Aug 17, 2022
President Biden Delivers Remarks and Signs Into Law H.R. 5376, The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 Transcript
President Biden Delivers Remarks and Signs Into Law H.R. 5376, The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Read the transcript here.
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James E. Clyburn: (00:00)
Thank you, please be seated. I am pleased to be here today on behalf of the United States House of Representatives, where on Friday we delivered a unanimous democratic vote to pass this [inaudible 00:00:18] It was one of the few truly historic days in the 30 years I have spent in the Congress. Mr. President, I want to thank you for your tireless work to add this remarkable legislation to your long and growing list of accomplishments. In just 18 months, often away from public view, your administration has created a record number of jobs. Your American rescue plan helped our country overcome a once in a century pandemic. Your Infrastructure and Jobs Act is making historic investments in broadband and to repair and bolster our infrastructure. Your CHIPS and Science Act will strengthen our critical supply change and give real substance and new meaning to make it in America.
James E. Clyburn: (01:25)
The Inflation Reduction Act you are about to sign will lead to transformative change in this great country. It checks inflation by reducing the deficit by 300 billion over the next decade. It ensures more tax fairness by requiring corporations to pay a minimum of 15% while protecting families making less than $400,000 per year from paying one penny more. We are called to be good stewards of this planet. And this legislation cuts climate pollution by 40% in just eight years, while building a new clean energy economy that will make electricity accessible and affordable and create nine million new jobs.
James E. Clyburn: (02:42)
Now, Mr. President, you know how much you meant to my late wife, Emily, who three years ago lost her 30 year battle with diabetes. If she were here today, she would be beyond joy celebrating the $35 per month cap on insulin and the $3,000 annual cap on out of pocket costs for Medicare patients. She would also rejoice in the three year extension for her Affordable Care Act subsidies and the authorization of Medicare to negotiate some drug prices. Emily had adequate health insurance, but many of our neighbors and her friends did not. Mr. President, you took office at a time when we were in dire need of a statesman willing to put people over politics. Many seem surprised at your successes. I am not because I know you, but more importantly, you know and respect the American people. Now I am pleased to introduce Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer.
Chuck Schumer: (04:24)
Well, thank you, Representative Clyburn, for that introduction. And I want to thank you President Biden for inviting us to the White House today. Thanks to my colleagues here today, this has been one of the most productive stretches in Senate history, from the first gun safety bill in decades to strengthening NATO, to out competing the Chinese communist party, to taking care of our veterans. And to top it all off, we celebrate a groundbreaking achievement, the most important bill we have passed in a long time. President Biden will sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law today.
Chuck Schumer: (05:14)
I am confident this bill will endure as one of the greatest legislative feats in decades. It’ll lower costs, create millions of good paying jobs, and is the boldest climate bill ever. Now in normal times, getting these bills done would be a huge achievement, but to do it now with only 50 democratic votes in the Senate over an intransigent Republican minority is nothing short of amazing. It shows how dedicated and persistent our caucus is. I want to give all 50 of my colleagues a wonderful, diverse and dedicated group of 50 huge credit for getting this bill over the finish line, huge credit.
Chuck Schumer: (06:07)
I also want to thank speaker Pelosi, all the chairs of the committee, Joe Manchin for working so hard to get this bill done. And of course the incredible immensely dedicated staff who gave it their all to finishing this bill. Let’s have a round of applause for the great staff, White House and House and Senate. For years, the naysayers said we could never take on the big drug companies and lower the cost of prescription drugs, but now we have. They said we could never take on entrenched big oil interests and get tough on climate change, but we have succeeded. They said we’d never closed tax loopholes for the wealthy and make the ultra rich pay their fair share, but we’ve gotten all these things done in one single bill.
Chuck Schumer: (07:15)
For anyone who thought Washington was broken and couldn’t do big things, Democrats have shown real change is possible. If the last two months could be summed up in a word, it would be persistence. My dad, who died in November and would’ve been 99 on Flag Day, taught me a lesson. If you try to do the right thing, and if you persist and never give up, you can make the world a better place. Well, that’s what’s happened here. We persisted and persisted and persisted and never gave up, and today it pays off. I know my dad is looking down and smiling.
