Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Inflation Reduction Act

August 2, 2022

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the Inflation Reduction Act, which will lower costs, fight inflation, and secure historic wins in the fight against climate change. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

The Senate is on track to consider and pass the groundbreaking and truly historic Inflation Reduction Act later this week.

I want to thank the office of the Senate Parliamentarian, and all of the committee staff on both sides of the aisle, for their tireless work on the “Byrd Bath” process that is currently underway. All text and CBO and JCT scores have been submitted for review in this process. 

The parliamentarian and her team have dedicated long hours on our legislation, and I think I can speak for all Senators in thanking them for their work. We are on schedule to consider this bill later this week.

The more that people learn about what’s in the Inflation Reduction Act, the more they find reasons to praise the bill, and the more absurd the Republican attacks sound.

This morning, a group of 126 leading economists—including seven, seven Nobel Prize winners, three former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers, two former Treasury Secretaries—wrote a letter to Congressional leaders calling for swift passage of our bill.

They found that our bill “will fight inflation and lower costs for American families while setting the stage for strong, stable, and broadly-shared long-term economic growth.”

That’s seven Nobel laureates, three former Chairs of the CEA, two former Treasury Secretaries.

Let me read it again: this bill “will fight inflation and lower costs for American families while setting the stage for strong, stable, and broadly-shared long-term economic growth.”

Another analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget—hardly a liberal organization—began with the headline that “The Inflation Reduction Act will help fight inflation.” They believe it’s aptly named. It is.

The headlines go on and on, and speak for themselves:

The New York Times: “Analysis Deems Biden’s Climate and Tax Bill Fiscally Responsible”

CNN:  “Top Economists Say Democrats’ Health Care And Climate Package Will Put ‘Downward Pressure On Inflation”

The Hill: “Economists say reconciliation bill will lower prices for all Americans”

These are just a few examples out of many. They join right alongside other voices like former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, the Republican Leader’s favorite inflation expert, who said our bill is “directly fighting the rate of inflation.” 

And they join voices like that of Mark Zandi, Moody’s top economist and former advisor to Senator John McCain, who said that our bill will have a “material beneficial economic impact” and “will push inflation lower.”

Taken together, these voices say the same thing: the Inflation Reduction Act will lower costs, fight inflation, and secure historic wins in the fight against climate change.

Now, Republicans have spent the last few days launching the same stale, predictable, and alarmist attacks they use against virtually any democratic proposal, regardless of the facts. They’ve claimed that our bill is some crazy tax hike for the vast majority of Americans.

Balderdash! This is the Republican bunk. They want to only help the rich when it comes to taxes and when we do something against the rich, they howl.

Our bill does not increase any taxes for small businesses and families making under $400,000 a year.

Let me say that again: our bill does not increase any taxes for small businesses and families making under $400,000 a year. What we will do is close loopholes that the largest businesses in this country have long abused to bring their tax rate down, sometimes to nothing.

If nurses, if firefighters, if teachers pay their fair share of taxes, so too should mega-corporations. Americans don’t think that’s crazy, it’s just common sense.

Here is the truth: Republicans will say anything to smear our proposal because they know they’re on the wrong side of many of the issues our bill would solve.

Republicans know they are on the wrong side of taxes, after the American people rejected their sweeping boondoggle of a tax bill that overwhelmingly went to the wealthy and the largest corporations.

Republicans know they’re on the wrong side of health care and prescription drug reform: after spending years trying to repeal health care while cozying up to big pharma, Republicans don’t have good answers for a bill that will finally bring drug costs down.

And Republicans know they are on the wrong side of the climate debate: this bill is going to make the biggest investments in clean energy ever, which will not only reduce emissions by roughly 40% but will also help prevent nearly 4,000 needless deaths and 100,000 asthma attacks each year.

Republicans, who have bowed down for years to our nation’s biggest polluters, know they have little credibility with the American people when it comes to climate.

The American people do not want to hear the same fear mongering over and over from Republicans. They actually want us to take steps to bring costs down. They want us to preserve our planet for future generations. They want to make sure that everyone plays by the same rules on taxes and everything else. And they want to have high quality health care without worrying about going bankrupt.

The Inflation Reduction Act is going to take meaningful steps on all these issues. And Democrats will pass the bill in the coming days. 

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