COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The Republican nominee for US Senate for Colorado is criticizing President Biden and Congressional Democrats over the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.
Joe O'Dea calls the legislation a tax on working families and called attention to a Republican amendment to the bill that was defeated. The amendment would've blocked the IRS from using the additional funding in the bill to audit families who earn less than $400,000 per year.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office told GOP lawmakers their amendment would've reduced the bill's revenue estimate.
"It would've hurt the revenue," O'Dea said. "Right now, with the additional audits, they're projecting about $124 billion in additional fees that'll be collected on working Americans."
The CBO's assessment indicated the amendment would reduce revenue projections by $20 billion.
CNN reported Thursday that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sent a letter to the head of the IRS asking the agency not to use its new funding to audit households earning less than $400,000.
The legislation cleared the Senate last weekend on a party-line vote with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie. Democratic leaders used the budget reconciliation process, which doesn't require the 60-vote majority to break a filibuster, to move the bill through Congress.
The legislation calls for $369 billion in new spending on energy security and climate change measures. It spends another $64 billion on a three-year extension of subsidies to lower premium costs for people who buy health insurance on the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces, and another $4 billion on drought mitigation measures in western states. It also reduces the federal deficit by an estimated $300 billion over the next decade.
In addition to increased tax enforcement by the IRS, the bill also raises revenue by imposing a minimum 15 percent alternative minimum tax on large corporations with more than $1 billion in annual income. It levies a 1 percent excise tax on corporate stock buybacks, and it caps Medicare reimbursement on certain prescription drugs.
O'Dea believes that companies will simply raise their prices to make up for the higher tax bills. He also criticized his opponent, incumbent Senator Michael Bennet, for not standing up to his party to try and keep US Space Command in Colorado Springs.
O'Dea compared Bennet to fellow Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin who negotiated concessions from the White House in exchange for their support for the Inflation Reduction Act.
"Michael Bennet should be using his seat to negotiate, compromise, whatever it takes," O'Dea said. "Hold up appointees for Biden."
Senate rules would have likely prevented Bennet from amending the Inflation Reduction Act in order to try and reverse President Trump's decision to move US Space Command to Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
"Michael has been fighting to keep Space Command in Colorado since day one and will continue to do so while representing Colorado in the US Senate," Georgina Beven, spokesperson for the Bennet for Colorado campaign, said in a statement.
"He is also working to build an economy that works for everyone, which is why he voted for the Inflation Reduction Act to lower prescription drug costs for seniors, fight inflation, and reduce the deficit. It's paid for by making billion-dollar corporations pay their fair share in taxes and any suggestion otherwise is false and misleading."
Senator Bennet and the rest of our state's congressional delegation called on the Biden Administration to suspend the decision to relocate to Space Command. The lawmakers forced a review of the decision by both the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office.
The GAO review found that the Air Force did not follow established best practices in the selection process and that the decision lost transparency and credibility as a result. The DOD OIG review found that Basing Office personnel didn't fully comply with records retention requirements making it impossible to accurately support the Air Force's final scores awarded to the competing locations.
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