Chuck Schumer: (07:59)
And finally, and most importantly, thank you, President Biden, for your leadership. This has been a long and grueling process. We wouldn’t be here without you. A year and a half ago, you laid out the groundwork for this bill and like us, you persisted every single day, working closely with my team in our caucus for more than a year to get this bill done. The president deserves tremendous credit for this moment. He knew precisely when to step in and when to let negotiations play out. He knew when to use the bully pulpit and when to bring people together, away from the spotlight. He made sure we never lost our focus on climate. The president’s vision, his dedication to our country and it’s his experience who made this moment possible. Thank you.
Chuck Schumer: (09:00)
After four years of a president who relished creating chaos, Americans are seeing what it looks like to have a president and a Congress that’s focused on delivering results that make their lives better. Mr. President, you’ve restored dignity, respect, and a sense of action back to the oval office. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It’s my honor to turn it over now to you.
President Biden: (09:57)
Thank you, majority to Schumer. Chuck, you’ve been a good friend a long, long time, and Joe, I never had a doubt. Joe had an operation on his shoulder. I just want you to know it wasn’t because of anything we did. He’s in great shape. And our whip, Mr. Clyburn, you’re amazing and I am reminded often by my staff were it not for you, your wife telling you to endorse me, I wouldn’t be standing here, but thank you very, very much. And also Congresswoman Castor and my good friend, Frank Pallone, Congressman Pallone. Thank you for your leadership. Well, they couldn’t be here. I especially want to thank Nancy Pelosi who was instrumental in this law and vice president Harris for the incredible work she did.
President Biden: (11:02)
And I’m about to sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law, one of the most significant laws in our history. Let me say from the start, with this law, the American people won and the special interest lost. The American people won and the special interests lost. We’re in a session of, for a while, people doubt whether any of that was going to happen, but we are in a season of substance. This administration began amid a dark time in America. As Jim said, a once in a century pandemic, devastating joblessness, clear and present threats to democracy and the rule of law, doubts about America’s future itself. And yet we’ve not wavered, we’ve not flinched and we’ve not given in. Instead, we’re delivering results for the American people. We didn’t tear down. We build up, we didn’t look back, we looked forward. And today offers further proof that the soul America is vibrant, the future of America is bright, and the promise of America is real and just beginning.
President Biden: (12:15)
Look, the bill I’m about to sign is not just about today. It’s about tomorrow. It’s about delivering progress and prosperity to American families. It’s about showing the American and the American people that democracy still works in America. Notwithstanding all the talk of its demise. Not just for the privileged few, but for all us. I swore an oath of office to you and to God, to faithfully execute the duties of this sacred office. To me, the critical duty of the president is defend what is best about America. And that’s not hyperbole, defend what’s best about America, to pursue justice, to ensure fairness, deliver results that create possibilities, possibilities that all of us can live a life of consequence and prosperity in a nation that’s safe and secure. That’s the job. Fulfilling that pledge to you guides me every single hour of every single day in this job.
President Biden: (13:21)
Presidents should be judged not only by our words, but by our deeds; not by our rhetoric, but by our actions; not by our promise, but by reality. And today is part of an extraordinary story as being written by this administration and our brave allies in the Congress. This law that I’m about to sign finally delivers on a promise that Washington has made for decades to the American people. I got here as a 29 year old kid. We were promising to make sure that Medicare would’ve the power to negotiate lower drug prices back then, back then, prescription drug prices. But guess what? We’re giving Medicare the power to negotiate those prices now on some drugs. This means seniors are going to pay less for the prescription drugs while we’re changing circumstances for people in Medicare, by putting a cap of a maximum of $2,000 a year on their prescription drug costs, no matter what the reason for those prescriptions are.
President Biden: (14:22)
That means if you’re on Medicare, you’ll never have to pay more than $2,000 a year, no matter how many prescriptions you have, whether it’s for cancer or any other disease, no more than $2,000 a year. And you all know it because a lot of you come from families that need this. This is a godsend. This is a godsend to many families and so, so long overdue. The Inflation Reduction Act locks in place lower healthcare premiums for millions of families who get their coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Last year, a family of four saved an average $2,400 through the American Rescue Plan that I signed in the law that the Congress voted in place.
President Biden: (15:07)
In the years ahead, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, 13 million people are going to continue to save an average of $800 a year on health insurance. The Inflation Reduction Act invests 369 billion to take the most aggressive action ever, ever, ever, ever in confronting the climate crisis and strengthening our energy security. It’s going to offer working families thousands of dollars in savings by providing them rebates to buy new and efficient appliances, weatherize their homes, get tax credit for purchasing heat pumps and rooftop solar, electric stoves, ovens, dryers. It gives consumers a tax credit to buy electric vehicles or fuel cell vehicles, new or used. And it gives them a tax credit of up to $7,500 if those vehicles were made in America.
