Senators Kelly, Sinema Agree To Biden’s Controversial Inflation Reduction Act

Senators Kelly, Sinema Agree To Biden’s Controversial Inflation Reduction Act

By Corinne Murdock |

Over the weekend, Arizona’s two Democratic senators, Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, fell in line with their party and backed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The IRA passed the Senate on Sunday along party lines, 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote. 

The IRA, a repackaged version of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) Act, projected well over $700 billion in revenue. However, some analysts have warned that the IRA will have the opposite desired effect on job creation, inflation and deficit reduction, incomes, tax rates, and drug prices.

The two senators opposed amendments to the IRA that would fund $500 million to finish the border wall, approve coal leases, increase domestic oil production in order to lower gas prices, protect those making under $400,000 from additional tax audits, limit price controls for treatments for conditions like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, require oil and gas lease sales in the outer Continental Shelf, provide discounted insulin for low and middle-income Americans, remove $45 million in climate-related expenditures, retain Title 42, strike a tax increase resulting in higher energy prices for those earning under $400,000, hire more Border Patrol agents, reduce drug prices, invest in violent crime prevention, and prohibit tax credits for electric vehicles built with slave labor. 

The IRA will also expand the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by up to 87,000 more employees through an $80 billion investment. That will make the IRS bigger than the Pentagon, State Department, FBI, and Border Patrol combined, as noted by Washington Free Beacon. IRS data reveals that over half of all IRS audits in 2021 focused on taxpayers making less than $75,000 a year. 

All Democrats, including Kelly and Sinema, rejected an amendment to remove provisions expanding the IRS.

Arizonans gathered on Saturday in Phoenix to protest Sinema and Kelly’s support of the bill. FreedomWorks Grassroots Director and Co-founder of EZAZ.org Merissa Hamilton, who helped organize the protest, criticized Sinema and Kelly for supporting the IRS increase, which she called an “inquisition” comparable to the treatment of ideological opponents under the Obama administration.

“Clearly, your IRS inquisitions are to target us like you did the Obama-Biden administration, and we have had enough,” said Hamilton. “We’re already in the middle of a recession — I know it’s tough for you to say the “r” word, but it’s time for you to take responsibility, represent Arizona, and stop betraying us.”

An amendment to prevent oil sales to China was ruled out of order by Senate chair after Kelly and Sinema joined the majority of Democrats to waive it. 

Sinema insisted that the IRA would “help Arizonans build better lives” through lowered prices on goods and services, accessible health care, and water and energy security. Sinema promised that the IRA would cause Arizona’s economy to improve.

As AZ Free News reported last week, Sinema’s original holdout on the IRA concerned its carried tax provision. Democratic leadership agreed to drop that provision in order to earn her vote. 

Kelly elaborated further on the rationale for the Arizona senators’ votes. He said that the IRA will lower prescription drug costs, implement funding to effectively combat drought and “climate change,” and reduce the deficit. Kelly promised that the IRA wouldn’t result in increased taxes for small businesses and middle-class Arizonans. 

“When I meet with Arizonans and small businesses across our state, the top concern I hear about is rising costs,” said Kelly. “This is going to lower costs for health care, prescription drugs, and energy while creating great-paying jobs in Arizona.”

Notable opposition to the IRA came from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The senator criticized the IRA for not doing enough to help the working class, and proposed amendments to modify the bill that were roundly rejected, 99-1. However, Sanders ultimately fell in line with the Democratic Party and voted for the bill.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Governor Ducey Orders Flags at Half-Staff for Fallen La Paz County Sergeant

Governor Ducey Orders Flags at Half-Staff for Fallen La Paz County Sergeant

By Corinne Murdock |

Flags will be lowered to half-staff for the fallen La Paz County sergeant, Michael Rudd, on Wednesday.

Rudd’s end-of-watch came Monday, after he was struck head-on by another vehicle while in pursuit of a suspect near the Arizona-California border. Rudd had been promoted to sergeant earlier this year in March.

Governor Doug Ducey issued the announcement later in the day, after Rudd’s passing. Rudd is one of three officers killed over the last few weeks. Maricopa County Deputy Juan Ruiz also died Monday, after being taken off life support following an assault last week. Ruiz was beaten unconscious on Saturday by a felony suspect he was jailing. Flags will be lowered to half-staff on Tuesday for Ruiz.

Last Monday, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Group Supervisor Michael Garbo was killed in a shooting in downtown Tucson.

Ducey noted that since the annual Arizona Peace Officers Memorial Service last month, a total of three law enforcement officers have died: Garbo, Ruiz, and Rudd. The memorial had honored 17 fallen officers.

“Arizona deeply mourns the loss of Sgt. Michael Rudd. For years, he protected the people of La Paz County and made Arizonans’ safety a top priority. I recently honored 17 fallen law enforcement professionals at the Peace Officers Memorial, and it was a sobering reminder of the danger these heroes face every day. Despite the danger, Sgt. Rudd wore the badge and worked hard to keep our communities safe. We will never forget his bravery, and our condolences are with his family, the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office, and the law enforcement community. I’ve ordered flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of his service.”

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Frustrated California Voters May Have Lost The Recall, But The War On Newsom Isn’t Over

Frustrated California Voters May Have Lost The Recall, But The War On Newsom Isn’t Over

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Frustrated California voters may have lost the battle to recall Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 14, but the war to unseat him in 2022 is just beginning.

Multiple outlets officially called the referendum on removing the governor a failure on Tuesday night, less than one hour after polls closed. Some California residents were stunned, but others said they are determined to use the power they amassed to create the recall to keep fighting to hold the governor accountable for his tyranny.