August 11, 2021

Crapo: Reckless Tax and Spending Spree Mortgages America’s Future

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, today voted against the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reckless tax and spending spree, a filibuster-proof budget proposal that will do long-term damage to our economy.  The proposal inched forward in the Senate by a party-line vote of 50-49.

“Just days ago, we passed a bipartisan bill that makes investments in hard infrastructure, focused on the type of long-term productivity that counteracts inflationary spending,” said Crapo.  “The budget resolution Democrats passed today is a blueprint to recklessly tax and spend our country into fiscal ruin.  Unlike the infrastructure bill, this social spending proposal is far from bipartisan, far from traditional infrastructure and far from non-inflationary spending.  Remarkably, possessing the tools needed to raise the debt limit to match their runaway spending spree, Democrats punted on responsibility to set up political fights instead.

“The Democrats’ budget blueprint couples an estimated $3.5 trillion in runaway spending with job-and-growth-killing tax hikes.  It includes provisions that will cause immediate and long-term damage to our economy, fuel inflation, and send abroad many of our most successful businesses and the jobs they provide abroad.  The measure increases taxes on businesses small and large; on farmers and ranchers; on retirees; and certainly on those making less than $400,000 per year.  And, it turns your checking account over to the IRS. 

“Before the pandemic, we were experiencing one of the strongest economies in a lifetime.  We would do the American people a disservice if we mortgaged their future while undermining the foundations of their past success.  As Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, I will be fighting to build on time-proven, pro-growth policies, and against reversing them to fund a reckless spending spree.” 

As Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Crapo spoke on the Senate Floor against the Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spending spree, outlining concerns with proposals to increase taxes on Americans across all incomes.  Read those remarks here.

Senate Republicans filed hundreds of amendments to blunt the worst provisions in the legislation.  As the lead Republican of the Senate Finance Committee, Crapo offered several commonsense amendments to the Democrats’ social spending spree, none of which were adopted.  Crapo’s amendments included:

Protecting Americans’ Private Financial Information: The Democrats’ bill provides increased funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as well as a new financial institution reporting requirement that essentially turns banks into agents of the IRS.  This time-draining burden disregards banking privacy in order to squeeze more resources out of responsible Americans and entrepreneurs.  Crapo’s amendment would have prevented the monitoring and reporting of sensitive American taxpayer information to the IRS by financial institutions.  Democrats, hungry for revenue, chose expanding government’s reach into your finances over taxpayers’ privacy rights.

Allowing States to Implement Their Own Fiscal Policies: The federal government should not be dictating fiscal policies of tribal, state, or local governments if those governments believe tax relief would be useful for their economies.  This amendment would have preserved rights of tribal, state, and local governments to exercise their own fiscal policies.

Putting Personnel above Politics: The Biden Administration recently chose politics over people and removed the Social Security Administration (SSA) commissioner based on political differences.  Policy differences or differences in opinion do not rise to the level of “neglect of duty or malfeasance in office,” and therefore SSA Commissioners should be entitled to serve out their term.  This amendment would have reinforced the rule of law and limited use of administrative funding for Social Security if the Social Security Act is not followed with respect to the position of Commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

Ensuring the Continued Success of Medicare Advantage: Democrats are pushing to expand the benefits provided under traditional Medicare coverage, a move that would harm the program’s already fragile finances.  Instead, they should look for strategies to improve health insurance coverage, modeled on the successes of programs like the cost-effective, high-performing Medicare Advantage Program.  This amendment would have affirmed the value Medicare Advantage plans provide to beneficiaries, and commits to strengthening the program in the future. 

Preserving the Integrity of the Budget: President Biden and Democrats have used changes in mandatory programs to spend more money without finding other revenue.  This amendment would have banned these changes, preserving the integrity of financial programs and forcing leadership to account for every dollar spent.

Advocating for Rural Interests: Advocated for the Secure Rural Schools and Payment in Lieu of Taxes programs--two programs compensating rural counties with a large proportion of federal, tax-exempt land.