Image Credit: Senator Bill Hagerty / Facebook
The Center Square [By Jon Styf] –
Tennessee’s two Senators were part of the bloc of Republicans who voted against a $740 billion new taxing and spending bill that passed the U.S. Senate on Sunday.
The bill, called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, was passed after Vice President Kamala Harris submitted the tie-breaking vote that fell along party lines.
“During a recession and with inflation at a 41-year high, Democrats just passed a bill to spend over $700 billion, increase taxes and decrease energy production,” said Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn. “The Democrats’ reckless tax and spending plan includes nearly $370 billion to fund the Green New Deal, $64 billion for Obamacare, and hundreds of billions in new taxes on American businesses and manufacturers.
“The spending spree also includes $80 billion to double the number of IRS agents — practically giving every American a personalized tax auditor. We should be cutting taxes, not increasing them.”
The bill is expected to make its way to the U.S. House later this week. The bill includes hiring 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service agents, tax credits for manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and green energy technologies and places caps on prescription drug prices.
Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett, District 2, mocked the bill on Sunday, posting “America: “We are hurting” Washington Democrats: “Let’s raise taxes and hire 87,000 new IRS agents.”
The bill’s summary said “There are no new taxes on families making $400,000 or less and no new taxes on small businesses — we are closing tax loopholes and enforcing the tax code.”
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U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty, who voted against the bill, said that it does not address crises that include inflation, high gas prices, rising crime rates and fentanyl use along with border issues.
“Yet rather than do something to address any of these pressing crises, Democrats have instead chosen to ignore them and make matters worse by raising taxes — the burden of which will fall predominantly on the backs of middle-class Americans — amid an economic recession,” Hagerty said. “Today, Democrats made defining choices that showed the American people that the radicalism has no bounds, choosing green energy fantasies and big government socialism over the needs of American families, workers and businesses. Democrats will amble on to their next partisan proposal, but the American people will not soon forget the economic mess they have created.”
The National Federation for Independent business on Monday said that small businesses avoided the “worst-case scenario” of direct tax increases but that they will receive an indirect tax increase with the IRS expansion.
“Inflation remains the top concern of small business owners, but despite the bill title, skepticism remains whether the package will address this top concern and work to reduce inflation,” said Kevin Kuhlman, NFIB Vice President of Federal Government Relations. “As expectations for better business conditions is currently at a historic low in the 48-year history of NFIB’s survey, a better approach for small businesses would be legislative and regulatory certainty, including no direct or indirect tax increases on business, and relief from regulations and mandates that increase the cost of doing business.”
Blackburn sent out a collection of quotes from Tennessee business owners on Monday against the bill.
“We’ve been struggling with so many issues,” said Paola Bravo, President, S. Bravo Systems, Inc. of Lexington, Tennessee, which builds containment systems for the petroleum equipment industry. “Never in Bravo’s history have we had to raise prices 3 times in one year. Every week we receive notice of materials increasing. We struggle with finding people to work. Our P&L shows we are not making profit. It’s all moving so fast that by the time you catch what’s happening, we’ve closed our books for the month and lost.”
About the Author: Jon Styf, The Center Square Staff Reporter – Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonStyf.