Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Groundbreaking Impact Of The Inflation Reduction Act

August 4, 2022

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor detailing how the Inflation Reduction Act will reduce costs, lower the price of prescription drugs, make energy cheaper, create jobs, and make the largest investment in clean energy ever. Senator Schumer also laid out the contrast with the Republican agenda proposed by Republican Senators Rick Scott and Ron Johnson. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Soon, the Senate will vote on the groundbreaking Inflation Reduction Act. I expect we will have some late nights and extended debates here on the floor. But in the end Democrats are going to make good on our word to pass the Inflation Reduction Act.

For years, many in Washington have promised to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our nation, only to fall short.

But with the Inflation Reduction Act, Senate Democrats will finally hold Drug companies accountable and make prescription drugs cheaper.

Senate Democrats will lower energy costs while passing the largest investment in clean energy ever. Our clean energy proposals will reduce air pollution, prevent thousands of needles deaths a year, and reduce asthma attacks by 100,000 per year! We've all seen kids, often in poor neighborhoods, struggling with asthma because they have so much pollution put in their areas by transportation and factories and whatever. Reducing that by 100,000 a year is amazing.

Senate Democrats will also close tax loopholes and reduce the deficit.

And we will ensure no small business or family making under $400,000 a year will see their taxes go up. Leader McConnell himself conceded yesterday that our proposal “includes no new tax rate increases – that’s true!” Those are Leader McConnell’s words, “includes no new tax rate increases – that’s true!”

Let me repeat again: Leader McConnell concedes that the Inflation Reduction Act “includes no new tax rate increases.”

The American people overwhelmingly support these steps. A recent poll by the well-respected Navigator shows 65% of Americans approve our plan to lower drug prices, keep premiums low, and invest in clean energy.

A Morning Consult poll found that over seventy percent of Americans – over seventy percent – support letting Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices, which our plan will do.

And another group, Data for Progress, found the Inflation Reduction Act has a net approval of fifty one points. Fifty-one points! Wow!

It’s not hard to understand why Americans feel this way: Democrats’ agenda prioritizes them. We prioritize the middle class and working families, instead of those at the very top, God bless them they’re doing fine.

But when Senate Republicans had the majority, they tried to rip health care away from millions of Americans and blew a two trillion dollar hole in our deficit, in order to soak the ultra-rich with massive tax cuts.

Just this week, one Republican called for ending the days that Medicare and Social Security are guaranteed, by turning them into discretionary spending. Do you know what that means when we make things discretionary? Do we want to tell our senior citizens your Social Security which you paid into is discretionary? Well that’s what the Senior Senator from Wisconsin – that’s what Senator Johnson from Wisconsin – wants to do. That is so wrong, but unfortunately it represents a lot of the views of lots of Republicans who don’t want to say it publicly because they know it’s so unpopular.

Back in February, listen to this one, the Chair of the Republican Senate Campaign arm, the junior Senator from Florida, released a platform for raising taxes not on the wealthy but on millions of low-income Americans. You can’t make this stuff up. They want to make your Social Security discretionary but then want to raise your taxes? What kind of bull is that?

Just listen to this tsunami of disastrous proposals: taking away people’s health care, tax cuts for the rich, putting Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block, raising taxes on working Americans. These are just some of the things that Senate Republicans have openly called for recently.

Democrats’ agenda is something entirely different: the Inflation Reduction Act will lower inflation, lower the costs of prescription drugs, close loopholes long exploited by big business who pay no or little taxes.

That is what the Inflation Reduction Act is at its core. It’s what the American people want. It’s what the country so desperately needs. And it’s what Democrats will deliver on in the coming days.

###