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Five major bills Congress passed in 2022



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WASHINGTON — It was a busy yr for Congress, which handed a slew of consequential payments, most of which loved assist from each events. And it could be the high-water mark of Joe Biden’s presidency from a legislative standpoint, with Republicans poised to take over the Home of Representatives early in 2023.

As two years of full Democratic management come to an finish, listed below are 5 of probably the most vital payments handed in 2022.

A sweeping local weather, well being and tax invoice

The Inflation Reduction Act represents the most important try in U.S. historical past to fight local weather change with a $369 billion package deal of clean-energy funding protecting vehicles and houses and companies. It additionally goals to curb methane emissions and sets aside money for communities closely affected by air air pollution and different climate-related points.

The laws comprises new measures to lower prescription drug costs, together with a provision that empowers Medicare to barter costs with the pharmaceutical trade, a brand new $2,000 yearly cap on out-of-pocket prices for prescriptions by Medicare, and a $35 month-to-month insulin cap for Medicare beneficiaries. It’s funded by a potpourri of recent taxes, together with a 15% company minimal tax. 

There’s extra funding for IRS tax assortment included within the invoice, too.

It handed with the slimmest of margins — a vote of 51-50 within the Senate, successful over each Democratic senator and requiring Vice President Kamala Harris to interrupt the tie, and 220-207 within the Home. Not a single Republican voted for it.

A brand new election legislation aimed toward stopping one other Jan. 6

The large government funding bill that passed Friday included a major election reform package designed to forestall future presidential candidates from stealing elections.

The Electoral Depend Reform Act will revise the 1887 Electoral Depend Act to clarify the vp can not low cost electoral votes. It’ll increase the edge for objections from one member of every the Home and Senate to one-fifth of each chambers. It’ll additionally stop competing slates of electors and simplify state certification with mechanisms to guarantee the rightful winner is licensed.

The bipartisan package deal, led by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is aimed toward closing gaps in federal legislation that former President Donald Trump and his allies sought to take advantage of to remain in energy after dropping the 2020 election. It’s designed to guard U.S. elections going ahead and stop one other Jan. 6.

The hardest new gun legislation in almost 30 years

For the primary time in nearly three decades, Congress tightened gun legal guidelines, in response to rising public assist for motion to handle mass shootings which have develop into frequent within the U.S.

The Safer Communities Act — a bipartisan bill led by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and John Cornyn, R-Texas — embody grants for states to move “crimson flag” legal guidelines designed to dam individuals who may pose a risk to themselves or others from buying or proudly owning a firearm.

It beefs up background checks of 18- to 21-year-olds, opening the door to analyzing juvenile data. It makes an attempt to shut the “boyfriend loophole” by retaining firearms away from courting companions who’re convicted of abuse. The legislation additionally clarifies which gun sellers are required to register as licensees and thus compelled to conduct background checks on potential consumers.

The motion in Washington got here in response to mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, that occurred 10 days aside and killed a mixed 31 folks, together with 19 schoolchildren. 

A legislation to enhance U.S. competitors with China

The CHIPS and Science Act is each a significant piece of laws and a message that the U.S. doesn’t intend to fall behind China in the case of world competitiveness. 

The legislation — which grew out of a invoice first negotiated by Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Todd Younger, R-Ind. — makes a whopping $280 billion funding in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, analysis and improvement, and tax breaks for the manufacturing of chips.

The White Home and congressional defenders have described it as a vital step to revitalizing the struggling U.S. manufacturing trade and making a downpayment within the American workforce. It’s one other bipartisan success story for this Congress, representing a uncommon level of strong consensus between the two parties: that the U.S. should fight China’s rising affect on the world stage.

Enshrining same-sex marriage

One of many last acts of the Democratic-controlled Congress was to move a legislation that codifies federal protections for marriages between same-sex and interracial {couples}.

The Respect for Marriage Act — led by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., the primary brazenly homosexual American elected to the Senate — forces the federal authorities to acknowledge legally carried out same-sex marriages and to make sure {couples} full advantages “whatever the couple’s intercourse, race, ethnicity, or nationwide origin.” It is not going to require states to grant marriage licenses in opposition to state legislation, however same-sex {couples} will get pleasure from the advantages in the event that they get married in a distinct state.

The laws happened after the brand new 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Courtroom voted final summer time to overturn Roe v. Wade, prompting critics to worry that it may do the identical to same-sex marriage rights. The brand new legislation supplies a backstop in opposition to that risk. 

It displays rising U.S. assist for authorized same-sex marriage and was a celebratory second for Biden a decade after he upstaged his then-boss, President Barack Obama, by jumping out ahead of him to declare his support for same sex marriage as vp.