President Joe Biden on Tuesday touted his administration’s efforts to address inflation, as he argued that one prominent Republican’s proposals would hurt the country.
“Look, the bottom line is this: Americans have a choice right now, between two paths, reflecting two very different sets of values,” Biden said during a brief speech.
“My plan attacks inflation and grows the economy by lowering costs for working families, giving workers well-deserved raises, reducing the deficit by historic levels, and making big corporations and the very wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.”
“The other path is the ultra-MAGA plan put forward by congressional Republicans to raise taxes on working families, lower the income of American workers, threaten the sacred programs Americans count on like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and give break after break to big corporations and billionaires just like they did the last time they were in power,” Biden added.
MAGA refers to former President Donald Trump’s slogan, Make America Great Again. The plan mentioned comes from GOP Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, who chairs the National Republican Senate Committee.
Biden has been highlighting his efforts to address inflation repeatedly, while analysts predict defeats for his Democratic Party in November’s midterm elections if high prices persist. The president continues to get blamed for high inflation and faces low approval ratings, even as he emphasizes how energy prices
are tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has rebuked Scott for his proposal, with the Kentucky Republican saying in March: “We will not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the American people and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years.”
Republicans went after Biden and his fellow Democrats on Tuesday before his address, with McConnell criticizing last year’s COVID-19 stimulus package.
“Democrats dumped $2 trillion on a recovering economy and paid people a bonus to stay home from work even after vaccines were available, and the American people are hurting as a result,” the lawmaker said in a speech on the Senate floor.
The National Republican Senate Committee characterized Biden’s speech on inflation as “bizarre.”
“The more Joe Biden talks about inflation, the better it is for Republicans. He’s said he will be on the campaign trail this year and we welcome that. We hope he spends every day in our target states talking about inflation,” said the NRSC’s communications director, Chris Hartline, in a statement.
A fresh reading for the consumer price index is slated for release on Wednesday morning, with economists expecting a year-over-year rate of 8.1% for April, down from 8.5% for March’s CPI reading.
When asked by a reporter Tuesday after his speech about how he’s getting blamed for inflation by many Americans, Biden pushed back a bit. He said Democrats “control all three branches of government,” but “don’t really,” given the Senate’s 50-50 split and the need for “60 votes to get major things done.”
The Biden administration has eased some Trump-era tariffs on other countries’ goods, but analysts have said more could be done and eliminating the levies would help with inflation. When asked about dropping his predecessor’s China tariffs, Biden said no decision has been made yet.
“We’re discussing that right now. We’re looking at what would have the most positive impact,” the president told reporters.
traded mostly lower Tuesday, continuing their recent selloff. The S&P 500
and Dow Jones Industrial Average
on Monday endured their lowest closes since March 2021.