tv American History TV CSPAN August 6, 2022 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
incentivizes more i.v. drugs and fewer oral drugs because i.v. drugs get more time. oral drugs get less time, so the incentive is to set up i.v. drugs instead for the during that companies. fo -- for all of us who would prefer taking a pill, democrats prefer i.v. drugs instead of oral drugs, in the future you are taking an i.v. instead of a pill, it's because of the inflation reduction act. medicare has insolvency by 2028. this inflation reduction act takes the savings from this new prescription plan from medicare, it doesn't stabilize medicare which is going insolvent in six
years. it takes it out of medicare and moves it over to the affordable care act subsidies. it literally takes money designed for 76-year-olds on a fixed income and gives them to 26-year-olds and their family making $200,000 a year. that's the inflation reduction act of 2022. by the way, did i mention again those subsidies land right before the election this fall. this bill is three-quarters of a trillion dollars that not a single person in this chamber has read, 755 pages of it, that came out a few hours ago. the media, who also hasn't read this bill, continues to be able to talk about what a great plan it is for inflation reduction. they continue to praise the bill, though they've read the same things, it doesn't reduce
inflation, it doesn't reduce the deficit. they joined in the chorus talking about the beauty of the emperor's new clothes. i'm willing to say what a lot of people in this room know in their gut but they're afraid to say, it doesn't reduce inflation, it doesn't reduce the deficit, the emperor has no clothes. let's reject this bill. i yield the floor. mr. rubio: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from florida's recognized. mr. rubio: i yield myself 11 minutes from the bill time. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. rubio: i got a chance to go home at some -- some close family friends had a loss in their family in the last three days. i got this e-mail that my
8:00 a.m. flight is canceled so i had trouble getting here this morning but able to get here in time for the vote. so i had a chance that morning to do two things. the first i had a chance to take my son to football practice, it's that glorious time of year when high school football is going, and i had a chance to go to this cuban bakery that is close to my house, i don't get to go often, and i really like to go because i get to hear people talking, people on planet earth and not people in the bubble that is washington. you get to hear people talk and one of the first things i heard was about two ladies in line and they were talking about how difficult it had become, it's back-to-school shopping time and even with the tax-free holiday week in florida, i could hear them talking about how much more expensive it was to buy and how the list was longer and
everything costs more, pencils and everything. i could hear what they were talking about. a few minutes later, a couple of guys come in, are you taking the boat out? no, a few minutes later, someone else came by and he was talking about the recent history reports on the news, we have a massive migration crisis. we had this weekend six or eight border patrol engagements, people getting on rafts. and it struck me as i was sitting there and i'm reminded of this every time i go home, but it struck me that we like to talk about divided politics in america, by i think we make a huge mistake that it is as simple as between republicans and democrats or between the left and right. the polarization in american politics, the device ition, the
shorp -- division, the sharpest division in politics is the priorities of millions and millions of people who live paycheck to paycheck, the working class heroes of our country we always looked up to that makes us different from the rest of the world. between the things that matter to them and what the people that run this place, i don't just mean the senate, but politics in general are focused on. there is a universe of difference between the stuff we spend time voting on and talking about and arguing about and what people are worried about on a daily basis. i know that you think everyone is glued to their tv and twitter, they're not. they might know something is going on tonight, maybe, but most people are worried about their every day life. what they would expect is we're here working on the things that matter to them. people, by the millions, registered in both political
