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FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., wants to know the scope of the impact of Democrats’ recently announced reconciliation bill aimed at reducing inflation and addressing climate change, and asked the Congressional Budget Office to evaluate the impact of the $433 billion legislation.
“The American people and Members of Congress deserve more information before moving forward with this reckless proposal to hike taxes and increase spending. I have several questions about the current fragile state of our nation’s economy and the potential impact of this latest reconciliation proposal,” Graham wrote to the CBO in a letter obtained by Fox News Digital.
Graham specifically asked the CBO whether the U.S. is currently in a recession, given that gross domestic product (GDP) has shrunk for two consecutive quarters this year, as the Department of Commerce announced earlier Thursday.
With inflation at a 40-year high, Graham also asked CBO to specifically analyze “what impact would this legislation have on consumer price inflation” in the next few years.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., questions Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Democrats say the Inflation Reduction Act would decrease inflation by raising an estimated $739 billion in revenue — $433 billion of which would be spent on climate and energy programs and expanding Affordable Care Act subsidies — and help reduce the deficit, according to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. The increase in revenue would come from increased IRS enforcement as well as a 15% minimum corporate tax, something Republicans have been loath to consider.
Graham also asked the CBO to analyze the effect of the corporate tax on business investment and the GDP.
“Time is of the essence in answering these important questions,” Graham said.
“Record high inflation is not just a number from a government agency,” Graham said. “Inflation is about a deteriorating quality of life for everyday working people in South Carolina and across the United States. Inflation negatively impacts families struggling to buy gas, pay for food, and deal with the uncertainties of life. Every cost in the family budget is going ip at an incredible rate. I fear this latest tax and spending proposal will only increase Americans’ suffering.
The CBO provides formal cost estimates for nearly every bill proposed in Congress, but a spokesperson told Fox News they could not provide a timeline for the initial estimate of the bill’s costs.
The Manchin-Schumer agreement includes measures to increase energy independence while also combating the “climate crisis by reducing carbon pollution by roughly 40 percent by 2030,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to Democratic House members.
Manchin urged colleagues in a statement Wednesday “to put away the partisan swords and advance legislation that is in the best interests of the future of this nation and the American people we all represent – not just one party.”
“The question for my colleagues is whether they are willing to put their election politics aside and embrace the commonsense approach that the overwhelming majority of the American people support and will best serve the future of this nation,” Manchin added.
Thomas Phippen is an Editor at Fox News.