Senator Joe Mnuchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, on Monday rejected the findings of a study that claimed his party’s latest spending proposal would raise taxes on Americans in every income bracket.
“Agree to disagree,” Mnuchin said Saturday when asked about the nonpartisan study shared by Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee.
The liberal Democrat also told reporters that he would talk to fellow centrist, Senator Kirsten Sinema, to convince her to get on board, according to CNN.
With Democrats’ razor-thin 50-50 split in the Senate, each member needs to vote in lock-step for the budget bill to pass it through reconciliation. The process would allow the package to bypass the need for Republican support.
But if the higher fines become a reality, it will put President Joe Biden in an uncomfortable political position, who has pledged not to raise taxes on Americans making less than $400,000 a year.
A study by the Joint Committee on Taxation found that taxpayers making less than $200,000 a year would end up paying $16.7 billion in taxes over a decade.
Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Monday, Mnuchin promised that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 would result in ‘a penny of change’ for US taxpayers who fall below that amount.
‘We tried to put out everything that could be seen to put out the fire of inflation or to fuel it. And there’s nothing,’ he said, according to Fox News.
Senator Joe Mnuchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, spoke to reporters Monday amid talks on his party’s latest attempt to pass a budget bill without Republican support.
Manchin said the bill would not change the taxes of Americans making less than $200,000 a year.
“We’ve looked at pulling out everything that could be seen to put out the fire of inflation or burn it. And there’s nothing,” Mnuchin told the press.
Manchin and Sinema’s opposition derailed Democrats’ efforts to pass more progressive spending bills, such as Build Back Better, as well as voting rights reform and abortion protections.
But all eyes are on the Arizona senator — who was specifically excluded from the latest deal and reportedly blindsided by its announcement.
Cinemas has not yet said whether it will support the bill, but NBC Sunday reported that a source close to lawmakers pointed out that it contains a revenue-generating tax that cinemas have long opposed.
It comes as all eyes on Capitol Hill are on Arizona Senator Kirsten Sinema, who has not yet said whether she will support the bill.
At the same time, Mnuchin went to bat for the package on all five major news networks’ Sunday shows. During those appearances, he also tried to indirectly support the cinema.
Senator Cinema is my dear friend. I have all the respect for her, she’s extremely bright and works very hard,” Mnuchin said.
‘She has an awful lot on this piece of legislation, the way it’s designed to defund Medicare…she’s very involved and I appreciate that.’
He told CNN’s State of the Union that the movie had ‘made a little bit of it and put a lot of effort into it.’
15 per cent of the estimated tax increase package comes from the JCT’s estimated impact of a minimum corporate rate, the burden of which it passes on to workers and shareholders.
It also factors in potential effects on the stock market that affect company shareholders and people dependent on pension and other similar funds.
The JCT said the minimum corporate tax would bring in more than $300 billion over a decade.
While the bill does not directly increase the tax rate for Americans making less than $400,000, the indirect increase estimated by the JCT is enough for Republicans to criticize the White House.
The bill, called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, was discussed behind closed doors by Mnuchin (left) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (right).
This could be President Joe Biden’s last chance to win without Republican support before November’s midterm elections.
GOP lawmakers also cited a budget model by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School that found the legislation would ‘increase inflation slightly through 2024 and then reduce inflation thereafter.’
The package is the latest effort by Democrats to push a significant budget bill through Congress without Republican support before November’s midterm elections.
It provides additional funding to the IRS, green energy subsidies, expansion of Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies, and reductions in prescription drug costs, among other measures.
A Penn Wharton budget model estimates that the $740 billion bill — which includes about $433 billion in new spending — would reduce the deficit by $248 billion.
Details on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
Senators Joe Mnuchin and Chuck Schumer’s new bill would raise $739 billion in new revenue through various proposals:
$313 billion by imposing a 15 percent corporate minimum tax
$288 billion from empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices
$124 billion from stronger IRS enforcement of tax laws
$14 billion from closing the carried interest loophole for money managers
It also includes $433 billion in new spending:
$369 billion in energy security and climate change
$64 billion to expand health care subsidies for the Affordable Care Act
All of this would leave $300 billion to reduce the deficit
But a projection that includes making ACA subsidies permanent would cut the deficit by just $89 billion.
“The more impartial experts analyze this bill, the more likely we will see Democrats trying to sell the American people a commodity bill,” said Senator Mike Crapo, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.
“Non-partisan analysts are confirming that this bill raises taxes on the middle class and doesn’t do any meaningful deficit reduction when you strip away the gimmicks and calculate the full cost.”
‘It is no wonder that this bill, drafted behind closed doors, is being introduced through the Senate at record speed.’
In addition to raising taxes on Americans earning less than $200,000, the JCT estimates that the $200,000 to $500,000 income bracket would raise taxes by $14.1 billion.
Americans earning more than that would see a tax increase equal to $23.5 billion.
After 2031, Republicans claim that the Democrats’ Green Energy Tax Credit would force Americans to ‘bear two-thirds of the additional tax revenue collected that year’, bringing in less than $400,000.
But the GOP-commissioned JCT study ignored the effects that health care and green energy credits and lower prescription drug costs would have on everyday Americans.
Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer negotiated the bill behind closed doors.
Mnuchin, who tanked several previous efforts by his party to pass a budget bill through reconciliation, appeared on all five major news networks’ Sunday programs to promote the legislation.
The reconciliation process would allow Democrats to pass the bill with their razor-thin majority in the Senate and Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.
But that means every member has to vote in lock-step to pass it.
“I agree with my Republican friends,” Mnuchin told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday morning. ‘We shouldn’t raise taxes, and we haven’t raised taxes.’
He also denied that his support for the bill would undermine future efforts at bipartisanship.
‘You can walk and chew gum, you have a balanced outlook. These are the solutions Americans want. We were able to provide these solutions. Let’s not make them political,’ Mnuchin said.