President Joe Biden seemed unaware Monday of what spending initiatives are in the so-called "Inflation Reduction Act" – a bill derided by Republicans as a "tax-and-spend" push.
Biden, speaking without a prompter to Kentucky flood damage victims for about four minutes, stumbled over his words, failing to articulate the size of last year's $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending bill or what the latest bill before the House contains.
"We've never done this before, but because of a number of things we got done on a bipartisan basis — like a billion, 200 million-dollar infrastructure project — like what we're doing today, we passed yesterday, helping take care of everything from healthcare to God knows what else," Biden told the Lost Creek community in his first public appearance after his rebound case of COVID-19.
The Senate has passed the Inflation Reduction Act in the 50-50 Senate, earning no Republican support and needing Vice President Kamala Harris to cast the 51st tiebreaking vote with just Democrats (48) and independents (two) supporting it.
The House will now vote on the $430 billion spending bill that includes funding for climate-change agenda items.
Republican National Committee response official Kyle Martinsen noted Biden did not mention the bill targeting its titled goal of reducing inflation.
"Biden basically admits the 'Inflation Reduction Act' is not about bringing down inflation," Martinsen tweeted with the video.
Biden noted locals in Kentucky told him he did not have to support the flood victims in the state with federal funds, but he said the country has to come to their aid.
"We're all Americans," he said. "Everybody has an obligation to help. We have the capacity to do this. It's not like it's beyond our control – the weather may be out beyond our control for now – but it's not beyond our control."
Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., denounced Democrats giving moderate Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., special dispensations.
"'God knows what else' means whatever the far left wanted in the bill and all the extra pork Manchin and Sinema needed to get to yes," Tenney tweeted.
The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office have reviewed the tax-and-spend plan and concluded a negative, if any, affect on inflation over the term of the plan.
"The Orwellian named 'Inflation Reduction Act' will do no such thing, as a number of prominent experts and economic policy groups have indicated," Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said. "The Penn Wharton Budget Model, the Tax Foundation, and the Congressional Budget Office all found the bill won't lower inflation and may make it worse. The IRS would more than double in size, unleashing 87,000 new enforcement agents on American families.
And, Johnson added, the "nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation says that 78% to 90% of the revenue raised from misreported income would likely come from those making under $200,000."
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