parties, people that voted for biden, people that voted for trump, what they're worried about is that the streets in many cities in this country are turned over to criminals, there are entire categories of crime they won't even prosecute them. even in florida, a state where we do prosecute people, you go to a cvs or walgreens, everything is locked up because people are stealing stuff. is it -- it is a spirit of widespread criminality. that's what people are worried about. they're worried about becoming a victim of a crime because some animals are running loose, terrorizing people and pros kiewctors won't -- prosecutors won't do anything about it. not to mention we demonized police officers around here as well. they're worried about the border. they really are worried about the border. maybe it will change because
they're busing them to new york and washington, it is easy in the west hollywood area to not worry that much about immigration, we shouldn't have a border, let's be nice. but the people whose hospitals are overrun and schools overcrowded, whose communities are being strained are the communities taking this influx, 7,000, 8,000 people a day. we're the only country on the planet that says, i'm here, i'm staying. the only one. you can't do that to mexico. you can't do that do canada, you can't do that in europe, but you can do it here. that's what people are worried about and they're worried about the price of everything. people focus on gas. it's funny, the president said he couldn't control gas prices until they started to go down. you know one of the reasons it's going down, people are driving less, they're not going on vacation, they're not taking the boat out because it's expensive. frankly, that's what they wanted. do not be fooled. that's what they wanted. they were not unhappy about high gas prices, they were upset that
it happened a few months before the election, they don't want you to drive. they want everybody to take a bus or buy one of these $90,000 chinese electric cars, that's what they want people to do. we'll talk about that in a minute. they were not happy. it's not just that. i mean, you go, i don't know how many people do their own groceries, but in my house, we do, it's twice what it used to be. my kids are growing and they eat twice as much, but it's twice what it used to be on everything, on everything, and that's just food. that's the other problem with inflation. the inflation that matters the most is the necessities, not the flat screen tv's, not the new car, the necessities, that's what's going up in price, housing, clothes, back to school supplies, food, all of that is through the roof. caused, by the way, partially, by a bill, one of the first
things they did in march, $1.9 trillion of federal money, your money, people's money poured into the economy. we had a supply shortage and created more demand with all of that money. anyway, that's what people are worried about, the inflation, crime, the border. what do we focus on here? i can tell you. first a fake, and i mean a fake, a completely fake election rights crisis, totally fake. spent a lot of time on that, spent a lot of time on whether to vote on a bill to make it easier to sue police officers. we spent a long time talking about things like pregnant people. something that does not exist in the 55000 years of history, we talk about pregnant people and a military that likes to put out tweets about the proper use of pronounce, we focus on those things, you know what china's
focused on? blowing up our aircraft carriers. this is ba -- basically build bk better junior. a lot of money. they -- i don't know why the senators that gave them their vote on this, why didn't they agree to the other one? this is a smaller version of that. that's what this is. anyway, that's what we're focused on. you can see we're up here, we're going to vote late at night and into the morning. ttion fine me -- it's fine with me, but at least if we're going to do that, let's be about the things that people care about that matter to people in the real world. it's noft. instead, -- they're not. instead, what we're going to spend time on is a $30 billion slush fund called green loans. that's what it is, it's a slush fund, it is for these companies in the green energy space, that's their buddies, they will
not be able to tap into the loan program. we're going to spend $60 billion solving environmental racism. i don't know what that is. i don't know anybody who knows what that is. when they said latin-x, i don't know what that is and i don't know what environmental racism is and tax credits for people who have an electric car. you may not realize this, maybe because the bubble around here is so thick. a lot of people voting for you guys are not voting an electric car this year or next year for a lot of reasons. number one, the common sense of every day people, they're not doing it at any time in the near future, maybe it will help them in 30 years, but not today. they're not buying an electric car because even with the recent, it's still too much for them. they're lucky they can get a new one with gas in it.
