(The Center Square) – As the Inflation Reduction Act goes from the U.S. Senate to the House, Pennsylvania’s senators disagree on the bill’s consequences.
As The Center Square previously reported, the Inflation Reduction Act passed in the Senate on Sunday along a partisan vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie. The bill includes $740 billion in new taxes and spending for climate change-related action and more government control of prescription drug prices, among other areas.
The House is expected to act on the bill later this week, possibly Friday.
Pennsylvania’s Senate delegation remains divided. While Republican Sen. Pat Toomey warned of the bill as a danger, Democratic Sen. Bob Casey celebrated it as a grab-bag of benefits.
“Last year, Democrats jammed through trillions of dollars in reckless spending that fueled the worst inflation in 40 years,” Toomey said in a release. “Now, Democrats insist on pouring fuel on the fire with another partisan tax-and-spending spree that will only further exacerbate a recession we’re already likely in.”
He criticized the scope of the bill, which goes beyond a narrow focus on inflation.
“To fund new ‘green’ corporate welfare and give Obamacare subsidies to wealthy Americans, this legislation forces short-sighted tax hikes on American businesses and imposes innovation-crippling price controls on life-saving medicines,” Toomey said. “And contrary to the bill’s name, nonpartisan analysts have confirmed that it does nothing to alleviate the inflation tax Americans are feeling every day. The last thing Americans need are more corporate welfare, higher taxes, and more government spending.”
Casey, however, joined his Democratic colleagues in welcoming the bill, calling it “historic.”
“The Inflation Reduction Act will lower health care and energy costs for families while creating well-paying jobs to transition the U.S. to clean energy and tackle the climate crisis,” Casey said in a release. “It’s a fiscally responsible bill that will bring down our national debt by ensuring profitable corporations start paying their fair share, just as American families have been doing all along.”
Casey focused on the health care benefits of the bill.
“I’m proud to say this legislation also includes a provision I fought for to ensure low-income seniors and people with disabilities are able to afford their medications,” he said. “These are commonsense solutions that build on the promise of the Affordable Care Act and ensure families don’t have to choose between their health and their bank accounts.”
He also noted the bill’s environmental promises.
“It will shore up the U.S.’s place as a clean energy producer and reduce our greenhouse emissions by 40% by 2030, while investing in the coal communities that powered our nation for generations,” Casey said. “Better yet, we’re going to create 9 million well-paying jobs in the next decade to get this done.”
Anthony Hennen is a reporter for The Center Square. Previously, he worked for Philadelphia Weekly and the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. He is managing editor of Expatalachians, a journalism project focused on the Appalachian region.
This article was republished with permission from The Center Square.