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Senate deal on climate, inflation bill would make it easier to buy electric vehicles

DETROIT - The surprise deal by Senate Democrats on a slimmed-down bill to support families, boost infrastructure and fight climate change also is likely to jump-start sales of electric vehicles.The measure agreed to by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and holdout Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia would give EV buyers a $7,500 tax credit starting next year, through the end of 2032.

There’s also a new $4,000 credit for those buying used EVs, a move to help the middle class go electric.But as things often go in Washington, there are a bunch of strings and asterisks.RELATED: What's in, and out, of Democrats' climate, health care and inflation billTo be eligible, the electric vehicle has to be assembled in North America, and there are limits on annual income for buyers. There also are caps on the sticker prices of new EVs — $80,000 for pickups, SUVs and vans, and $55,000 for other vehicles — and a $25,000 limit on the price of used electric vehicles.Still, even with the restrictions, the credits should help stimulate electric vehicle sales, which already are rising as automakers introduce more models in different sizes and price ranges, said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst for"The tax credits for electric vehicles in the bill will benefit consumers and cut costs for low- and middle-income families," the Sierra Club said of the measure, which still must be approved by both chambers.

"We're hoping for swift adoption."FILE - Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) ranking member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, gets in to take a test drive of a Lucid Motors electric car parked outside the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on Wednesday RELATED: Ford reveals new electric F-150 police

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What's in, and out, of Democrats' climate, health care and inflation bill
WASHINGTON - What started as a $4 trillion effort during President Joe Biden's first months in office to rebuild America's public infrastructure and family support systems has ended up a much slimmer, but not unsubstantial, compromise package of inflation-fighting health care, climate change, and deficit reduction strategies that appears headed toward quick votes in Congress.Lawmakers are poring over the $739 billion proposal struck by two top negotiators, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and holdout Sen. Joe Manchin, the conservative West Virginia Democrat who rejected Biden's earlier drafts but surprised colleagues late Wednesday with a new one.What's in, and out, of the Democrats' 725-page "Inflation Reduction Act of 2022" as it stands now:Launching a long-sought goal, the bill would allow the Medicare program to negotiate prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, saving the federal government some $288 billion over the 10-year budget window.Those new revenues would be put back into lower costs for seniors on medications, including a $2,000 out-of-pocket cap for older adults buying prescriptions from pharmacies.Money would also be used to provide free vaccinations for seniors, who now are among the few not guaranteed free access, according to a summary document.Matthew Buettgens, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, explains how the unwinding of Medicaid continuous coverage once the public health emergency ends will present certain challenges.The bill would extend the subsidies provided during the COVID-19 pandemic to help some Americans who buy health insurance on their own.Under earlier pandemic relief, the extra help was set to expire this year.