WASHINGTON, D.C.—People’s Action today celebrated the enactment of several provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into law by President Biden after months of organizing and agitation on the part of the organization’s members and affiliates. The organization noted its strong support for action in the IRA on climate, health care, and making the wealthy pay their share. The organization also noted its strong opposition to several handouts to the oil and gas industry and the reported existence of a “side deal” that would further damage our climate and communities for fossil fuel corporate profits.
“Organizers around the country won the best parts of this legislation,” People’s Action Executive Director Sulma Arias said. “Because of their strength and dedication, carbon emissions and the prices for many drugs will drop. And, the corporations that are raising prices on everyday people will have to pay more of their fair share in taxes.”
People’s Action supported and organized grassroots enthusiasm for the IRA’s climate justice investments, including a $369 billion investment in renewable energy expected to reduce carbon emissions by almost 40 percent by 2030; health care provisions including permission for Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices and a $35 cap on insulin for Medicare recipients; and requirements for a 15-percent corporate minimum tax, which represents the largest corporate tax increase in decades.
“Unfortunately,” Arias continued, “corporate spending also won significant concessions in the IRA, including mandatory Gulf and Alaska fossil fuel leases and false solutions like carbon capture, which will disproportionately harm Black, brown and Indigenous communities. We intend to double down on organizing to win more and better representation who will not put our communities in this situation in the future.”
The organization also vowed to oppose a “side deal” with Sen. Manchin that could be attached to so-called “must-pass legislation” in coming months. The deal would fast track dangerous fossil fuel projects, allowing fossil fuel corporations to force through dirty, dangerous projects in any neighborhood or community whether the public wants them or not.
“Corporations already got more than their pound of flesh in the IRA, so we are dismayed and outraged about reports of a ‘side deal’ worked out with Manchin to gut many of the protections for frontline communities and sensitive ecosystems,” People’s Action’s Ben Ishibashi said. “We will not stand by and watch polluters and their allies roll back the progress our people have made defending our people and our homes, and we will organize to defeat this corporate giveaway, regardless of what legislation it gets attached to.”
People’s Action also noted the absence of action on rent inflation in the IRA, which has driven core inflation as corporate landlords raised rents at the highest rate in years. Tenants with People’s Action’s Homes Guarantee campaign have met with administration officials over the past month urging federal action to regulate rents.
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People’s Action builds the power of poor and working people in urban, rural, and suburban areas to win change through issue fights and elections. We are a national network of 38 state and local grassroots power-building organizations in 28 states–united in the work of building a bigger “we.”