Saturday, August 13, 2022

OK members of Congress blast Democrats' Inflation Expansion Act

Get ready for the onslaught of 87,000 new [some armed?] IRS agents, along with more inflation. Comments from each of Oklahoma's 5 U.S. Representatives on the appalling legislation below:

Hern votes against tax hikes and Green New Deal spending

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01) released the following statement after voting against the Democrats’ Income Reduction Act.

“I’m in DC today to cast my vote against the largest expansion of the federal government in our history,” said Rep. Hern. “I’ve heard from thousands of Oklahomans this week, and it’s unanimous: no one wants this bill. No one believes the White House’s lies, because we can read it for ourselves and see that this legislation will raise taxes on Americans in every tax bracket. Never in our history has the federal government responded to a recession by raising taxes. It will only increase the hardships on Americans, with 87,000 new IRS agents to target middle- and working-class families. People making $300,000 a year will get massive tax credits to purchase luxury electric vehicles, while the Biden Administration continues to ignore all-time-high gas prices. There is nothing redeemable in this legislation.”

Rep. Hern argued against the Senate Amendment to HR 5376 on the House floor earlier today.

Remarks as prepared:

I rise today in strong opposition to the bill before us today.

Never in our history has the federal government responded to a recession by raising taxes on Americans. It’s unthinkable.

Nearly everything our colleagues across the aisle have said about this bill has been proven false. I’ve noticed they’ve stopped calling it inflation legislation, because they know it’s not true. They’re hailing it as a climate and tax plan. I’ll give them that, cause this legislation will raise Americans’ taxes and give that money to hand-picked socialist “green” companies. I wouldn’t be proud of that if were I you.

What this bill absolutely will not do is reduce inflation. In fact, even liberal economists are warning it will do the exact opposite.

I’ve received thousands of phone calls, text messages, and emails from my constituents over the last week pleading with me to stop this bill from passing. They understand what half of this chamber does not… when the federal government spends more, American families have less.

I find nothing redeemable in this legislation, and therefore urge my colleagues to give this a resounding no.

Lucas Opposes Democrats' Irresponsible Reconciliation Bill

Cheyenne, OK (Friday, August 12, 2022) – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate Amendment to H.R. 5376- the Inflation Reduction Act. Lucas opposed the legislation.

“For 18 months the irresponsible spending and regulatory policies of Washington Democrats have eroded the savings and sense of stability for millions of families across Oklahoma and the rest of the country. In March of last year, Washington Democrats took the same legislative approach as they are now- against warnings of independent experts and bipartisan economists- and launched the American economy into the worst inflation in 40 years. Unfortunately for the American people, Washington Democrats’ solution to record-setting inflation is spending hundreds of billions more and increasing taxes on American businesses.

“As misguided as the bill is, the Inflation Reduction Act will not reduce inflation. In fact, according to economic analyses and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the bill will have little to no impact on inflation. The bill, however, will raise taxes and fees on Oklahoma oil and gas companies, increase energy prices for consumers, set an irresponsible precedent for farm bill programs, thwart medical innovation, and raise taxes on American companies who serve as generators of economic opportunity and growth.

“Oklahomans and the American people have been clear about their priorities. My fellow Oklahomans want solutions for inflation. I am absolutely opposed to this deeply misguided bill which will only further burden Oklahoma’s families and our economy. Just as I said after Washington Democrats passed their first reconciliation bill, this is the wrong plan, at the wrong time, and for all the wrong reasons.”

According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report and University of Pennsylvania Wharton Budget Model analysis, the Inflation Reduction Act “would have a negligible effect on inflation” and “no impact on GDP by 2031”.

The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the Inflation Reduction Act will increase the average tax rate for nearly every single income category, including Americans making less than $100,000 per year.

An analysis by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation of the book minimum tax (the 15 percent minimum tax on corporations) in the Inflation Reduction Act would overwhelmingly impact U.S. manufacturers, exacerbating supply-chain disruptions and decreasing U.S. jobs and investment.

The CBO confirmed the Inflation Reduction Act will increase drug prices.

The Inflation Reduction Act imposes energy taxes, including the Methane Emissions Fee, which increases fees and taxes on companies that support oil and gas production, including transmission, processing, storage or gathering facilities. 

Bice Opposes Democrats' Partisan Budget Bill

Washington, D.C. (August 12, 2022) — Today, Congresswoman Bice voted against the Democrat’s reckless and partisan reconciliation package. This legislation raises taxes on corporations and American families, provides $80 billion to the IRS, and contains numerous green new deal provisions, while further hampering domestic oil and gas production.

