- The Washington Times - Monday, August 8, 2022

Over the weekend, Senate Democrats jammed through a $700 billion-plus tax and climate bill in the midst of a recession and record-high inflation. The bill passed, with no Republican votes, after Vice President Kamala Harris broke the 50-50 tie in the chamber.

It was the 26th time Ms. Harris has done so in the split Senate since Joe Biden won the presidency about a year and a half ago. That’s the most times a vice president has cast the deciding vote in nearly 200 years, with John Calhoun holding the record of 31 times in the early 1800s.

There is no “bipartisanship” in Washington, with Democrats in control of Congress and the White House. They get what they want — all the time — sometimes, with RINO support. There is no middle ground with the left; they will take what they want inch by inch. As the right preens about “bipartisanship” and caves on gun control and massive infrastructure spending, the left’s only “compromise” is to make the package a bit smaller than what they asked for in the first place.

Although a slimmed-down version of Mr. Biden’s proposed $3 trillion “Build Back Better” plan, the Schumer-Manchin legislation — laughably dubbed the “Inflation Reduction Act” — is an epic disaster for the American working class.

It will not lower inflation in the near term, but it will increase drug prescription costs for those on private insurance. It adds 87,000 new IRS enforcement agents to audit everyone who files taxes, gives $380 billion of taxpayer money away to wind, solar and electric vehicle companies, many of which receive more government subsidies than they pay in taxes, and promises to strangle the American fossil fuel industry.

The bill doubles the current tax on coal and subjects mining companies to the highest tax of any American business, costing mining companies tens of millions of dollars in new taxes while “adding to the complexities of keeping state fuel and household energy costs stable and competitive,” according to the Tax Foundation. Expect your heating costs to increase this winter, to complement your higher gas prices and grocery bills.

Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso put it nicely, predicting on Sunday that November will be a “rejection election” for over-reaching Democrats.

“I believe inflation gets worse,” Mr. Barrasso said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “The experts who are looking at it believe … that the inflation will get worse. This is false advertising by Democrats. This is their big wish, a dying wish of a party that knows they’re going to get shellacked come November.”

Maybe so, but Republicans shouldn’t be so confident. The bill’s passage gives Democrats some wind at their backs going into the midterms, and the media is already praising Mr. Biden for ushering through “bipartisan” legislation in addition to his highly partisan bills —  wins Republicans have routinely given him throughout his term.

“Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act will make Biden one of the most legislatively successful presidents of the modern era,” Politico gushed on Sunday. “We once noted that the mismatch between the size of Biden’s ambitions and his margins in Congress made it seem like he was trying to pass a rhinoceros through a garden hose. It ended up being more like a pony, but it’s still pretty impressive.”

In an article titled: “Biden steps out of the room and finds legacy-defining wins,” The Associated Press wrote on Sunday, “Democrats and the White House hope the run of legislative victories, both bipartisan and not, just four months before the November elections will help resuscitate their political fortunes by showing voters what they can accomplish with even the slimmest of majorities.”

Even Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, foolishly bought into the liberal media narrative, giving praise to Mr. Biden on Sunday for working across the aisle while denouncing former President Donald Trump for continuing to promote the idea of a “stolen election” in 2020.

Mr. Biden “signed things that made sense. The infrastructure bill, the gun thing, we’ve been working on this for years. We sort of found the sweet spot,” Mr. Graham said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” while saying he was open to more gun control measures, a priority of the left. 

“We have found common ground on foreign policy, domestic issues — I’m working with [Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts] to create a regulatory commission to deal with social media problems,” Mr. Graham said. “There are plenty of us up there who fight and work together, and I just want the country to know that all is not lost in Washington.”

Mr. Graham doesn’t get it. Republican voters don’t want any more “compromises” out of Washington that sell out conservative ideals for the sake of a few positive headlines from the liberal media.

We want fighters who stand up and codify conservative policies into law — and who will be as aggressive and ruthless if they take control in November as the Democrats have been.

The era of “bipartisanship” is over. The battle for the future of America has begun. 

• Kelly Sadler is the commentary editor at The Washington Times.

Correction: In a previous version of the column, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s name was misspelled.

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