Biden Says Inflation Is His ‘Top Domestic Priority’

President Joe Biden pledged Tuesday to make a fight against inflation his top domestic priority while rebuking Republican economic proposals he said miss the mark — zeroing in on Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott.

Despite low unemployment numbers and the Federal Reserve steadily raising rates, everyday costs from gas to groceries continue to rise.

The price of oil remains stubbornly high, pushing prices at the gas pump to painful heights. Drivers were paying $4.37 for a gallon of regular Tuesday, on average, according to AAA. That’s 25 cents higher than a month ago and $1.40 more than a year ago.

“I know the families across America are hurting because of inflation,” Biden said. “But I want every American to know that I’m taking inflation very seriously and it’s my top domestic priority.”

Republicans argue the Biden administration flooded the economy with too much money — which led to these high numbers. But Biden said Tuesday that there are other causes.

“There are two leading causes of inflation today. The first cause is a once-in-a-century pandemic,” Biden said. “And this year, we have a second cause: Mr. Putin’s war in Ukraine.”

Experts believe the European Union’s announcement to stop all imports of Russian oil by the end of the year could be the cause of oil prices going up.

Biden said he would release 1 million barrels of oil per day from reserves while enacting emergency measures to expand biofuel sales during the summer when gas is expected to get even more expensive and penalizing gas companies that refuse to release more oil.

“My plan is to lower everyday costs for hardworking Americans and lower the deficit by asking large corporations and the wealthiest Americans to not engage in price gouging and to pay their fair share in taxes,” Biden said.

Biden also spent a significant amount of time bashing the Republican Party, which has focused on the economic woes as part of midterm campaigns.

In his speech, Biden directly called out Scott for releasing an 11-point plan that Biden said represents the “ultra MAGA agenda” by a Republican Party that he finds increasingly extreme in its views on everything from tax policy to entitlement programs.

“Their plan is to raise taxes on 75 million American families, over 95% of whom make less than $100,000 a year in total income,” said Biden, who at one point mistakenly referred to Scott as being from Wisconsin. “They’ve got it backwards in my view.”

Biden also rejected a plank in Scott’s plan that calls for all federal legislation to sunset within five years. Scott’s proposal says, “If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again.”

Biden said that would put Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in peril and turn the safety net programs into bargaining chips that Republican lawmakers could hold “hostage” in exchange for other proposals.

“Now, if I hadn’t seen it in writing, I’d think somebody is making this up,” Biden said.

The rest of Biden’s midday speech on inflation focused on issues he’s repeatedly asked Congress to approve, including lowering the cost of prescription drugs and advancing legislation to boost renewable energy production.

Biden said that Americans have a choice to make on two paths forward to address inflation.

“​​My plan is to lower everyday costs for hardworking Americans and lower the deficit by asking large corporations and the wealthiest Americans to not engage in price gouging and to pay their fair share in taxes,” Biden said.

“The Republican plan is to increase taxes on middle-class families and let billionaires and large companies off the hook as they raise prices and reap profits in record amounts. And it’s really that simple.”

 

 

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