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TRANSCRIPT: Majority Leader Schumer Press Call Ahead Of The Anniversary Of The Inflation Reduction Act

New York, N.Y. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today released the following transcript after talking to reporters ahead of the one year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act about how the historic legislation is lowering costs, creating jobs and expanding the middle class:

Leader Schumer: I am really excited and proud to be able to talk to you about the great progress, the incredible progress we've made on the IRA, which was signed into law a year ago.

Before I get started, I just wanted to say my heart goes out to everyone who's been impacted by the fires in Maui and the families who have lost loved ones. I've spoken to Senators Schatz and Hirono about the fires. I committed to them to have the Senate do everything we could to help Hawaii and the Biden administration has requested $13 billion in an additional disaster relief funding in the supplemental. I am fully supportive of that and will do everything I can to get it passed in the Senate. Whether it's a hurricane in the south or east, the flood in the Midwest, the wildfire in the West, Americans can't fail to answer the call when our fellow Americans are suffering from disaster. That's always been the case in this country year after year, decade after decade. And I believe it should continue and hope it will continue.

Now onto the subject of today, the IRA. A year ago, I said at the bill signing that the IRA will endure as one of the greatest legislative feats in decades. I think the legislation, the bills we passed last summer, have made last year, 2022, the greatest Senate since the Great Society. And now one year out, I believe that even more. The best of the Inflation Reduction Act is yet to come. When we crafted the bill, we knew it could be one of the most defining and consequential legislative feats of the 21st century and the largest climate action bill in history. Our watch words as we implement the IRA is it's going to lower costs and expand the middle class by creating millions of good-paying jobs.

And I think the contrast between the Republicans and us is glaring. We are investing, they are investigating. We are focused on creating good-paying jobs, reducing the costs of the American people, and they are focused on investigating and investigating and investigating. That does no good for the American people at all. We welcome the contrast right now at this moment. Yesterday, you had a former President who has been indicted for trying to overthrow the election. And tomorrow you have a President who is celebrating a one year anniversary of significant legislation, very significant legislation that's going to lower people's costs, create millions of middle class jobs, expand the middle class, and, of course, does more to deal with climate change than any other bill in history.

We kept our goal of a 40% reduction in carbon emissions. It was our North star. It guided us through the whole journey. We did this, as well, by finally forcing the ultra-wealthy to pay their fair share. On the climate stuff, you know what's happened, but it is utterly amazing, surprising, and gratifying that the amount of tax reductions when you produce clean energy, wind, solar. We thought it would be 369 billion, it now looks like it's going to be between five [hundred] billion and some estimates say over a trillion. That shows you the enthusiasm and the desire. People putting their dollars on the table to create clean energy.

We have seen huge investments over the last year, $110 billion in clean energy investments as well, 170,000 jobs created across 44 states. These are not any jobs, these are good-paying middle class jobs. When your child gets a job in wind or solar or one of these new green industries making new batteries, you know that's going to be a job that's going to be around a long, long time and that gives the American people a lot of faith and a lot of confidence.

At the same time we lowered costs for the American people. You all know about the $35 Medicare [cap] for insulin, but now private companies, since the bill passed, have followed in the wake, like Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, to lower the price. Many people who buy their insurance on the ACA are now saving hundreds of dollars each month. We're going to cap, starting in January, total out-of-pocket prescription drug costs at $3,000, then dropping to $2,000 in 2025.

And we're doing all this while actually setting a minimum tax on the biggest corporations. All Republicans talk about is deficit reduction, but they don't do it. They just do tax cuts, which increase the deficit. That's what happened during the Trump administration. We actually are reducing the deficit. And in our bill we insisted that for every dollar we spend, we put a dollar away to reduce the deficit. Is it going to solve the inflation problem? No, not all of it, but it will certainly make it less onerous than it was. And the contrast, again, between the Republicans and us is incredible. The 15% corporate minimum tax applies to around 150 companies that are earning a billion dollars in profit. It's going to raise $200 billion in the coming decades. We have a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks and we gave the IRS the resources it needs to provide better service to the taxpayers. Only people over $400,000 will even have any focus here and the billionaires and millionaires, the very wealthy people who have lots of lawyers and accountants to pay minimal taxes, the IRS will be able to find them and make them pay.

If you want to know why the IRA is working, just look at what Republicans are doing. So many of them who voted against it are showing up at the groundbreakings of these new companies that are coming back to America. We had ‘Buy in America’ as a key focus in all of the legislation we passed, including this, as well as, creating good-paying union jobs. So, the best proof that this is a success is all Republicans who are showing up when a new factory opens up, when a new clean energy facility opens up, and they're coming because they know that there are so many good paying jobs coming in across the whole country.

So, one other thing I want to touch on before we go to questions. And that is the funding of the government, which I know is on your mind. So I spoke with Speaker McCarthy at the end of July and I thought it was a good thing that he recognized that we need a CR in September. I'm supportive of that. As you've seen again, the Senate appropriators have worked in a bipartisan way to report all 12 bills out. Every one of them had near unanimity, good bipartisan work. And so, a CR until early December provides time for consideration of these bipartisan bills. We urge our House colleagues to emulate the Senate. The only way we're going to avoid a government shutdown is by bipartisan support in both Houses. You cannot keep the government open if you just want to do it with one party, it just won't work the way our government is structured. And so we hope that our House Republicans will realize that any funding resolution has to be bipartisan or they will risk shutting down the government.