Stefanik plans ‘no’ vote on Inflation Reduction Act
Democratic opponents Castelli, Putorti say they support legislation
North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik says she will vote against the Inflation Reduction Act when the House takes a vote on the bill package today because she believes it will have the opposite effect on inflation as its name suggests.
Stefanik, the Republican Conference chair, the third-most powerful member of the House GOP, has said she will vote against this bill because she believes it will “raise taxes and crush hardworking families and small businesses.” She called the bill “radical.”
“While every American family is already suffering from historic inflation as a direct result of reckless spending by one party Democrat rule in Washington, Democrats are doubling down on their failed agenda to spend billions more and increase inflation,” Stefanik said in a statement to the UK-based tabloid DailyMail.com earlier this week.
Matt Putorti and Matt Castelli — the two Democratic candidates seeking their party line in the Aug. 23 primary election to be the major party opposition to Stefanik in the Nov. 8 general election — both said they support this bill and would vote to approve it if they were in the House.
“NY-21 families deserve a representative who fights for them, and if I were in Congress today, I would support the passage of this deal,” Castelli wrote in an email to the Enterprise.
Stefanik, a Republican, and her two Democratic opponents have vastly different views on this bill and even have completely opposite views on what it would do.
Castelli believes the Inflation Reduction Act is “a significant opportunity for NY-21 and promises to reduce costs for hardworking everyday American families and seniors” by “reducing the federal deficit and fighting inflation.”
“The Inflation Reduction Act will provide families and small businesses with needed breaks, reduce the deficit to fight inflation, and reign in corporate greed,” Putorti wrote in an email to the Enterprise. “My family owns a small grocery store, and I’ve seen the impact inflation has had on their customers, as well as our local businesses and economy.”
Stefanik has said on social media that she feels this bill will do the opposite of what its title claims it will do.
“The Far-Left Democrats’ Socialist tax and spending bill does NOT reduce inflation, it in fact turbo charges #BidenInflation,” Stefanik wrote in a tweet.
For months, Stefanik has consistently tweeted that “Inflation is a tax on all Americans.”
Stefanik did not respond to numerous questions the Enterprise posed to her in an email. Her senior advisor and campaign Executive Director Alex deGrasse sent a statement from himself in response to the Enterprise’s questions.
DeGrasse reiterated what Stefanik has said about the bill — that she believes it will increase taxes and inflation on “hardworking families, small businesses and farms,” that Democrats caused inflation and that it spends too much money.
Stefanik did not respond to an Enterprise question asking if the legislation proposing $740 billion in new revenue — half to be funded by new taxing structures for large corporations, many of which pay little to no federal taxes — along with the $430 billion in new spending means the larger amount of revenue negates the new spending or not.
Stefanik has cited the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office in saying the Inflation Reduction Act will not have an effect on inflation. The University of Pennsylvania, using its Penn Wharton Budget Model and the CBO study, determined “the impact (of the Inflation Reduction Act) on inflation is statistically indistinguishable from zero for either estimate.”
This bill is highly divisive down party lines.
The bill faces a tight vote in the House, as it did in the Senate. In the Senate, which is split 50/50 between Republicans and Democrats — and independents who caucus with Democrats — the vote on this act came to an exact tie. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote to pass the bill through the Senate.
Democrats have a five-seat majority in the House. So if five Democrats vote against the bill, it would fail.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said her party plans to pass the act and send it to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
Stefanik did not respond to Enterprise questions asking if she believes Democrats are purposefully or incidentally raising inflation.
Stefanik has framed this bill, which includes a proposed 15% corporate minimum tax on companies making more than $1 billion annually, as raising taxes average Americans. She did not respond to Enterprise questions asking what she thinks about the fact that some of the largest companies in the country don’t pay any or pay very low amounts of federal taxes.
“Implementing a corporate minimum tax will ensure some of the largest American corporations finally begin to pay their fair share,” Putorti wrote.
The NY-21 candidates’ beliefs about other provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act also differ vastly, including its provision that would allow the federal government to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices with manufacturers.
“This bill implements Socialist prescription drug price-fixing schemes that will negatively impact seniors, patients, those with rare diseases, and their families,” Stefanik wrote in a tweet.
Stefanik did not respond to Enterprise questions asking how exactly the Medicare changes would hurt seniors and people with rare diseases.
Castelli said he liked the bill’s efforts to reduce healthcare and prescription costs for seniors and working families.
“Allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices will lower out-of-pocket costs for NY-21 families and seniors,” Putorti wrote.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan think tank, found that the Inflation Reduction Act “will reduce the cost of prescription drugs that are covered by Medicare, thereby saving money for both the Medicare program and its beneficiaries, and improve Medicare drug benefits.”
Stefanik and several GOP colleagues have introduced a bill stylized as the “REIN IN Inflation Act” as their response to inflation. This act would require the president to provide inflation estimate statements with every executive order they sign with a $1 billion or more effect on the country’s annual budget.
This would not have a direct impact on inflation, including the current spike in prices, but Stefanik says it would hold leaders “accountable” for their decisions in the future.