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Montana Senators Disagree On Inflation Reduction Act

The two U.S. senators from Montana voted opposite ways on the Inflation Reduction Act on Sunday, Aug. 7.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., released the following statement after he voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act.

“The Inflation Reduction Act will pay down the debt by hundreds of billions of dollars, lower costs for families, cut prescription drug prices, and unleash American energy, all without raising taxes on working Montanans. I fought to make sure this bill is fully paid for and will cut costs for Americans while making us less reliant on foreign adversaries like Russia to power our country. I’ve heard directly from folks in every corner of our state asking me to find solutions that will bring down costs and help our country maintain its place as the leading economic power in the world, and that’s exactly what the Inflation Reduction Act does,” Tester said.

Tester notes the Inflation Reduction Act is fully paid for legislation providing targeted resources that will:

•Invest hundreds of billions of dollars to pay down America’s debt — the largest debt reduction in more than a decade. Paying down the debt will fight inflation, grow the economy and provide economic certainty for future generations of Montanans.

•Lower costs for working families by: Allowing Medicare to use its purchasing power to negotiate drug prices, ensuring older Americans pay fairer prices for their prescription medication.

Extending the affordable health care subsidies through 2025, preventing insurance premium hikes for thousands of Montanans.

Capping out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries at $2,000 per year, beginning in 2024.

•Unleash American energy production, securing Montana’s energy future and making the United States less reliant on our adversaries like Russia and China, by: Expanding offshore oil and gas leasing in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.

Ensuring that the Department of Interior continues offering oil and gas lease sales while developing renewable energy on public lands.

Extending and expanding tax credits for investments in and the production of renewable energy as well as creating new credits that grow American manufacturing jobs.

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., voted against the bill.

““As Montanans continue to struggle with sky-high prices on everything from gas to groceries to housing, every single Senate Democrat voted to raise energy costs, give taxpayer dollars to the rich for electric vehicles, increase taxes and supersize the IRS to go after small businesses and families — it’s a slap in the face to Montana families,” Daines said. “The Democrats’ reckless tax and spend bill is bad for Montana families, bad for Montana energy jobs and bad for Montanans’ pocketbooks.”

Senate Democrats voted against a slate of amendments that would make the bill less painful for Montanans, including Daines’ amendment to remove harmful policies that would increase costs on Made in Montana energy.

The bill passed by a 51-50 margin with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie. The bill now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives.

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