Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Monday lambasted the $740 billion spending bill Democrats passed in a party-line vote over the weekend, saying it is “appalling” that President Joe Biden would raise taxes during a recession.
Lee, a member of the Senate’s Joint Economic Committee, told “Fox & Friends” that despite promises from Democrats, the so-called Inflation Reduction Act will worsen inflation by spending money that government does not have.
“This is a terrible bill. Look, they call it the Inflation Reduction Act. This is the most Orwellian name I think I’ve seen in the United States Senate in the 12 years that I’ve been here,” Lee said.
He continued, “Look at what they’re doing. They’re increasing spending and they’re raising taxes while we’re in the middle of a recession and while we’re in the middle of rampant inflation. In my home state of Utah, people are experiencing nearly 15% inflation relative to last year. As a result of that, with that kind of inflation people who are paid 26 paychecks a year, it’s as though Biden policies have consumed four of those 26 paychecks out of every year. That is appalling. It’s doubly appalling that they would spend more and raise taxes in the middle of a recession.”
Democrats say the Inflation Reduction Act is a historic investment in green energy initiatives that will create jobs and make transitioning to renewable energy more affordable. The bill contains nearly $400 billion in tax credits and subsidies designed to bolster the green energy industry.
To offset some of the costs of this spending, Democrats included a 15% minimum tax on annual corporate profits of $1 billion or more, with some exceptions for companies with private equity backing.
The bill also includes Medicare reforms that will allow the government program to negotiate prescription drug prices and set caps on out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors.
But asked about those popular reforms, Lee said that having the government set prices for prescription drugs would backfire.
“What you see when you read the fine print on this is at the end of the day, this is going to lead to fewer lifesaving and life-enhancing and -extending medical cures and treatments,” he told “Fox & Friends.”
“At the end of the day, price controls do not work. They’ve been tried everywhere — it’s like that awful game Mouse Trap we played when we were kids. It looks fun on the TV commercial. It never, ever works. This one’s not going to work,” he said.
Acknowledging that Democrats are probably acting in “good faith” because they believe in big government, Lee nevertheless said that increasing government spending during an inflation crisis is “like pouring gasoline on a fire.”
“We’ve got to stop spending money we don’t have. When we do that, we’ll bring inflation under control,” he said.