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By ALAN FRAM | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Democrats pushed their flagship climate change and health care bill toward House passage Friday, placing President Joe Biden on the brink of a back-from-the-dead triumph on his leading domestic goals that the party hopes will bolster their prospects in November’s elections.

The narrowly divided House was poised to approve the legislation, which is but a shadow of the larger, more ambitious plan to supercharge environment and social programs that Biden and his party envisioned early last year. Even so, Democrats were thirsty to declare victory on top-tier goals such as providing Congress’ largest ever investment in curbing carbon emissions,reining in pharmaceutical costs and taxing large companies and show they can wring accomplishments from a routinely gridlocked Washington that often disillusions voters.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., called the measure “another transformative bill brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Democratic Party.” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., a leading progressive, said Democrats would further bolster child care, housing and Medicare if they win larger majorities in Congress, but that “today, let’s celebrate this massive investment for the people.”

Republicans were set to solidly oppose the legislation, calling it a cornucopia of wasteful liberal daydreams that would raise taxes and families’ living costs. They did the same Sunday but Senate Democrats banded together and used Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote t o power the measure through that 50-50 chamber.

“Democrats believe they can spend their way out of inflation and tax their way out of recession,” said Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo. “It will only make the suffering Americans face today that much worse.”

Biden’s initial 10-year, $3.5 trillion proposal also envisioned free prekindergarten, paid family and medical leave, expanded Medicare benefits and eased immigration restrictions. That crashed after centrist Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said it was too costly, using the leverage every Democrat has in the evenly-divided Senate.

Still, the final legislation remained substantive. Its pillar is about $375 billion over 10 years to encourage industry and consumers to shift from carbon-emitting to cleaner forms of energy. That includes $4 billion to cope with the West’s catastrophic drought.

Spending, tax credits and loans would bolster technology like solar panels, consumer efforts to improve home energy efficiency, emission-reducing equipment for coal- and gas-powered power plants and air pollution controls for farms, ports and low-income communities.

Another $64 billion would help 13 million people pay premiums over the next three years for privately bought health insurance. Medicare would gain the power to negotiate its costs for pharmaceuticals, initially in 2026 for only 10 drugs. Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket prescription costs would be limited to $2,000 starting in 2025, and beginning next year would pay no more than $35 monthly for insulin, the costly diabetes drug.

The bill would raise around $740 billion in revenue over the decade, over a third from government savings from lower drug prices. More would flow from higher taxes on some $1 billion corporations, levies on companies that repurchase their own stock and stronger IRS tax collections. About $300 billion would remain to defray budget deficits, a sliver of the period’s projected $16 trillion total.

Against the backdrop of GOP attacks on the FBI for its court-empowered search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate for sensitive documents, Republicans repeatedly savaged the bill’s boost to the IRS budget. That is aimed at collecting an estimated $120 billion in unpaid taxes over the coming decade, and Republicans have misleadingly claimed that the IRS will hire 87,000 agents to target average families.

Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., said Democrats would also “weaponize” the IRS with agents, “many of whom will be trained in the use of deadly force, to go after any American citizen.” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asked Thursday on “Fox and Friends” if there would be an IRS “strike force that goes in with AK-15s already loaded, ready to shoot some small business person.”

Few IRS personnel are armed, and Democrats say the bill’s $80 billion, 10-year budget increase would be to replace waves of retirees, not just agents, and modernize equipment. They have said typical families and small businesses would not be targeted, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen directing the IRS this week to not “increase the share of small business or households below the $400,000 threshold” that would be audited.

Republicans say the legislation’s new business taxes will increase prices, worsening the nation’s bout with its worst inflation since 1981. Though Democrats have labeled the measure the Inflation Reduction Act, nonpartisan analysts say it will have a barely perceptible impact on prices.

The GOP also says the bill would raise taxes on lower- and middle-income families. An analysis by Congress’ nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, which didn’t include the bill’s tax breaks for health care and energy, estimated that the corporate tax boosts would marginally affect those taxpayers but indirectly, partly due to lower stock prices and wages.

The bill caps three months in which Congress has approved legislation on veterans’ benefits, the semiconductor industry, gun checks for young buyers and Ukraine’s invasion by Russia and adding Sweden and Finland to NATO. All passed with bipartisan support, suggesting Republicans also want to display their productive side.

It’s unclear whether voters will reward Democrats for the legislation after months of painfully high inflation dominating voters’ attention and Biden’s dangerously low popularity with the public and a steady history of midterm elections that batter the party holding the White House.

The bill had its roots in early 2021, after Congress approved a $1.9 trillion measure over GOP opposition to combat the pandemic-induced economic downturn. Emboldened, the new president and his party reached further.

They called their $3.5 trillion plan Build Back Better. Besides social and environment initiatives, it proposed rolling back Trump-era tax breaks for the rich and corporations and $555 billion for climate efforts, well above the resources in Friday’s legislation.

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With Manchin opposing those amounts, it was sliced to a roughly $2 trillion measure that Democrats moved through the House in November. He unexpectedly sank that bill too, earning scorn from exasperated fellow Democrats from Capitol Hill and the White House.

Last gasp talks between Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., seemed fruitless until the two unexpectedly announced agreement last month on the new package.

Manchin won billions for carbon capture technology for the fossil fuel industries he champions, plus procedures for more oil drilling on federal lands and promises for faster energy project permitting. Centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., also won concessions, eliminating planned higher taxes on hedge fund managers and helping win the drought funds.

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Change Ad Consent Do not sell my data Tracye McQuirter is on a Mission to Inspire 10 Million Black Women to Go Vegan

Tracye McQuirter, MPH, is an award-winning public health nutritionist, 35-year vegan activist, and best-selling author who is on a mission to inspire 10 million Black women to go vegan.

Source: 10 Million Black Vegan Women/YouTube

McQuirter first went vegan 35 years ago and believes that living a plant-based lifestyle unlocks healthy habits and changes how people feel inside and out.

As a part of McQuirter’s 10 Million Black Vegan Women Movement, she is releasing free 21-Day Vegan Fresh Start programs to help people get on the movement. She aims to change the health paradigm of Black women now and for generations to come, according to a press release.

McQuirter’s programs have helped thousands of Black women experience life-changing health benefits like weight loss, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and even improved moods and cognitive function.

“When you consider that Black women experience among the worst health outcomes, it’s truly revolutionary that we have created a free global health intervention that has already helped thousands of Black women around the world improve their health,” said Tracye McQuirter, MPH. “Eating a whole-food, plant-based diet can be both life-changing and delicious, and the results from our 21-Day Vegan Fresh Start program prove just that!”

McQuirter has just released her fourth free 21-Day Vegan Fresh Start program, which will take place from September 18 – October 9, 2022.

For more information and to join the movement, visit


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Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take the initiative by standing up against fast fashion pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that are raising awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, and prostate cancer, and has many side effects.

For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster App which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

  • Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
  • Plant-Based Health Resources
  • Plant-Based Food & Recipes
  • The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
  • Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
  • Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
  • High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
  • Plant-Based Meal Prep

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