they have to buy a used car. we're going to help $9 billion to help people buy tax credit with a chinese battery in it. you can't make those batteries without china. so great for china. i imagine we'll spend more on solar panels also made in china and to kick it off, thank god. this is a good one, a lot of people are worried about this, $1.5 billion to plant more trees. whatever. and then on top of all of that they going to hire an army of i.r.s. agents. they're going to go after the people not paying enough on taxes. i don't like it, but i'm going to explain something to people that don't understand it. these billionaires who fund all of their campaigns, just got a huge break in the bill, ironic, these billionaires, corporations, they have armies of lawyers and law firms and accountants and i'm telling you, they will fight these agents. so who do you think these aiblghts are going to go --
agents are going to go after? fighting the corporations are not easy and you will run out of billionaires to go after, they will go after small businesses, working people, maybe people that make $250,000 a year. that's a lot of money in some places, but you're not rich at $250,000 in some parts of this country. you're doing all right, no doubt about it, but you're not a billionaire. they're going to go after them. they're going to go after the people that cannot afford to hire acannot ants and lawyers. thousands of i.r.s. agents. not police officers, i.r.s. agents to go after american taxpayers. that's what they're going to go after. i promise you and i regret to say it that a lot of hardworking people are going to get letters in the nails, we want to a talk but -- to talk but about taxes from five years ago. you don't have an army of lawyers, you will pay them what
you have -- you don't want trouble with the i.r.s. that's what this bill is. and they cynically call it the inflation reduction act. and let me tell you why they call it that. this is sad and outrageous. they call it that because, i'm telling you, and i hate to say it, but a lot of people behind this kind of stuff, they see hardworking americans as a bunch of uneducated simpletons who will fall for this and the media will help them. not all the media but a lot of reporters will help them. even though the reporters themselves keep calling it a climate bill because they're so giddy about that part of it. they think people will fall for it. people are not going to fall for it. i don't care how smart you think you are and how educated uneducated you think they are, they have something most people involved in government have lost or maybe never had, it's called common sense and they have the common sense of knowing that
making it easier for people to buy with a credit and electric car in three years is it not going to do anything for them . it they're not buying an electric car any time in the near future. you know what they want? they want gas prices to come down because america is producing more oil. that's what they would like. they would like you to put criminals in jail and keep them there. they would like you to secure our border, just a little bit. don't pretend you're doing anything about it because they know the truth. guys, it's a scam. this very weekend, this very friday -- i live in miami. i don't read about this in a magazine. i see and hear it with my own ears. i had this couple telling me the flat out story. their kids were born here years ago when they were here visiting. u.s. citizens. their kids were already here. this couple paid $5,000 each. they were driven to the border in a van. they were turned over to an agency right on the border who turned them over to the officers. they spent a day and a half in detention. their papers were filled out. they were turned back over to
the agency. the agency asked them would would -- where would you like to go. i would like to go to miami. they gave them a ticket to miami and gave them a card to buy things before they got there and now they're living in south florida. what do you think -- you don't think they're going to call back home and tell people we made it and here's how we made it. those are the people that can afford to buy the $5,000 each. a lot of people can't so they have to turn themselves over into the hands of these criminal delinquents, traffickers, evil persons that take advantage of these migrants and they're coming because we are inviting them to come. this administration is inviting them to come. they're inviting them to come. when you tell people don't come but if you do, you're going to get to stay, they're going to come. that's what's happening. we're not focused on that. they get it. people back home get it. and you're not going to convince them that any of this stuff is any good for them. and it's happening frankly, guys, because the modern democratic party -- listen, i live in south florida, a
majority democratic county. i've had democrat friends. i've worked with liberals my whole life. i've done a bunch of bipartisan stuff. you're not bad people but the modern democratic party does not care about working americans. the only thing they care about is the agenda of a bunch of laptop liberals and marxist misfits who threaten to burn down any city any time they don't get their way on an issue and a bunch of climate extremists and that's what this bill reflect, at least two of those three. and that's what this bill does. that's the only people they cater to. that's what their issues are always about and what they do is they put on the disguise of calling it the inflation reduction act but they can't even say it with a straight face. they really can't. because they know it's not true. this bill has nothing to do with what real people in the real world are worried about every single day. and the ironies are so thick. you know, i think about this carried interest loophole as they call it. we've got prominent members of
the democratic party in the senate who have made a career out of calling that basically an unfair and immoral benefit for hedge fund managers and greedy billionaires. they made a career out of it. yet today they will vote on a bill that's stripped out getting rid of that loophole. they'll vote for it. they'll vote for it. that's the irony embedded in all of this. so they'll do their press conferences and speeches. they'll be very impressed with themselves. the twitter warriors are going to love it. the msnbc's and meet the presses, cnn, whatever, they're all going to be giddy about it. but millions and millions of working americans, nothing is going to change for them for the better. there isn't a single thing in this bill that helps working people lower the price of groceries or the price of gasoline or the price of housing or the price of clothes. there isn't a single thing in
this bill that's going to keep criminals in jail. there isn't a single thing in this bill that's going to secure our border and those happen to be the things that working people in this country care about. and the gap between the people who run this place and the people who are the backbone of this country is so massive, the disconnect so great that the divisions driving our politics are reaching a boiling point unfortunately. what makes this nation different from all the countries in the world is our working class. every nation has rich people. every country in the world has wealthy people. what's made us different is that here by the millions people like my parents, a bartender and a maid, were able to own a home and raise a family and leave them better off for themselves. they were never rich or famous and lived the american dream because they retired with dignity and with their own eyes they saw their children have the opportunity to do the things they themselves never could do. that's what makes us different. those are the people that are hurting.
