Fact Check: McConnell-Backed Dark Money Group Attacks Senator Hassan for Working to Lower Costs for Granite Staters

Friday, December 10, 2021

Mitch McConnell — Big Pharma’s top loyalist and corporate special interests’ chief enabler — has launched a new ad attacking Senator Hassan for working to bring down costs for Granite Staters and lower the price of prescription drugs.

“Mitch McConnell and his dark money donors are once again attacking Senator Hassan for standing up to corporate special interests and working to lower costs for Granite Staters. Senator Hassan is focused on holding corporate special interests like Big Pharma accountable and ensuring that New Hampshire families can make ends meet, and that’s why McConnell’s dark money groups keep attacking her,” said Maggie For NH spokesperson Kevin Donohoe.

Senator Hassan has strongly pushed to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices in the economic package being worked on by the Senate — something Big Pharma has repeatedly attacked her for. The ad comes from One Nation, Mitch McConnell’s dark money group. McConnell has taken nearly $2 million from the pharmaceutical industry and has consistently done the bidding of drug companies by voting against funding to combat the opioid crisisopposing importing cheaper drugs from Canada, and passing a huge tax break for Big Pharma that raised taxes on New Hampshire’s middle class families.

Senator Hassan has a long record of pushing to lower costs for Granite State families. She pushed to cut taxes for Granite Staters by expanding the enhanced Child Tax Credit, worked across the aisle to help end the absurd practice of surprise medical billing, and expanded Affordable Care Act subsidies, saving New Hampshire consumers an average of $960 on premiums per year. This fall, she pushed the Biden administration to release barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices and home heating costs for Granite Staters.

In the economic package being worked on by the Senate, Senator Hassan is focused on helping Granite Staters make ends meet by pushing for research and development tax credits for New Hampshire small businesses and start-ups, the extension of the Child Tax Credit for New Hampshire families, and measures that will bring down prescription drug prices and the costs of health care, child care, and higher education.

Get the facts below about McConnell’s dark money ad below:

FALSE CLAIM: “All this government spending is fueling a surge in inflation.” [One Nation Ad]

THE FACTS: Leading Economists: The American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Do Not Add Inflation Pressures in the U.S.

  • San Francisco Fed Analysis: The American Rescue Plan Did Not Significantly Increase Inflation Through 2022. According to a San Francisco Fed paper, “In this Economic Letter, we assess the risk of sustained inflationary overheating using the ratio of job vacancies to unemployment. This measure of slack accounts for both the demand for and supply of labor and thus has been shown to predict future inflation more accurately than the unemployment rate alone. Our estimates show that the ARP could raise the vacancy-to-unemployment ratio close to its historical peak in 1968. However, this large increase translates into only a temporary increase in core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation of about 0.3 percentage point per year through 2022. This minor impact is attributable to the small effect of slack on inflation and the strong historical stability of longer-run inflation expectations.” [Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Regis Barnichon et al., 10/18/21]

  • Moody’s: Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Will Not Add to Inflation. According to economists and analysts in leading rating agencies, President Joe Biden’s infrastructure and social spending legislation will not add to inflationary pressures in the U.S. economy […] William Foster, vice president and senior credit officer (Sovereign Risk) at Moody’s Investors Service said that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill “should not have any real material impact on inflation.” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics said that the legislation does “not add to inflation pressures, as the policies help to lift long-term economic growth via stronger productivity and labor force growth, and thus take the edge off of inflation.” [Reuters, 11/17/21]

  • New York Fed’s Andrew Haugh: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Would Not Boost Inflation, Because Its Funds Would Be Spent Over A Long Period. “The bipartisan infrastructure legislation that’s under consideration in Washington may not boost inflation despite roughly $1 trillion in new spending. That’s the view of Andrew Haughwout, senior vice president and policy leader for household and regional in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research and Statistics Group. Haughwout made the comments Thursday during a special briefing on the Biden infrastructure plan presented by the Volcker Alliance and Penn Institute for Urban Research. The panel was moderated by William Glasgall, head of the Volcker Alliance. ‘It’s a lot of money but it’s also the case that it will most likely be spent out over many years,’ Haughwout said, noting that the funds would likely be spent over 10 years. ‘That starts to mitigate the impact it will have – both on short-term economic growth but also on inflationary pressures.’” [The Bond Buyer, 10/22/21]

