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Congressman Vasquez discusses plan to ease burden of inflation

Official photo.
U.S. Representative Gabe Vasquez of New Mexico.

This week, Democratic U.S. Representative Gabe Vasquez announced a plan to help take on rising costs. Anthony Moreno talked with Congressman Vasquez to learn more about his plan.


Anthony Moreno: Congressman Vasquez, thank you so much for joining us.

Congressman Gabe Vasquez: Thanks for having me, Anthony.

Anthony Moreno: You announced a new plan that aims to lower costs and take on inflation while also creating good paying jobs and supporting working families. Can you share with us a little bit about how you plan to do this with this plan?

Congressman Gabe Vasquez: Yeah, of course. Thank you. Anthony. You know the one thing that I am always going to do as your congressman is to show up. And by showing up I do continue to hear from families about the challenges that they're facing and their top concern is the economy. So, I worked to pull together a lower cost plan that will help ease the burden of inflation and put money back in the pockets of taxpayers. This lower cost plan is really just a commitment to easing that burden of inflation, creating good paying jobs and ensuring that working families hard earned dollars stay where they belong and that's in their own homes. This isn't just about short-term fixes it’s really about laying the groundwork for a prosperous future for all New Mexicans, and when we put partisan politics aside and get back to delivering for the American people, we can do some pretty great things, and that's what this plan does. And so the plan is comprised of multiple bills that I've introduced, supported and will continue to push to address the economic challenges of working families.

Anthony Moreno: This bill, according to your office, says it would provide a one-time refundable tax credit equal to 10 percent of the taxpayer's federal taxes. Can you share with us a little bit about who's actually eligible for this plan?

Congressman Gabe Vasquez: Yeah, absolutely. So the Inflation Relief Act, which we just recently introduced would provide this one-time refundable tax credit equal to 10 percent of a taxpayer's federal taxes. That means somebody that makes, let's say, $70,000 a year would see around $900 back from the bill. To help ease the burden of inflation, now that that is capped at a certain income level to make sure that this truly is helping those folks who are impacted the most by inflation. But on average for somebody in New Mexico, they'd expect to see $900 back from this bill.

Anthony Moreno: What is the cap at?

Congressman Gabe Vasquez: The cap is at $250,000 per household.

Anthony Moreno: So how do you see this being able to help working families?

Congressman Gabe Vasquez: What we've seen is that the inflationary pressures that we have faced, whether it's higher cost at the gas pump, whether it’s rising mortgage rates, the rising cost of healthcare, the rising cost of food and gas. This is something that reinvests back into working families so that they then have the opportunity to make up for those losses that they have incurred as a result of inflation. Now, of course, families can use this money however they would like. However, we've seen that when we put more family, more money back into the pockets of our families, that they use it very wisely and we've seen that, for example, with the child tax credit, which reduced child poverty in the country by about 50 percent and including in our district impacts about 59,000 kids. So, this is just an opportunity for us to get families back on track with their finances and ease some of those inflationary pressures that they face every day.

Anthony Moreno: How do you think small businesses may be impacted by this plan?

Congressman Gabe Vasquez: Well, I think that one of the paths to wealth creation in this country and in New Mexico certainly is by creating small businesses. You know, I grew up in a family that all lived off a TV repair shop that was really important for our family to be able to, you know, put food on the table. So, for those families that have small businesses or that want to create a small business, this is an opportunity for them to again have a little bit more money in their pockets for that, you know, along with that you know this this plan is really also about building good paying jobs and supporting those small businesses. You know, just this week I was touring the CN Wire Corporation in Santa Teresa, and I was highlighting part of this package, which is the Economic Opportunity for Border Communities Act that targets federal investments in areas like Santa Teresa and Sunland Park so that we can bring some more of those jobs and associated small businesses to the area. I'm also working across the aisle to support the Rural Jobs Act that increases investment in rural small businesses. And the bipartisan One Stop Shop for Small Businesses Act, which could lower the administrative cost for small businesses, as part of this overall package.

Anthony Moreno: Congressman Gabe Vasquez, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us.

Congressman Gabe Vasquez: Thank you so much, Anthony.

Anthony Moreno serves as the Director of Content at KRWG Public Media. He also is host and executive producer for "Fronteras-A Changing America" and "Your Legislators" on KRWG-TV.