On Tuesday (August 16), President Joe Biden secured his most significant legislative victory when he signed a $740 billion bill aimed at reducing health care costs and addressing climate change into law.
The bill, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, is nearly a year in the making, becoming a pared-down version of Biden’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill.
Despite the bill being slimmed down significantly, it still represents a notable victory for Biden and Congress Democrats as it includes many of Biden’s core campaign promises while making a historic investment in federal climate programs.
As he prepared to sign the documents, Biden made a statement in the State Dining Room, expressing that progress can be made “With unwavering conviction, commitment, and patience.”
Biden continued his remarks, stating that when progress is made “like today, people’s lives are made better, and the future becomes brighter, and a nation can be transformed.”
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced Biden, giving short speeches touring the passage of the bill. In his introductory remarks, Schumer thanked Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the only other Senator in attendance, who received a round of applause when Schumer credited him with moving the package forward.
Biden expressed that he had been eager to sign the bill for 18 months, before he dramatically handed the first pen to Manchin, standing beside him.
Following the signing of the bill, Manchin noted that Biden handing him the first signing pen was a “very nice gesture,” also acknowledging that Biden is “very optimistic” in response to a comment Biden made during the signing where he told Manchin that “I never had a doubt.”