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Rep. Neal Dunn explains his vote against the Inflation Reduction Act

A man in a dark suit and a red tie sits in front of a microphone wearing headphones.
Lydell Rawls
/
WFSU Public Media
Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Panama City) sat down for an interview with WFSU News on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022.

Republican congressman Neal Dunn of Panama City sided with his GOP colleagues last week and voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law on Tuesday.

"It's inflationary spending," Dunn said during a sit-down interview with WFSU News Wednesday. “You can expect your cost of energy and groceries to continue to climb."

The new law passed along party lines. Not a single Republican U.S. House member voted for it, and not a single Democratic member of Congress voted against it. That includes Democratic Rep. Al Lawson of Tallahassee. Lawson is running against Dunn to represent Florida's 2nd Congressional District in the midterm election.

The new law raises taxes on corporations and significantly expands the Internal Revenue Service's enforcement budget.

Dunn says it was "easy" for him to vote against the measure. "This is increasing taxes."

Expanding the IRS is part of an effort to collect more unpaid taxes, increasing federal revenues. But Dunn is concerned this won't help the economy overall.

"They’re going to be auditing people," Dunn said. "And that’s going to make everything slow down and be more expensive.”

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates the new law will "very modestly" reduce the underlying causes of inflation in the short term, while other efforts to drive down high prices will take effect in the coming years.

The new law also includes tax breaks for households and businesses to transition to clean energy, but states must first implement those programs. The measure is also expected to lead to health care cost savings.

Valerie Crowder hosts and produces state and local newscasts during All Things Considered. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.