Republican Lawmakers Criticize ‘Inflation Reduction’ Spending Package From Democrats

Republican Lawmakers Criticize ‘Inflation Reduction’ Spending Package From Democrats
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on July 26, 2022. (Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images)
Mimi Nguyen Ly

Hours after Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced late on July 27 that a deal has been reached over a spending package they say would help reduce inflation, some Republican lawmakers heavily criticized the measure, saying the bill would accomplish the opposite and make matters even worse.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said the measure would only kill jobs by raising taxes.

“Democrats have already crushed American families with historic inflation. Now they want to pile on giant tax hikes that will hammer workers and kill many thousands of American jobs,” he wrote on Twitter. “First they killed your family’s budget. Now they want to kill your job too.”
The measure, cited as the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022,” (pdf) seeks to spend some $433 billion—about $369 billion toward energy and climate programs over the next 10 years, and $64 billion toward extending federal subsidies for three more years for some people buying private health insurance.

It also seeks to generate an estimated $739 billion in new revenue over the next 10 years. A large portion of the money—an estimated $313 billion—is expected to be generated by increasing the corporate minimum tax to 15 percent. The remaining amounts include $288 billion in prescription drug pricing reform; $124 billion in Internal Revenue Service tax enforcement; and $14 billion in closing the carried interest loophole.

This would leave over $300 billion to reduce federal deficits over the next 10 years to fight inflation, although the government is expected to accrue trillions in cumulative deficits in the same period of time.

The deal was announced amid news that the U.S. economy shrank for a second quarter by 0.9 percent, raising fears that the economy is already in a recession.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, in Washington, on March 23, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, in Washington, on March 23, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

‘Build Back Broke’

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said on Twitter late on July 27: “Build Back Broke is going to bankrupt America,” referring to the deal. “Democrats can change the name of their Build Back Broke agenda, but it won’t change the fact that it is a raw deal for hardworking Americans,” she added.
Manchin, in announcing the new deal, said that the Build Back Better bill “is dead.” However, the newly named proposed legislation would fulfill many parts of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.
“The Democrats plan to fight inflation and Biden’s recession? Raise taxes and spend $2 trillion in two weeks,” Blackburn later said on July 28.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) had similar sentiments to Blackburn.

“Senate Democrats can change the name of Build Back Broke as many times as they want, it won’t be any less devastating to American families and small businesses,” he said on Twitter. “Raising taxes on job creators, crushing energy producers with new regulations, and stifling innovators looking for new cures will only make this recession worse, not better.”
He also called the measure “terrible policy,” saying it would be “taking [money] from seniors in Medicare to subsidize health care premiums for the wealthy.”
“Let’s call it what it is: reverse Robin Hood. Robbing the poor taxpayer to give to the rich,” Cornyn added.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) slammed the bill as only capable of bringing more burdens for Americans.

“The seemingly endless sequels of @POTUS’s Build Back Broke agenda aren’t getting any better for the American people,” he said on Twitter. “More taxing & spending + another Green New Deal will only put our economy further off track.”

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) called the measure a “terrible deal” and a power grab by Democrats.

“I can’t believe that [Sen. Joe Manchin] is agreeing to a massive tax increase in the name of climate change when our economy is in a recession,” Graham said, later adding: “I have tried to work across party lines when it makes sense, but this Democratic power grab through reconciliation will make every economic problem in America worse.”

Schumer plans to pass the measure through a Senate procedural tool called reconciliation, which would allow a bill related to taxes, spending, and debt to be passed in the chamber by a simple 51-vote majority—something that can be achieved with only Democrat votes if every Democrat supports the measure. This would bypass the normal requirement of needing 60 votes, which would require 10 Republican senators to jump on board.

“The revised legislative text will be submitted to the Parliamentarian for review this evening and the full Senate will consider it next week,” Manchin and Schumer said in a joint statement on July 27.