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Rounds, Thune vote against 'boondoggle' Inflation Reduction Act

Rounds ABC.png
ABC News
Senator Mike Rounds on ABC's "This Week."

Both of South Dakota’s U.S. senators voted against a Democratic-led effort on climate, health care and taxes.

The legislation is known as the Inflation Reduction Act. Half of the roughly $700 billion package includes tax credits for electric vehicles and renewable energy programs.

The bill also allows Medicare to negotiate prices for certain prescription drugs.

It also includes tax changes, like a 15% minimum tax on corporations, and a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks.

On ABC's "This Week," Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds called the package a "boondoggle."

“It’s not going to do much to help inflation. We’re still going to have a problem there. Yet, at the same time they’re going to be collecting really close to $740 billion in new tax revenue over the next, supposedly, five to 10 years. Most certainly it’s not going to help us get through a tight time, which we’re worried about a recession.”

Rounds said now is not the time to raise taxes with two quarters of negative growth in the economy.

Republican Sen. John Thune voted against the package, even after securing an amendment that he said will protect small- and medium-sized businesses from a $35 billion tax increase.

“At the last minute, Senate Democrats attempted to sneak yet another tax hike on American job creators into their reckless tax-and-spending spree, but fortunately, common sense prevailed,” said Thune. “The adoption of my amendment will protect small- and medium-sized businesses, many of which are trying to recover from the pandemic and survive a rocky economy, from this onerous tax hike.”

State Democrats criticize the vote by the state’s senators — specifically for the Republican effort that blocked a cap on out-of-pocket insulin costs for those on private insurance.

"South Dakota Republicans have made it official — they’ll side with anyone except hardworking South Dakotans. Over 60,000 South Dakotans have diabetes, and the price cap on out-of-pocket insulin costs would have tremendously affected their lives," said state Democratic Party Chair Randy Seiler. "South Dakotans deserve senators who put working South Dakotans ahead of special interests while lowering costs for families."

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.