Bernie Sanders slams Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act for failing to live up to name

Vermont senator wins rare cheers from GOP for calling out bill over CBO scoring .

Updated: August 6, 2022 - 11:16pm

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the former presidential candidate and proud socialist, on Saturday attacked President Joe Biden‘s Inflation Reduction Act for failing to live up to its name, after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office declared it would have a minimal impact on surging prices.

“I want to take a moment to say a few words about the so-called Inflation Reduction Act that we are debating this evening," Sanders said just after voting with Democrats to advance the bill to debate on the Senate floor. "I say so-called because according to the CBO and other economic organizations that have studied this bill, it will in fact have a minimal impact on inflation."

CBO declared this week that the $740 billion piece of legislation would only affect inflation by 0.1% in either direction.

Sanders is trying to alter the bill with amendments, but any changes could upset the fragile negotiations with Sens. Joe Manchin and Kristen Sinema that led to a deal.

Democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote, and Vice President Kamala Harris will have to cast the tie-breaking vote in order for the legislation to pass Sunday night.

Often at loggerheads with Sanders, Republicans embraced his skepticism of the bill.

"I don't find myself saying this very often. But on that point, I agree with Bernie," Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., told Insider.

Sen. Lindsay Graham, the South Carolina Republican, said the legislation would hurt the middle class. 

 

"This bill has tax increases on imported oil," Graham said. "The taxes in the bill will be passed on to consumers at the $75,000 or below level."

Sanders unleashed a torrent of criticism on Biden’s signature legislation. 

“This legislation does not address the reality that we have more income and wealth inequality today than at any time in the last hundred years “ he said.

“This bill does nothing to address the systemic dysfunctionality of the American health care system,” he added.