Huffman Votes for ‘Historic Legislation to Combat Climate Change, Lower Health Care Costs, Tackle Inflation’
This is a press release from the Office of Congressman Jared Huffman:
[On Friday], Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, a historic bill that includes unprecedented investments to lower costs for people across the U.S., combat climate change, and close tax loopholes to finally make wealthy corporations pay their fair share.
“From the start, I have pushed for an economic package that would advance the President’s full agenda and fulfill our promises to the American people. And this legislation will make good on some of the most important issues facing my constituents: lowering prescription drug and energy costs, extending health coverage for millions, acting on climate change while creating millions of jobs, and finally making corporations start to pay their fair share in taxes,” said Rep. Huffman. “This is by far the biggest step the U.S. has ever taken to combat climate change, but I know that this is by no means a ‘mission accomplished’ moment. There are still a lot of priorities that were left on the cutting room floor that I will keep advocating for, and we must get off the fossil fuel roller coaster that has been driving inflation and killing our planet once and for all.”
The Inflation Reduction Act contains key investments that Rep. Huffman has led on in his role on the House Natural Resources and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees, including:
- $3 billion to for the United States Postal Service to purchase electric vehicles and build charging and support infrastructure. It also includes $15 million to the USPS Inspector General for oversight of implementation of the Postal EV fleet. Rep. Huffman has advocated for electrifying the postal fleet since he first came to Congress through his Postal Vehicle Modernization Act.
- Funding for National Forest System restoration and fuels reduction projects including $1.8 billion for hazardous fuels reduction projects; $200 million for vegetation management projects; and $50M for protecting and inventorying old growth forests. Rep. Huffman has supported a myriad of wildfire mitigation and prevention legislation, including the recently passed Wildfire Response and Drought Resiliency Act.
- A number of investments for Tribes, including $12.5 million for emergency drought relief; $225 million for the tribal high-efficiency electric home rebate program; $220 million for tribal climate resilience and adaptation programs; and $145.5 million for a tribal electrification program. Huffman has been a consistent advocate for tribes in his district. This congress, he introduced legislation to help tribes access funds for water resilient infrastructure.
- Provides $2.6 billion to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to fund coastal states for the conservation, restoration, and protection of coastal and marine habitats and resources, including fisheries. As Chair of the Water Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee and co-chair of the National Marine Sanctuaries Caucus and California Coastal Caucus, Rep. Huffman has championed coastal conservation and restoration through multiple legislative actions, including his recent bicameral Coastal Habitat Conservation Act of 2021.
The bill also includes important provisions addressing:
- Allows Medicare to Negotiate Drug Prices: The bill will lower prices on the most expensive drugs for seniors and others enrolled in Medicare. The bill also caps the monthly out-of-pocket cost for insulin to $35 for those with Medicare coverage.
- Extends American Rescue Plan Tax Credits for Health Insurance through 2025: This will protect affordable insurance for approximately 13 million people and prevent 3 million people from losing their health insurance altogether.
- Medicare Part D $2,000 Out-of-Pocket Cap: It protects seniors from Big Pharma price gouging by capping Medicare out-of-pocket costs at $2,000 per year, with the option to break that amount into affordable monthly payments and provides seniors with free vaccines.
- Domestic Clean Energy and Transportation Technology Manufacturing: Includes over $60 billion for clean energy manufacturing in the U.S. across the full supply clean energy and transportation technologies supply chain.
- Clean Energy Tax Credits: Extends the full value of tax incentives for solar, wind, and other clean energy technologies to projects that meet certain labor requirements. Includes a tax credit for energy storage, hydrogen, and existing nuclear, and increases the value of the carbon capture (45Q) tax credit.
- Home Energy Performance-Based Whole House Rebates: $4.3 billion over ten years to state energy offices to develop and implement a HOMES rebate program to significantly reduce home energy bills.
- High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program: $4.3 billion over ten years to state energy offices to provide families rebates for efficient appliance upgrades, weatherization, and other retrofits.
- State-Based Home Energy Efficiency Contractor Training Grants: $200 million for grants to states to develop and implement programs to train contractors to install home energy efficiency and electrification improvements.
- Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: Establishes a $27 billion program to provide grants, loans, and other forms of assistance to support deployment of zero-emission technologies. Of this, $7 billion will be dedicated to supporting state green banks.
- Improving Energy Efficiency or Water Efficiency or Climate Resilience of Affordable Housing: $837.5 million to make affordable housing more efficient and resilient.
- Offshore Wind: Directs the Department of the Interior (DOI) to hold offshore wind lease sales in federal waters around American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Electric Vehicle Tax Credit and alternative fuel vehicle refueling property: A tax credit worth up to $7,500 for buyers of new all-electric cars and hybrid plug-ins would be extended through 2032. The bill would also create a separate tax credit worth a maximum $4,000 for used versions of these vehicles. It also provides up to $100,000 for each charging station or refueling pump installed.
- Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles: $1 billion over ten years to eligible recipients and contractors for heavy-duty zero emission vehicles, including school buses.
- Grants to Reduce Air Pollution at Ports: $3 billion over five years for a competitive grant and rebate program to support installation of zero-emission equipment or technology at ports.
- Low-Carbon Transportation Materials Grants: $2 billion over five years to the Federal Highway Administration to reimburse the cost difference between low-embodied carbon materials and traditional materials used in highway construction projects.
- Neighborhood Access and Equity Grants: $1.9 billion over five years for a competitive grant program at Federal Highway Administration to improve walkability, safety, and affordable transportation access.
Progressive Tax Reforms
- 15% Domestic Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax: For years, many giant corporations have gotten away with paying nothing in taxes, leaving small businesses and working families to pick up the tab. This is a major step forward in combating corporate tax dodging and will help level the playing field for businesses large and small that pay full freight.
- IRS Funding: After years of Republican budget cuts, this bill provides $80 billion of mandatory IRS funding, which will allow the agency to crack down on wealthy tax cheats, provide better service to those who pay what they owe, and reduce the deficit by roughly $400 billion.
- Excise Tax on Stock Buybacks: Too many large corporations have plowed record profits into stock buybacks, enriching wealthy shareholders and their CEOs instead of investing in their workers or growing their businesses. The bill imposes a 1 percent annual excise tax on the value of stock repurchases by publicly traded corporations.
Environment and Environmental Justice
- NOAA Funding: $320 million for the construction of new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration facilities, more efficient permitting processes, and research improvements.
- Air Quality Monitoring: $235.5 million for state air quality monitoring and pollution control programs.
- Environmental and Climate Justice Block Grants: $3 billion for grants and technical assistance to community-based organizations for projects to monitor and mitigate air pollution and climate change.