Republicans in Congress are racing to characterize the new spending bill being pushed by Democrats as “out of touch” with the American people, as they work to try to defeat the more than $700 billion legislative package.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced they had reached a deal Wednesday evening to move forward with a vastly pared-back version of Build Back Better. The deal reached includes $433 billion in spending on climate change, drug pricing reform and health care provisions, over $300 billion in tax increases and an agreement between Schumer and Pelosi to vote on oil permitting reforms.
Republicans immediately started criticizing the deal after the announcement, calling it a “desperate attempt” to distract voters as the midterm elections approach and dubbing it “Build Back Broke.”
A Senate Republican leadership aide told Fox News Digital on Thursday that the GOP is planning to message the bill as the “most reckless” of the Democrats’ “reckless tax and spending spree.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced they had reached a deal Wednesday evening to move forward with a vastly pared back version of Build Back Better.
The aide pointed to the GOP’s topline message: that Democrats are “out of touch with every American.”
“Democrats are giving tax breaks to rich people to buy electric cars, extending supersized Obamacare subsidies (that also go to rich people), and beefing up the IRS to go after Americans. Raising taxes on job creators is a known job killer and shrinks the economy,” the aide continued.
Recession, record inflation and $5 per gallon gas are Americans’ top concerns, said the Senate aide, who argued that Democrats are not addressing those issues in the deal.
“You don’t raise taxes or increase government spending in a recession,” the staffer continued.
On Thursday morning, the Commerce Department said gross domestic product shrank by 0.9% on an annualized basis in the three-month period from April through June.
Then-Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema speaks to supporters after officially winning the U.S. Senate race at the Omni Montelucia resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Nov. 12, 2018. (REUTERS/Caitlin O’Hara)
The U.S. economy shrank in the spring for the second consecutive quarter, meeting the criteria for a recession as raging inflation and higher interest rates forced consumers and businesses to pull back on spending.
With Manchin onboard, moderate Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is under scrutiny since her vote may determine if the bill ultimately passes or fails.
The 50/50 Senate requires a simple majority to pass this budget bill under reconciliation rules that eliminate the 60-vote hurdle of the filibuster. Sinema would have to vote “yes,” and Vice President Kamala Harris would have to cast the tie-breaking vote in order to move the legislation to the House of Representatives.
Sinema has concerns about the $14 billion “carried interest” piece of the legislation due to its anti-investment provisions, so Republicans are hopeful that could be a dealbreaker for the senator and push her to vote no.
The senator’s spokesperson said she was still reviewing the agreement Thursday, according to The Associated Press.
Fox News’ Jason Donner and Megan Henney contributed to this report.
Kelly Laco is a politics editor for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @kelly_laco.
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