President Biden: (16:04)
American auto companies along with American labor are committing their treasure and their talent, billions of dollars in investment to make electric vehicles and battery and electric charging stations all across America, made in America, all of it made in America. This new law also provides tax credits that’s going to create tens of thousands of good paying jobs and clean energy manufacturing jobs, solar factories in the Midwest and the south, wind farms across the plains and off our shores, clean hydrogen projects and more all across America, every part of America.
President Biden: (16:39)
This bill is the biggest step forward on climate ever, ever. And it’s going to allow us to boldly take additional steps toward meeting all of my climate goals and the ones we set out when we ran. It includes ensuring that we create clean energy opportunities in frontline and fence line communities that have been smothered by the legacy of pollution and fight environmental injustice that’s been going on for so long.
President Biden: (17:09)
And here’s another win for the American people. In addition to cutting the deficit by $350 billion last year in my first year in office and cutting at 1.7 trillion this year, this fiscal year, we’re going to cut the deficit point out by another $300 billion with the Inflation Reduction Act over the next decade. We’re cutting deficit to fight inflation by having the wealthy and big corporations finally began to pay part of their fair share. Big corporations will now pay a minimum of 15% tax instead of us … 555 of them got away with paying $0 in federal income tax on $40 billion in profit. And I’m keeping my campaign commitment. No one, let me emphasize, no one earning less than $400,000 a year will pay a penny more in federal taxes.
President Biden: (18:06)
Folks … the Inflation Reduction Act does so many things that for so many years, so many of us have fought to make happen. And let’s be clear, in this historic moment, Democrats sided with the American people and every single Republican in the Congress sided with the special interest in this vote, every single one. In fact, the big drug companies spent nearly $100 million to defeat this bill, $100 million dollars. And remember every single Republican in Congress voted against this bill. Every single Republican Congress voted against lowering prescription drug prices, against lowering healthcare cost, against the fair tax system. Every single Republican, every single one voted against tackling the climate crisis, against lowering our energy cost, against creating good jobs.
President Biden: (19:10)
My fellow Americans, that’s the choice we face. We can protect the already powerful or show the courage to build a future where everybody has an even shot. That’s the America I believe in. That’s what I believe in. And today we’ve come a step closer to making that America real. Today, too often, we confuse noise with substance. Too often we confuse setbacks with defeat. Too often we hand the biggest microphones to the critics and the cynics who delight in declaring failure while those committed to making real progress do the hard work of governing. Making progress in this country is as big and complicated as ours clearly is not easy. It’s never been easy, but with unwavering conviction, commitment and patience, progress does come.
President Biden: (20:12)
Your dad was right, and when it does, like today, people’s lives are made better and the future becomes brighter and a nation can be transformed. That’s what’s happening now, from the American Rescue Plan that helped create nearly 10 million new jobs, to once in a generation infrastructure law that will rebuild America’s roads, bridges, ports, delivery, clean water, high speed internet to every America, to the first meaningful gun safety law in 30 years. And if I have anything to do with it, we’re still going to have an assault weapons ban, but that’s another story. And to get significant veterans healthcare law in decades, for the first time, to a groundbreaking ships and science law that’s going to ensure that technologies and jobs of the future are made here in America, in America.
President Biden: (21:01)
And all this progress is part of our vision and plan and determined effort to get the job done for the American people, so they can look their child in the eye and say, honey, it’s going to be okay. Everything’s going to be okay. Everything’s going to make sure that the democracy delivers for your generation because I think that’s at stake. And now I know there are those here today who hold a dark and despairing view of this country. I’m not one of them. I believe in the promise of America. I believe in the future of this country, I believe in the very soul of this nation.
President Biden: (21:46)
And most of all, I believe in you, the American people. I believed in my core, there isn’t a single thing this country cannot do when we put our mind to it. We just have to remember who we are. We are the United States of America. There’s nothing beyond our capacity. That’s why so many foreign companies decide to make CHIPS in America, billions of dollars. We’re the best. We have to be believe in ourselves again. And now I’m going to take action that I’ve been looking forward to doing for 18 months [inaudible 00:22:26] I’m going to sign the Inflation Reduction Act.
Speaker 4: (22:26)
Please sit. [inaudible 00:22:26].
President Biden: (22:26)
All right. Okay. There you go.
Speaker 4: (23:03)
It’s now law.