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Republican Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance is pushing back on comments made by his Democrat opponent Rep. Tim Ryan, who said he’s in favor of a tax cut for the middle class, arguing that Ryan’s record in Congress shows otherwise.
In an interview with Fox News Digital Thursday, Ryan, D-Ohio, said he’s a “lone soldier” among House Democrats pressing for a tax cut to help Americans deal with inflation. He said many of the proposals top Democrats are considering to fight inflation are “not going to have immediate impact,” but that a tax cut will.
Republican Senate candidate JD Vance and Donald Trump Jr. host an event ahead of Ohio’s primary election in Independence, April 20, 2022. (Reuters/Gaelen Morse)
But Vance told Fox News Digital that Ryan’s solution is only temporary, and said he doesn’t think the comments are sincere.
“Tim Ryan is going out there, you know, try to pass off a gimmick to solve a very long-term inflation crisis,” Vance said in an interview with Fox News Digital. “Of course, tax cuts are good and it will help people deal with inflation. But… we need to deal with the underlying fundamental problem. If you give people a tax cut… maybe it puts another hundred dollars in their pocket, but then they’re paying $300 more for gas and groceries.”
“This is a guy who’s never voted for a tax cut. He’s never seen a tax cut to Washington, D.C., that he actually wanted to vote for,” Vance added of Ryan. “And so it’s kind of hypocritical for him to spend 20 years in Congress voting against every middle-class tax cut in this country for two decades, and then to run on cutting the middle-class tax.”
Vance’s comments come early in what’s expected to be one of the most expensive and bruising Senate races in the U.S. With the balance of power in the Senate currently 50-50 and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, leaving his seat open, the battle between Vance and Ryan could decide which party controls the chamber next year.
Rep. Tim Ryan answers a question during the Democratic Senate primary debate on March 28, 2022, at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. (Joshua A. Bickel/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)
Vance, who won a crowded and expensive GOP primary after being endorsed by former President Donald Trump, was not the only person on the Republican side to take exception to Ryan’s comments to Fox News.
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Paduchik released a statement Thursday accusing Ryan of voting against “every meaningful tax cut that has come before him.” The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) said in a press release that Ryan “can’t remember his own record.” It noted his vote for Democrats’ “Build Back Better” bill, which would have increased the SALT deduction cap, an effective tax break for the rich.
Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., at a rally for GOP Senate candidate JD Vance in Newark, Ohio. (Fox News)
But Ryan’s campaign points to a different vote – Ryan’s vote for the “American Rescue Plan” stimulus bill – as advancing a major tax cut for the middle class through the child tax credit.
“Tim’s relentless fight to cut taxes for working families and give Ohio workers a little breathing room is clearly touching a nerve for West Coast millionaire JD Vance,” Jordan Fuja, a spokesperson for Ryan’s Senate campaign, told Fox News. “While Tim was successfully passing the biggest tax break for working families in decades and working to protect Ohio workers against unfair trade practices, JD Vance was cashing in on outsourcing and opposing efforts to get more money in working people’s pockets.”
In his Thursday interview, Ryan specifically called for “the child tax credit extension, earned income tax credit, and then a general tax credit for working people.”
Rep. Tim Ryan appears at a rally with union workers on the eve of the state’s primary elections on May 2, 2022. (Tyler Olson/Fox News)
Vance, meanwhile, said Ryan’s been in lockstep with President Biden, which the Republican alleged undermines Ryan’s argument that he’s fighting inflation.
“At the end of the day… Tim Ryan’s voted with Joe Biden 100% of the time,” Vance said. “The reason why we have an inflation crisis is because of Joe Biden’s inflation policies, specifically around the supply chain.”
“Words are cheap. It’s very easy to criticize Joe Biden,” Vance also said. “It’s very easy to criticize Nancy Pelosi. But he’s a U.S. congressman… If he actually wants to fight back against their job-killing, inflation-causing policies, he could do it. He could just cast a vote.”