Economy, Jobs & Taxes - Meet the Freshmen

Economy, Jobs & Taxes

Economy, Jobs & Taxes

As post-COVID supply chain issues and economic sanctions on Russia drove up prices across the globe, Congress scrambled to enact reforms attempting to ease the cost of living for American families.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 addressed costs by lowering prescription drug prices and healthcare costs, as well as boosting tax credits and subsidies for energy efficient and sustainable practices for consumers, developers, and agricultural entities.[1]

As the 118th Congress convenes, Republicans hope to bring energy costs down even further by opening up oil pipelines and public lands for oil drilling. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Sen.-elect Ted Budd (R-NC) have both signaled their intent to bring down energy costs by forcing the Biden administration to restart construction on the Keystone XL pipeline.[2]

In addition to energy costs, Republicans are focused on cutting taxes and rolling back taxation policies put in place by Democrats. “The best way to grow our economy and the middle class is to make President Trump’s tax cuts permanent,” says Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. In the House, several members have put forth plans to lower taxes across the board, including Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO-08), who has focused on lowering corporate tax rates.[3]

Ultimately, the most consequential actions from the federal government may not be legislation, but an impending debt-limit battle and interest rate hikes by the Fed. Signaling his debt-ceiling plans late last month, Rep. Smith, a likely chair of the House Ways & Means Committee should Republicans gain control, said, “The American people expect Congress to use every tool at its disposal to combat rising prices, to strengthen our economy, to secure our border, to bring down the cost of energy, to fix our supply chains, and to right size the federal government. … The debt ceiling absolutely is one of those tools.”[4]


[1] HR 5376 – Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, August 4, 2022, available at https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/5376.

[2] Jack Holmes, “Republicans Claim They’ll Fix Inflation, We Asked 8 GOP Senate Candidates How,” Esquire, November 1, 2022, available at https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a41819936/republicans-inflation-gas-prices-plan/.

[3] Jeff Stein, “GOP wants to push to extend Trump tax cuts after midterm elections,” Washington Post, October 17, 2022, available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2022/10/17/republicans-tax-trump-biden/.

[4] Jeff Stein & Marianna Sotomayor, “GOP debt ceiling threats set to revive brinkmanship with White House,” Washington Post, October 25, 2022, available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2022/10/25/gop-debt-ceiling-threats-set-revive-brinkmanship-with-white-house/.

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