Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
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- Mitch McConnell slammed Biden and Democrats after another report found inflation increasing at its worst rate in decades.
- Biden himself said he gets that families are feeling the strain of price increases.
- Democrats are fretting that higher prices will only exacerbate their losses this November.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attacked Democrats on Thursday after the release of a new federal report showing inflation hitting its highest level in four decades.
“This all-Democrat government was warned their radical agenda would supercharge inflation and they pushed ahead anyway,” McConnell wrote on Twitter. “Now, rampant inflation and soaring prices are crushing the American people.”
The Consumer Price Index — a commonly used measure of US inflation — rose 7.5% year-over-year in January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Thursday morning. The announcement continues a trend from last year that continues to find prices surging at their fastest rate in decades.
Inflation is high due to supply-chain bottlenecks and persistent labor shortages, contributing to rising prices in nearly every part of the economy. The White House initially batted down concerns that inflation would be long-lasting in early 2021, but in recent months top economic officials have conceded that rising prices may remain for some time.
Biden on Thursday pitched his stalled economic agenda as one way to address the troubling trend and cut prices. He also spoke to the pain American families are feeling right now.
“Inflation is up. It’s up,” Biden said an event in Virginia about his administration’s work to lower prescription drug costs. “And coming from a family when the price of gas went up, you felt it in the household, you knew what it was like, it matters.”
Lawmakers and party strategists are worried that high inflation will only cause more headaches for the party heading into what were already challenging midterm elections.
Democrats are struggling to get Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on board with the party’s social and climate spending package after he derailed the House-approved bill in December. Without his vote, Senate Democrats can’t clear the bill over united Republican resistance.
Manchin raised fresh concerns about the plan during a West Virginia Metro News interview, dampening odds that even a slimmer package will get a thumbs-up from him anytime soon. “Now’s not a time to be throwing caution to the wind and putting more trillions of dollars out,” he said Thursday.