Senate Democrats this weekend pushed a revived but scaled-down version of President Joe Biden’s failed Build Back Better agenda — grossly misnamed as the “Inflation Reduction Act” — that included hundreds of billions in new spending on climate change, healthcare, and other issues while also dramatically expanding the IRS and hiking taxes on most Americans.
Senate Republicans unanimously opposed the tax-and-spend measure and at least one of them, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), vowed to make the process of passing the bill utter “hell,” Townhall reported.
Graham and his GOP colleagues made good on that promise. Still, their concerted opposition was not enough to stop Democrats from successfully passing the legislation with a bare majority of 51 votes using the budget reconciliation process to bypass the Senate’s filibuster and its 60-vote threshold.
“It will be like hell”
Sen. Graham and a few of his Republican colleagues held a press conference Thursday to announce their oppositional plans for an expected “vote-a-rama” over the weekend — a process in which unlimited amendments are offered and considered prior to a final vote on a bill — and how they intended to make that process as difficult as possible for their Democratic comrades with tough votes on controversial issues.
“What will vote-a-rama be like? It will be like hell,” Graham said, according to Fox News. “They deserve this. As much as I admire Joe Manchin and Sinema for standing up to the radical left at times, they’re empowering legislation that will make the average person’s life more difficult.”
The South Carolina Republican referenced Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and the fact that they previously had blocked President Biden’s massive domestic tax-and-spend agenda but were now on board in support of the slimmed-down version that Manchin helped negotiate with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Fox News noted that Graham and others also seemed to forecast a plan for retaliation in the event the measure passed by threatening to withhold support from an impending “Continuing Resolution” bill to fund the federal government, in which — supposedly — various “sweeteners” intended to placate the relatively moderate Manchin along with Republicans would be added.
“I will not vote for a continuing resolution that is part of a political payback scheme,” Graham told reporters. “Sen. Manchin, if you think you’re going to get 60 votes, to get to sweeteners that can’t be done in reconciliation, you need to think long and hard about what you’re doing.”
McConnell reveals truth behind misnamed Democratic bill
Townhall noted that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered a floor speech at the start of the vote-a-rama process on Saturday in which he exposed the dishonesty and hypocrisy contained within the measure negotiated by Schumer and Manchin.
“Democrats want to ram through hundreds of billions of dollars in tax hikes and hundreds of billions of dollars in reckless spending — and for what? For a so-called inflation bill that will not meaningfully reduce inflation at all, and will actually make inflation even worse in the short term,” McConnell said. “For a so-called economic bill that will kill American jobs and hammer our manufacturing sector. For a so-called climate bill that will have no meaningful impact on global temperatures whatsoever. For a so-called prescription drug bill that will result in fewer new life-saving medicines and higher prices for the new cures that are invented.”
Unfortunately, despite the efforts of Senate Republicans to derail and kill the bill, Newsweek reported that the estimated $739 billion package was passed along a party-line vote in which Vice President Kamala Harris, in her role as president of the Senate, cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of Democrats in the 50-50 split chamber.
It now remains to be seen if Sen. Graham and his GOP colleagues will fulfill the second part of their promise to make life hell for their Democratic comrades and risk a potential government shutdown by forcing the issue on the imminent continuing resolution funding bill.