Georgia keys Democrats’ climate, health and tax win
August 8, 2022
Also in today's edition of Swing State Georgia:
A busy week for Georgia’s Trump probe.
The Senate debate dance continues.
The attack ads begin against Herschel.
It’s not often that the weight of a single Senate election is made so clear, so frequently.
But in the 18 months after double runoff wins for U.S. Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in January of 2021, President Joe Biden has had multiple policy wins made possible only by votes from both of the Georgians.
The latest came Sunday when the Senate passed a sweeping climate, health and tax measure. It was a 50-50 vote, as Jamie Dupree reported for the AJC, with Ossoff and Warnock voting yes and Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaker for grateful Senate Democrats.
Had either former GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler held onto their seats last January instead, it’s likely the measure never would have been formulated or considered, let alone passed.
Talk about the power of one election.
Election year politics were never far from the Senate floor during this weekend’s debate, and there was no better example of that than one provision which has been backed by Warnock - a plan to cap the monthly cost of insulin at $35 for all patients with health insurance, not just seniors under Medicare.
But the provision covering those with outside health insurance was red-flagged by the Senate Parliamentarian, not allowed under the Senate’s arcane budget rules.
Democrats wanted to keep Warnock’s provision, so they left it in the bill - and dared Republicans to knock it out.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., took the lead to spike the measure, though seven GOP senators voted with Democrats in a failed effort to keep it.
It would have been a victory for the Georgian-- and one that Democrats suspect was pulled out specifically to deny Warnock the win ahead of November.
Republicans, including Warnock’s GOP rival Herschel Walker, have hammered the overall package and argued it will worsen inflation, not improve it, and add regulations that will damage American businesses.
The bill will be front and center in the 2022 elections, but it never would have happened without the Georgia runoff results in 2021.
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WHAT …? Not long after U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock cast a key vote in support of the federal climate change, tax and healthcare measure, his opponent’s campaign sent out a bewildering tweet.
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