Mid-South lawmaker feels Federal ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ is misleading for Americans

Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 10:29 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Democrats and Republican Senators began debating Saturday evening on the “Inflation Reduction Act,” or H.R. 5376, after Vice President Kamala Harris provided the tie-breaking vote on the motion to move forward with the reconciliation process.

Reconciliation allows, in this case, Democrats the ability to pass legislation through a simple 51 vote majority.

However, Congress is only allowed to do this three times a year.

“It’s a bad idea, and it’s not going to reduce inflation,” said Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker.

The bill would raise nearly $739 billion in revenue over the next ten years.

The revenue breakdown consists of a 15% corporate minimum tax that will generate $313 billion.

The remaining revenue will come from Prescription Drug Price reform ($288 billion), IRS Tax Enforcement ($124 billion), and a carried interest loophole ($14 billion).

The plan is to spend roughly $430 billion on fighting climate change and expanding the Affordable Care Act.

Part of that process sets a goal of reducing the nation’s carbon emissions by 40% by the year 2030.

“Make no mistake, the agreement preserves the core components of the inflation reduction Act, including reducing prescription drug costs, fighting climate change, closing tax loopholes exploited by big corporations and the wealthy and reducing the deficit,” Senator Chuck Schumer said prior to the reconciliation vote.

Wicker, however, feels the name of the bill is misleading.

“It will be less of an incentive for small businesses, particularly small manufacturers, to create more jobs,” the Mississippi Senator said. “It’s also a huge giveaway to wealthy Americans, who make as much as $300,000 a year, giving them a tax credit for buying an electric vehicle. Most Americans, most American working people, cannot afford an $80,000 Tesla.”

Wicker notes the bill doesn’t give quick relief to Americans at the pump and at the grocery store, prices that Memphians and Mid-Southerners have been facing for months.

“(Gas prices are) not great, but better than they were,” said Connell Hall, a Memphian. “Meat prices, groceries, all that stuff. It’s an inconvenience.”

“It is what it is,” said Memphian Reginald Watson Cleaves. “I have to accept the way it is and just maintain it the best way I know how. (splice) It’s not what you do. It’s how you do what you do.”

The Bill, in it’s entirety is 755 pages long.

Each party will have 10 hours to debate and propose amendments, and there are talks Republicans will have the bill read in it’s entirety during that time.

If passed, the bill will go to the House and potentially the desk of President Biden, who calls this bill a “gamechanger for working families and the economy.”

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