Virginia Democrats trumpeted the Inflation Reduction Act after the House of Representatives passed the legislation on Friday, putting President Joe Biden on the path to a key win on his goals ahead of the 2022 congressional midterms. At the same time, Republicans mocked the bill’s title and criticized its policies.
In a speech on the House Floor, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA-08) compared the bill to landmark legislation from the country’s past.
“This is our generation’s signature contribution to American history. Our social security act, our civil rights act, even the Bill of Rights,” Beyer said. “The act will lower health care costs, reduce prescription drug prices, and create jobs. We have emphatically put people over politics.”
Beyer is the chair of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee.
No Virginia Democrats voted against the bill Friday, and no Virginia Republicans voted for it. In separate releases, Republicans cited many of the same concerns about policies in the bill: clean energy provisions, expanded IRS enforcement, and higher taxes.
Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09) said in a release, “Under the misleading and inaccurate title of the ‘Inflation Reduction Act,’ Democrats put together a wrongheaded wish list that will raise taxes, unleash the IRS, implement the Green New Deal, and impose cure-killing price controls in medicine.”
Congressman Bob Good (R-VA-05) said in a statement, “Speaker Pelosi hurriedly called us back to Washington because she knows Build Back Bankrupt 2.0 would not stand up to scrutiny by the American people if they waited till after Labor Day to vote on it. Meanwhile, there is an invasion on our Southern Border. The price of food, clothing and rent is still on the rise. Our military is suffering a recruiting crisis because of mandates and misplaced priorities. And, our kids are being sent back to schools who are more concerned about indoctrination than excellent education.”
Democrats praised some of the same policies in the bill that Republicans criticized. A press release from Congressman Don McEachin (D-VA-04) said the legislation would help address kitchen-table issues and “take historic action to combat climate change and advance environmental justice.”
“This legislation will take meaningful steps to lower the costs of health care and prescription drugs, combat inflation and reduce our deficit, and provide robust investments in our continued fight against the climate crisis,” McEachin said. “The Inflation Reduction Act will help everyday Americans save money, access life-saving medications more easily, and provide new employment opportunities. I am proud to vote for this historic legislation and send it to President Biden’s desk for signature.”
“Today’s vote is about siding with the Virginia seniors who are struggling to afford their medications — rather than siding with multinational pharmaceutical companies. Today’s vote is about recognizing the hardships faced by Virginia’s working families as healthcare costs rise — rather than refusing to take any steps to combat high costs. And today’s vote is about America leading the way in responsibly addressing climate change — rather than ignoring the very real national security threat posed by climate change,” Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) said in a Friday press release.
Spanberger said the bill would lower drug costs, address the federal deficit, and increase domestic energy production.
Yesli Vega, Spanberger’s Republican opponent, said in her own release, “Inflation is up and our nation is in the middle of a recession thanks to Joe Biden and Abigail Spanberger’s anti-American agenda. While Virginians sit at their kitchen tables worrying about how they’ll afford gas and groceries next week, Abigail spent her day supporting a $700 billion package that will increase the cost of living.”
Vega said Spanberger was out of touch and wasn’t acknowledging the cost of the legislation to voters.
“The package raises taxes on low- and middle-income Americans, hires 87,000 IRS agents who will target small businesses and families struggling to make ends meet, and forces Green New Deal policies that cripple American energy independence,” Vega said.
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].Photo “Don Beyer” by Don Beyer. Photo “Morgan Griffith” by Morgan Griffith. Photo “Bob Good” by House Creative Committee. Photo “Donald McEachin” by U.S. House Office of Photography. Photo “Abigail Spanberger” by United States House of Representatives. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol Building” by GPA Photo Archive.