Republican Senator Pat Toomey ripped the Democrats’ $433 billion tax and climate package as “welfare” for energy companies and Tesla buyers, and said he’s hoping Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema will put the brakes on it.
The Pennsylvania lawmaker, highlighting GOP arguments against the plan, said it was “very doubtful” the deal would either bring down the deficit or lessen inflation as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who negotiated it, contend.
“The money is mostly going to go toward subsidizing corporate welfare for the energy companies, for wealthy people who buy Teslas, and for people to get a political payout in the form of subsidies for Obamacare for three more years,” Toomey said Monday in an interview on Bloomberg Television.
Democrats will need all 50 members of their caucus to get the package passed in the evenly divided Senate this week, as Schumer wants. Manchin had been one of two holdouts who forced Democrats to scale back President Joe Biden’s economic agenda. With Manchin on board, Toomey said Sinema, of Arizona, might act as a check on her party’s ambitions once again.
“I’m not speculating about what she is going to do, but I do know there are some provisions in this field that she has had reservations in the past,” said Toomey, who called Sinema’s silence on the bill “conspicuous.” “I’m looking forward to chatting with her this week.”
Sinema has expressed opposition to ending the carried-interest tax break used by private equity and hedge fund managers to lower their tax bills. Schumer and Manchin expect to raise $14 billion by closing that loophole with their bill.
Sinema’s spokeswoman, Hannah Hurley, said Monday that the senator is reviewing the text of the legislation and will need to see what happens after it is reviewed by the Senate parliamentarian.
— With assistance from Erik Wasson and David Westin