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Annie Gugliotta

What We're Watching: Biden's climate bill, Gaza ceasefire, Ukrainian nuclear jitters

US Senate passes Biden's big climate bill

Following a marathon vote-a-rama session that started late Saturday, the US Senate on Sunday passed a $740 billion package aimed at fighting climate change and lowering the cost of prescription drugs by raising certain corporate taxes. Although the legislation is a trimmed-down version of the Biden administration's doomed $3.5 trillion Build Back Better spending plan, it’s still the most ambitious climate legislation passed to date in America. Dubbed the “Inflation Reduction Act” — though economists doubt it'll live up to its name immediately — it allocates $369 billion for climate and clean energy investments, enables the government to negotiate some prescription drug prices, and slaps a 15% minimum tax on large corporations. Republicans say the tax hikes in the bill will kill jobs and spur inflation, but politically it's the latest in a series of victories for President Joe Biden at just the right time: three months ahead of November’s midterms. The legislation now heads to the House, where it is expected to be approved in a few days, before hitting Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

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Will the US Debt Ceiling Debate Cause a Government Shutdown? | US Politics :60 | GZERO Media

Will the US debt ceiling debate cause a government shutdown?

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares insights on US politics:

Is a US government shutdown coming?

Hard to say. Republicans and Democrats generally are in agreement about the need to fund the government. And they generally agree at what level the government should be funded. And they generally agree about the need for supplemental money for Afghanistan and some natural disasters, coming out of hurricanes this season and wildfires. What they're not in agreement about is the federal debt limit, which is the cap on US borrowing that the US hit in early August and needs to be extended by some time in October. Otherwise, the US will have a first-ever default. This would be a very bad outcome with cataclysmic results for the entire world economy.

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US President Biden holds infrastructure event at Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Joe Biden’s plan to remake America

Well, after years of endless "infrastructure weeks" to nowhere, Joe Biden is now aiming for the moon.

On Wednesday, the US president unveiled a $2 trillion dollar plan that would rebuild tens of thousands of miles of dilapidated roads and rails, modernize ports and airports, boost employment and housing, expand broadband access, and accelerate the transition to a more climate-friendly economy. By the time it's all over, the total spending could rise to $4 trillion over a decade.

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