On Friday, House Democrats passed a massive climate spending bill that will allocate billions of dollars, funded by taxes, towards green energy and environmental justice programs.
The bill, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act, will hike gross taxes by at least $313 billion and add $124 billion on tax enforcement measures to the budget in order to raise money for its provisions, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Taxpayers will be funding a $369 billion package that includes a number of vague programs intending to fight climate change and pursue environmental justice.
One such program says that the Energy Secretary will give up to $6 billion to “underserved communities” to fund neighborhood access and equity grant programs, the bill’s text writes. The Democratic-led package sets aside $3 billion for “environmental and climate justice block grants” to facilitate political “engagement in disadvantaged communities” through advisory groups, rulemakings and workshops.
The bill also states that the White House will spend $1.9 billion in taxpayer funds on neighborhood access and equity programs that will “identify, monitor, or assess … gaps in tree canopy coverage” in “disadvantaged or underserved” communities, according to Section 60501 of the bill.
The bill spends $3 billion on providing the U.S. Postal Service with zero-emission delivery vehicles and also includes a $1 billion federal grant program to allow the purchase and rental of “clean heavy-duty vehicles.” This would include large vehicles such as garbage trucks. Section 50123 of the bill authorizes $200 million in grants for states to teach contractors how to install energy-efficient home appliances like dishwashers and dryers.
Many of these taxes will be impacting tens of millions of American middle class citizens the most, as taxes are expected to increase by $16.7 billion on American taxpayers earning less than $200,000 in 2023 amid record-high inflation and high gas prices.
The bill, which passed the Senate earlier this week, has faced immense criticism from congressional Republicans, some of whom have dubbed it the Inflation Enhancement Act.
“The United States is experiencing a recession and, instead of taking active steps to fix the economic crisis, the Biden Administration and the Democrats are doubling down on the dumb policies that created this mess,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) shared on Twitter.
“Acting alone, Senate Democrats’ reckless bill raises taxes, mandates new regulations, and institutes price hikes, all of which will only worsen inflation,” he added.
“This bill is fiscally irresponsible, needlessly bureaucratic, and damaging to every sector of the American economy from energy to agriculture to pharmaceuticals and manufacturing. It’s going to put a dent in every American’s bottom line while hiring 80,000 IRS agents to make it as painful as possible. Democrats must be held accountable for single-handedly passing the Inflation Enhancement Act.”
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