Democrats have done it again in securing legislation through the Inflation Reduction Act, without any Republican support (including the Arizona House GOP delegation,) that will move the country forward, invest in planet-saving green energy technologies, and lift people up.

When the history of this legislation is written, Republican lawmakers (including Arizona’s Debbie Lesko, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, and David Schweikert) will have a lot of explaining to do to the voters on why they unanimously voted against:

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  • Lower prescription drug costs, including a cap on the price of insulin.
  • Investments in green-sustainable energy programs that will help combat climate change and protect the health of the planet.
  • Asking the richest among the people and corporations to pay their fair share in taxes.
  • Reduce the budget deficit.

While they are at it, they can also explain to the voters why they recently voted against a woman’s right to choose, the right for people to marry who they love, the right to purchase contraception,  gun safety legislation, and the CHIPS Act which will help our semiconductor and technology sectors ward off Chinese influence.

Arizona Democrats Celebrate Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act

Reaction among Arizona Democrats (whose Congressional members in the House and Senate universally supported the measure) to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act has been most favorable.

Responding to a request for comment from Blog for Arizona, Arizona Secretary of State and Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee Katie Hobbs offered:

“This bill represents a good first step in addressing climate change and providing much-needed relief to working families, notably reducing prescription drug costs for our seniors, creating jobs in clean energy, and closing tax loopholes that allow multinational corporations to sneak by without paying any taxes at all. But we can’t stop there. As governor, I will do more to lower costs by ending sales tax on everyday items that Arizonans need, such as over-the-counter medication and feminine hygiene products, and I’ll tackle our state’s worsening drought and water crisis.”

Also responding to a request for comment from Blog for Arizona, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego stated:

“Significant support for Phoenix residents is in our future with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. It brings lower healthcare and prescription drug costs, combined with vital climate investments that will mitigate heat and foster green energy jobs. I applaud Congress and President Biden for this landmark action that will result in healthier families and communities. Our economy will strengthen by investing in crucial clean tech industries, advancing energy efficiency in homes and businesses, and accelerating Phoenix’s efforts to build the most sustainable desert city.”

She also posted on social media:

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero has issued several postings over the last week as the Senate and House, again with only Democratic votes, passed the Inflation Reduction Act.

Arizona Corporation Commission Candidate Lauren Kuby, in response to a request for comment from Blog for Arizona, also offered her perspective, writing:

“With the Senate passage of the landmark Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, our country is on the cusp of committing to transformative investments in climate, justice, clean energy, and jobs

And climate can’t wait. The IPCC report tells us that this decade is our last chance to transform our energy system to zero GHG emissions before irreversible damage is done to our climate.

We need to address climate change with the urgency that science demands, and in ways that create jobs and advance justice.

The cost of inaction on climate is too high. Every year that goes by without climate action is estimated to cost $148B to our economy.

AZ is on the front lines of the climate crisis.

Arizona Heat Waves
· In 2020, we suffered 53 days when temps exceeded 110o, affecting those most vulnerable – our young children, our seniors, outdoor workers, and our unsheltered residents.
· Transitioning to clean energy and improving energy efficiency (the cheapest form of energy is energy efficiency after all) will save lives
· Hotter, drier summers are a disaster for our economy as well:
agricultural losses
loss of income for outdoor workers
increased energy costs for families and businesses

· The transition to clean energy is critical to reducing utility costs for everyone
· But don’t take it from me: Jeff Guldner, CEO of APS, one of AZ’s largest electric utilities would reduce customer costs and open the door for the utilities to own and contract for renewable energy projects

Air Quality
Maricopa and Pima counties have amongst the worst in the US for ozone and particulate pollution. Electrifying our homes, buildings, and modes of transportation are critical to the IRA’s goal to slash climate pollution by an estimated 40% by 2030 and will clean our air.

Drought
We are suffering through the worst drought in 1200 years. The IRA includes intensified conservation programs and measures to advance drought mitigation and resilience efforts as well as a last-minute addition of $4B for drought relief for the Southwest.

Wildfires
Modernizing our electrical infrastructure will help prevent wildfires sparked by our outdated electric grid, reducing the economic toll of the climate crisis.

Confronting the climate emergency and reducing the pollution will bring needed relief to families and communities in every part of this state:

In Flagstaff, the IRA will support wildfire reduction and resilience to post-fire flooding
In Sedona, it will help sustain their striking landscape
In Scottsdale, it will help ensure a reliable water supply
In Tempe, it will support energy equity for all
It will enable Mesa to deeply invest in equitable electric vehicle technologies.
In Tucson, it will support heat resilience projects in frontline communities

Arizona, one of the sunniest states in the nation, is poised to lead the clean-energy transition.

This reconciliation and climate investment package will supercharge our collective efforts to build a more resilient energy grid, address environmental injustice, and reduce pollution. After all, who doesn’t want cleaner air?”

Arizona House Candidate Kirsten Engel posted:

Arizona House Representative Ann Kirkpatrick posted:

Arizona House Representative Ruben Gallego posted:

Arizona House Candidate Jevin Hodge posted:

Arizona House Candidate David Lucier posted:

Arizona House Representative Tom O’Halleran issued a statement that read:

“Like the hardworking Arizonans I talk to, I too am concerned about inflation, extremely high prescription drug prices for seniors, and tangible issues like the Southwest’s sustained drought that leads to wildfires and devastating floods, especially in Arizona’s First District. That’s why I voted in favor of this legislation: it finally caps out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs for seniors, invests in commonsense solutions that will provide relief in our changing climate, lowering energy costs and improving drought conditions, and sensibly pays down the national deficit, fighting inflationary costs of everyday goods in the process.”

“I’m also pleased this legislation includes language similar to the CAPS for Prescriptions Act, my bill from 2018 to cap out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors. Arizona is home to over 1.35 million Medicare beneficiaries, many of whom often live on a fixed income, the median of which is only slightly over $29,000. The ever-rising costs of prescription drugs too often force these seniors to make the decision between life-saving health care or putting food on the table.”

Arizona House Representative Greg Stanton posted:

 

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