At the end of last week, the U.S. House passed the “Inflation Reduction Act” backed by Democrats on a party lines vote.
The measure, which includes more than $700 billion in spending, cleared the U.S. Senate at the start of last week with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking a 50-50 tie. Every Democrat in the chamber voted for the bill while every Republican, including U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, voted against it.
The House passed the proposal on a 220-207 vote. Every Democrat in the chamber voted for the proposal and House Republicans voted against with no defections. Party lines held up in the Florida delegation with every Democrat backing it and every Republican opposing it.
Proponents of the bill say it will help with the battle against climate change, lower drug costs and will make corporations pay their fair share of taxes while opponents of the proposal insist it will add more spending while doing nothing to solve these problems.
“Today, I was proud to take historic action to lower drug costs for Floridians, taking on Big Pharma’s egregious price gouging and instituting an out-of-pocket cap for seniors. We’re also delivering the largest climate and clean energy investment in history, paving the way for reduced pollution, cleaner air, and cost-saving electric vehicles and technologies. All while making a historic down payment on deficit reduction of approximately $300 billion to fight inflation,” said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla.
“In the state of Florida, the American Rescue Plan helped a total of 1.13 million Floridians enroll for the first time in a subsidized marketplace, including 41,000 people right here in Florida’s 14th District,” Castor continued. “Florida had a record 2.7 million individuals enroll in the marketplace in 2022!”
Castor hyped the bill as a “Big Climate Deal” as she continued to highlight it.
“ The Inflation Reduction Act is by far the largest and most consequential legislation we’ve passed to address the costly climate crisis. It will usher in an era of clean energy innovation that will lower costs, create family-sustaining jobs, and make our communities more resilient. It will reduce our dependence on expensive fossil fuels and clean up our air, as we reduce pollution and move closer to net zero. And it will empower American workers to lead the global clean energy economy, as we produce more of our energy here in America, bolster our energy independence, and strengthen our domestic manufacturing supply chain,” said Castor.
“The Inflation Reduction Act is a historic victory for Florida families and for our planet: Delivering the investments we need to keep down health care costs, reinvigorate American manufacturing, and drive our transition to a clean energy economy,” said U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla. “I am also thrilled that language from the HAPI Act was included to ensure more Americans can receive necessary vaccines at no out-of-pocket cost. Importantly, this legislation is fully paid for by ensuring that corporations can’t dodge their taxes. I’m proud to be part of House Democrats’ efforts to put ‘People Over Politics.’”
Republicans from the Sunshine State insisted the bill will do nothing to help inflation.
“Washington should pursue policies that tackle rising energy and food prices, fix our broken supply chain, create jobs, spur investment in American businesses and secure our border. This legislation moves our nation in the opposite direction, spending hundreds of billions of dollars, on top of the trillions of reckless spending Congress has already authorized, to further a radical agenda which is bankrupting our families and destroying economic opportunity across country,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla.
“The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the bill does little to reduce inflation. Congressional leaders removed the tax provisions targeting wealthy wall street traders, while flooding the IRS with the cash to hire 87,000 armed enforcement agents and greenlighting other tax increases that will harm lower-and middle-income families and small businesses. Washington always protects their friends and squeezes the average American,” Posey added. “Finally, the legislation’s goal of decarbonizing by 40 percent over the next seven years will result in higher energy bills, more supply chain disruptions, less opportunity for our families and children while making us more dependent on foreign energy and subject to disruptions.”
“Democrats have yet again failed the American people by unleashing new tax and spend legislation that will ultimately target middle class Americans and small businesses with tax hikes during a recession and record inflation, hundreds of thousands of new IRS audits, and subsidies for favored energy interests. The laundry list of horrible measures includes spending $80 billion to allow the IRS to hire 87,000 new agents resulting in about 710,000 audits on Americans making less than $75,000, raises $700 billion in new taxes including tax increases on millions of families and Main Street businesses, subsidizing $350 million in ‘Green New Deal’ initiatives, increasing an excise tax on crude oil and imported petroleum products while Americans continue to struggle at the gas pump, and expanding Obamacare subsidies by $64 billion,” said U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla.
“To make matters worse, the Congressional Budget Office projects this so-called ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ will not reduce the current inflation crisis and record high prices as Democrats are purporting,” Waltz continued. “Any deficit reductions seen by this bill, which are unlikely, would be realized years down the line. Under President Biden and Democratic leadership, the federal government is on pace to spend nearly $4 trillion in just two years. Americans deserve better leadership from our elected officials, and I will continue to pursue policies with my Republican colleagues that will ease the burden on Americans by reducing spending and lowering taxes— not raising taxes on Americans during a recession.”
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