Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell lashed out at President Biden Monday over soaring inflation after the commander-in-chief expressed a hopeful economic outlook and vowed to “get it under control.”
The Kentucky Republican devoted a nearly 10-minute floor speech to rail against Mr. Biden, who said in a CBS “60 Minutes” interview aired Sunday that last month’s 8.3% annual inflation rate was “just an inch, hardly at all” an increase over the previous month.
“The inflation rate plateauing above 8% does not mean that families are catching a break. It means exactly the opposite,” Mr. McConnell said. “It means that families are continuing to see prices go up, and up, and up all the time.”
Democrats celebrated at the White House last week over the passage of their tax and climate spending bill — dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act — the same day that the stock market nosedived in response to the monthly inflation report.
When pressed about what the administration can do to help Americans weather the storm of the rising costs of everyday goods, Mr. Biden appeared defensive and unprepared for the question while offering an optimistic vision for the future with few details.
“First of all, let’s put this in perspective. Inflation rate month to month was just an inch, hardly at all,” he said. “I’m not saying it is good news. But it was 8.2% before. I mean, it’s not — you make it sound like all of a sudden, ‘My god, it went to 8.2%’ … [But] we’re in a position where, for the last several months, it hasn’t spiked. It’s been basically even.”
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Mr. Biden went on to argue that the price of health care, prescription drugs, energy and “basic costs for everybody” would decline as a result of their spending law. He also said that the U.S. will “continue to grow the economy” despite two consecutive quarters of negative growth, which has fueled concerns of an impending recession.
Mr. McConnell derided the president’s responses as “almost comically out-of-touch.”
“The president argued with a straight face that the American people ought to be grateful for last month’s charitable inflation report because it could have been even worse,” he said. “President Biden might want to talk to Americans who are trying to survive under his policies before he sits down for his next TV interview.”