Week Ending August 5, 2022

  • Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
  • Public Safety Officer Support Act and the TBI/PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act
  • Veterans’ PACT Act

Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

Late last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced an agreement on advancing a reconciliation bill to bring down inflation and lower costs for families, address the climate crisis, reduce the deficit and require corporations to finally pay their fair share in taxes.

  • The agreement would make prescription drugs cheaper by allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices, capping out-of-pocket costs at $2,000 a year for seniors and other Medicare recipients, and penalizing drug corporations that raise their prices above inflation. This bill will help 13 million Americans, saving them an average of $800 a year in premiums under the Affordable Care Act.   
  • It will improve our energy security, cut household energy costs by an average of $500 a year, and tackle our climate crisis by reducing carbon emissions and creating thousands of good- paying jobs.   
  • It will reduce the deficit by more than $300 billion, helping fight inflation.
  • And it will be fully paid for by requiring big corporations and the rich to pay their fair share of taxes, with no tax increases for families making under $400,000 a year. 

You can read more about what is in the bill on the AFSCME Blog and share tweets calling on Congress to pass the bill without delay.  

Public Safety Officer Support Act and the TBI/PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act

The Senate passed by unanimous consent the Public Safety Officer Support Act (H.R. 6943) and the TBI/PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act (H.R. 2992), sending the bills to President Joe Biden for his signature. Our public safety officers, whether in police, corrections, fire, or emergency medical response, work in often dangerous conditions. They face both physical and mental trauma sustained on the job that affects their lives outside their normal working hours. The Public Safety Office Support Act will provide support and extend death and disability benefits under the public safety officers benefits program (PSOB) for officers who suffer from PTSD or acute stress disorder while on the job. The TBI/PTSD Law Enforcement Officer Training Act will provide law enforcement officers critical training to help recognize the signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury or PTSD. In many cases, law enforcement officers are the first on a scene and handle situations in which an individual is suffering from either condition can escalate quickly. It is crucial for law enforcement officers to recognize symptoms and take appropriate action whether in the community or in correctional facilities. 

Veterans’ PACT Act

This week, the Senate passed the PACT Act, providing health care to 3.5 million veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during their military service and ensuring they have access to the health care they deserve. Not only does this bill remove obstacles to treatment and disability compensation for veterans, it also sets up a process to identify environmental hazards and toxic substances. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law soon. 

Read more from AFSCME President Lee Saunders here.

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