With the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, President Biden is making good on his promise to address the climate crisis and build an economy that works for working families, including tribal, Native American, Alaskan and Hawaiian families. The Inflation Reduction Act lowers prescription drug costs, healthcare costs and energy costs. It is the most aggressive action we have taken to address the climate crisis. It will cut the deficit and ask the super-rich and corporations to pay their fair share. And nobody who makes less than $400,000 a year pays a penny more in taxes.
President Biden and congressional Democrats are beating back the special interests to pass this historic bill, which includes significant tribal provisions and otherwise helps Native American, Alaskan and Hawaiian Native communities who have been on the front lines of climate change by cutting costs. Promoting environmental justice while building a cleaner future and growing the bottom-up, middle-out economy.
TRIBAL SPECIFIC FUNDING
The Inflation Reduction Act is taking the most aggressive action on climate change and clean energy in American history. And it does so by providing dedicated tribes to plan for and adapt to climate change, mitigate drought, support fisheries, and transition to clean energy production and use.
Support resilience and climate adaptation in tribal nations and indigenous communities. The Anti-Inflation Act includes tribal-specific funding to address climate-related impacts in native communities, including investments to support:
- Climate Resilience and Adaptation Programs for Tribesmen at the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA);
- climate resilience and adaptation activities for the native Hawaiian community;
- mitigating the effects of drought in tribal communities; and
- Hatchery and maintenance programs for tribal fish.
fund a Tribal Electrification Program. The Inflation Reduction Act includes investments in a tribal electrification program for tribes and tribal organizations to power non-electrified tribal homes through zero-emission energy systems and to convert electrified homes to zero-emission energy systems.
Support the development of tribal energy. The Inflation Mitigation Act provides additional investment for the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program, increasing the loan guarantees for Tribal Energy development from $2 billion to $20 billion.
COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE AND REDUCE ENERGY COSTS
In addition to its tribal funding, the Inflation Reduction Act will lower energy bills for families and create thousands of good jobs while reducing climate pollution and ensuring we have a clean, secure future energy supply. It will:
Reduce pollution: The law will eliminate about a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 and enable America to meet President Biden’s climate goals of halving or more reducing emissions by 2030 and reaching net-zero by 2050 at the latest.
Advanced environmental justice: Climate change is disproportionately impacting low-income and communities of color. The law will work to reduce legacy issues and ensure clean energy opportunities reach all Americans, including through new Environmental Justice Block Grants that will support community-led projects across the country.
Make home efficiencies more affordable: The Inflation Reduction Act will make it more affordable for families to buy energy efficient and electric appliances when they need to replace everyday household appliances and appliances. And these devices will save families money on their electricity bills in the long run.
- When families need to replace air conditioners, water heaters or stoves, efficient heating and cooling equipment tax credits can save them up to 30%, saving hundreds of dollars on utility bills.
- Households can save up to 30% with housing project tax credits on windows, doors, insulation or other weatherproofing measures that prevent energy from escaping homes.
- When families need to replace or upgrade stoves, ovens, or other home appliances, they can receive direct rebates when purchasing more energy efficient and electrical appliances that can reduce future electric bills by at least $350 per year.
- Families in affordable housing will benefit from resources to support projects that increase efficiency, improve indoor air quality, implement clean energy or electrification upgrades, or build climate resilience.
- In total, families using clean energy tax credits can save more than $1,000 per year.
Support farmers, ranchers and forest owners: The Inflation Reduction Act recognizes the critical role America’s farmers, ranchers and forest owners play in addressing the climate crisis. The law will:
- Help farmers, ranchers, and forest owners adopt climate-friendly practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon storage in soil and trees, and make their farms more productive.
- Support innovative, cost-effective methods of measuring and verifying climate benefits, including through the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Regional Conservation Partnership Program and Conservation Technical Assistance.
- Help up to 280,000 farmers and ranchers apply conservation to approximately 125 million acres.
Strengthening the resilience of rural areas to climate impacts: The Inflation Reduction Act protects communities from wildfires and makes public and private lands more resilient to climate change. These investments help:
- Protecting 1.8 million acres of National Forest System land from wildfires and restoring an additional 550,000 acres of state land.
- Increase climate resilience of forests on 280,000 acres of non-state land, support conservation facilitation on 475,000 private acres, and create management plans for an additional 1,500,000 private acres.
- Strengthening habitats and infrastructure to withstand climate-related extreme weather events in our national parks, national wildlife refuges, and on our public lands.
REDUCED HEALTHCARE COSTS
The Inflation Reduction Act will reduce health care costs, including prescription drug costs, and expand health coverage for Native American families living in Alaska and Hawaii.
Lower Prescription Drug Costs for Seniors: Americans pay two to three times more for their prescription drugs than people in other affluent countries. The Anti-Inflation Act improves access to medicines in tribal communities, particularly for tribal elders, by improving prescription drug coverage and lowering drug prices in Medicare. The law:
- Limits the amount seniors have to pay for prescription drugs they buy at the pharmacy to $2,000 per year, giving seniors peace of mind that they no longer have to worry about spending thousands and thousands more on prescription drugs.
- Limits the amount seniors pay for insulin to $35 for a month’s supply.
- Means seniors on Medicare now have access to a range of additional free vaccines, including the shingles vaccine.
- Will further lower prescription drug costs for seniors by allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of expensive drugs and by requiring drugmakers to pay Medicare a rebate if they increase prices faster than inflation.
Reduce health insurance premiums and expand coverage: Nearly half a million AI/ANs were uninsured in 2019 before President Biden took office, and over 130,000 AI/ANs fell into the Medicaid “coverage gap” and were excluded from coverage because their state refused to expand Medicaid. Since President Biden took office, the number of uninsured has reached a new all-time low: 8% and over 5 million Americans have health insurance. The Inflation Reduction Act continues the more generous tax credits of the American Rescue Plan’s Affordable Care Act.
- The Inflation Mitigation Act provides for lower monthly premiums – approximately 26,000 uninsured AI/ANs had access to a $0 premium plan in 2021.
- By continuing the improvements made by ARP, the Anti-Inflation Act will help ensure that free or low-cost health insurance remains available. About 60,000 more AI/ANs will have health insurance coverage over the next year compared to without the IRA.
MAKE TAX LEGISLATION FAIR
The 2017 tax bill introduced by President Trump and congressional Republicans only made an unfair tax system worse. The Inflation Reduction Act is a crucial step forward to make our tax laws fairer. It will increase revenue by:
- Ensuring high-income people and large corporations pay the taxes they already owe.
- Crackdown on large, profitable companies that currently get away with not paying federal income taxes.
- Imposing a 1% premium on company share buybacks to encourage companies to invest.
Not only will the Legislature’s tax reforms boost revenue to fund much-needed investments to cut costs and combat climate change, they’re also a key part of building an economy that rewards work rather than wealth and doesn’t get the rich and powerful off lets play according to a separate set of rules.
Thanks to the law’s transformative investments in the Internal Revenue Service, millions of working families will have better access to the benefits they are entitled to under the IRS and have their questions answered quickly and efficiently. And no family making less than $400,000 a year will see their taxes go up a single penny.