Vulnerable Democrats thrust into spotlight after voting in favor of Manchin-Schumer inflation bill

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The House voted Friday in favor of the Inflation Reduction Act — a social spending and tax increase bill — and the implications of its passage could place Democrats who are facing tough election or re-election battles against Republican opponents in jeopardy.

The measure, which passed through the Senate over the weekend with a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, received support from all House Democrats, passing in a vote of 220-207 on Friday.

All but three Republicans in the House voted against the passage of the bill that now heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature. Three Republicans did not vote on the measure.

Key elements to the measure, agreed upon and introduced by West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., last month, include extending Affordable Care Act subsidies, a suite of climate-related spending and tax credits, provisions on fossil fuel energy, a 15% minimum corporate tax rate and more.

DEMOCRATS’ INFLATION REDUCTION ACT COULD MEAN LOWER WAGES FOR MILLIONS OF AMERICANS

From left to right: Vulnerable Democratic Reps. Henry Cuellar of Texas, Cindy Axne of Iowa, Tom O’Halleran of Arizona, and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio.
(Kevin Dietsch, Zach Gibson, Angelo Merendino, Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) spokesperson Tommy Garcia told Fox News Digital that the legislation “puts people before politics” and accused the GOP of lying about the “bill’s provisions to scare voters.”

“Democrats delivered broadly popular legislation that puts people before politics, lowers costs of prescription drugs and health care, lowers the deficit, fights inflation, and boosts American energy production — all without raising taxes on families making less than $400,000,” Garcia said. “Republicans chose to play politics, lie about the bill’s provisions to scare voters, and did nothing to help address challenges American families face: showing voters that Democrats are the only ones fighting to usher solutions For The People.”

In contrast, Mike Berg, a spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee, insisted the bill does nothing to reduce inflation and that voters will take to the ballot box in November to hold Democrats accountable.

ANALYSIS SUGGESTS INFLATION REDUCTION ACT WILL REDUCE ANNUAL INFLATION BY ONLY 0.1 PERCENTAGE POINTS

“This bill does nothing to fight inflation, raises taxes, and hires an Army of IRS agents to harass the middle class,” Berg said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Voters are going to fire any vulnerable Democrat who backs Democrats’ latest reckless spending spree.”

Earlier this week, Fox News Digital reached out to 20 of the most vulnerable House Democrats to see if they planned to vote for the bill, and to ask for reaction to a portion of the bill that provides funding of more IRS agents. None of them responded.

The Internal Revenue Service headquarters building in Washington, D.C.

The Internal Revenue Service headquarters building in Washington, D.C.
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The measure also includes an $80 billion boost to the IRS over a 10-year period, with more than half intended to help the agency crack down on tax evasion. The increase in IRS funding is slated to assist in the filling of 87,000 IRS positions, greatly expanding the size of the agency.

In a statement to Fox News Digital this week, Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., insisted that “no family making less than $400,000 will directly pay higher taxes” and that the funding increase for the IRS will be used to “go after sophisticated wealthy individuals and large corporations who dodge taxation, so they can finally pay their fair share, too.”

Senate Democrats projected that enhancing IRS funding could add an extra $124 billion in federal revenue over the next decade by hiring more tax enforcers who can crack down on rich individuals and corporations attempting to evade taxes.

AMERICANS FEAR IRS WILL USE INFLATION REDUCTION ACT FUNDING TO AUDIT AVERAGE AND LOWER-INCOME TAXPAYERS

But Republicans warn the bill will fund an “army” of IRS agents to crack down on small business owners and lower-income workers. Americans who earn less than $75,000 per year are slated to receive 60% of the additional tax audits expected under the Democrats’ spending package, according to an analysis released by House Republicans.

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc)

A University of Pennsylvania Penn Wharton analysis released Friday revealed the Inflation Reduction Act would do little to reduce the annual rate of inflation in the midst of the economic recession. The bill would only reduce annual inflation by 0.1 percentage point over the next five years.

Late last month, the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) revealed in an analysis that the Inflation Reduction Act would increase taxes by billions of dollars, including on middle-class earners.

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According to the JCT, Americans making less than $10,000 per year would see a 0.3% tax hike starting in 2023. Overall, starting in 2023, taxes would increase by $16.7 billion for Americans earning less than $200,000. For taxpayers earning between $200,000 and $500,000, the bill would increase taxes cumulatively by $14.1 billion.

President Biden repeatedly pledged on the campaign trail, and even as president, to not raise taxes on Americans earning less than $400,000.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson, Jessica Chasmar, Megan Henney and Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.

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