A little after 3 PM Sunday, the Senate passed H.R. 5376, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, on a party-line vote. With the Senate casting 50 Democrat and 50 Republican votes, Vice President Kamala Harris broke the tie.
On a bill providing for budget reconciliation in the Senate, unlimited amendments are allowed before final passage. A large number of amendments were offered and some passed.
Given that newly-passed amendments must be added to the bill, final text isn’t available now.
Senator John Thune’s (R-SD) amendment, to reduce the 15 percent minimum tax on adjusted financial statement income for certain corporations with profits exceeding $1 billion, passed with support of senators from both parties. However, Senator Thune’s success was followed by an amendment of Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) which restored the revenue lost by the Thune amendment. The vote on Warner’s amendment was 51-50, the Vice President breaking the tie.
The foregoing Corporate Minimum Tax is the largest tax in the bill, originally estimated to raise $300 billion over ten years.
H.R. 5376 will now be finalized and sent to the House for final passage. The President said he will sign the bill.
Speaker Pelosi says she’ll soon call the House in session to pass the bill, which will be a perilous undertaking because Democrats can’t afford to lose more than four votes if Republicans solidly oppose.
Cohesion among House Democrats is questionable at present, for a month they’ve been watching the Senate and many are unhappy—especially about voting to raise taxes, which is seen as a kiss of death.
Should the House pass H.R. 5376 in a different version from the Senate’s, the bill will likely be returned to the Senate, where we can renew working with the Finance Committee to elevate employment programs which have gotten lost in the current bill. Neither the Department of Labor nor the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare were included in the Inflation Reduction Act.
We have plenty of work to do wrapping up the Senate bill and turning to September- October—the last real business months before elections—when members of Congress will be campaigning.
Finally, turn to the bill to fund the government for FY 2023, beginning October 1. We expect a continuing resolution passing till after the elections, and depending on poll results, Congress will either pass a must-do Omnibus appropriations bill before Christmas, or delay till the 118th Congress is sworn into office on January 3rd.