WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) released the following statement regarding the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which passed in the United States House of Representatives on Friday:
“Today, the House passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). While this bill delivers essential lowered costs on prescription drugs and health care, some affordability on insulin costs, and makes major investments in the clean, renewable energy we must rapidly transition to, I cannot take today’s yes vote on the IRA lightly. A coal baron who takes more money from mining and fossil fuel special interests than anyone else in Congress held the Build Back Better agenda for ransom, slashing countless lifesaving and life-changing programs from that massively popular legislation and stuffing this new bill with giveaways to his polluting donors. This is not the climate action bill that any of our residents living in frontline communities would have written, and they deserved better than this process.
“The House was sent a bill that Members had no input on, with no opportunity to offer meaningful amendments. The bill’s investments in lowering consumer energy costs and making homes and vehicles cleaner and more energy efficient are important, but with no meaningful engagement of environmental justice communities during this process, these benefits may not be accessible to people of all incomes. The IRA’s investments in lowering the cost of prescription drugs and health care are important, but will take years to help those in need now. Make no mistake – the bill’s loudest cheerleaders are now on the clock to actually deliver the benefits they have promised and ensure these incentives are effectively and rapidly utilized.
“My yes vote today is not quiet acceptance of the Manchin poison pills. I cannot warmly embrace this bill when so many of my allies in the environmental justice movement feel sacrificed. We may not have had the votes to force Democratic leadership back to the table to negotiate a real environmental justice bill in this instance, but I am going to fight like hell to oppose Manchin’s fossil fuel giveaways. From the courts to the streets, our communities will breathe clean air. We will be united in defeating the separate Manchin “permitting reforms” that will accelerate climate change and pollute Black, brown, Indigenous and low-income communities. Now that the IRA has passed, there is absolutely zero reason that Congress should follow through on a back door handshake deal that directly undermines the purpose of the IRA. Manchin went back on his word to get BBB done, and we owe him nothing now.
“To that end, I will continue to call out and oppose false climate solutions like carbon capture and hydrogen, continue to fight destructive projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and will continue defending our bedrock environmental laws like NEPA from attack.
“I will also hold Democratic leadership accountable to the optimistic projections they have made about the emissions reductions this bill will bring. Advocates have raised very serious and credible questions about the modeling used to support this bill, and Democratic leaders owe it to our residents to ensure they deliver what they’ve promised. Implementation is everything, and I will be sure to work with the Biden Administration to make every effort to deliver these climate investments rapidly and effectively to our district.
“The tradeoffs that leadership has chosen must be remedied through further legislation, like passing the Environmental Justice for All Act immediately to protect and empower vulnerable communities by regulating cumulative impacts and restoring civil rights protections. Environmental Justice for All has already passed the Natural Resources Committee, and there’s nothing stopping leadership from swiftly passing it in the House. I will continue to elevate the voices from frontline communities to the administration and advocate for a climate emergency immediately and aggressively to implement executive actions that advance real environmental justice. Our environmental justice organizers and frontline residents living with the impacts of climate change and fossil fuel development must be empowered to lead us forward.”