For over a year, the Jewish Center for Justice community has been urging Congress to enact a robust economic and environmental justice bill through a process called budget reconciliation. In this era of hyper-partisanship, a Senate rule called the filibuster—which requires 60 votes to advance legislation rather than a simple majority (50 percent plus 1)—has been employed to stall many vital policies designed to move our country forward. However, Senators can work around this rule through Budget Reconciliation, a congressional funding process that can be used once per year as reconciliation bills are not subject to the filibuster.
Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 alongside Senator Joe Manchin. This bill, while not as comprehensive as President Biden’s proposed “Build Back Better” agenda, will address issues of economic and climate injustice. JCJ applauds Senators Schumer and Manchin for coming together to put more money in the pockets of millions of Americans and ensure a clean future for our planet.
The following key provisions that will address economic injustice and fight inflation:
- Reduce the federal deficit by more than $300 billion, helping both small business owners and consumers
- Budget $64 billion to cut premiums for those enrolled in Affordable Care Act coverage (“Obamacare”), saving 13 million patients an average of $800 per year
- Enable Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices
- Ensure that insulin costs no more than $35 out-of-pocket per month
- Cap out-of-pocket costs for those enrolled in Medicare drug plans at $2,000
The following key provisions that will address climate change and move us towards a clean energy future:
- Spend $369 billion for clean energy programs
- Reduce US carbon emissions by 40 percent before 2030
- Extend Electric Vehicle (EV) tax credits by continuing to provide up to $4,000 for a used EV and $7,500 for a new EV
As potentially the most significant climate change bill ever passed, this legislation would cut costs for millions for Americans as the economy bounces back from the pandemic. While several policies that were part of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda such as universal Pre-K and community college did not make it into this bill, JCJ supports this compromise effort. We believe that the positives that will come from this bill far outweigh the negatives and exclusions.
Please join JCJ in our fight against economic and environmental injustice by ensuring that your Senators support this bill.
Take ACTION by contacting your Senators and Representatives and urging them to support this important legislation.
If your Senators already support the Inflation Reduction Act, thank them for their backing. If they have not yet expressed support for the Inflation Reduction Act, urge them to add their name to the bill. We have provided a sample script, however feel free to speak from your heart and on your own personal experience:
“Hi, my name is [your name]. I’m calling today to urge [your Senator/Representative] to support the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. As a Jew and member of the Jewish Center for Justice community, we are taught to ‘open your hand to your fellows, your poor, and your needy in your land.’ I believe that this legislation is an important step in doing just that. This legislation will address economic injustice, fight inflation, and combat the negative impacts of climate change. Thank you.”
Action alert compiled by the JCJ Summer Legislative Fellows.