WASHINGTON — The two U.S. senators from Nevada have said they support the Democratic health care, climate and tax bill for a possible vote in the Senate this week.
The Inflation Reduction Act includes price caps on prescription drugs, subsidies for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and clean energy proposals that Senator Catherine Cortez Masto said , are essential for Nevada.
A vote on the bill was made possible by a surprise deal reached between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y. and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va. But the vote for U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, remains unclear. Sinema has previously insisted that the tax cuts passed by Republicans in 2017 remain intact and not be repealed.
Democrats are moving forward on the bill under so-called budget reconciliation rules, which require a simple majority. But since the Senate is split evenly, Democrats need every member of their caucus to vote yes to pass the measure.
Cortez Masto, who is running for re-election in November, said she supports the bill because of many elements of the legislation she has long championed.
“I support many of its provisions, because I fought for them,” Cortez Masto told the Review-Journal.
“That’s what I said we should do, which is to reduce the costs for families,” she said. “There’s a prescription drug negotiation, which is the #1 thing I hear in our state.”
Health care and green energy
Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug costs would lower prices for seniors. The bill would also cap reimbursable expenses at $2,000 per year.
The bill also includes a three-year extension of the Affordable Care Act health insurance subsidies. More than 355,000 Nevada residents have obtained health care coverage under the law, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Senator Jacky Rosen has worked to increase the grant extension from two years to three years.
In addition to the health care provisions, Rosen said the package contains tax credits that “will create even more well-paying clean energy jobs in our state as we tackle the climate crisis”.
Rosen has been a strong supporter of Nevada’s growing solar energy industry, which employs more than 6,170 people, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Reduce the cost
The overall bill has been significantly reduced since it was first proposed by Democrats and the Biden administration at more than $2 trillion.
Its price tag is now $485 billion, offset by $790 billion in projected savings and tax revenue from a minimum corporate tax of 15% and increased enforcement of current tax laws, according to the Committee for a responsible federal budget, a non-partisan fiscal body. policy think tank.
Rosen said some beneficial programs for Nevada were lost in the original legislation.
“There’s still plenty more Congress can do to give hard-working families some breathing room, such as lowering the cost of child care, enacting paid family leave, and making housing more available and affordable,” Rosen told the Review-Journal.
Yet passage of the revamped bill is met with strong Republican opposition to the tax code reforms.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Democrats’ “job-killing tax hikes in the midst of a recession they themselves created” would leave families in the middle class bear the economic burden.
“This bill is a huge bag of freebies for far-left environmental activists at the expense of working families,” McConnell said Wednesday from the Senate.
“Who in the right mind is raising taxes on these businesses as we enter a recession? It makes no sense,” asked U.S. Representative Kevin Brady, R-Texas, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Brady said the bill would also “free up 80,000 new IRS officers on family farms and businesses.”
Former Attorney General Adam Laxalt, the Republican nominee challenging Cortez Masto in November, said the bill would not alleviate inflation but rather worsen it.
“Our country is now in a recession that Catherine Cortez Masto helped cause but refuses to acknowledge,” Laxalt said in a statement. “According to multiple studies and credentialed experts, the Democrats’ reckless tax and spending proposal will not lower prices, but raise taxes on Nevadans who earn as little as $30,000 a year, fund hiring of 87,000 IRS agents to further harass Nevada families and fuel our runaway inflation by spending money we don’t have Even Joe Manchin, Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer have all said that the increase taxes during a recession is bad policy. Doesn’t Cortez Masto agree with that sentiment?
“Right now, Cortez Masto has the opportunity to break his 95% voting record with Joe Biden, which is why I’m calling on him to vote NO against this sweeping spending bill. Times are tough and the last thing Nevadans need right now is more taxes, higher inflation and less money in their pockets.
Manchin told reporters that no family earning less than $400,000 a year would see a tax hike and argued that imposing a minimum corporate tax of 15% was only fair for the companies that currently pay less than middle-class workers shell out each year in income tax.
Although the Senate could pass the legislation as early as Thursday, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., told reporters a vote could slip early next week due to the legislation’s size of more than 700. pages and budget rules that would allow Republicans to propose unlimited amendments.