With right-wing Republicans now in control of the House of Representatives, the chances of the Democrats passing any significant legislation in the current Congressional session are practically non-existent. Still, this new term could prove very beneficial to President Biden and his party come the 2024 elections.
The Democrats’ silver lining over the next two years is two-fold. First, the bills they passed in the last session will be bringing major benefits to the American people beginning now till well after the next election. For example, here are just some of the valuable aid Americans will receive from the Inflation Reduction Act which not one Republican supported:
- Medicare beneficiaries’ prescription drug costs will go down because of the provision allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug costs.
- Seniors with Medicare Part D will have their drug costs capped at $2,000 per year.
- Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes will be guaranteed that their insulin costs are capped at $35 for a month’s supply.
- 3 million more Americans will have health insurance.
- 7.5 million more families will be able install solar on their roofs with a 30% tax credit.
- Up to $7,500 in tax credits for new electric vehicles and $4,000 for used electric vehicles, helping families save $950/yr.
- Advance cost-saving clean energy projects at rural electric cooperatives serving 42 million people.
- Millions of good-paying jobs making clean energy in America.
- No family making less than $400,000 will see their taxes go up a penny.
In addition, the bipartisan Chips Act will create a great many new jobs in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. And the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide $550 billion of new federal investments over five years in bridges and roads, public transit, broadband, water and energy systems. These are just a few of the Biden administration’s accomplishments that will assist a great many Americans in the next couple of years. The last two bills also demonstrate that Republicans and Democrats can overcome their differences and work together to move America forward.
But what amounts to a second Democratic silver lining is the Republican response to the Biden administration now that they control the House of Representatives. Rather than proposing alternatives to the Democrats’ legislation that would also aid Americans in these difficult times, Republicans are calling for cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits, two of the most popular government programs.
House Republicans are also prioritizing digging up dirt on the Biden administration with the creation of a wide-ranging investigative panel that will allow the party to examine any government agency or program that it views as suspect. This appears to be an unnecessary duplication of effort and a waste of time and resources since Congressional committees already have the power to conduct oversight of the executive branch.
The net effect of the Republicans’ approach will offer the 2024 voting public a stark choice between the parties:
Do Americans want to continue on the path of economic development, job growth, better healthcare, and climate change protection of Biden’s first two years in office? Or do they support the Republicans’ obstructionist agenda that offers nothing but more tax cuts for the wealthy while cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits for the rest of America?
I believe the Democrats will have a strong hand to play in the critical 2024 elections.
A retired, public sector ethics attorney, Berlin is the author of Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America (See breakingbigmoneysgrip.com.), the founder of New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics, a former U.S. Institute of Peace fellow, and the founder and former executive director of The Trinity Forum for International Security and Conflict Resolution. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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