Hill GOPers Hammer Biden on Latest Inflation Report; Democrats Want to Change the Subject
Inflation remains high at an 8.5 percent annual rate of increase, according to the last such report to Americans before they vote on Nov. 8, and congressional Republicans appear set to remind them of it every day between now and the election.
But even as Hill GOPers issued a blizzard of news releases and Twitter posts about the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Producer Price Index report Wednesday, Democrats in Congress seemed determined to talk about anything but the rising cost of living.
Typical was this statement issued by Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), saying, “Today’s inflation report is the last one Americans will see before going to the polls in 26 days. The picture it paints is clear: Democrat tax and spend policies have failed this nation as inflation remains at historically high rates.
“Kansans and all Americans are currently paying 13.5 percent more since they were when Joe Biden took office. In turn, we see lower wages, savings accounts being drained, and the cost of living more expensive across the board. The American people can no longer afford the financial anxiety and failing economic agenda of Joe Biden. To truly put an end to this crisis, we must put an end to Democrats’ reign in D.C.”
In his statement, Marshall pointed out that utility gas prices have increased 33.1 percent for the year, while electricity prices are up 15.5 percent, transportation prices are up 14.6 percent, and food prices at home are up 13 percent.
Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said the new BLS report “signals yet more inflationary pressures remain in the economic pipelines, which will hit consumers down the road. Inflationary policies have forced the Federal Reserve to dampen overall demand in the economy through higher interest rates, which means more debt service costs for the federal government, and higher rates on mortgages and credit balances for American families already struggling with higher food and energy costs.”
Crapo added that “the current administration took an economy on an impressive rebound from lockdowns, injected trillions of dollars in reckless spending, and American families and future generations will pay the price of economic mismanagement.”
Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott pointed to surging prices as making it harder for residents to recover from the devastating destruction of Hurricane Ian.
“Skyrocketing inflation has been hurting Florida families every day for nearly two years. But, when times get tough, inflation becomes an unbearable kick for families trying to get back on their feet. Make no mistake—Joe Biden’s skyrocketing inflation is a huge roadblock for so many families now fighting to recover from Hurricane Ian,” Scott said in a statement.
On the other side of Capitol Hill, House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-Texas) predicted prices will continue going up and the economy will be in a recession.
“Main Street businesses continue to struggle with higher prices and there’s no end in sight. Thanks to President Biden’s bungling of the economy, they will either cut jobs or pass costs on to consumers who are struggling to pay their bills in this cruel economy.
“With this wage-price spiral, it’s no wonder top job creators believe we haven’t hit peak inflation yet, and see a serious recession either underway or arriving in the next year. Local business optimism has collapsed amidst a crippling labor shortage,” Brady said.
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) tweeted on the report, noting that, “For the sixth consecutive month, inflation has retained 40-year highs at over 8 percent. As our national debt towers above $31 trillion and inflation is red-hot, it’s long past the time to reign in the careless government spending that led us into economic turmoil.”
A statement issued by Joint Economic Committee Chairman Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) demonstrated Democrats’ desire to change the subject.
“The latest inflation data confirm what households across the country are feeling: Prices remain too high for U.S. workers and families. While overall inflation over the last year has slowed, helped by deflation in energy and used cars, it’s not yet enough,” Beyer conceded.
But then he noted that “while today’s report is not what we were hoping for, there is some good news for American seniors, who will receive the largest Social Security cost-of-living increase in more than 40 years to help weather higher prices. At the same time, the latest employment data are showing that the pace of job growth is returning to more normal and stable levels, which is essential to our fight against inflation.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a statement focused on the Social Security increase, but saying nothing about the BLS inflation report.
“This year’s cost-of-living boost in benefits is an important reminder that Social Security is the bedrock of financial security for America’s seniors in challenging times. This increase in benefits, together with the historic action that Democrats have delivered to lower seniors’ prescription drug costs with the Inflation Reduction Act, shows the vital role Medicare and Social Security provide to protect seniors from rising costs,” Pelosi said.
It being an election year, however, Pelosi sought to tie the good news about bigger Social Security checks with the familiar Democratic campaign accusation that Republicans want to kill the government retirement program and Medicare.
“Yet with Social Security and Medicare as essential as ever, extreme MAGA Republicans are openly plotting new schemes to slash seniors’ benefits and raise their costs—including by threatening to cause an economic catastrophe by holding the debt limit hostage for their toxic agenda,” Pelosi said.
“Republicans are pledging to repeal the lower drug costs and 158 House Republicans have already endorsed an extreme MAGA plan to privatize Social Security, raise the retirement age and end Medicare as we know it,” she added.