Responding to the latest Consumer Price Index that shows inflation is reaching highs not seen in decades, Biden issued a statement saying that he believes the United States will pull through. A Department of Labor report Thursday, which shows that prices have increased for a variety of goods including gasoline, groceries, and heating fuel, found that the all items index rose by about 7.5 percent year-over-year—the highest it has done so in 40 years.
“On higher prices, we have been using every tool at our disposal, and while today is a reminder that Americans’ budgets are being stretched in ways that create real stress at the kitchen table, there are also signs that we will make it through this challenge,” Biden said in a statement.
The president said that “while today’s report is elevated, forecasters continue to project inflation easing substantially by the end of 2022.” Biden pointed to wage growths and moderation in the price of cars.
“We will continue to fight for costs in areas that have held back families and working people for decades, from prescription drugs to child care and elder care to their energy costs. And we will continue to promote more competition to make our markets more competitive and give consumers more choices,” Biden said.
About seven months ago, Biden proclaimed that the price increases “are expected to be temporary” and were associated with the “transitory effects” of COVID-19.
During an event in Virginia on Thursday, Biden again pushed Congress to pass his $2 trillion spending package despite Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) having repeatedly said he wouldn’t support it. On Thursday, Manchin issued another warning that too much spending will exacerbate inflation.
“Congress and the Administration must proceed with caution before adding more fuel to an economy already on fire,” warned Manchin, who proclaimed the $2 trillion bill as “dead” earlier in February.
Meanwhile, Republicans again seized on Thursday’s Department of Labor report and said Biden’s policies are a key reason for its cause of the spike in inflation.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), during a Senate floor speech Thursday, asserted that “experts had predicted another red-hot inflation report, around 7 percent” but “even that alone would have meant we were still trapped inside the worst inflation in 40 years.”
“But reality turned out to be even worse than that,” he added. “It turns out inflation this past year hasn’t been 7 percent. It’s been 7 and a half percent.”
McConnell added: “In other words, if you haven’t personally gotten a pay raise of 8 percent or more in the last year, then Democrats’ policies have given you a pay cut.”