WASHINGTON — Thousands of people gathered at the White House Tuesday as President Joe Biden celebrated passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.
“Welcome to the White House, everybody. This law is for you,” Biden said to the crowd of roughly 5,000 invited guests gathered on the South Lawn. “We’re getting the job done for the American people and we’re just getting started.”
The White House celebration came a month after the president signed the $740 billion act and administration officials touted the benefits to the economy and the environment.
“So much is happening that nobody can doubt the climate crisis is real,” Biden said.
The Inflation Reduction Act includes caps on insulin and Medicare drug costs and offers tax credits for people buying heat pumps, solar panels and electric vehicles.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told KIRO 7 the subsidies for electric cars are targeted to people who need the tax break. “That is part of the brilliance of the way the policy was designed. If you’re wealthy, you don’t qualify. If you’re trying to buy a luxury car, you don’t qualify.”
Republicans voted against the bill and GOP candidates are railing against it.
“In fact, it’s not something to be celebrated, it’s something to have caution and to make sure we rein in the out of control spending,” said Tiffany Smiley, Republican Senate candidate in Washington.
The White House celebration came the same day the stock market took a dive after new federal data showed inflation stubbornly high.
New federal inflation data showed Seattle-area prices unchanged over the last two months, but still up 9% from last year.
Local food prices are up 11.6% over the year.
KIRO 7 asked White House economic advisor Heather Boushey when people will see real relief at the grocery store.
“Here’s the thing,” Boushey said. “The president doesn’t control every price in the grocery store. The president has focused his energy on the things he can control.”
Washington state Sen. Mona Das was among those gathered at the White House to celebrate the act’s passage. State Democrats were among those celebrating the new investments made by the White house.
“This is a historic day with historic investments that we’ve needed for a long time, investments that we’re leading on in Washington state,” Das said after the event.
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