NEW YORK (PIX11) — Sen. Cory Booker on Wednesday said he is feeling confident Democrats will not “blow it” when it comes to passing the Inflation Reduction Act, which he estimates will mean big savings for taxpayers.
“We are looking at New Jersians on energy, as well as pharmaceuticals, getting close to 10% savings on sort of your monthly living expenses,” Booker told PIX11’s Henry Rosoff before responding to a question about if Democrats could actually get the bill passed. “Look the reality is we have got the votes, one more Democrat has to agree.”
Booker said one of the reasons he is feeling confident is that economists who were previously critical of congressional spending as a driver of inflation now say this bill — designed to lower prescription drug costs, fight climate change and reduce the deficit — will reduce inflation.
“It’s a unifying bill for Democrats,” Booker said.
The senator also pointed out that the climate change aspects of the bill will not just subsidize green power and vehicles. He said there are billions of dollars to invest in technologies to reduce emissions at ports like the Port of Elizabeth and plant trees in urban areas.
“So I call them the tens of billions of dollars – over $50 billion – for environmental justice issues,” Booker said.
Booker also said the Supreme Court is radically out of step with the American people, pointing to a recent vote in Republican-controlled Kansas to maintain the right to abortion. He supports executive action by President Joe Biden to support states like New Jersey, which will incur more cost as people travel to the Garden State for abortion care.
On the issue of criminal justice reform, long stalled in Congress, Booker said he was working with Congressman Josh Gottheimer, another New Jersey Democrat. They are trying to strike a balance between funding local police and demanding accountability in exchange for the dollars.
“It’s got to be a good balance between accountability, transparency as well as resources for public safety,” Booker said.
Additionally, Booker said he was “gaining enthusiasm” for decriminalizing marijuana on the federal level.
“It is actually moving, we have more and more senators moving on to the major bill,” Booker said. “And now more Republicans stepping up looking to help us perhaps land a compromise.”