Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew is refusing to participate in a debate at Oakcrest High School hosted by the Atlantic County League of Women Voters and scheduled to take place tonight—Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
Van Drew”s campaign manager Ron Filan called the event a “sham debate” and he accused the nonpartisan organization of conspiring with his Democratic opponent, Tim Alexander.
For decades, the League of Women Voters has hosted debates and forums featuring candidates running in elections across the United States from school board up to the presidency.
”Let’s be clear, this allegedly ‘non-partisan’ debate was organized by an active member of our opponent’s campaign team who is all over social media recruiting Democrat volunteers, soliciting contributions for his campaign, and organizing protests at our campaign events all while spewing vile hate-filled rhetoric equating Republicans with terrorists,” said Filan.
“It was intentionally scheduled during a voting session of the United States House of Representatives knowing full well that Congressman Van Drew would be unable to attend,” said Filan.
It is more likely that Van Drew wants to avoid having to defend his opposition to the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act that was enacted last month, after he echoed false GOP talking points by saying, “almost every tax bracket will see some level of a tax increase” as a result of the legislation.
The Joint Committee on Taxation concluded that the law would result in higher taxes in every income bracket, but the panel looked only at the tax side of the bill, not at spending provisions that would cancel out those tax increases.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a group that favors deficit reduction and has been skeptical of many of Biden’s legislative efforts, wrote: “In particular, it’s important to note that the (bill) does not raise taxes on those making less than $400,000 per year. It will indirectly affect those households in a number of ways, but even then, the net effect is likely to be to increase their real disposable income.”
One of the two big tax elements would significantly scale back a tax code provision known as “carried interest,” which lets money managers pay taxes on much of their income at capital-gains rates, which are lower than the regular rates for personal income.
The other provision would make it harder for companies reporting at least $1 billion in profits to escape corporate income taxes. Such companies would have to pay at least 15% in such taxes, which many currently do not.
“With passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, lawmakers made an important pivot from reckless to responsible budgeting,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “This bill started out as a plan filled with gimmicks that would add massively to the national debt and ended as one to reduce the deficit, help the Federal Reserve push against inflation, and serve as a model for how legislation can improve with real effort and leadership.”
“Lawmakers managed to accomplish their goals for energy, climate, health care, and tax policy while also sending the message that it’s time to start working to get our budget back on a sustainable trajectory,” said MacGuineas. “This bill is proof that when something is worth doing, it’s worth paying for, and reducing our nation’s alarming national debt is just as important as other pressing issues we face.”
Van Drew was elected to Congress in November 2018, when he was a Democratic state senator, but switched his party affiliation to the Republican Party after refusing to support the impeachment of then-President Donald Trump.