WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the heels of the U.S. Labor Department’s latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, government watchdog Accountable.US released a new analysis finding that industry groups and corporations have given nearly $9 million to Republican Members of Congress who are obstructing any and all of President Biden’s plans to fight inflation and bring down costs for everyday families. The report analyzed four of President Biden’s priorities to lower costs — housing, prescription drugs, childcare, and clean energy — finding that corporate interests have poured millions into the campaigns of lawmakers preventing many of these cost-saving solutions from passing.
Among Accountable.US’ findings, the real estate industry has given over $3 million to Congressional Republicans who denounced President Biden’s Housing Supply Action Plan or voted against Build Back Better (BBB) and its pro-housing provisions. Biden’s Housing Supply Action Plan includes several concepts previously proposed in BBB that would bring down housing costs and have been commended by several real estate industry groups.
Across industries, corporations boasting of record profits have shown their excessive price increases were unnecessary and driven by greed -- and many have only made matters worse by rewarding the behavior of those in Congress obstructing real solutions for bringing down costs for everyday families. Corporate interests are throwing money at conservatives in Congress that complain constantly about inflation challenges and yet refuse to lift a finger to help do anything constructive about it. Millions of dollars in corporate donations only encourages those in Congress who say ‘no’ to an expanded child credit or allowing Medicare to negotiate cheaper drug prices to continue sabotaging economic progress for working families for their own selfish political gain.”
Kyle Herrig, President of Accountable.US
The new report follows Accountable.US’ previous research over the last several months on how clear pandemic profiteering and corporate greed from the big oil, meat packing, shipping, retail, clothing, food, trucking and railroad companies are making inflation/supply chain problems worse for everyday consumers. In our view, big industries are only compounding the problem by rewarding those in Congress obstructing every commonsense measure to fight inflation that comes before them, no matter how widely the public supports the initiatives.
Prescription Drugs: As Americans pay the most in the developed world for prescription drugs, Republican lawmakers on the House Energy & Commerce Committee voted against a measure that would allow Medicare to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs with pharmaceutical companies, citing talking points circulated by industry groups. These members have received nearly $1.7 million in career contributions from industry groups and the five largest pharmaceutical companies opposed to Medicare drug negotiations.
Clean Energy: As part of President Biden’s plan to fight inflation, he asked to Congress to “pass clean energy and vehicle tax credits,” to reduce dependency and save American families money. Such policies include Build Back Better’s electric vehicle tax credit, which would make electric vehicles more accessible for working and middle-class families, and the clean electricity performance program, which would “lift the cost of clean electricity deployment off consumers’ electric bills.” Despite blaming President Biden for rising gas and energy prices, Republican members of Congress blocked these clean energy policies from passage while receiving over $3.2 million from industry and corporate opponents of these solutions.
Child Care And Expanded Child Tax Credits: With already expensive childcare costs skyrocketing during the COVID-19 pandemic––especially impacting minority and low-income families––President Biden planned on lowering the “cost of child and elder care to help parents get back to work.” While the child tax credit led to “significant decreases in child poverty and food scarcity,” many Republican members of Congress have criticized Build Back Better and its extension of the child tax credit for “doubl[ing] the cost of child care.” Furthermore, just under two dozen corporate signatories of a letter urging passage of the American Rescue Plan have donated over $940,000 to Senator McConnell over his career who attacked the expanded child tax credit as “‘monthly welfare deposits‘” and the American Rescue Plan as “‘one of the worst pieces of legislation‘” he’s seen during his Senate career.