those are the people that got wiped out in 2007 and it thousand 8 -- 2008 when wall street created a crisis and wall street got bailed out. those are the kids who couldn't go to school because some parts of the country we shut down school for a year and a half, while the people shutting down schools, their kids were going to private schools and had private tutors. those are the people that are getting descroit right now by this economy and are being ignored and disrespected and completely, completely obliterated by a bill that does absolutely nothing for them. and that's what your u.s. senate will spend late into the night and early into the morning voting on. the disconnect is massive. and i can point to a lot of examples. but this has become exhibit a in that disconnect. i yield the floor.
a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. president. you know, as i was reading through this reckless spending spree that my democratic colleagues are in such a rush to get this thing passed so that they can get it signed into law, i was reading it and i thought, you know, we have been through this exercise before. we have before us a bill that is too expensive to afford. it's been thrown together behind closed doors in secret. perfectly branded to prey on the struggles, the fears of the american people because after all, fearful people are easier to control. and what do we know? the democratic party, they are all about control and they're all about power. now, i remembered that this isn't the first time in the
schumer senate that the democrat colleagues have tried to turn a crisis into an opportunity. a little over a year ago, they pulled the exact same bait and switch with a $1.9 trillion american rescue plan. senator graham talked about this before. it was to bring oh so much prosperity. it was to solve all of your problems. help was on the way. but it was a big government b blowout in the form of $350 billion in the slush fund for blue cities. a state tax cut ban, a $60 billion tax hike, subsidized government health care, and a union pension bailout. now, mr. president, it is pretty clear who the democrats were trying to rescue with that bill.
and it was not hardworking american taxpayers. they got the shaft on that. and they know it. and then of course we considered the infrastructure package that had almost nothing to do with infrastructure, but it served as a very useful vehicle for a lot of the green new deal. remember build back better, they couldn't get it across. they had to break it into parts. so you've seen parts of it in different bills. part of it was in that infrastructure package. to tennesseans this was a missed opportunity because they desperately need meaningful improvements to broadband infrastructure and access to high-speed internet connections. it was a missed opportunity for all americans seeing crime and drugs that are in their communities because of that open border, and it was a missed
opportunity for the keystone xl pipeline and for support for american energy. missed opportunities continue to be their thing. just a few short days ago, we passed a chips and science bill. sounds really good and constructive. but over the course of a few years, this ballooned from an emergency investment in semiconductors into an almost $300 billion gateway to industrial planning and, of course, more of the green new deal. my democratic colleagues took an opportunity to unravel our dangerous relationship with the chinese communist party and squandered it on a teeup to seizing more control over the manufacturing and upstream suppliers we should be
empowering. fast forward to this month and here we go again. sifting through a package that costs nearly a trillion dollars yet is somehow still marketed as the inflation reduction act. and i will say to my democratic colleagues and senator schumer and senator manchin, the american people are laughing at the name of this bill. they are laughing at this. they know better than this. they can see right through what you have done. they know what's going on, and they know that your priorities do not line up with their priorities. and their concerns. in reality, this bill provides no pathway to reduce our current inflation. it will, however, put pressure on the economy, raise taxes on
just about everyone, kills jobs, stifles innovation, weaponizes the regulatory state against small businesses and private enterprise. now, all these things have the potential to devastate the economy and make life harder for hardworking taxpayers. i want to focus on how joe biden and the democrats are using regulators to overrule the will of the people and to seize more control over the country because this tactic has truly been a favorite of the democrats. they expand the regulatory state. they issue mandates. they institute lockdowns. and there's that word again, control. they're after the control. if you need an example, look no further than the dozens of newly arrived rules and regulations that they have used to gut
american energy. radical climate activists in the environmental lobby won big when those went into effect, but everyone else lost. if you were an energy consumer, a truck driver, someone who was traveling, and workers who had their jobs just regulated out of existence. that's what the democrats did for you. here's another. in april the biden border patrol announced that they were holding up construction on the border wall so that they could do an environmental assessment. now, if you recall, this is one regulatory barrier that president trump eliminated when he took office because he understood the danger posed by our lack of border security. he was listening to the american people and the border patrol and people that live there.
