The day before the United States House of Representatives votes to approve HR 5376, called President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” reconciliation bill, the State Chamber and other chambers of commerce in the United States. Oklahoma signed a letter urging members of Congress to reject the measure.
While supporters of the measure claim the bill will create jobs and reduce taxes, chambers of commerce and industry associations across the country that signed the letter say the measure would hurt economic recovery.
“This is simply the biggest investment in American families in generations,” said House Budget Speaker John Yarmuth, D-Ky., In a statement released Friday morning announcing that the bill on reconciliation had been adopted by the House.
“It will cut costs, lower taxes and ease the increasing financial burdens of daily life in the 21st century,” said Yarmuth. âMillions of good jobs will be created and we will finally give the climate crisis the resources and attention it needs to save the planet. There are hardly any Americans trying to move forward whose life will not be improved by the Build Back Better Act, in the months to come and for the decades to come. “
$ 1.75 trillion bill includes funding for child care assistance, universal preschool education, caps on prescription drug costs under Medicare , investments in affordable housing, builds on the recent expansion of the Child Tax Credit and the Working Income Tax Credit, and a host of other provisions to fight climate change. The administration claims the expenses would be offset by a tax hike for the wealthiest Americans.
Members of the Oklahoma delegation – all Republicans – voted against the measure, which was passed widely along party lines 220-213.
“Although President Joe Biden has repeatedly asserted that his social spending bill will be fully paid, it is not,” said US Representative Tom Cole, R-Okla. “According to the Congressional Budget Office’s non-partisan cost estimate received just hours before the vote, the legislation would not only levy massive taxes on the American people, but it would increase the deficit by nearly $ 400 billion over the past 10 years. And on top of all that, if every program in the bill were made permanent, the real cost would be at least $ 4 trillion.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the legislation would increase the federal deficit by $ 367 billion over the next decade, not counting the IRS savings the bill is expected to provide. The reconciliation bill includes $ 80 billion to increase IRS tax enforcement, allowing the agency to raise an additional $ 207 billion in new revenue over the decade. Factoring in IRS savings, the deficit increase has been estimated at $ 160 billion for the decade.
“Not only would this bill implement trillions of reckless spending and give the government more control over our lives, it also contains a wish list of controversial provisions, including the expansion of the IRS and the granting mass amnesty and taxpayer-funded benefits to millions of illegal immigrants. “Cole said.
âToday’s exercise and passage of the Build Back Better Act was not about making smart, thoughtful political decisions that would better serve the American people,â said US Representative Frank Lucas, R-Okla. âSadly, today’s exercise was all about using gimmicks to dramatically increase the size and reach of the federal government and further burden our children’s children with unforgivable debt …
âAt a time when energy costs are skyrocketing, it is troubling that this bill rejects a holistic approach to energy research and focuses almost entirely on the buzzwords about climate change,â said Lucas. âFurther, the bill ignores the needs of rural America. From rural broadband and producer support to damaging fiscal policy, the needs of family farms are overlooked and left behind. “
The letter sent by chambers of commerce across the United States, including the State Chamber and the Chambers of Broken Arrow, Claremore, Edmond, Poteau and the Tulsa Regional Chamber, said the Bill on the reconciliation would rather than reduce the challenges facing American employers.
“Economic experts agree that upfront spending and transfer payments will add to short-term inflationary pressures, further hurting American families and businesses that already suffer from higher prices for everything from food to energy.” , indicates the letter. “The proposed tax increases, including a new minimum corporate tax on book income, a new tax on share buybacks and tax increases on US business income earned abroad, will hurt the recovery and cripple America as we strive to compete globally, especially with China. . “
The bill aims to pay its expenses with taxes targeted on businesses and households earning more than $ 400,000 per year. The measure would close a ‘Roth backdoor’ tax loophole used to avoid the income and savings limits that apply to Roth individual retirement accounts, and would require people with more than $ 10 million in savings. pension to draw on their accounts each year.
Companies that report more than $ 1 billion in profits to their shareholders should pay at least a 15% tax rate on profits. The bill would impose a 1% excise tax on publicly traded U.S. companies for the value of their share buybacks.
The reconciliation bill would impose a 5% surtax on people with incomes over $ 10 million, and an additional 3% surtax on income over $ 25 million, which applies to 0.02 % of richest taxpayers.
“The bill would also overturn nearly 90 years of labor law to tip the scales in favor of unions by threatening employers of all sizes with civil penalties leading to bankruptcy that do not exist in the current law,” the law says. letter from the chambers of commerce. .
“We urge you to oppose the reconciliation bill as it is currently drafted and instead focus on the challenges that are holding back our economic recovery,” the letter said.
The measure then heads to the Senate, where Democrats and Republicans hold equal numbers and the tied votes can be broken by a vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.