In the News

Oklahoma lawmakers respond to House passing Inflation Reduction Act

Jeanette Quezada, KJRH

TULSA, Okla.  — 
Friday night, a bill dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act, passed the House of Representatives and is now on its way to the president's desk.
The more than $730 billion package expands the IRS, addresses climate change, and aims to lower the price of some prescription drugs.

With inflation at the top of mind for many Oklahomans, prices going up everything from gas to groceries to rent, and an inflation reduction plan seems like the way to go.

However, all of of Oklahoma's U.S. representatives voted against this more than $700 billion package.

“The yays are 220- the nays are 207, the motion is adopted, the motion is adopted,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California said.

With the knock of the gavel Friday afternoon, the Inflation Reduction Act is off to the president's desk. The package carries a price tag of more than $730 Billion dollars. It imposes a 15 percent minimum tax on big corporations and expands the IRS to enforce it.

The bill also caps out-of-pocket prescription costs at $2,000 for seniors on medicare. Once signed into law, it would be the largest climate investment in U.S. history, dedicating $430 billion to reduce greenhouse emissions.

The bill passed 220-207, along party lines.

"It does nothing to deal with inflation. Indeed, during the Rules Committee, we submitted a letter from 280 economists that said, this is going to make it worse, not better. 280. They can rely on Mr. Summers and rely on the 280 economists from both parties and every point of view that said this is not going to work when it comes to inflation. There is nothing in this bill is going to increase energy production in the United States. Nothing at all," Congressman Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma said.

Representatives from Oklahoma making their opposition very clear.
All five voted against the bill.

"I’ve received thousands of phone calls, text messages, and emails from my constituents over the last week pleading with me to stop this bill from passing. They understand what half of this chamber does not… when the federal government spends more, American families have less. I find nothing redeemable in this legislation, and therefore urge my colleagues to give this a resounding no," Congressman Kevin Hern, R-Oklahoma said.

Representatives Markwayne Mullin and Frank Lucas also released statements bashing the bill.
Both said the bill will not reduce inflation.

"House Democrats have passed another tax and spend spree that will drive our nation further into a recession and make American energy less affordable, less reliable, and less secure," Congressman Mullin, R-Oklahoma said.

Both saying the bill won't reduce inflation.

"The bill, however, will raise taxes and fees on Oklahoma oil and gas companies, increase energy prices for consumers, set an irresponsible precedent for farm bill programs, thwart medical innovation, and raise taxes on American companies who serve as generators of economic opportunity and growth," Congressman Frank Lucas, R-Oklahoma said.

Governor Kevin Stitt also weighed in, tweeting, "Congress just passed a disastrous $740 billion spending bill that will raise taxes and supercharge the IRS to harass middle income families. We have to counteract this insanity. I am calling for action to reduce personal income tax & eliminate the regressive state grocery tax."

"As everything is costing more, why would we increase inflation, why would we raise taxes on the middle class, why would we spend billions and billions worth of new spending, increasing out debt,” Stitt said.