Owens Votes Against the Inflation, Recession, and IRS Army Act

WASHINGTON, D.C – Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) released the following statement after voting against H.R. 5376, the Inflation, Recession, and IRS Army Act. 

“Over the past 18 months, President Biden’s economic agenda has steered our country into a recession, and the Democrats are trying to spend their way out. Senator Schumer calls the Inflation Reduction Act a ‘game changer,’ but the experts and economists call it a $740 billion scam that fails to reduce inflation, slash prices, or crack down on wealthy tax cheats.

“Month after month, Utah families have been crushed by skyrocketing costs at the pump, in the grocery store, and everywhere in between. Instead of working to provide relief, the Inflation, Recession, and IRS Army Act increases inflation, raises taxes on Americans earning less than $200,000 per year, and weaponizes the IRS by bankrolling 87,000 new agents to audit all income levels. This partisan package only makes life more difficult and expensive for everyday Americans.”

Background on the Inflation, Recession, and IRS Army Act:

  • Does Not Reduce Inflation
    • According to the CBO, the “proposal’s effect on inflation is negligible at best.”
    • According to the Penn Wharton Budget Model, the bill would have an impact on inflation that is “statistically indistinguishable from zero.”
  • Raises Taxes on Americans Earning Less than $200,000
    • According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the Democrats’ Inflation, Recession, and IRS Army Act raises taxes on Americans earning less than $200,000 by $16,700,000,000. 
  • Hires 87,000 New IRS Agents to Increase Audits on Middle-Class Americans
    • According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), Congress’s official tax scorekeeper, 78% to 90% of the money raised from under-reported income would likely come from those making less than $200,000 a year. 
      • Only 4% to 9% would come from those making more than $500,000.  
    • According to a study by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), under this plan, audit rates will “rise for all taxpayers.”
  • Raises Energy Prices
    • According to an analysis by Americans for Tax Reform, the bill includes: 
      • A $6.5 billion regressive tax on American energy companies that will be passed on to families in the form of higher energy costs — and could hike the average household’s natural gas bill by 17%.
      • A 16.4 cent-per-barrel tax on imported crude oil and petroleum products that will be passed on to families looking to fill up their car with gasoline — amounting to a $12 billion tax on purchasers of oil or gas products.
      • An increased tax rate on mined coal, which is supposed to bring in an extra $1.2 billion, and will also raise the cost of families’ energy bills. The levy on subsurface-mined coal will jump from 50 cents per ton to $1.10 per ton. Surface-mined coal will be taxed at 55 cents per ton instead of 25 cents per ton.

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