Republican Mississippi Senators Wicker, Hyde-Smith vote against latest iteration of “Build Back Broke” bill.
With Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie breaking vote in the U.S. Senate on Sunday, the Democrats pushed through the questionably named “Inflation Reduction Act” filled with tax increases, subsidies for the electric vehicle industry, and increased funding for the IRS, among other left-leaning agenda items, in a marathon period of voting over the weekend.
The $740 billion spending package (HR.5376) includes broad aspects of the Green New Deal and more than $300 billion in new taxes on manufacturers and U.S. oil and gas producers. Republicans says it is a reiteration of the nearly $4 trillion Build Back Better plan initially proposed by President Joe Biden last year which failed.
However, this time, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, both Democrats, joined their caucus in seeing the measure through the reconciliation process which bypassed the necessary 60-vote threshold normally required for such measures.
Both of Mississippi’s Senators joined all Republicans in the chamber in voting against the bill.
Senator Roger Wicker joined Y’all Politics ahead of the vote to talk over his concerns with the bill. Wicker said the bill was false advertising from Democrats as it will not reduce inflation but instead make it worse. He also decried what he called a “bailout” of the electric vehicle industry.
“The biggest item listed in the bill is a $313 billion tax on job creators and manufacturers, which are already struggling to survive inflation. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation predicts that this tax alone would reduce our gross domestic product and cost roughly 30,000 jobs. It would also depress worker wages while causing further price increases across the economy,” Wicker wrote in his weekly op-ed.
Senator Wicker pointed out that the bill is “a massive tax hike on job creators and working Americans, all but guaranteeing that we will sink further into a recession.”
Senator Hyde-Smith said the legislation may be a watered-down rehash of President Biden’s bad ideas, but it still has the power to make things worse.
“There is no way hard-working middle-class families won’t end up paying the price for increased taxes and government mandates on job creators, energy producers, and companies,” Hyde-Smith said. “American workers today continue to pay the price for the record-high inflation caused by an unnecessary $1.9 trillion stimulus forced on us by the same folks who are now pushing this reckless, green dream on us. The same people who have taken a recovering economy and pushed it into recession.”
Hyde-Smith went on to say that the legislation has been described by a supporter as “the beginning of a long, forced march.”
“I fear that will become true—a long, forced march toward more economic hardship and more government in our lives,” Hyde-Smith said.
Senator Hyde-Smith shared the following provisions in the bill that Republicans viewed as problematic for the American people and the U.S. economy:
- Negligible effect on inflation, doing next to nothing to lower the 9.1 percent inflation rate.
- Imposes billions in taxes and restrictions on U.S.-produced oil and natural gas even as Americans pay record gas prices and energy prices.
- Hikes taxes an estimated $330 billion overall as the economy has suffered from two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, the established definition of a recession.
- Usurps committee responsibilities to write new farm bills with $40 billion in spending and programmatic dictates.
- Expends $370 billion to jam through Democrats’ radical Green New Deal climate agenda, including tax breaks to wealthy Americans to buy electric vehicles and kitchen appliances.
- Spends $80 billion to make the Internal Revenue Service one of the largest federal agencies in history, with 87,000 additional IRS agents to audit Americans in order to find revenue to pay for the bill.