Omidyar Network and Grantees Celebrate Historic Public Investments in the Inflation Reduction Act

As an organization dedicated to building a more inclusive and equitable society, Omidyar Network is heartened by the House and Senate’s recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. This legislation is a significant investment in the key driver of our economy: working people. It will have an immediate positive impact, lessening health care costs for millions of Americans and creating quality jobs. And its effects will be felt far into the future by making long overdue commitments to protect our environment. Just as importantly, this legislation will help ensure America’s largest corporations and wealthiest individuals contribute their fair share — a key tenet of our own call to create a fair and equitable tax policy that will ultimately give every family and community a better shot at success.

This historic legislation is the latest in a long line of major public investments proposed by the Biden Administration. While there is more work to be done, we — along with many of our partners and grantees — applaud Congress for passing the Inflation Reduction Act, and strongly urge all our elected leaders to continue the trend of supporting legislation that invests in the well-being of families, communities, and our society.

Below is a compilation of statements from our grantees and partners from the past week, praising the bill’s passage in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives:

Community Change: “This is another landmark piece of legislation for the Democratic-led Congress that prioritizes the needs of working people and families over corporations. The Inflation Reduction Act will put the largest investments in climate justice to date, make life-saving medications and health care more affordable for millions, and make giant corporations pay what they owe by closing tax loopholes. Democrats came together on policies that grassroots organizers have been pushing for decades, while Republicans fought every step of the way to block solutions. Democrats also held strong against Republicans’ attempts to poison this breakthrough legislation with myriad amendments that scapegoat immigrant communities. It is clear the GOP’s priorities are with their own pockets and their rich friends. But together, we proved we are stronger than their greed. The lesson here is that we must keep pushing to elect leaders who will fight for all of us, not just the wealthy few. While this legislation will ease the burden of inflation and protect the future of our planet, we won’t stop fighting for a pathway to citizenship and a 21st century immigration and asylum system, for child care, affordable housing, and an expanded child tax credit that works for each and every one of us. All of our families deserve safety, care, and freedom.” — Lorella Praeli and Dorian Warren, Co-Presidents

Citizen Action of New York: – “The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act is an important step forward in our collective fight for a better future for everyone. This historic legislation addresses several long-standing critical needs in our society, including tackling the climate crisis and reducing the cost of prescription drugs. As we continue to organize towards our long-term vision and goals, we celebrate the passage of this bill. […] Governing is hard work and this legislation reflects that. We are particularly grateful to our own Senator, Majority Leader Schumer, whose skilled leadership brought together all Democrats, making it possible to pass this important legislation. Now we look to the House Democrats, including our New York delegation, to get it across the finish line and to President Biden’s desk. The Inflation Reduction Act is an important step forward and we celebrate this as we continue to keep organizing and fighting for our communities.” — Rosemary Rivera, Co-Executive Director [view entire statement here]

Center for American Progress: T“oday, Senate Democrats—without a single Republican vote—made a historic investment in the planet, the economy, and the American people. The Inflation Reduction Act brings down costs on some of life’s biggest non-negotiable expenses: prescription drugs, health care, and energy—answering President Joe Biden’s call to fight inflation. On its own, the Inflation Reduction Act is one of the most significant pieces of economic and climate legislation in a generation. But along with the bipartisan infrastructure law and the CHIPS and Science Act, it is part of a transformative economic package that will support inclusive economic growth and millions of good-paying jobs for decades to come.
Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, seniors in places such as Ohio and Arizona will be able to afford lifesaving prescription medicines; a young entrepreneur just starting out in Montana or Georgia will be able to provide affordable health care for their family; and all 330 million Americans will benefit from lower energy costs, more breathable air, and an economy better insulated from the shocks of climate change. Notably, this is largely paid for by restoring fairness to the tax system by closing loopholes that have allowed wealthy tax cheats to avoid paying their fair share for too long.
Many of the policies in the Inflation Reduction Act have been talked about and fought for for decades. Today, Senate Democrats, led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), made these dreams a reality with the narrowest of political margins. In doing so, Senate Democrats dealt a powerful blow to Big Pharma, Big Oil, and their K Street lobbyists. Now, it’s incumbent on the House to quickly take up and pass the Inflation Reduction Act; the American people are waiting. — Patrick Gaspard, President & CEO

Demos: “Today’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act is a testament to the tireless organizing by Black and brown communities to elevate climate change and rising, unchecked corporate power as existential threats. The legislation includes investments organizers and advocates have fought for, including investments in renewable energy and climate investments aimed at frontline communities, negotiating power for Medicare, and in closing tax loopholes exploited by corporations. While we celebrate the critical organizing work and the provisions that were won, we recognize the legislative process that produced this Act is not a model for how we’ll solve the crises before us. Wealthy corporations—whose spending has doubled over the past two decades—fought to defend their interests. And, in many cases, they won. This Act made major concessions to the fossil fuel industry that disproportionately stand to harm low-income, Black, brown, and indigenous communities. It also failed to include broadly popular and long overdue investments in our infrastructure—from universal pre-K to child care and elder care investments, the child tax credit and earned income tax credit, and meaningful investments in affordable housing and healthcare. The future we need is one that deconcentrates corporate power, expands public goods like childcare and education, and ensures that those most impacted by the policies have a say. We recognize President Biden signing this Act into law is just the beginning. We expect to see the equitable distribution of its funds to the Black and brown communities most impacted by core provisions of this bill—climate change and high drug prices, included. And we stand with the movement in anticipation of the necessary work to come.” — Taifa Smith Butler, President