The False Claim: “This is an inflation acceleration bill. Many experts fear this is just the beginning.” [One Nation Ad]

The Facts: The Rating Agencies and Leading Economists Agree That Build Back Better Won’t Cause Inflation and Will Lower Costs for Consumers

Harvard Economist Larry Summers: “Build Back Better Will Only Have A Negligible Impact On Inflation,” Because It Had Programs That Increased Economic Capacity, Its Spending Would Be Offset By Revenue Increases, And Its Spending Would Be Spread Out Over A Decade. According to Harvard economist Larry Summers, “The legislation would spend less over 10 years than was spent on stimulus in 2021. Because that spending is offset by revenue increases and because it includes measures such as child care that will increase the economy’s capacity, Build Back Better will have only a negligible impact on inflation.” [Washington Post, Larry Summers, 11/15/21]

HEADLINE: “Rating agencies say Biden’s spending plans will not add to inflationary pressure” [Reuters, 11/17/21]

Fitch Ratings Senior Director Charles Seville: Build Back Better Won’t Boost Inflation, Because It Will Add To The Labor Supply And The Deficit Will Narrow Regardless. “Charles Seville, senior director and Americas sovereigns co-head at Fitch Ratings, said the two pieces of legislation ‘will neither boost nor quell inflation much in the short-run.’ Government spending will still add less to demand in 2022 than in 2021 and over the longer-run, the social spending legislation could increase labor supply through provisions such as childcare, and productivity, Seville told Reuters. […] ‘The deficit will still narrow in FY 2022 as pandemic relief spending drops out and the economic recovery boosts tax revenues’, Seville said.”  [Reuters, 11/17/21]

Build Back Better Will Lower Key Costs For Consumers:

Moody’s Analytics Report: Build Back Better Is “Specifically Designed” To Ease The Burden Of Inflation On Middle- And Lower-Income Americans By Lowering Childcare, Education, Healthcare, And Housing Costs. [Moody’s Analytics, 11/4/21]

Build Back Better Would Lower Pharmaceutical Costs By Allowing Medicare To Negotiate Prices, Capping Out-Of-Pocket Spending For Medicare Part D Patients, And Limiting Cost Sharing For Insulin. “[The Build Back Better Act] includes several provisions that would lower prescription drug costs for people with Medicare and private insurance and reduce drug spending by the federal government and private payers. These proposals have taken shape amidst strong bipartisan, public support for the government to address high and rising drug prices. CBO estimates that the drug pricing provisions in the BBBA would reduce the federal deficit by $297 billion over 10 years (2022-2031). The key prescription drug proposals included in the BBBA would: Allow the federal government to negotiate prices for some high-cost drugs covered under Medicare Part B and Part D Require inflation rebates to limit annual increases in drug prices in Medicare and private insurance Cap out-of-pocket spending for Medicare Part D enrollees and other Part D benefit design changes Limit cost sharing for insulin for people with Medicare and private insurance Eliminate cost sharing for adult vaccines covered under Part D Repeal the Trump Administration’s drug rebate rule” [Kaiser Health News, 11/23/21]

Build Back Better Would Lower The Typical Family’s Child Care Costs By More Than $100 Per Week In Most States. “In 32 states, a typical family would save more than $100 per week on child care. The Build Back Better Act lowers families’ child care costs based on how their income compares to the typical income of a family in their state. This benchmark, called the state median income (SMI), is used so that benefits will be equitable and proportionate across states with vastly different costs of living. For instance, the bill would make child care free for low-income families making below 75 percent of the SMI, with a progressive sliding scale capping child care costs for middle-income families at 7 percent or less of their annual income. In other words, those with more income would pay a greater share, but no families would be above the affordability threshold of 7 percent.” [Center for American Progress, 9/22/21]

Build Back Better Would Provide $170 Billion On Housing Assistance For Those Struggling with Paying Rents and Mortgages. “The legislation spends $170 billion on housing assistance for lower-income Americans, in what is widely considered the largest infusion of federal funding for housing in modern history. Democrats say they are aiming to respond to soaring rents and home prices that have increasingly strained family budgets. The bottom line: Roughly $65 billion will go to rebuild and repair public housing. About $25 billion will go to federal housing vouchers to help low-income tenants afford rent, which could help reduce homelessness. The housing trust fund program, aimed at expanding the stock of affordable housing for low-income families, will get an additional $15 billion.”  [Washington Post, 11/19/21]

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