The House on Friday passed the $700 billion Inflation Reduction Act, which, unlike its moniker, would not reduce inflation, and instead spends hundreds of billions of dollars on climate change and Obamacare programs.
The House passed the legislation along partisan lines, 220-207. The vote featured no Democrats voting against the bill and no Republicans voting for the bill.
This includes Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), a swing district Democrat who voted against the American Rescue Plan and the Build Back Better Act.
Breitbart News reported on Thursday that House Republican leadership would whip Republicans against the legislation to ensure that zero Republicans vote for the bill. Since the legislation uses budgetary reconciliation, Republicans cannot stop Democrats from passing the bill; however, one senior House Republican staffer explained that they plan on making Democrats “own” the bill, which includes highlighting the deleterious effects of the bill.
The legislation would:
- Allow Medicare to negotiate the price of drugs
- Extend enhanced Obamacare subsidies for three years, which would cost $64 billion
- Reduce the deficit by $300 billion
- Increase taxes while America just entered a recession
- Boost funding for the IRS by $80 billion, which would make the agency larger than the Pentagon, State Department, FBI, and Border Patrol combined
- Create hundreds of billions of dollars in green energy slush funds for the federal government to dole out
- The bill contains budget gimmicks and fake offsets that mask the true cost of the bill
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) ahead of the vote lashed into Democrats for failing to even show up in person to vote for their $700 billion bill:
The Republican leader spoke for just short of an hour, mirroring his similar long speech ahead of the House vote to pass the Build Back Better Act. His eight-hour-long speech ended up delaying the vote on the Build Back Better Act. The Speaker of the House, the Majority Leader, and the Minority Leader can speak for virtually an unlimited amount of time during debate on legislation before the House floor.
After McCarthy spoke, Pelosi laid into the many reasons why she believes that this bill will benefit the country. She noted that the she has stopped referring to the bill as the Inflation Reduction Act, as Senate Republicans were able to strip the name from the bill, and the bill does not have a major budgetary impact:
It is ironic that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who struck the deal that led to the bill with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), wanted the bill to focus on reducing inflation, as which the bill does not do.
An updated Penn Budget Model analysis on Friday found that the bill would only reduce inflation by 0.1 percent over five years. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found similar results.
The legislation would also be harmful for many working-class Americans.
The Inflation Reduction Act institutes price controls for the Medicare Part D program, which would result in American seniors’ having their drug benefits cut. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) described these price controls as a “war on seniors.”
The $700 billion Inflation Reducation Act would also provide $2.2 billion in financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners that experienced “discrimination.” The program is meant to replace an American Rescue Plan scheme that is intended to grant benefits to minority farmers. The program was blocked by the courts, and Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) tried to block this version of it during the “vote-a-rama” section of the voting process.
Biden and congressional Democrats have repeatedly claimed that the bill would not raise taxes on Americans making less than $400,000 per year. However, Democrats voted down an amendment by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) that would have banned new IRS funds from being used to target working-class Americans.
Further, language in the Inflation Reduction Act vowing “nothing in this subsection is intended to increase taxes on any taxpayer with a taxable income below $400,000″ was removed from the bill.
To attempt to fulfill Democrats’ promise, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote the IRS commissioner, asking the agency not to raise taxes on those making less than $400,000 per year.
“Specifically, I direct that any additional resources … shall not be used to increase the share of small business or households below the $400,000 threshold that are audited relative to historical levels,” Yellen wrote.
The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) found that the bill’s 15 percent corporate minimum tax would hit manufacturers hardest.
In part, the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act came after Senate Republicans gave Democrats the votes to pass a bipartisan semiconductor bill, or the $280 billion Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had promised to block the CHIPS bill if Democrats were to advance a reconciliation bill. After Republicans helped to pass the CHIPS bill, believing that there was no reconciliation bill, they lost any leverage to block a future reconciliation bill.
“We got our ass kicked. It’s just that simple. Looks to me like we got rinky-doo’d. That’s a Louisiana word for ‘screwed.’ And we got our ass kicked. That’s the way my people back home see it,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) said, “Yesterday’s announcement by Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer showed again that too many Senate Republicans unfortunately trusted Democrats and got duped. Some are pretending to be shocked. It’s not shocking at all.”
The legislation goes to President Joe Biden’s desk to sign, where it will become law.