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Supporting Tax Hikes In A Recession Won’t Help Vulnerable Democrat Senators Win Tight Races

The senators at highest risk of becoming unseated are still weighing whether to sign on to tax hikes to stay in the good graces of their party.


At a time when Americans are living paycheck to paycheck amid an ongoing economic crisis, vulnerable Democrats are considering passing the Biden administration’s progressive wish list in the form of an inflationary tax bill.

The so-called Inflation Prevention Act, developed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., does nothing to stop inflation from ravaging the nation. In fact, the bill disguised as “the most significant legislation in history to tackle the climate crisis,” according to President Joe Biden, only exacerbates the nation’s current financial crisis by placing a bigger tax burden on the same Americans Biden promised not to tax, killing jobs, raising prices across the board, and shrinking the already hurting economy.

Several Democrat senators in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire face toss-up and tight races in just three months in the November midterms. These incumbents are not promised a solid Democrat win nor a Democrat-controlled Senate, so they can’t afford to lose the backing of their party by shirking a vote on the next big bill. They also can’t afford to offend key voters by passing legislation that will further devastate their states’ economies.

To put it simply, funneling $400 billion to bureaucrats whose priorities are advancing their radical left-wing pet projects over improving their voters’ lives — and by all accounts, they’re actually making things worse for constituents by demanding $700 billion more in taxes — isn’t going over well with Republicans such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Democrats are just trying “to deal our economy another body blow on a party line vote.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy agreed that the “socialist Democrat Party” and “their policies are too extreme, too out-of-touch, and too dangerous for America,” especially during a recession.

The decision to move forward with such damaging legislation is also unlikely to go over well with voters whose top concerns going into the midterms are inflation, rising gas prices, and increasing food expenses. With more than 93 percent of American voters worried about inflation and at least 52 percent of voters predicting the economy will get worse, it does not seem politically advantageous for vulnerable Democrats in states suffering from some of the highest food and gas prices in the nation to support financially devastating legislation.

Yet the senators at the highest risk of becoming unseated are still weighing whether they should sign on to the tax increase to stay in the good graces of their party and the Biden administration.

Arizona Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s press secretary Pablo Sierra-Carmona told The Federalist that the senator “does not have comment as she’s reviewing the text” of the legislation “and will need to see what comes out of the parliamentarian process” before she decides to reject or accept the bill. She is also scheduled to get an earful from Manchin who will urge her to join in on a swift passage of the legislation as soon as possible, even though she will be vilified by her home state.

The Federalist also reached out to senators including Georgia’s Raphael Warnock, Colorado’s Michael Bennet, New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan, Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto, and Arizona’s Mark Kelly, none of whom wanted to disclose how they planned to vote.

Despite remaining tight-lipped about their verdicts on the new legislation, these Democrats are likely to join Manchin and possibly seal their fate in November. As my colleague Samuel Mangold-Lenett pointed out, Manchin likely did the same thing by publicly promoting and pushing the bill.

“Manchin is not up for reelection until 2024,” Mangold-Lenett wrote, “but considering the increasingly Republican landscape of his home state and his willingness to sabotage the livelihoods of the people who put him in office, it grows more and more likely that this will be the last time he is in office.”

The bottom line is that at least six Democrat incumbents are toying with the idea of placing more financial burdens on already struggling Americans. That will likely cost them ground in their upcoming races — but if it means avoiding fracturing the appearance of a unified leftist party, vulnerable Democrats might just do it.

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