Lankford Says Biden’s Build Back “Broke” Adds Debt, Hurts Childcare Options
Lankford: “Government-paid reporters and journalists? What could go wrong with that?”
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s remarks on YouTube.
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) spoke on the Senate floor today about the Democrats’ Build Back “Broke” reckless tax-and-spending spree and why he strongly opposed raising the debt ceiling to pay for climate-change, progressive social policy, and new entitlement spending that add even more to our existing almost $29 trillion debt.
Lankford shared his opposition to several of the bad provisions in the bill that he believes steer our country in the wrong direction. Lankford continued to dispel the misinformation that the bill is “paid for,” when it actually includes fake budget gimmicks and will add billions, if not trillions, to our debt. Lankford continued to call out Democrats for pushing out faith-based child-care providers in this bill as well as pushing electric vehicle subsidies and subsidies for reporters.
Lankford remains opposed to flatly increasing the debt ceiling without any attention to the overspending and debt accumulation that leads to reaching our statutory debt limit. Lankford also continues to stand against increasing the size and scope of the federal government. Lankford previously voted against the gimmick that allowed Democrats to raise the debt ceiling under these new procedures. In March, Lankford opposed Democrats’ $1.9 trillion progressive bill masked as “COVID relief.” Lankford also opposed the $1.2 trillion “infrastructure bill” that paved the way for the partisan Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Resolution allowing another $3.5 trillion in new entitlement spending.
There are so many problems going on right now in the country. In Oklahoma, they're frustrated with where things are going with the economy. The rising inflation, literally inflation we have not seen for 40 years. People that are 40 years old and younger have never experienced an economy like we're experiencing right now. But for those who lived at the time of Jimmy Carter, they remember extremely well what it was like, what it was like every single week at the grocery store for prices to be higher, to be able to watch prices accelerate month after month after month. The policies that have been in place this year by the Biden Administration and folks in this body have led directly to rampant inflation across our nation and causing a major problem.
The debt ceiling was just voted on days ago in this body. It was $2.5 trillion. $2.5 trillion is a set-aside for the next 13 months or so. There is an enormous gathering of debt, continue to be able to see the inflation continue to rise. And in the middle of it is a conversation about this bill that's called Build Back Better. Now, we haven't seen all the bill yet. It's 2,000-plus pages. But the pages change every week and they have for weeks and weeks. We still have large sections of the bill that's being dropped out that just says, ‘We'll add in more information here later.’ But the sections that we do have that have been scored, there are major problems here.
This is not just a Republican-Democrat conversation. This is a direction of the country conversation. Is this really what we want to do and the direction we want to go?
This bill, as it was scored independently by CBO, looked at this bill and say if it looks out over ten years with these policies in place, would add $3 trillion more in debt. Now, as it's written with all the budget gimmicks in it, well, it will only add $365 billion in debt. Though the White House says, ‘It's all paid for, it's all paid for, it's free, it's free, it's free.’ The more we dig into it, the more problems we see. Some of those are philosophical changes.
This bill changes what has been entitlements in the past. Entitlements have been connected to actual work. People don't grow out of poverty by constantly getting government benefits. You’re trapped in poverty. Work is what helps people escape out of poverty. That's what Bill Clinton talked about often, about changing welfare as we know it. This bill actually changes it back to welfare as we knew it and shifts back entitlements to say, you don't actually have to be working to receive all these benefits. This bill actually says, you don't even have to be an American citizen to receive all these benefits. That if you're illegally present in the country, you get thousands and thousands of dollars in government benefits. If you're not working, but you're able to work and you choose not to, you get thousands and thousands of dollars in benefits.
I have to tell you, for the folks that I know that leave for work at 6:00 am and head to work, they're a little frustrated that their tax dollars are going to people still in bed that are not engaging. But that's what this bill does. It changes us from a situation where we incentivize work to we incentive not working.
Part of that is in the child tax credit that's being discussed. My colleagues on the other side of the aisle voted to change the child tax credit for this year that was already in place that already incentivizes work that helps individuals with small children that need help. That’s been in place in the tax code. In fact, Republicans have also voted for that in the past, but with a work incentive. That was changed in March of this year in a straight partisan vote and it was done for a temporary basis because of COVID to actually allocate dollars to families regardless if they're working or not during the time of COVID.
Now the conversation is, that needs to be extended not just through COVID, but to just keep extending it, to take away the work requirements, to take away the requirement to be a citizen of the United States to receive these dollars, and to actually make it where you're getting a monthly check rather than just a tax incentive at the end of the year based on if you were working or not. And the working requirement is not high. It's literally if you worked and earned $2,500 in a year, you qualify for the tax credit. But they take away even that requirement for your family.
The child care piece has been interesting because I’ve heard a lot of my Democratic colleagues talk about, ‘ Well, we're going to give free child care to folks.’
The problem is there are multiple issues with this. One is if you're a faith-based institution, you're excluded from this, which about half of the child care facilities around the country are provided by churches and faith-based nonprofits, rural and urban areas. They're all cut out. While they talk about free child care, a very liberal think tank just did the math on this what it would mean for middle-class families that actually do child care at that same facility. Middle-class families that are paying right now for child care after, would after this bill is put in place, they estimate it would cost $13,000 more a year for child care if you're not getting the subsidies. So if you're getting the subsidies, it's free. If you're a dollar past the subsidies, you're going to pay $13,000 more a year for your child care.
I hope you're tracking the cost of natural gas as it is raised because it is about to go up again. If what I call the Build Back Broke bill passes, the cost of natural gas and the cost of heating across America will go up because there's a new fee on methane.
I could go on and on and on with the issues that are in this bill that are content, that are philosophical issues, issues that affect people that live in my state and will raise the cost for them.
Some people ask me, who are the folks that actually like this bill? Well, there's quite a few folks that like this bill. The folks that are in wealthy Democrat-run states, they love this bill because the wealthiest individuals in the highest-tax states, and those are the blue states, the wealthiest individuals in the highest tax states, they get a huge tax break in this bill. For the wealthiest individuals, they get an $80,000 a year cut in their taxes, what they call state and local taxes. So if you're in New York or New Jersey or Illinois or in California and you're in the top one percent, you get an $80,000 cut in your taxes. They like this bill.
Somebody else that likes this bill are the wealthy that actually buy electric vehicles. Incredibly expensive, beautiful vehicles many of them. But they got $12,500 off of their vehicle based on this bill.
The environmental activists love this bill because billions of dollars actually go directly to these environmental activist groups, many of them that were very active in the Biden campaign. They get additional billions of dollars to create a new Civilian Climate Corps, a group of young people that will travel around the country actually promoting environmentalism, paid for with tax dollars. They like this bill.
Unions like this bill because currently if you donate to a nonprofit, you're able to take some of that off of your taxes. But under this bill, that goes away, and it's replaced with if you pay union dues you get to write that off your taxes. So unions definitely like this bill.
And the folks that really, really like this bill? Reporters and journalists. Reporters and journalists love this bill. Some of them are not talking about the content of this bill. The reason I say that is because this bill pays half the salary for reporters and journalists across the country. This bill puts in place that half the salary of reporters and journalists across the country in every city and every community across America will get half their salary paid for by federal tax dollars.
Government-paid reporters and journalists? What could go wrong with that?
There are a lot of issues in this bill. As we talk through this bill, and thankfully this bill is slowing down dramatically so that people are able to see the contents of this bill, I have more and more people who catch me and say, I have a major concern with this bill. And I have to tell you, I have had for months, and we continue to be able to speak out on the issues that change the direction for our nation that are actually built into this bill.
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