Economic Policy Institute: “Today the U.S. Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which will reduce energy, health care, and prescription drug costs for American families and make the biggest investment to fight climate change in our nation’s history. These critical investments will be fully paid for by raising revenue from the wealthy and corporations—ultimately making our tax system fairer and stronger. And this legislation reduces the deficit, meaning it will put downward pressure on inflation. More than 100 economists agree. The Inflation Reduction Act takes a significant step toward addressing some of our most pressing challenges. We recognize that more remains to be done, and we will continue to fight for necessary reforms to build an economy that lifts up everyone.” — Heidi Shierholz, President

Groundwork Collaborative: “The Inflation Reduction Act gets it exactly right: we bring down costs for families by making needed public investments, not pulling back on spending when we need it most. We bring down energy costs when we invest in clean energy and lessen our dependence on Big Oil profiteers. We bring down health care costs when we use public power to counter Big Pharma and get a fair price for seniors. And we strengthen our democracy and our economy when the largest corporations contribute to these investments, instead of buying politicians to oppose them.
“Congress should send the Inflation Reduction Act to the President’s desk as quickly as possible.” — Lindsay Owens, Executive Director

Invest In America: ““After more than a year of negotiations, Congress has delivered a historic win for middle class families which will lower the costs of healthcare, energy, prescription drugs, and more. The bill is a massive investment in America’s economic future. We must also acknowledge the tireless leadership of Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Schumer in delivering this bill. At many points, the pundits and prognosticators said the bill was dead. Not so. The Inflation Reduction Act will become law, lower costs for millions of Americans, and make the single largest investment in tackling the climate crisis in history. They did it!” — Zac Petkanas, Senior Adviser

Jobs With Justice: “The Inflation Reduction Act passed by Senate Democrats marks a significant step forward for working people. Though far from perfect, the bill combats the skyrocketing cost of healthcare and the climate crisis, issues that disproportionately harm communities of color and those with low incomes. We especially welcome its provisions for extending Affordable Care Act subsidies, allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, and providing $369 billion for climate and clean energy provisions, the most aggressive climate investment ever taken by Congress. It also advances fairer taxation by making large corporations and the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share. Working people benefit from a cleaner planet, better access to healthcare, and less reliance on employers for that access. While the final agreement still leaves out a number of key items to combat extreme economic inequality, with time running out before the fall midterms, we urge lawmakers to vote in favor of this legislation.” Adam Shah, Director of National Policy [view entire statement here]

Oxfam: “While there is more work to be done, we are overcome with gratitude to the organizers and activists who have gotten us to this point, pushing for action in this critical time for our climate, workers, and communities. Change takes time and hard work and we remain resolved to work with our allies to celebrate where we have wins and continue pushing Congress and the Biden administration to take strong action to support marginalized communities.” — Gina Cummings, Vice President of Advocacy, Alliances & Policy for Oxfam America [view entire statement here]

ProsperUS: “After more than a year of negotiations, a fairer tax code, more affordable health care, and historic action on climate change are within our reach. The Inflation Reduction Act is important, not only because it will help people who are hurting right now, but also because these long-overdue investments put us on a path to healthier communities and a stronger economy for the long-term. Congress has done its job, and we look forward to President Biden signing this bill into law as soon as possible.” — Clare Guzdar, Spokesperson

Roosevelt Institute: ““his agreement shows the emergence of a new common sense: Public investment can reduce carbon emissions, drive economic growth, and make essential goods more affordable for Americans. It addresses short-term price increases, especially on prescription drugs, by using the power of federal negotiation to curb the market power of pharmaceutical companies. And it makes long-term investments in the industries of the future, especially clean energy. This agreement is a welcome and necessary first step.” — Felicia Wong, President & CEO [view Roosevelt’s series “Understand the Inflation Reduction Act here]

“This compromise is more than just an act addressing inflation, although it takes vital steps in that direction. It simultaneously addresses several key and long-standing problems facing our economy and, more broadly, our global society. It tackles the high cost of energy with a $369 billion investment in energy security and climate change. It addresses rising health-care costs by lowering premiums, capping out-of-pocket expenses, and curbing a ‘gift’ to the pharmaceutical industry, all for an estimated savings of $300 billion. And it raises an estimated $450 billion through a 15 percent corporate minimum tax, increased IRS tax enforcement, and closing of a gaping loophole that benefited some of the richest people on Wall Street. This is an important step in showing that we can be good global citizens.” — Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate and Chief Economist at the Roosevelt Institute

Small Business Majority: “Small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s communities and economy, but they need support to help level the playing field and create a healthy environment for entrepreneurship. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 includes measures that small businesses across the country have been calling for nearly a year. It is past time that they get the support they need to grow and thrive. Through targeted investments in healthcare and by closing unfair corporate tax loopholes, smaller firms will receive an opportunity to tackle workforce and economic obstacles that have hindered entrepreneurship. We are thrilled to see Congress advancing critical provisions that will help bolster a small business community and build a solid economic foundation to sustain long-term recovery efforts. We encourage the quick enactment of this bill into law.” — John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO [read the letter from hundreds of small business owners and business organizations]