WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Russ Fulcher voted against passage of H.R. 5376, the Inflation Reduction Act. The bill passed the House with zero Republican votes and every Democrat voting in favor.
The vote follows more than a year of Congressman Fulcher voicing his opposition to the bill in its current and previous iteration, the Build Back Better Act. Despite the name change, H.R. 5376 keeps many of the same provisions found in Democrats’ original reconciliation bill.
Congressman Fulcher commented, “The ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ is as deceptively named as it is dangerous to our country’s economic well-being. Instead of addressing the worst inflation crisis in 40 years, this bill further inflames one of the main drivers of it: federal spending. Worse yet – Democrats are asking the middle class and businesses to pay for that spending with hundreds of billions in new taxes. I voted NO on H.R. 5376.”
Background on the legislation:
- Despite the name, an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated that H.R. 5376 would have “negligible effect on inflation.” Another analysis by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Budget Model described the bill’s effects as “statistically indistinguishable from zero.”
- The bill dedicates nearly $80 billion to the IRS for tax enforcement. A CBO analysis makes clear that under H.R. 5376, audit rates will “rise for all taxpayers.” The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ official tax scorekeeper, stated that more than 75% of the money raised from under-reported income would likely come from those making less than $200,000 a year.
- The Joint Committee on Taxation analysis also estimates only 4-9% of tax revenue raised would come from those making more than $500,000. Democrats voted against Idaho Senator Mike Crapo’s amendment to add guardrails preventing audits for the middle class and small businesses, instead using non-binding legislative language that would do nothing to protect taxpayers from agency abuse.
- The bill contains many provisions that fulfill Democratic agenda items unrelated to tackling inflation. This includes green energy subsidies that are exclusively utilized by wealthy Americans and price controls on prescription drugs that the CBO states will lead to higher prices for new drugs. Congressman Fulcher has instead supported separate legislation, such as the Lower Costs, More Cures Act and the Hydropower Clean Energy Future Act, that promote clean energy and lower prescription drug costs while sparing taxpayers of billions in new taxes.