On Sunday, the U.S. Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act in a partisan 51-50 vote. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote after an all-night session. The bill includes the largest-ever federal effort on climate change, caps out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare to $2,000 a year, and extends expiring subsidies that help 13 million people afford health insurance. According to the AP, the whole package is paid for, with some $300 billion in extra revenue for deficit reduction by raising corporate taxes and reaping savings by allowing the government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare.
U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville and Richard Shelby released statements after voting against the Democrats’ spending package.
The Senators attempted to file amendments to the bill, including making Donald Trump-era tax cuts for the middle class permanent and amendments to secure American energy independence by requiring approval of all pending major pipeline projects and offshore drilling permit requests.
“Democrats have once again put their own agenda ahead of helping hardworking Americans. This latest tax and spend spree will further increase inflation and raise taxes on families at a time when they can least afford it,” stated Tuberville. “I worked with my Republican colleagues to offer commonsense amendments to this package that would cut taxes, slash regulations, stand up to China, and bolster our national security. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats shot down these proposals and forced through a bill that does nothing to improve or grow our economy. Instead, their bill provides funding for their Green New Deal policies, sends American businesses overseas, and doubles the size of the IRS, giving the agency more manpower to go after small business and the middle class.”
Senator Shelby argued the package would increase costs for Americans.
“The so-called ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ will result in increased costs for hardworking Americans, further crushing families’ budgets and savings,” Shelby stated. “Democrats are spending hundreds of billions of dollars to raise taxes and swell the cost of living while the American people are enduring record-high inflation and a declining economy. This makes no sense. Right now, Congress should be focused on reducing costs and growing economic investment, not spending $80 billion to double the size and scope of the IRS and hundreds of billions of dollars to combat climate change.”
“The policies created in this legislation are not what Americans want, nor are they what Americans need. I am disappointed that my Senate Democratic colleagues supported this legislation knowing it fails the American people,” Shelby concluded.
President Joe Biden released a statement after the bill’s passage.
“Today, Senate Democrats sided with American families over special interests, voting to lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and everyday energy costs and reduce the deficit, while making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share. I ran for President promising to make government work for working families again, and that is what this bill does — period,” Biden stated.