|Last week, news broke that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) reached a deal on a pared-down version of the Democrats’ Build Back Better plan. This plan contains climate, health care, and tax provisions from the larger Build Back Better Plan. Just because it’s a smaller package certainly does not mean it is a fiscally responsible one. Right now, the price tag is about $739 billion.
After spending close to $6 trillion in this last Congress, the thought that we would throw around billions more is staggering. I am also concerned about the long-term effects of the provisions in this bill. It will have devastating impacts on Wyoming’s coal, oil, and gas industries, and will increase government involvement in our health care choices.
To pass this legislation in a 50-50 Senate, Majority Leader Schumer is using a process called “reconciliation.” Reconciliation is a process used in the Senate to pass certain legislation dealing with tax, spending and debt limits, but there are strict rules governing this process. Using this method, the legislation only needs 51 votes to pass. Since the Senate is split evenly, Majority Leader Schumer would need all 50 Democrats to be in lockstep and support this bill, and bring in Vice President Kamala Harris to break the tie.
I cannot and will not support this package. As the number one coal producer and the top net exporter of energy in the nation, Wyoming’s economy will be devastated by the climate provisions in this legislation. It will also raise taxes on Americans in nearly every tax bracket, running counter to President Biden’s campaign promise to not raise taxes on those making less than $400,00 a year.
I came to Washington to fight for Wyoming and our way of life, and legislation like this runs counter to that goal. I will continue to be all Wyoming, all the time, and stand up to progressive legislation like this.