President Biden made history by achieving urgently needed reforms to put the middle class at the forefront of our economic policy and turn the page on failed trickle-down tax giveaways to wealthy special interests.
The most significant legislative record in modern American history will empower Medicare to negotiate lower drug costs, is fueling a manufacturing boom that’s bringing jobs back from overseas, will cap annual prescription drug expenses for seniors, and will save families hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs.
The country overwhelmingly supports these priorities. According to recent Morning Consult polling, 73% of respondents support Medicare negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices; 77% support limiting out of pocket spending on prescriptions, and 64% support lowering energy bills with renewable energy tax credits.
Again, this agenda and record are historic.
But we shouldn’t sleep on the other history that congressional Republicans are making at the same time.
After their economic argument was defeated in the best midterms for a new Democratic President in 60 years, the House GOP is tripling down on a bold policy message: telling the American middle class to go to hell.
Yesterday, The Washington Post reported, “Inflation Reduction Act foes race to repeal climate, drug pricing programs,” showing that congressional Republicans are working in tandem with Big Pharma in a frenzied attempt to ensure older Americans “never see cheaper pharmacy bills.”
In fact, this morning, PhRMA announced a new lawsuit seeking to stop the Inflation Reduction Act from reducing drug prices.
Never mind that Americans are unified in backing of those policies.
House Republicans are fighting to kill the Inflation Reduction Act provisions that are driving the President’s manufacturing boom, and which the private sector estimates have already created over 100,000 new jobs across the country, from Georgia to California.
Again, never mind that the country supports that manufacturing boom.
Last week, the Republican Study Committee, which represents over ¾ of the House Republican Conference, went on record with a plan that would not only ban Medicare from negotiating lower drug costs, but would raise Medicare premiums for many seniors while raising the retirement age for Social Security and cutting Social Security disability benefits.
That followed Speaker McCarthy telling Fox News that he wanted to set up a fiscal commission that would target Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits. The American people solidly oppose such cuts.
The Republican Study Committee is also pushing to spend trillions in tax welfare skewed to the rich and big corporations. All data show Americans reject this, as well.
Each aspect of congressional Republicans’ economic message has the same through-lines: it sells out hard-working families to the richest taxpayers and giant corporations; and by every measure, middle class families hate it – which congressional Republicans should already know from the midterms. They are digging in on a flop.
There couldn’t be sharper difference between this and the President, who’s working every day to invest in America and make growing the middle class our top economic priority. That includes by protecting the Medicare and Social Security benefits Americans pay to earn, and that Speaker McCarthy recently complained the President forced out of budget negotiations. That includes by continuing to execute on the historic manufacturing resurgence he’s creating, and on ensuring that prescription drugs aren’t a bankruptcy sentence for older Americans. That includes by further reducing the deficit by having the wealthy pay more of their fair share, while cutting energy costs.
Andrew Bates is the White House Deputy Press Secretary and Senior Communications Adviser.
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