of dollars in private investments and thousands of jobs coming into their states. 

“That’s OK. I ran for president, I said I’d represent all Americans,” he added. “And like I said at the State of the Union, I’ll see you at the groundbreaking.”

He called out Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (R), though not by name, referring to “the guy who was the most ardent opponent of all this was talking about what great benefits are coming to Wisconsin.”

“I’m going to be a good boy. I’m going to keep the Irish in me down,” Biden said to laughter.

The president noted how Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) at a recent event rattled off a list of all the investments the Biden administration has made, intending it as a criticism, only for the Biden campaign to turn it into a viral advertisement.

Biden’s speech came as the White House has spent the week trying to boost awareness around the Inflation Reduction Act, a $740 billion law that allowed Medicare to negotiate prices for some drugs and shore up health insurance subsidies, incentivized climate friendly practices like the use of solar panels and electric vehicles, and allocated billions of dollars to crack down on wealthy individuals and companies evading tax laws.

Biden boasted that the bill had helped create an estimated 170,000 clean energy jobs in the year since it passed. And he pointed to the gradual decline of inflation over the past year, according to data from the Consumer Price Index.

The president traveled to Wisconsin Tuesday to tout the benefits of the law for the state’s economy, and Cabinet officials fanned out across the country to highlight how specific provisions have aided small businesses and helped to address climate change.

The push comes roughly one month after a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll conducted in mid-July found 71 percent of Americans said they know little or nothing about the law.

The poll showed that respondents were supportive of specific provisions contained in the law, such as expanded tax credits to install solar panels, but when asked how they felt about the Inflation Reduction Act, 39 percent said they supported it while 39 percent said they weren’t sure.

“I’m not here to declare victory on the economy … but we have more work to do,” Biden said Wednesday. “We have a plan that’s turning things around. The Inflation Reduction Act is a part of that plan.”

Source: The Hill

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