Intraparty Deal on Climate, Health, and Taxes Made Law

Last week President Joe Biden enacted a law advancing several environmental, health care, and tax priorities of his administration. Titled the Inflation Reduction Act, the legislation aims to raise $737 billion in new government revenues and to invest that money primarily into energy security, efforts to combat climate change, and an extension of Affordable Care Act insurance exchange subsidies — as well as $300 billion in deficit reduction.

While signing the bill into law, President Biden said, “It’s about delivering progress and prosperity to American families. It’s about showing… democracy still works in America.”

Much of the revenue promised by the Inflation Reduction Act comes from a new 15 percent minimum tax on major corporations, as well as prescription drug pricing changes. Its proponents also expect hundreds of billions of dollars to come from a 1 percent excise tax on stock buybacks and enhanced tax enforcement after an $80 billion investment in the IRS.

The bill grew out of an intraparty deal between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who had disappointed progressives by sinking its expansive Build Back Better predecessor. Using a legislative tool requiring a simple majority in both chambers of Congress, Democrats pushed through the modified package without a single Republican vote.

Expressing a common sentiment among many of his GOP colleagues, Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said, “This bill does nothing to address the significant inflation we are facing, or to ease burdens born today by low- and middle-income Americans. Rather, it promises higher taxes, more reckless spending, higher prices, a supersized IRS and prolonged stagflation.”

The Inflation Reduction Act did not address other key tax matters that were priorities for nonprofit organizations, such as the extension of the successful Universal Charitable Deduction. We will continue to work alongside coalition partners to promote the importance of such charitable giving incentives.

This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.