It’s easier to believe the Taliban actually did not know al Qaeda Leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was living in Kabul in a home owned by a senior aide to the number two Taliban commander than it is to believe Democrats “Inflation Reduction Act” will actually reduce inflation.
To say that I’m opposed to the most recent Manchin-Schumer tax-and-spend proposal is an understatement.
My point is simple. The American Rescue Plan, passed last year, did not rescue the economy. The Inflation Reduction Act, set to be passed and signed into law very soon, is not going to reduce inflation.
If you don’t believe me, listen to outside organizations like Penn Wharton and the Congressional Budget Office sound the alarm.
According to the Penn Wharton Budget Model – a metric that Sen. Manchin previously stated he trusted – the bill increases inflation. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” would have a negligible effect on inflation, either good or bad. Those are hardly ringing endorsements in the effort to sell the legislation as an inflation reducer.
However, on tax increases, the record is very clear. According to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, the bill includes billions of dollars in taxes that will be passed on to consumers. The legislation pulls money out of the pockets of Americans already struggling to make ends meet due to record Biden inflation, especially those who make well below $400,000 a year.
In addition to passing increased costs along to the American consumer, the bill drives up gas prices by increasing gas taxes at a time when motorists can least afford it. Under this proposal, the Democrats impose a 16.4 cent tax on a barrel of imported oil, resurrecting a tax that expired in 1995. Previously, the tax was 9.7 cents. It’s coming back at 16.4 cents, adding billions of dollars of increases to gasoline production. It’s not a good idea to raise gas taxes during a recession.
The bill also includes a $27 billion “green bank,” money for the IRS to audit middle class Americans, tax hikes during a recession, ObamaCare subsidies for the wealthy, and increased costs for domestic energy production.
This legislation is not only disingenuous, packed with flaws and bad for Americans – it is procedurally dangerous for the future of the United States Senate.
The full Manchin-Schumer package is contained in two separate legislative vehicles – reconciliation and a future continuing resolution.
Without getting too far into the weeds of the Senate’s procedures, most of the provisions backed by the liberal Left can pass through the Senate via reconciliation, an infrequently used process that only requires a majority vote of 50 Senators. If all Democrats hang together, which is likely, this reckless tax-and-spend bill will pass the Senate with only Democrats voting in favor.
The second part of Manchin-Schumer is a side-deal to streamline permitting and opening certain oil and gas pipelines. It will be part of a continuing resolution which requires 60 votes to pass, meaning at least 10 Republicans will need to support.
It appears Senate Democrats promised to complete the political deal with Sen. Manchin by placing all of the energy expansion and permitting initiatives in the continuing resolution since they couldn’t nest it cleanly in this budget bill.
Think “Cornhusker Kickback” of ObamaCare on a continuing resolution. This is a dangerous precedent to set because it erodes minority rights.
I want to be on record and crystal clear that when it comes time to funding the government through a continuing resolution – I will gladly do so – but I will not support a continuing resolution that has political paybacks even on policies I agree with.
I would encourage all of my Republican colleagues to come up with energy production proposals specific to their states. Challenge our Democratic colleagues that if we’re going to change energy policy in one area, let’s change it in all areas. Every state should benefit. All boats should rise, not just one or two.
I doubt the radical left will allow or vote for meaningful energy production ideas like this. It is imperative that we not legitimize this process because there will be no end to it.
The best way forward is for the government to be funded without strings attached and stop playing politics on continuing resolutions. If we legitimize this then over time reconciliation plus policy initiatives attached to government funding will do major damage to the rights of the minority.
Manchin-Schumer is bad policy and does enough damage on its own. The last thing we should do is compound the problem which is exactly what this latest backdoor legislative maneuver seeks to do.
I personally like Senators Manchin and Sinema. On occasion, both have stood up for the institution of the Senate, preserving the legislative filibuster under extreme pressure.
Sen. Manchin is from one of the reddest states in the country and Sen. Sinema represents truly a purple state. I have worked with both on infrastructure, legislation to keep guns out of the hands of unstable people, and tried to move the Senate forward, together. Their latest efforts to join with Sen. Schumer to pass this legislation is ill-conceived, irresponsible and will create further burdens on the American people in a time they can least afford it.
While I have shown a willingness to work with them, I have an equal willingness to oppose bad ideas no matter who they come from.
That’s why I will not be supporting using the continuing resolution as a political payoff vehicle because to go down this road fundamentally changes the Senate.