Sunday afternoon, the U.S. Senate passed the Democrat-sponsored “Inflation Reduction Act” in a partisan 51-50 vote.
As the upper chamber of Congress is evenly divided on party lines, Vice President Kamala Harris provided Democrats with the tie-breaking vote.
The Senate’s majority party passed the bill through the chamber’s reconciliation process, which allowed Democrats to clear procedural hurdles by avoiding the standard 60-vote threshold typically required to pass such legislation.
Moderate U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) paved the way for the sweeping health care and climate bill to pass the body by striking a deal with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) early last week.
After the bill’s passage, U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) released statements lambasting progressive measures included in the spending package.
Alabama’s Senate representation offered numerous amendments to the package in an attempt to incorporate conservative measures into the bill’s final version. However, the voting marathon concluded with neither senators’ amendments being included in the package.
According to Shelby, who serves as vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the bill would hold adverse financial consequences for working-class Americans.
“The so-called ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ will result in increased costs for hardworking Americans, further crushing families’ budgets and savings,” proclaimed Shelby. “Democrats are spending $870 billion to raise taxes and swell the cost of living while the American people are enduring record-high inflation and a declining economy. This makes no sense.”
Alabama’s senior senator lambasted Democrats’ efforts to bolster the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by providing $80 billion to the nation’s chief tax collection agency over the course of a decade.
“Right now, Congress should be focused on reducing costs and growing economic investment, not spending $80 billion to double the size and scope of the IRS and hundreds of billions of dollars to combat climate change,” added Shelby. “The policies created in this legislation are not what Americans want, nor are they what Americans need. I am disappointed that my Senate Democratic colleagues supported this legislation knowing it fails the American people.”
Tuberville took exception to his Democratic colleagues’ failure to include Republican-offered amendments to the costly spending package.
“Democrats have once again put their own agenda ahead of helping hardworking Americans. This latest tax and spend spree will further increase inflation and raise taxes on families at a time when they can least afford it,” declared Tuberville. “I worked with my Republican colleagues to offer commonsense amendments to this package that would cut taxes, slash regulations, stand up to China, and bolster our national security.”
“Unfortunately, Senate Democrats shot down these proposals and forced through a bill that does nothing to improve or grow our economy. Instead, their bill provides funding for their Green New Deal policies, sends American businesses overseas, and doubles the size of the IRS, giving the agency more manpower to go after small business and the middle class,” concluded the freshman senator.
The bill is expected to pass the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, which is set to take up the legislation on Friday.
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL