Schumer and Manchin’s Reconciliation Bill Leaves Americans Broke
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) have come to an agreement about what should be included in the upcoming reconciliation bill. The reconciliation process is a way to fast-track fiscal legislation by lowering the vote threshold to 51 votes needed to pass. With the Senate split 50-50, Senator Schumer needs to make sure that all the Democrat Senators vote in favor of this legislation and convince at least one Republican to ‘cross the aisle’ and support it as well. One might think that influencing the votes of the other party would be the hardest part, but as we have seen recently, Democrats have some disagreements within their own party to contend with first.
Last year, Democrats tried passed a slew of spending bills such as COVID relief funding, the Build Back Better Act, infrastructure, appropriations, and reconciliation bills. The enactment of several of these huge spending bills spurred the inflation crisis, and others were thwarted by the lack of support in the Senate. Senators Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) voiced concerns with the original Build Back Bigger/Broken/Biden bill regarding its impact on surging inflation, rising tax rates, higher consumer prices, and even the absence of the Hyde amendment, which prevents taxpayer funding for abortions. After the embarrassing inability to get Manchin and Sinema to support the BBB earlier this year, Sen. Schumer let Sen. Manchin take the lead on the current reconciliation bill.
In true Orwellian fashion, the reconciliation bill has been titled the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Democrats are hoping that the name of the bill will mask its sinister contents. Liberal supporters say the bill will raise $739 billion in new revenue over the next ten years and reduce the deficit by over $300 billion. However, those reductions will be outspent by the other provisions in the bill — leaving Americans with the tab.
In previous years, both Senators Schumer and Manchin were opposed to raising taxes during recessions. In 2008, Sen. Schumer said:
“If we’re in a recession and we’re in a difficult economic time, I don’t think Sen. Obama or anyone else is going to raise any taxes. You don’t want to take money out of the economy when the economy is shrinking.”
Just two years later, Sen. Manchin echoed the same sentiments:
“I don’t think during a time of recession you mess with any of the taxes or increase any taxes.”
Yet, both members reportedly included provisions that would increase taxes by $450 billion over the next ten years. Some of this would come from a 15% minimum tax on large corporations. Increasing taxes on businesses only hurts consumers because companies will raise the costs of their goods and services, leaving those least able to afford it hurt the most.
The Joint Committee on Taxation recently released their analysis of the reconciliation bill and the impact it will have on taxpayers. In 2023, Americans making less than $10,000 per year would see a tax increase of 0.3%. For those making less than $200,000, taxes will increase by a cumulative $16.7 billion. Individuals and families who make between $200,000 and $500,000 would shell out $14.1 billion. They predict that at least half of the revenue raised from the reconciliation bill will be from those earning below $400,000. This is ironic since President Joe Biden claimed he would never raise taxes on those specific earners.
Being from West Virginia, Sen. Manchin has navigated the left’s climate change agenda carefully. The heavy hand of the federal government has wreaked havoc on the state’s coal industry for decades. However, the Senator seems to be pushing the line in this bill. The topline spending for so-called climate change programs is $369 billion including tax breaks for solar, electric car, and clean energy initiatives. Additionally, it would raise leasing prices on public lands for the oil industry which will reduce American energy independence.
Another problematic section of the bill is the allocation of $80 billion for new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) funding. A portion of that funding would be used to enforce tax laws to recover money from tax evaders. However, the IRS has used that money in the past to target conservative organizations. Just this week, 40 House Democrats sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig asking for an investigation into Family Research Center’s tax status and all other “political” organizations that have obtained or are seeking church status. This is a typical strategy by liberals to silence conservatives!
As the text of the reconciliation bill has not been published yet, we do not know the full extent of the mischief within. Even Sen. Sinema had not seen on the bill when the agreement was announced, causing Sen. Manchin to quickly backtracked on the bill’s finalization and has been forced to negotiate with Sen. Sinema on certain provisions.
A vote on the reconciliation bill is expected late this week. The Senate will engage in what they call a ‘vote-a-rama’, an extended session in which numerous amendments are voted on over several days. After the bill is amended, Majority Leader Schumer is likely to offer one final ‘wrap-around’ amendment that will replace the amended bill with a new bill that includes only the past amendments that Democrats endorse. This means that even if a conservative amendment is added during the vote-a-rama process, it may still be stripped by the wrap-around replacement. Eagle Forum will monitor the reconciliation bill, support strengthening and oppose all efforts that increase the federal government’s power and spending.