I urge Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to support the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022,” negotiated between Sen. Joe Manchin and his Democratic colleagues.

This balanced bill helps fight climate change, strengthens U.S. economic security, reduces prescription drug prices for older Americans and lowers the federal budget deficit.

How does it do all this? To fight climate change and strengthen U.S. economic security, it offers tax breaks for the development and installation of more efficient, renewable energy technology for manufacturers and individual households, including significant rebates for electric vehicles. This will increase the number of good paying jobs and ensure the U.S. remains competitive with the Chinese and Europeans in climate-friendly technology.

At the same time, it allows additional drilling to ensure energy security for the short term.

The bill also enables the U.S. government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies on drug prices, which would reduce drug prices for seniors and reduce Medicare spending. Maine would also benefit from grants provided in the bill to support climate-smart agricultural products, coastal habitat protection and sustainable forestry.

To pay for all of this, the bill gives the IRS the resources to crack down more on tax cheats, and it raises corporate taxes from 13% to 15%. The bill is expected to reduce the budget deficit by $450 billion.

In short, if any bill puts the welfare of the American people over partisan rancor, this is it.

James Richter, Lewiston

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