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U.S. Senator Angus King optimistic the Senate will pass Inflation Reduction Act Sunday

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, arrives for a Democratic policy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 8, 2022.
J. Scott Applewhite
Independent U.S. Senator Angus King

Independent Senator Angus King held a press conference Saturday night to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act, historic legislation that will lower healthcare and energy costs, fight climate change, and cut the deficit. King said the package includes changes to Medicare that will cap out-of-pocket drug costs at $2000 a year for seniors and require drug companies that raise drug prices faster than the rate of inflation to rebate the difference to Medicare.

"The principle pieces of it involve, first, drug costs and the ability of Medicare to negotiate a bulk discount for the drugs they buy for our seniors. Then it caps out-of-pocket costs for seniors to $2,000 a year," he said.

King called the Inflation Reduction Act "responsible" legislation that will help get the country off fossil fuels and invest in clean renewable energy, both critical to the fight against climate change.

"Every time we open the news we see another climate disaster. Flooding in Kentucky, wildfires out west, sea level rise. We're beyond the time we ought to be addressing climate change. This is the right time to be doing this and I'm pleased it appears we will put this bill across the finish line tonight or during the day tomorrow."

King said the Inflation Reduction Act also includes his proposal for a 15% corporate minimum tax. It would also require the IRS to pursue wealthy Americans that cheat on their taxes, a move King says could produce billions of tax dollars to pay down the deficit.

Republican Senator Susan Collins introduced an amendment to the bill today that would prevent the IRS from hiring 87,000 new employees until at least 90 percent of its current workforce is back in the office, not teleworking. The Democrats’ bill would provide the IRS with $80 billion to hire new employees. Collins said the IRS has failed to provide taxpayers with the service they should expect with the workforce it has now.

The Senate held an overnight voting marathon to consider amendments to the bill. The full chamber could vote on the final package Sunday.