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Biden rallies behind legislation to address inflation

Biden Climate
Posted at 5:28 AM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 08:28:26-04

President Joe Biden will host a roundtable discussion Thursday to discuss high inflation as his hopes to confront the issue hinge on a lone Democratic senator and the chamber's parliamentarian.

Inflation is at a 40-year high after gas prices surged to record levels over the summer. Biden has claimed that legislation being considered in the Senate will help address the issue.

Democratic senators estimate that the legislation would reduce the federal deficit by $369 billion over the next 10 years by closing taxing loopholes, bolstering IRS enforcement and executing a minimum 15% corporate tax.

In return, the legislation would supply $369 billion in spending to address climate change and an additional $64 billion to grow the Affordable Care Act.

The bill would need all 50 Democratic senators and Vice President Kamala Harris to vote in favor for it to pass. That's assuming the Senate parliamentarian agrees that the proposal can pass through reconciliation, which means the bill just needs a simple majority instead of the usual 60 votes required to break a filibuster.

Even if the parliamentarian says Democrats can use the reconciliation process, it's unknown how Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat, will vote.

Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate majority whip, told CNN he is unsure how Sinema will vote.

"We need her. We need every single vote, so I hope she'll be with us," he said.

While Biden has faced his share of criticism for the status of the economy, he pointed the finger back at Republicans during an event with Democratic leaders on Wednesday.

"You need a little bit of breathing room, and it's the only bill that could reduce the cost of living for Americans immediately," Biden said. "Republicans have offered a lot of criticism, but they've offered no answers. That's because they want to issue - they want an issue. They don't want to solve a problem. We're going to be solving a problem."

Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican, worries the Democratic proposal could exacerbate the economy and force companies to relocate overseas due to the minimum corporate tax rate.

"I just spoke to a Louisiana manufacturer last week," Cassidy told ABC's "This Week." "And he's just like having to increase wages to attract workers. And now we're going to increase his taxes as much as we're going to. Manufacturers can choose to set up in the United States or choose to move to Asia. I think what we're doing is inducing them to move to Asia."