Sen. Coons: 'We May Not See Huge Impacts on Inflation in the First or Second Year'

By Susan Jones | August 8, 2022 | 6:55am EDT
The U.S. Senate votes 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris's tie-breaking vote, to pass Democrats' "Inflation Reduction Act" on August 7, 2022. (Photo: Screen capture)
The U.S. Senate votes 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris's tie-breaking vote, to pass Democrats' "Inflation Reduction Act" on August 7, 2022. (Photo: Screen capture)

(CNSNews.com) - Senate Democrats passed their so-called Inflation Adjustment Act on Sunday, but as one of those Democrats said, "we may not see huge impacts on inflation in the first or second year."

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told ABC's "This Week" that "this important, even landmark piece of legislation...will reduce prescription drug prices, reduce healthcare costs, reduce the deficit and make a big down payment on combatting climate change."

Host George Stephanopoulos told Coons, "You call the bill the Inflation Reduction Act, but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the bill is going to have a negligible effect on inflation this year, barely any impact in 2023, between 0.1 percent lower and 0.1 higher. So is it really fair to call it the Inflation Reduction Act?" he asked.

"Yes, it is, George," Coons said.

"This is going to reduce the costs that hit American families in their pocketbook. Prescription drug costs, healthcare costs, energy costs.

"It's going to make for a more secure and stable and cleaner and more affordable future for American families, and while we may not see huge impacts on inflation in the first or second year, Treasury secretaries who've served in both Democratic and Republican administrations support this bill, and the AARP, who I trust as the voice of seniors in America, says this will make a big impact on prescription drug prices."

In other words, grocery and various other consumer prices will remain inflated but other bills, for certain people, may be less hefty.

According to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, "There isn’t a single thing in this bill that helps working people lower the prices of groceries, or the price of gasoline, or the price of housing, or the price of clothing. 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. Those happen to be things that working people in this country care about.”

Coons said it "may take a year or more" for the inflation reduction effects to be felt: "But look, George, we've seen gas prices come down week after week after week for the last five weeks in a row. Gas in Delaware is now below $4.

"Yes, inflation is higher than it should be, but we just got a robust jobs number, more than 500,000 jobs created in this past month, unemployment is the lowest it's been in my lifetime and I think we've got a strong economy, a strong recovery under way."

But that same jobs report showed wages are not keeping pace with inflation. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 5.2 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says, but consumer prices rose 9.1 percent over the last 12 months, not seasonally adjusted.

Like other Democrats and their media allies, Sen. Coons hailed the "whole string of significant accomplishments" that President Biden and Democrats have chalked up in recent weeks.

"President Biden is soon going to sign into law the biggest veterans' health care bill we've ever done, that deals with burn pit injuries for those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's about to sign the chips package, a bipartisan bill that makes significant investments in on-shoring and bringing back to the United States advanced manufacturing in things like semiconductor chips.

"He also ordered the strike that killed the leader of al-Qaeda and recently presided over some great jobs news, as I just said. I'm confident this bill will get to his desk.

"Last point, we just passed here in recent days a guns and mental health bill that's going to invest $13 billion in community mental health. This is a whole string of wins that impact issues that really matter to American families."

On the contrary, Democrats are thinking about the next election, not what's best for American families, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tweeted:

"There is no working family in America whose top priorities are doubling the size of the IRS and giving rich people money to buy $80,000 electric cars. Americans want Washington to address inflation, crime, and the border — not another reckless liberal taxing and spending spree."

Not a single Republican voted for the Democrat bill, which Democrats pushed through using a process that requires only a simple majority vote.

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