WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Biden is expected to sign a massive energy, health care and tax bill later this week. Democrats are celebrating this legislation but Republicans, including our local members, are calling it another massive spending bill.
Although Congress is on recess, members quickly returned to our nation’s capital last week and passed the “Inflation Reduction Act”. This trimmed down version of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” legislation does a couple of things:
It puts roughly 370-billion in new spending towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and invests in clean energy technologies. It also extends subsidies for the Affordable Care Act including allowing Medicare to directly negotiate prices for prescription drugs and capping recipients annual out of pocket drug costs.
Democrats said the bill will bring in 300-billion in new revenue streams because it will impose a 15 percent tax on corporations making over one billion dollars and it also puts billions towards the deficit.
While Democrats see this as a huge win, Republicans are slamming the bill calling it excessive and are doubtful this legislation will help reduce inflation.
Our local congressional members, including Representatives Fred Keller (R- PA), Glenn Thompson (R- PA) and Mike Kelly (R- PA) all voted ‘no’ on the bill.
Kelly released this statement on the IRA bill:
“Make no mistake: Democrats are raising taxes on Americans amidst record inflation and a looming recession,” Kelly said. “This bill is loaded with bad policy and wasteful spending that will ultimately worsen inflation, expand government, and hurt the middle-class. Perhaps worst of all: the Democrats are weaponizing the IRS to shakedown hardworking Americans to pay for a bill passed under one-party rule.”
Thompson released a statement on the IRA bill:
“Despite its name, the Inflation Reduction Act will actually raise taxes, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. It will cost taxpayers nearly $472 billion and cut Medicare by an estimated $250 billion. The bill will add 87,000 new IRS agents to target the lowest income earners in an attempt to normalize audits – as if they were as routine as a trip to the dentist, except one tends to be more painful.
“The economy saw negative growth in the last two quarters, yet the Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats think they can spend their way out of a recession. The American people know better. I voted no.”
On the other side of the aisle, Democrats like Senator bob Casey (D- PA), call it a fiscally responsible bill. He released this statement:
“As families across Pennsylvania and the Nation are being squeezed by inflation, Democrats are tackling this problem head on. The Inflation Reduction Act will lower health care and energy costs for families while creating well-paying jobs to transition the U.S. to clean energy and tackle the climate crisis. It’s a fiscally responsible bill that will bring down our national debt by ensuring profitable corporations start paying their fair share, just as American families have been doing all along. It costs a lot of money to be sick in America. Many people are just one medical emergency away from bankruptcy, while other families and seniors are slowly draining their savings to pay for lifesaving prescription drugs. In the American Rescue Plan, Democrats made Marketplace health care plans more affordable; this legislation extends those subsidies for another three years. For the first time, Medicare will be able to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices and annual out-of-pocket costs will be capped at $2,000. I’m proud to say this legislation also includes a provision I fought for to ensure low-income seniors and people with disabilities are able to afford their medications. These are commonsense solutions that build on the promise of the Affordable Care Act and ensure families don’t have to choose between their health and their bank accounts. We’re currently living in a moment when once-in-a-lifetime storms are happening every couple of months. Severe weather conditions are now the norm. While hurricane remnants are flooding the Vine Street Expressway in Philadelphia, out west states are on fire and lakes are disappearing in the worst drought in a millennium. It’s well past time we take bold action to address the climate crisis. This legislation is the most ambitious climate bill the Senate has ever passed. It will lower costs for Americans at the gas pump and on their electricity bills. It will shore up the U.S.’s place as a clean energy producer and reduce our greenhouse emissions by 40% by 2030, while investing in the coal communities that powered our nation for generations. Better yet, we’re going to create 9 million well-paying jobs in the next decade to get this done. I successfully fought to include a provision that will promote the creation of family-supporting clean manufacturing jobs here in the U.S. rather than in competitors like China, because we don’t have to choose between green energy and our workers. Over the past year, President Biden and the Democratic Congress have made transformational investments in the U.S. economy and American workers. Between the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and now the Inflation Reduction Act, Democrats have passed legislation that will boost the economy and create jobs in our infrastructure, supply chain, domestic manufacturing and clean energy sectors. President Biden’s agenda is delivering for Pennsylvania.”