Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on Tuesday admitted that the Inflation Reduction Act won’t “immediately” temper inflation, telling reporters that the necessary investments needed to bring down prices would take some time.
Manchin’s comments came after President Biden signed the landmark climate change and health care bill into law on Tuesday, delivering what he has called the “final piece” of his pared-down domestic agenda. Though Democrats have labeled the measure the Inflation Reduction Act, nonpartisan analysts have said it will have a barely perceptible impact on prices.
Asked by Fox News reporter Hillary Vaughn whether it was misleading to call the bill the Inflation Reduction Act because it won’t make everyday goods less expensive, Manchin said, “Why would it?”
“Well, immediately it’s not,” Manchin said. “We’ve never [said] anything would happen immediately, like turn the switch on and off.”
Manchin said the market is anticipating the investments that will be made with the passing of the bill. Utility prices, for instance, will come down as the United States becomes more energy independent.
“We’re fighting like the dickens. You got to produce yourself out of this,” Manchin said. “If you think that you’re going to wait on the Federal Reserve to raise rates, discourage you from buying anything (and) that’s going to take care of our inflation, that’s not how you take care of inflation.”
Asked whether it made sense to ask people to pour large sums of money into putting solar panels on their roofs, buying an electric vehicle, then cashing on the credits, Manchin said that would be a 10-year process.
“That’s not going to be overnight. They have incentives to do that, to help them. Trust me, if you have something going bad in your home where you’re replacing it, and you have some assistance you’re thinking of, that might be of help,” Manchin said.
The legislation includes the most substantial federal investment in history to fight climate change — some $375 billion over the decade — and would cap prescription drug costs at $2,000 out-of-pocket annually for Medicare recipients. It also would help an estimated 13 million Americans pay for health care insurance by extending subsidies provided during the coronavirus pandemic.
The measure is paid for by new taxes on large companies and stepped-up IRS enforcement of wealthy individuals and entities, with additional funds going to reduce the federal deficit.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.