DES MOINES, Iowa – The U.S. Senate passed the $3.5 trillion spending bill early Wednesday morning that followed the chamber’s vote on Tuesday’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. The second bill was offered to achieve funding for House Democrats’ priorities, such as child care, education spending, paid family leave, and climate change policy.
While Iowa’s Republican U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst split their votes on the infrastructure bill, they both voted against the second bill.
“This mishmash of massive new spending and job killing tax hikes would act as a double whammy on middle-income Americans, small business owners and farmers,” Grassley said in a released statement before the vote. “Trillions of dollars in new spending is likely to set inflation ablaze. Inflation is a stealth tax that steals the value of the dollars Americans already earned.”
“Hardworking Americans are already paying the price of excessive spending in the form of inflation with prices rising throughout the economy,” he added. “As a result, while wages increased at a pace of 3.6 percent last month, Americans found themselves struggling to keep their heads above water with prices soaring 5.4 percent.”
Grassley also criticized the proposed tax hikes.
“Higher taxes, excessive spending, and escalating debt are not a prescription for prosperity. They are instead are a recipe for fiscal disaster,” he argued.
Ernst saw an amendment she authored approved by the U.S. Senate by a 66 to 33 vote. Her amendment bars any new permits or federal methane requirements on livestock that could increase the cost of beef or other critical products.
“As Democrats push full steam ahead on their reckless and partisan $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend spree, I’m making sure Iowa farmers and ranchers—and American consumers—aren’t left to pay the tab for their over-the-top, burdensome regulations—or what amounts to a ‘Cow Tax.’ These costly regulations could threaten to put our local farms out of business and devastate our rural communities. This amendment—passed with strong bipartisan support—puts a stop to the Democrats’ ‘Cow Tax,'” she said in a released statement.
A total of 30 amendments received votes, with several Republican amendments passed, such as an amendment prohibiting the enactment of the Green New Deal that passed 99-0. An amendment that facilitates internet service for Cubans who recently had their internet service cut off by that country’s Communist regime passed by a voice vote.
U.S. Senator John Thune, R-S.D., offered an amendment that passed 99 to 0 that negates changes the Biden Administration and House Democrats wanted to make to the estate tax. Another amendment was passed 86 to 13 that removed the prohibition on states and territories lowering their taxes.
Grassley offered an amendment that was defeated 49 to 50 that prevented changes to the State and local tax (SALT) deduction that mainly benefit the wealthy. However, another amendment was passed 50 to 49 that banned taxpayer funding of abortion.