Congresswoman Bice issued the following statement:

“In the midst of a recession, crushing inflation, and historic gas prices, Democrats forced a partisan bill that will increase taxes on Americans and push their far-left agenda. The so-called ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ will do nothing to reduce inflation. Instead, it will hike taxes by $16.7 billion for those earning less than $200,000. On top of this, the bill will provide $80 billion to the IRS to fund 87,000 new agents for heavy-handed enforcement and audits targeting everyday taxpayers. That’s more employees at the IRS than the Pentagon, State Department, FBI, and Border Patrol combined. The last thing the American people need is new taxes and more failed policy. For these reasons, I strongly opposed the Democrat’s reconciliation bill.”

Cole Opposes Democrats’ Inflation Expansion Act

Washington, D.C. (August 12, 2022) – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) made remarks on the House floor during debate on the rule providing for consideration of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 5376, a partisan tax-and-spend reconciliation package. Cole will oppose the legislation during the final vote later today.

Mr. Speaker, it's worth asking why we're here at all right now. Quite frankly, we face no emergency. The government is not about to shut down. Nothing in this bill is actually going to take effect in the immediate future. We are simply here because my friends on the other side want to create the illusion that they are doing something positive before the midterm elections.

I think they also fear that the American people will actually have a chance to look at this monstrosity over a month and their own members will have to go home and give an accounting for what they have done here. Sadly, we are going to rush this through without appropriate consideration.

It is worth noting, Mr. Speaker, 180 of our own members, plus, are not even here. They are not here because they have submitted a declaration because we are in a “health emergency.” What health emergency? We have vaccines. We have therapeutics. The airports are full of people. People are traveling pretty easily. But 180 members won't be here. Both parties. Again, that's a sad commentary on the manner in which we're operating this House.

This bill comes before us in a process that I can only describe as lousy. No committee of jurisdiction in either the Senate or the House has dealt with this bill as written. No House member has had any meaningful input in this legislation. The reality is this bill was negotiated in backrooms by two Senators and rammed through the Senate on a partisan vote. My friends have picked it up without changing it, without considering it and are going to ram it through here today. That's a process that they ought to be embarrassed by.

There are two reasons to oppose the legislation itself, Mr. Speaker. The first is simply because of what is in it. The Democrats are repeating the mistake they made last year. They are going to try and spend their way out of inflation, a novel approach. We saw how well that worked when they rammed through the American Rescue Plan under reconciliation. It is going to work exactly the same way again.

And on top of that, we are going to try and tax our way out of recession. That is a novel, new economic idea. Raise taxes while you're in a recession, something other administrations of both parties have always rejected as a bad idea. But my friends feverishly intent upon action, are going to do it here.

We are going to do one thing and I guess that could start immediately. We are going to hire, as my friend from Texas suggested, 87,000 new IRS employees. Only my friends on the other side think that's a good idea. Nobody thinks 87,000 new IRS agents are going to do anything to help us with inflation, or to help us with the problems that we have in energy, or to help us in any meaningful way, improve the economy or the lives of the average American.

But what is not in this bill is another reason to vote against it. It does nothing to deal with inflation. Indeed, during the Rules Committee, we submitted a letter from 280 economists that said, this is going to make it worse, not better. 280. They can rely on Mr. Summers and rely on the 280 economists from both parties and every point of view that said this is not going to work when it comes to inflation. There is nothing in this bill is going to increase energy production in the United States. Nothing at all.

And finally, there's nothing meaningful, as my friend from Texas pointed out, that will actually reduce the deficit. That deficit doesn't begin to come down until seven years from now under this legislation, which assumes everything stays the same for seven years. That is not going to happen.

So, for those reasons. Mr. Speaker, we ought to reject this rule. We ought to submit this bill to the appropriate committees of jurisdiction in this House, allow them to do their work and continue to negotiate with the Senate. There is no emergency. There is no hurry here. We do not need to ram this through.

So, for that reason. Mr. Speaker, I urge the rejection of the rule and the rejection of the underlying legislation.

Mullin Votes Against Democrats’ Inflation Expansion Act

(Washington, August 12, 2022) Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) released the following statement after voting no on the Senate Amendment to H.R. 5376, the Democrats’ Inflation Expansion Act.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,” Mullin said. “House Democrats have passed another tax and spend spree that will drive our nation further into a recession and make American energy less affordable, less reliable, and less secure. The provisions in this bill total $599 billion worth of tax increases, including billions on small business owners, seniors, energy producers, and middle-class Americans. This is a dangerous bill for Oklahoma and it’s a dangerous bill for our country.”

The over $700 billion package includes:

  • Over $400 billion in Green New Deal provisions, increasing America’s reliance on China.
  • Socialist drug pricing controls, limiting the number of live-saving drugs on the market.
  • $80 billion to the IRS, hiring 87,000 agents to spy on Americans.
  • $54 billion increase to the national debt.
  • $17 billion worth of tax increases on Americans making less than $200K.
  • $53 billion tax on small businesses.
  • $6.5 billion natural gas tax, raising energy costs for working class Americans by 17 percent.


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