he knew what was happening. well, under president biden, the open borders advocates won. but the ranchers, the border communities, small-town law enforcement, they lost. the biden administration loves to use the regulatory hammer so that they can pick winners and losers that they want. they will punish you. they will punish you. it's what they're doing with the bill that we are considering tonight in the middle of the night, on the weekend when people are at the lake, when people are out with their children, having fun, enjoying the summer, here we are. it's so interesting that they have married the strategy they used last march by catering to -- you guessed it -- blue states, unions, and climate justice warriors. here's just one example of one
of the regulatory schemes contained in the bill that will benefit the usual democratic allies but wreak havoc on everyone else. right now manufacturers that burn fossil fuels can earn a $35 tax credit for every ton of carbon dioxide they capture and store. the bill cuts that tax credit down to $17, but there's a catch. a business can earn an $85 tax credit if they comply with labor standards that are laid out in the bill. this, of course, means that in order to survive, manufacturers and fossil fuel companies will be mandated to use union labor. nuclear power plants will have a similar hit. if this legislation passes,
they'll earn $12 more per ton in tax credits if they go to the unions instead of letting the free market determine who they hire. now, the problem here doesn't only have to do with unions versus right-to-work policies. the problem is that the base tax credit reductions in this bill were designed to kill companies who don't want to play along with the left's green crusade and funnel money to chuck schumer's political allies. hear me out. if, for example, you're running a utility in a right-to-work state, and you want to keep taking advantage of tax credits, you are going to be in a very tight spot. when this bill becomes law you will be stripped of your practical ability to hire
right-to-work employees and mandated to use union labor instead. the kowtowing to union demands is also part of a pattern. just a few days ago my democratic colleagues killed my amendment to the pact act that would have given toxic-exposed veterans expedited access to community care. now, why did they do that? to protect union employees in v.a. facilities, of course. oh, we can't take a step like that, it might privatize v.a., they seem to think. now, instead of the health care that they deserve, these veterans are left with nothing but false hope, access to the queue, but no access to the care. over and over again, it never stops here in the schumer senate. the democrats say one thing, they turn around, they do another thing. the bill also increases
renewable tax credits, but only for projects located in the so-called environmental justice communities, wherever they are. that's a very creative way for my democratic colleagues to tell us they're using this increase to funnel money to the cities and states they deem worthy of support. the measure is simple -- you comply or you go bankrupt. then again, you might go bankrupt if you do comply. doing so will increase project costs and labor costs, which will in turn increase costs on everything. everyone loses, except the democrats and their political allies. joe biden and the democrats have become famous for saying one thing, doing another. they promise inflation reduction, they raise manufacturing costs. they promise economic relief, but then raise your utility
costs and your grocery bills. they assure the american people, time and again, big government can solve your problems, and then they use big government to absolutely beat the living stew out of private enterprise. my democratic colleagues have touted this latest disastrous version of their build back broke agenda as progressive, and i do hope the american people are figuring out what progressive means -- tax increases, massive transfers of wealth, ideological conformity backed by the full faith and credit of the united states. if you want to be broke and grovel to the government, this bill is for you. these hundreds of billions of dollars will serve a purpose, but not to reduce inflation or bring relief. blue states, unions, radical activists will once again come out on top.
meanwhile, families, working hard to make ends meet, workers, business owners, local leaders are still on the verge of losing everything. i think my democratic colleagues know this, but they've decided that the pain and the suffering is worth it. after all, they continue to tell us we need to be transitioning. we need to be transitioning? i don't think people like what they're going to have to transition to. when i'm home in tennessee they certainly don't like it, and i'll be back monday, doing meetings across the state, and i'll have to tell them that once again the democrats have taken advantage of their desperation and their exhaustion with what is going on. once again, the democrats have sold them a bill of goods that ignores our current crisis, prioritizes the pet projects the democrats have, and the american
people are once again getting the shaft. i will tell them that for the democrats this isn't about service, it is about control, it is about power, and to tennesseans, mr. president, this is all frightening. they think that this is a reckless, manipulative, dangerous abuse of power. there is very little, if anything at all, that is prowe the people -- pro we the people in this bill. i yield the floor.
