Democrats are negotiating a new version of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda that they hope to pass via reconciliation before the August recess. They are pushing this $1 trillion spending package despite new numbers released Wednesday showing inflation increasing to 9.1%, another record high. The package would only cause already historic inflation to spike even higher. Additionally, even amidst a historic economic downturn, this radical reconciliation bill offers only dramatic tax increases, increased regulatory burdens, benefits for the well-connected, more government control of our health care, and a bloated bureaucracy designed to suppress freedom.
Nina Owcharenko Schaefer, director of Heritage’s Center for Health and Welfare Policy, released the following statement on the package’s language enacting government price controls on Medicare’s prescription drug program:
“The Medicare Part D prescription drug program provides affordable coverage with no government price controls. Imposing price controls will damage the program, limit seniors’ access and discourage the development of new cures and treatments for seniors to live longer and healthier lives.
“Government price controls on pharmaceuticals is just the first step in imposing price controls across the entire health care sector, pushing the country closer to a full-blown government-run health care system that will lead to government rationing and limit access to care.”
Preston Brashers, Heritage Foundation senior policy analyst in tax policy, released the following statement regarding the tax increases expected to make it into the package:
“There’s no good time to raise taxes, but it’s an especially bad time when the country may already be in a recession. Yet, President Biden and congressional Democrats are pushing for a reported $1 trillion tax hike as the economy sputters, and everyday items are more expensive.
“Legislators usually avoid tax hikes during recessions, knowing that piling on with new taxes will only further slow the economy and cost American jobs. In 2010, even Sen. Manchin said, ‘I don’t think during a time of recession you mess with any of the taxes or increase any taxes.’ He was right then, but he is now pushing this travesty of a proposal that would increase taxes most on small businesses and increase the burden on tens of millions of Americans.”
Katie Tubb, research fellow for energy and environmental issues at The Heritage Foundation, released the following statement on the devastating climate provisions in the package:
“This isn’t climate policy—it’s old-fashioned cronyism. Hundreds of billions of dollars in tax favors and other government subsidies for renewable energy technologies only shift heavier burdens on American taxpayers to shoulder policy Congress cannot afford.
“These proposals completely ignore root policy problems driving up energy prices and have long been contributing to the energy affordability and reliability problems Americans are suffering. The Biden administration and allies in Congress are not only actively harming Americans with policies to limit domestic production of conventional energy, but are adding insult to injury by forcing Americans to go along with a radical ‘transition’ to energy sources that cost more and offer less.”