- Bernie Sanders blasted the Democrats’ big climate and health law as “the so-called inflation reduction law”.
- Sanders pointed out that a nonpartisan review found the legislation would not have an immediate effect on inflation.
- Republicans have also slammed the name of the bill.
Senator Bernie Sanders blasted the Democrats’ massive climate and health care bill Saturday night as senators tried to pass a key part of Biden’s economic agenda after more than a year of debate.
“I want to take a moment to say a few words about the so-called inflation reduction bill that we’re debating tonight,” Sanders said shortly after joining Democrats to advance debate on the proposal. “I say so-called because according to the CBO and other economic organizations that have studied this bill, it will actually have a minimal impact on inflation.”
For much of the week, Sanders has been tearing into the $740 billion proposal brokered by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin, which would invest millions in green energy, lower some prescription drugs and impose a 15 percent minimum tax on large corporations.
Sanders’ mention of the CBO, or Congressional Budget Office, is a nod to the partisan watchdog’s finding that the proposal is insignificant, at least in the immediate future, NPR previously reported.
The Vermont Independent intends to introduce amendments to amend the bill, such as a measure that would allow Medicare to pay an amount similar to the Department of Veterans Affairs for prescription drugs. Democrats are likely to resist the changes, as passing Sanders’ proposal could jeopardize the fragile deal.
Republicans have used the CBO’s findings as fodder to cripple the Democrats’ proposal. Some have previously used Sanders’ exact approach to refer to the proposal as “the so-called Inflation Reduction Act”.
Sanders has moved over the elements discarded from Biden’s larger “Build Back Better” agenda to advance the compromise, including universal pre-K, tuition-free community college and home care for the elderly.
The Vermont senator and former presidential candidate added that the legislation contains “good features,” but also criticized the inclusion of a drug pricing provision that will take years to implement. He later called it an “incredibly tepid bill.”
Sanders pressed Democratic senators to address “the major crises facing working families” during his speech.
“If we can’t do that, not only will people continue to hurt and suffer, but in my opinion it’s questionable how long we will remain a democracy,” he said on Saturday.