mr. durbin: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from illinois is recognized. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration of s. 3115, and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 3115, a bill to remove the four-year sun set
from the pro bono work to empower and represent act of 2018. the presiding officer: without objection, the committee is discharged. and the senate will proceed. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the bill be considered read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration and the senate proceed to s. res. 675. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 675, resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the american hellenic educational progressive association. the presiding officer: without objection, the committee is discharged. senate will proceed. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent that the van hollen substitute amendment at the desk to the resolution be agreed to, the resolution as amended be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to
reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate now proceed to an en bloc consideration of the following senate resolutions introduced earlier today -- s. res. 749, s. res. 750. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed en bloc. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the resolutions be agreed to, the preambles be agreed to, and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, all en bloc. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 466 s. 4205. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 466, s. 4205, a bill to require the administrator of the federal emergfederalemergency managemeno
establish a working group related to best practices and federal guidance for animals in emergency disasters and other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed. mr. durbin: i further ask the committee reported substitute amendment be agreed to, the bill as amended be considered read a third time and pasted and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection.
mr. durbin: mr. president. i ask unanimous consent that the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration and the senate now proceed to s. res. 698. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 698, honoring the dedication of the ball family to provided college educations and celebrating their 100-year legacy at ball state university. the presiding officer: without objection, the committee is discharged. and the senate will proceed. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to
the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio is recognized. mr. portman: mr. president, i come to the floor this evening to talk about the partisan reconciliation legislation that is before us tonight. it's named the inflation reduction act, but that's misnamed because, unfortunately, it does not reduce inflation, it actually makes things worse. so, when you're at the gas pump or grocery store or buying something anywhere today, you're feeling the sticker shock, and yet, this legislation is going to make it even worse. it adds $700 billion more in spending and over $300 billion more in new taxes at the worst possible time, increasing costs
to consumers and actually making inflation worse. the nonpartisan penn wharton budget model that a lot of us have used over the years predicts it will increase inflation over the next two years. while over time it says it may even out, it won't decrease inflation as the name suggests and the bill sponsors claim. why? well, primarily because when you put $300 billion plus of new taxes on the economy it actually hurts workers and hurts consumers. yes, they're saying it's going to go to companies, but what happens then? companies pass it along, and at a time when we have the worst infraition in over 40 years -- inflation in over 40 years that's bad for the economy. the nonpartisan joint committee on taxation, not a partisan group, nonpartisan, says this will hurt americans in every tax bracket. they say more than half of the burden of the over $300 billion
in new taxes will fall on folks making less than $400,000 a year. well, that directly contradicts promises made not to increase taxes on americans at that level. i'm glad the bloat of manufacturers has been somewhat softened with the latest version of the bill. what the democrats did was exchange one bad tax, the book tax on manufacturers, for another bad tax, a tax that will actually stock buybacks that's going to hurt particularly americans who are trying to save for retirement. let me start with the with book tax. this is a proposed tax based on income that businesses report to the irs when they file their taxes. that irs income, by the way, is defined by the u.s. congress. here in the senate, we debate that all the time. is it good to have a ticktacks incentive or another tax incentive? that is not in the book tax. the book tax is -- instead
looks at a company's financial statement. it comes up with a whole another definition of tax called the adjustment financial statement income. this is broader than the irs income. it's not fair. it's way too complicated and it's going to hurt employees and consumers. taxable income owed the irs is meant to raise revenue and includes these incentives or disincentives for certain activities like being able to immediately deduct the cost of new equipment if you're a manufacturer. we want to encourage that particularly in periods of high inflation, so we allow them to do that. the financial statement income is not determined by us, not determined by elected representatives at all. congress does not have anything to do with it. it's determined by something called the financial accounting standards board which is a private nonprofit recognized by the u.s. securities and exchange commission as the accounting
