Inflation is the biggest challenge American families face, and adding another $2 trillion to the nation’s economy through the Build Back Better Act would further harm the nation’s families, “whether the administration and Democrats in the Congress want to admit that or not,” Sen. Roy Blunt said Sunday.
“This is not a transitory problem,” the Missouri Republican said on Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s a real problem and this is no time to make that problem worse.”
But the Biden administration and Congress made a “big mistake” in March to spend another $1.9 trillion through the American Rescue Plan, after five bipartisan bills had already been passed to fight the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Americans and the economy, said Blunt.
“Democrats, all on their own, decided [they were] going to spend another $1.9 trillion in what they called the American Rescue Plan in an economy that frankly and clearly at that point did not need to be rescued,” said Blunt.
It’s also important to get people back to work, and “we can’t solve every problem by just dropping money on top of more money,” the senator said.
Meanwhile, the collapse of Build Back Better has also affected the enhanced child tax credit, which expires at the end of the year, but Blunt pointed out that credit was doubled in the 2017 tax bill.
“There’s a cap on that credit, based on income,” said Blunt.
However, the spending bill allows credits for families making up to $150,000 a year, “and many families that make up to $400,000, if you look at the House plan,” and that makes no sense, he said.
“Families that make $150,000 aren’t in poverty in Missouri and I don’t think they’re in poverty almost anywhere in the United States, and it’s a big mistake to assume they are,” said Blunt.
He added that the bill would also start programs that will never be able to be stopped.
For example, if the child tax credit is extended for another year, “we will have exactly the same argument again next year and how are we going to extend this half a trillion — this $500 billion program for a second year, even though supposedly we are going into a program that’s fully paid for,” he said.
Such “gimmicks” offended Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., whose strong opposition has led to a stalemate on the legislation, as well as “every Republican in the Senate,” said Blunt.
“Americans are going to be offended by them too if they ever have a chance to hear that bill debated,” said Blunt.
Meanwhile, Blunt has announced his retirement after 24 years in the House and Senate, and Sen. Josh Hawley will replace him as Missouri’s senior senator. The two have disagreed on many issues, and Blunt said he thinks the future of the GOP depends on focusing on the things it has done in recent years, including on border security, and tax policy.
“I think the way that voters reacted just last month in the elections in New Jersey and Virginia show that there is a real resurgence of people rethinking the difference in the two parties and I think a Republican Party is going to do very well in that discussion in that debate and those elections next year,” he said.