With Republicans unanimously opposing the package, Democrats used the fast-track budget reconciliation process to navigate the legislation through both chambers, as they did last year with the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package. Dissociating themselves from the process entirely, Republicans were upset that the bill did little to address inflation and criticized plans for tax hikes and more federal spending. (Many economists agree that it is likely tame inflationalbeit modestly and not immediately.)
“Since I’ve been left with a ‘take it or leave it’ offer from Senate Democrats, with no opportunity to provide input or change the bill, I’m appalled that the majority is once again choosing to just take it,” Representative Tom Cole. of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the House Rules Committee, said at a hearing Wednesday. He added, “It should come as no surprise that not a single Republican will vote for this bill, just as not a single Republican voted for the last reconciliation bill.”
Republicans have trained their anger in part on a proposal to invest $80 billion in the Internal Revenue Service. Democrats say it will strengthen the historically underfunded agency and help crack down on tax evaders and wealthy corporations, but Republicans have called it a heavy-handed attack on lower- and middle-class taxpayers. In response to criticism, Janet L. Yellen, the Treasury secretary, the agency instructed this week to ensure no increase in audits for small businesses or households making less than $400,000.
Others scoffed at the fact that the entire House would not be present to vote on the legislation. As of Friday morning, more than a third House lawmakers had filed the necessary paperwork to vote by proxy — a practice designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that cites “ongoing public health emergency” as a reason to be able to vote in person.
“This proxy ‘vote’ – based on a lie by most involved (signing that it is related to COVID) will be used (illegally) to approve tax increases, harmful energy regulations, funding of IRS agents to harass citizens and a massive increase in ‘big health care’ Cronyism, said Representative Chip Roy, Republican of Texas. on Twitter.
The package will help move the Biden administration toward meeting its pledge to cut emissions in half by 2030, although scientists and climate activists warn that more congressional and executive action will be needed to meet that goal. It aims to use the tax code to incentivize consumers and companies to buy and invest in electric vehicles, solar panels and other renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power, as well as the facilities needed to build more of these items within the country.