standard setting for private companies. that may work fine for determining accounting standards, but this change effectively puts these people in control of what the corporate tax base is even though they're not elected to anything. that doesn't make sense. let's not set up a whole new tax system for some companies. let's learn from the past. back in 1986, when we passed a big tax reform bill, they put a book tax in place. and it was repealed less than three years later. why? because it was viewed as unfair, way too complicated and actually they thought that you shouldn't have nonelected officials deciding what the taxes ought to be. they said it was bad for the economy too because companies were managing to the book tax rather than the irs tax. so let's learn from the past. why would we want do that again? set up a whole another tax system, tax the american economy, tax consumers, tax workers and do so through
something that in 1986 we looked at and decided this is not working. democrats will say tonight this new complicated tax system is just going to affect big companies but big companies employ a lot of people and they sell is to a lot of consumers. last year r there were over 200 companies listed on the fortune 500 as meeting criteria set yout out in this legislation. they employ over 18 million americans. it's those employees and customers who will bear the brunt of tax increases as it's passed to them in the form of lower wages, lower benefits and higher prices for goods and services. the joint committee on taxation, nonpartisan group, just last year said they expect 25% of these corporate taxes to fall on workers. again, this means lower wages. the nonpartisan congressional budget office says -- employees
bear 25%. at a time wages are not keeping up with inflation it's getting higher and higher. it's not just wages we're talking about. families will face even higher prices as the cost of corporate taxes get passed along to them. in a study last year performed by the business schools at university of chicago and northwestern, they found 30% of taxes fall on consumers through higher retail taxes. rbt -- aren't prices high enough? democrats added another new tax in the past 24 hours. democrats say we're going to have this complicated tax called an excise tax on buybacks. this is instead of some of the tax they had in the other new tax they put forward called the book tax. now, democrats tonight will talk about about how taxing buybacks is good because it somehow hurts wall street fat cats. here's the truth.
it increases the price of stocks to allow buybacks and by taking away that incentive, there will be less of it. the reality is this is a tax on working families including those trying to save for retirement when they are already dealing with the struggling portfolios due to the recent economic contraction and record inflation we're experiencing. 58% of americans own stock and 60 million investors invest in an i.r.a. or 401(k). we want people to save for retirement. it's a good thing. we want them to have healthy retirement. when democrats say they worry about tax prices going up, when companies buy back stocks it causes that stocks to go up which means it makes americans retirement accounts that much larger. why is that a problem? the tax foundation says retirement accounts own 37% of all corporate stock. that's about 8.5 trillion dollars in retirement funds.
$8.5 a trillion of retirement funds earn corporate stock. some will say this is just 1%. well, we know that once a tax is initiated it tends to increase. this is the camel's nose under the tent. the first income tax in 1913 was 1% on top earners. i think a lot of middle-income earners would be happy to have a tax rate that low. this will impact families and their retirement. for that reason we should not go down that path. democrats will tax employee stock ownership programs or esops with tax incentives with the dividends to go to retirement saves. they work, they're great. they enjoy bipartisan support in
the congress. employers have ownership stake and because of that companies tend to do better. complees are happier, more profitable. companies benefit from it. i don't understand why democrats want to punish this ownership structure. doing so will discourage investment and hard work and it could not come at a worse time. that's why i'll introduce an amendment that will exempt esops from the minimum book tax. nothing complicated about it. it will encourage savings in investment and i encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support the amendment. i also plan to offer an amendment that will increase funding for customs and border patrol by $500 million that will affect drugs flowing across our border. more and more people are drying
of overdoses -- dying of overdoses and dying from fentanyl. about two thirds of those overdose deaths were due to fentanyl. at a time when deadly fentanyl is flooding across the border, only 2% of cars and 15% of commercial vehicles are being screened. these drugs come across the ports of entry where only 2% of cars and 16% of trucks are being screened. they also come between the ports of entry. at a minimum we should be able to do screening of these vehicles and trucks. it's a gaping hole in border security and got to be fixed. this amendment will ensure the new funds in this bill for the department of homeland security bureaucracy for an office called readiness, $500 million will be assigned to a higher priority to have customs and border protection be able to detect and stop deadly fentanyl being smuggled into this country at record levels. this money would stay at the department of homeland security. it will instead be used for more
