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Guthrie’s Floor Remarks on the Democrats’ Tax and Spending Spree Bill


08.12.22

Washington, D.C. — Subcommittee on Health Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY) led Republicans in debate on the House floor against H.R. 5376, the Democrats’ Inflation Expansion Act that will raise health care costs and energy prices for Americans and their families across the country.

Excerpts and highlights from his prepared remarks:

MORE BIDEN INFLATION

“I rise today in strong opposition to H.R. 5376, the mislabeled, ‘Inflation Reduction Act.’

“The is another reckless tax-and-spending spree that is not being accurately portrayed to the American people by Democrats.

“My Democratic colleagues previously said the goal of the so-called American Rescue Plan Act was to beat-back the COVID-19 virus, despite only 9% of funding going to defeating COVID-19.

“The result? Inflation is still near a record 40-year high at 8.5% and specifically costing Kentucky households $7,309 a year.”

FUNDING AN ARMY OF IRS AGENTS

“Now, Washington Democrats are trying to convince Americans that adding more reckless government spending, and raising taxes during a recession will ‘combat’ inflation.

“Even nonpartisan organizations say this bill will have virtually no impact on inflation. And at least half of the expected tax revenue for next year is estimated to come from Americans making less than $400,000 a year.

“And Americans will see more IRS audits because this bill gives the IRS the ability to hire an army of new IRS agents.

“People should absolutely pay the taxes they owe, but instead of an army of IRS agents to potentially shake down middle-to-low-income Americans for money, we need to put our resources into hiring more border patrol officers – to protect the border and stop the flow of drugs, such as illicit fentanyl.”

OBAMACARE SUBSIDIES FOR THE WEALTHY

“More troubling parts of this bill are the health provisions – I strongly disagree with using Medicare to pay for Obamacare subsidies for the wealthy.

“I introduced an amendment to keep Medicare savings in Medicare, which is already at risk of insolvency in the very near future. But unfortunately, House Democrats didn’t even give this amendment the chance to be considered.”

PRICE CONTROLS FOR FEWER CURES

“While Democrats praise government price setting, or as they call it, ‘negotiation,’ they fail to mention that such policies would lead to at least 15 fewer drugs coming to market, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

“Is this the cure to Alzheimer’s or diabetes? It could be.

“They also won’t mention that the nonpartisan CBO stated this bill will lead to higher prices on new drugs.

“Finally, Democrats are voting to give Secretary Becerra a $3 billion slush fund to set drug prices, despite HHS botching their response to both COVID-19, including politicizing guidance that kept schools closed and young children masked in Head Start programs.

“How can anyone support giving billions of dollars and more unrestricted authority to HHS that we know will lead to less cures for brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, and other loved ones?

“Let me be clear: We absolutely need to address the costs of prescription medications. Republicans have a bipartisan bill ready to go – H.R. 19, that could achieve this. But Democrats have repeatedly refused to bring to the floor for a vote.”

DEMOCRATS’ WAR ON AMERICAN ENERGY

“Our country is also facing an energy crisis created by President Biden and Washington Democrats’ war on American oil and gas.

“Despite this, Democrats’ solution is to double down on nearly $400 billion on far-left Green New Deal policies and impose billions of dollars of tax increases on energy that will be passed to consumers.

“Unbelievably, even as energy prices are at historically high levels, they have included a new tax on natural gas and revived a tax on petroleum products that will cost consumer tens of billions of dollars.

“I filed an amendment to exempt our defense bases from this natural gas tax, but again Democrats refused to even consider it.

“Democrats want to create a $27 billion slush fund at the EPA for a ‘national climate bank’, subsidize the solar energy industry that is heavily dominated by the Chinese Communist Party, and even spend $9 billion in rebates for wealthy Americans to ‘green up’ their homes with new appliances and electric vehicles.

“To conclude, this legislation not only crushes hope for patients and their families living with devastating diseases that currently lack a treatment or cure, but also significantly undermines our economic and national security.

“I cannot vote for the more appropriately named Inflation Expansion Act, and I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing.”

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