Breaking News
More () »

Virginia state, federal leaders react to signing of Inflation Reduction Act

Democrats are generally praising the landmark climate change and health care for its investments, while Republicans claim it won't actually help reduce inflation.

NORFOLK, Va. — After President Joe Biden signed the Democrats’ landmark climate change and health care bill Tuesday, leaders who represent Virginia at the state and federal levels are weighing in.

The Inflation Reduction Act contains a large federal investment to fight climate change — some $375 billion over the decade — and would cap prescription drug costs at $2,000 out-of-pocket annually for Medicare recipients, the Associated Press reports

It also would help an estimated 13 million Americans pay for health care insurance by extending subsidies provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill passed through Congress amid steadfast Republican opposition and after months of negotiations in the Senate.

Democrats from the Commonwealth are generally praising the Inflation Reducation Act for its wide-ranging investments, while Republicans claim the law won't actually help reduce inflation.

'We're proud': US Sens. Warner, Kaine celebrate the law

After Biden signed the bill, both of Virginia's U.S. senators, Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, released the following statement:

“We’re proud that this law will lower the price of prescription drugs, reduce the deficit, bring down energy bills and fight climate change. We’re also glad that it will help ensure that miners suffering from black lung and their families get the care and benefits they deserve. We will continue to look for ways to support the health and well-being of our communities, decrease inflation, and lower costs for Virginians.”

Democratic US representatives support the legislation, Rep. Wittman doesn't

Three Democrats in the House of Representatives, whose districts cover Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore, are praising the Inflation Reduction Act. 

But Republican Rep. Rob Wittman from Virginia's 1st Congressional District shared a statement saying he doesn't think the new law will help tackle inflation:

“I understand firsthand the harmful impacts inflation has on American families, especially as I spend time with constituents and businesses throughout the First District. Unfortunately, despite the title, this legislation will do nothing, if not worsen our current inflation crises. The last thing hardworking families and businesses need is further wasteful government spending that will result in more inflation, fewer jobs, and slower growth. We should instead be working on bipartisan efforts that increase transparency and trust within the budgeting process in Washington - I will continue to push back against harmful excessive spending and push for policies that are pro-growth, pro-business, and pro-American.”

After the House passed the bill, Rep. Elaine Luria from Virginia's 2nd Congressional District released a statement touting different aspects of the legislation:

“Rising prices have impacted working families across the country, and the Inflation Reduction Act will put money back into the pockets of Coastal Virginians by lowering health care costs, reducing energy prices, creating jobs, and fighting inflation. The Inflation Reduction Act will also combat climate change and invest in American energy to end our dependence on foreign energy sources like Russia and China. The Inflation Reduction Act delivers for Coastal Virginians in the short-term while making long-term investments to reduce the deficit and build a better future for generations of Americans.”

Rep. Bobby Scott from Virginia's 3rd Congressional District echoed Luria's thoughts, tweeting that the law will lower prescription drug prices, health care costs and energy costs.

"With the #InflationReductionAct, Democrats are taking action to lower costs for American families — and our bill is fully paid for by making big corporations pay their fair share in taxes," Scott said in a tweet Tuesday.

Rep. Donald McEachin from Virginia's 4th Congressional District said the Inflation Reduction Act isn't perfect but will aid in fighting against climate change.

"This legislation includes several climate & [environmental justice] provisions that I have been advocating for throughout my time in Congress," McEachin tweeted. "It will help put us on a path to net-zero by 2050, protect public health, & address health inequities."

Gov. Youngkin blames inflation on Biden's policies

In a statement sent to 13News Now, a spokesperson for Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said the law won't fix the inflation situation:

“As the governor has stated, our current inflation is due to bad policies out of the Biden Administration and the governor has worked to counteract the impact on Virginians by creating over 94,000 jobs in Virginia, lowering the cost of living and providing $4 billion dollars in tax relief to Virginians. Inflation is the silent thief of Virginians’ hard earned paychecks, the inflation reduction act won’t remedy a lack of leadership in the White House, it is a gimmick.”

Virginia's state-level parties split on Inflation Reduction Act

Susan Swecker, the chairwoman for the Democratic Party of Virginia, released the following statement in support of the law:

“Virginia Democrats and President Biden are laser-focused on taking on special interests to fight inflation, and the Inflation Reduction Act is going to do just that – lowering costs on everything from prescription drugs to health care to home energy for Virginia families, and permanently fund medical treatment for Virginia coal miners suffering from black lung disease. While Virginia Republicans sided with Big Pharma and voted against these cost-cutting life-saving measures, and blocked others that would cap insulin costs, our Democrats are tackling Americans’ top concerns – and we’re doing it by making huge corporations pay their fair share and without raising taxes on anyone making under $400,000.”

In contrast, the Republican Party of Virginia released a statement saying the law will hurt people financially:

"Biden’s decision to sign the Inflation Reduction Act and raise taxes during a time that all Americans are hurting is a dismissive action by Radical Democrats that hurts all individuals, especially the middle class. Thankfully, our Commonwealth has a Governor that is doing everything in his power to alleviate some of this pain for Virginia families by cutting taxes and focusing on steady income to Virginia families so that they can provide for their families without any fear. We must elect Republicans in November to see any hope for change in our country and our Commonwealth."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Before You Leave, Check This Out