urgent priority. let's be serious about our national security and this drug crisis we face and let's give the border patrol what they need to counter the drug cartels and traffickers. tonight i also plan to offer an amendment to ensure that the new postal electric vehicles are actually made in the united states of america. in this bill there is a $3 billion appropriation to the postal service. we just went through postal reform. we provided them additional funding they needed. this is an additional $3 billion appropriation to buy electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. however, there is no requirement that these vehicles be made in america. with u.s. batteries and other components. in other words, the bill uses taxpayer funds to buy electric vehicles that can be made with chinese batteries and chinese critical minerals. we know that this counter to everything we're trying to do around here. we just passed legislation to make us more competitive with china. again, we just passed legislation to provide the post office with funds for new
vehicles including electric vehicles. the postmaster general made a decision to go from 10% electric to 20% to 50%. that's already happening. but in that case there are requirements. in this case there are not. we know that democrats believe that when we're expanding electric vehicles that we ought to ensure that these vehicles are being made in america. how do we know that? because in another part of the bill which is the expansion of the electric vehicle tax credit democrats included new requirements that the tax credit reward e. vft v.'s made -- e.v.'s with american components. both involve taxpayer subsidies. what's good for the american driver should be good for the postal service. my hope is that this misnamed inflation reduction act can be stopped before it makes things worse but at least i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to look at these commonsense amendments and accept some of these amendments.
some i've laid out, some others have talked about tonight to improve a flawed bill. with that hope, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon is recognized. mr. merkley: mr. president, we've just heard a discussion of the issue of tax reform. and my colleague across the aisle has said there should be no corporate minimum tax on corporations, and yet americans know that billionaire companies'nt -- companies one after the other, some of the most profitable in our country, companies like amazon don't pay a single cent in tax. or they use our legal system, they use our roads system, they use our education system, they use it all in vast quantities and don't contribute a single dime. one single, ordinary worker
does more to pay for all the infrastructure these massive companies utilize than the company does. it's about time corporations that make massive profits pay something, and 15% isn't even their fair share. and it's part of a global agreement to hold corporations accountable so they don't skip from one country to another to another to another evading everyone everywhere. my colleague also said a lot about why we should not put a 1% tax on stock buybacks. let's understand what stock buybacks are. first of all, a president of a company works to get a board, and that board is compensated, and then that board makes lots of decisions about, well, the welfare of the top executives. they set the salaries for the top executives, and then they
give them stock options. if you have a stock option and then your company buys back stock, every share gets more valuable, you make a massive amount of money. this is a corrupt system. it does nothing to further the investment of the company and the productivity of america. it does nothing to increase the r&d, research and development that goes into new products. it does nothing to make their product more price competitive. it is enrich the rich usica and putting a 1 11% scheme -- a 1% scheme on that to pay for all the infrastructure companies use is more appropriate. in fact, we should ban the stock buybacks. this is a very, very modest reform in the right direction. it is the case that in this chamber, under the republican stock provisions, one year after another under their tax provisions, they have basically
enabled the billionaires and corporations to escape any contribution to the welfare of our country. that is wrong. these tax reforms are right. and the health care provisions will help. they're not nearly as powerful as i'd like to see certainly. i want to negotiate every single drug the way the veterans administration does, the way other foreign country does, every developed country does. we should get the best prices, not the worst in the developed world. and in climate, while this again doesn't do everything i want, the investments in solar and wind will drive a bold, determined transition from fossil fuel energy to renewable energy. we have to electrify everything with renewable energy. if we do that, set that example for the world and work with the
world,s we have some chance of humanity tackling this massive problem of climate chaos that is causing so much trouble across our land, from the massive floods in kentucky to the forest fires of the pacific northwest, town after town being burned down, it is really america that has to lead the way. there is a- there is a lot more i would like to see in this bill. i filed a lot of amendments, but i can't pull them up tonight. -- i can't ask for a vote on them. anything that changes may result in this bill never passing. and so this is why when we come back in the next session of congress, we have to reform this senate so we can do legitimate amendments like my colleague from ohio suggested in a process where they get conde