On Saturday, as the Senate debated the legislation that they decided to name the Inflation Reduction Act, the 80-year-old senator said the quiet part out loud.
“Madam President, I want to take a moment to say a few words about the so-called inflation reduction that we are debating this evening,” the senator said as he tore into the legislation that he is, by all accounts, still going to vote for. “And I say so-called, by the way, because according to the CBO, and other economic organizations that study this bill, it will, in fact, have a minimal impact on inflation.”
The Democrats have touted that the legislation would give Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, but that provision does not start for four years at which time only 10 drugs will be covered.
“If anybody thinks that as a result of this bill we’re going to see lower prices for Medicare, you are mistaken. It ain’t going to happen next year, the year after, or the year after,” he said. “And by the way, given the incredible power of the pharmaceutical industry, I would suspect even money that they will figure out a way to get around this provision if it takes four years to implement. So this provision will have no impact on the prices for those Americans. Furthermore, this provision will have no impact on the prices for Americans who are not on Medicare.”
The senator shredded Republicans and Democrats for not being able to come together on legislation that would address the needs of Americans.
“The American people are tired. They are hurting and they are begging their elected officials to respond to their needs,” he said.
“The wages for the average American worker are lower today than they were 49 years ago, and clearly, the inflation of today is pushing the average person even further behind,” the senator said.
Senate Majority Leader and New York Sen. Charles Schumer disagreed.
“The time is now to move forward with a big, bold package for the American people,” he said. “This historic bill will reduce inflation, lower costs, fight climate change. It’s time to move this nation forward.”
But Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell said Democrats “are misreading the American people’s outrage as a mandate for yet another reckless taxing and spending spree.”
He argued that the Democrats “have already robbed American families once through inflation and now their solution is to rob American families yet a second time.”
But, as the call it the Inflation Reduction Act, 230 economists said in a letter that it will definitely not reduce inflation.
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