President Joe Biden suggested on Monday he was confident that Senate Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act will aid his party’s uphill battle to keep the majority in Congress next year.
Projections about November’s midterm elections have looked dim for Democrats for months, but the commander-in-chief told reporters on his way to Kentucky that Americans would feel the bill’s benefits immediately if signed into law.
‘Do I expect it to help? Yes, I do. It’s going to immediately help,’ Biden said when asked about the looming elections, according to CNN.
He reportedly highlighted the bill’s Medicare cap on out-of-pocket drug costs.
But other measures may take longer to kick in – Democrat Sen. Chris Coons of Connecticut suggested the legislation may take ‘a year or more’ to bring down inflation during an interview on ABC News’ This Week.
Meanwhile Republicans are warning Democrats that they will pay a political price after the Senate passed the multi-billion dollar climate change, healthcare and tax plan along in a 51 to 50 vote late on Sunday afternoon.
GOP Rep. Kevin Hern told DailyMail.com that the two moderate Democrats in the Senate, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, got ‘played’ by more progressive members of their party into voting for the bill.
‘What we saw in the Senate this weekend was a masterclass in misdirection and misinformation. Manchin and Sinema got played. They just voted to raise taxes – in the middle of a recession – less than 100 days before a critical election,’ Hern said.
President Joe Biden said the bill would have some ‘immediate’ effects during comments to reporters on Monday
He suggested it may help boost Democrats’ chances in the looming midterm elections in November
Biden spoke to the press as he heads to survey storm and flood damage in Kentucky
No GOP senators signed onto the bill, which was passed via a budgetary process known as reconciliation – meaning the party in power can bypass the required 60-vote threshold to pass a bill via simple majority. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote in the evenly divided chamber.
Republican critics claim the legislation’s $430 billion in new spending and about $740 billion in new revenue will escalate costs for American families just days after the US economy showed a second straight quarter of negative growth.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel warned the repercussions could hit President Joe Biden’s party in the looming midterm elections.
‘Democrats will pay the price in November for raising taxes on families during a recession,’ McDaniel said in a statement.
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for a vote, where GOP lawmakers are similarly skeptical of its purported economic benefits.
‘Congress should be focused on the rising price of gas, groceries, and just about everything else. But Democrats have no plan to fix the problems they caused,’ House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday night.
‘Instead, they voted on a 700-page spending spree that would raise taxes, hire 87,000 IRS agents, and increase inflation.’
Meanwhile Republicans in the House of Representatives, where the bill heads next, are already blasting it and warning it will raise taxes on Americans
The Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act along party lines on Sunday after a session lasting more than 16 hours
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tore into the bill’s passage in a statement after Sunday’s vote
The bill, named the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, is the largest-ever investment in green energy. It also expands Affordable Care Act subsidies and is expected to add 87,000 additional IRS employees over a 10-year period.
That’s more than double its current workforce of roughly 78,000, though that’s before factoring in worker losses over the decade.
Last week the GOP members of the Senate Finance Committee commissioned a study by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, which did not factor in certain key data points, that projected the bill would raise taxes on millions of Americans in every income bracket.
Details on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
Senators Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer’s new bill will raise $739 billion in new revenue through a variety of proposals:
$313 billion by implementing a 15-percent corporate minimum tax
$288 billion from empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices
$124 billion from strong IRS enforcement of tax law
$14 billion from closing the carried interest loophole for money managers
GOP wins in the bill:
Republicans forced Democrats to strike a provision from the bill that would cap the price of insulin at $35
Senator John Thune’s amendment exempts some companies from the newly passed 15 percent corporate tax minimum
The bill also includes $433 billion in new spending:
$369 billion on energy security and climate change
$64 billion to extend health care subsidies for the Affordable Care Act
All this would leave $300 billion to reduce the deficit
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also called out Democrats for passing the bill under current economic conditions.
‘With straight faces, Democrats argued the damage from their first reckless taxing and spending spree was a good excuse to ram through another,’ McConnell said in a statement after voting against the bill.
‘Democrats’ response to the recession they caused is giant job-killing tax hikes and doubling the IRS.’
Former President Donald Trump, however, blamed McConnell for not stopping its passage.
The longtime Republican leader and ex-president’s fragile relationship ruptured for good in the wake of the US Capitol riot last year. Since then McConnell has become a favorite punching bag of Trump’s. The former president has even reportedly made unsuccessful efforts to unseat McConnell from his leadership role in the Senate.
‘Mitch McConnell got played like a fiddle with the vote today by the Senate Democrats,’ Trump wrote on his app Truth Social on Sunday.
‘First he gave them the fake infrastructure Bill, then Guns, never used the Debt Ceiling for negotiating purposes (gave it away for NOTHING!), and now this. Mitch doesn’t have a clue – he’s sooo[sic] bad for the Republican Party!’
The legislation passed on Sunday afternoon after roughly 16 hours of a nonstop vote-a-rama.
Under the rules of reconciliation, the bill can only come to a final vote after unlimited rounds of amendment proposals – which Republicans used to force Democrats into voting on tough issues like crime, the border, and the economic threat of China.
The GOP’s only wins were in forcing Democrats to remove a $35 cap on insulin prices for all Americans and adding a loophole to the bill’s 15 percent minimum corporate tax rate.
Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah wrote on Twitter, ‘Democrats decided to ignore inflation and spend billions beyond our means while rejecting nearly every Republican effort to protect taxpayers.’
His fellow GOP Sen. Joni Ernst also chimed in on the platform, ‘We’re in a recession. Inflation is at a 40-year high. Do Democrats really think now is the time to raise taxes and spend billions more? Yes, they do. And their reckless #TaxAndSpendSpree is proof.’
Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy released a video directly targeting moderate Democrat Manchin for his leadership on the legislation.
‘As a result of Senator Manchin’s bill, and I hope I’m wrong in this, I predict that Joe-flation, as some people call it, will now refer to Joe Manchin and not President Biden,’ Kennedy said.