Under inflation fire, Biden nods to Fed, attacks Republicans

U.S. President Joe Biden arrives to deliver a speech on expanding high-speed internet access, during a Rose Garden event at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque /File Photo

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WASHINGTON, May 10 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden, under pressure to rein in high inflation, sought to assure Americans on Tuesday that he understood what they were dealing with and that the Federal Reserve was working to solve the main problem weighing on his administration. .

With soaring inflation pushing up annual consumer prices by more than 8%, the president pointed to his release of oil from strategic oil reserves and the pressure on companies to deliver record profits to the consumers in the form of lower prices.

“I know families all over America are hurting because of inflation,” Biden said in a speech from the White House. “I want every American to know that I take inflation very seriously and it is my national priority.”

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Biden said the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with supply chain issues and Russia’s war on Ukraine, are to blame for soaring inflation, but the Fed should and will do its work to control it. The US central bank raised interest rates by half a percentage point last week and is expected to make further hikes this year.

The president did not announce any new policy measures in the speech, which came a day before new consumer price data showed inflation remained high through April.

Inflation

REPUBLICAN TAX PLAN

Biden has also honed his attacks on Republicans six months before the Nov. 8 congressional election, where Democrats hope to retain control of the Senate and House of Representatives.

“The Republican plan is to raise taxes on middle-class families,” he said.

Biden and senior officials have repeatedly said as prices rise in 2021 that they expect inflation to be temporary, but it has persisted.

Demand spurred by government spending and savings accumulated during the pandemic has failed to keep up with creaky supply chains and labor shortages, leading to rising inflation at the global scale.

This has created a political problem as American consumers face higher grocery and gas bills, exacerbated by measures blocking Russian oil and gas after the invasion of Ukraine, an action that Russia calls it “a special operation”.

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll last week, less than half of American adults – 44% – approve of Biden’s handling of the presidency and see the economy as the country’s most important issue.

Republicans are working to capitalize on the issue in congressional elections, pushing for measures such as loosening regulations on oil and gas producers as well as cutting some taxes and government spending. But the party has not approved any policy documents outlining the measures it would take against inflation.

Biden has stepped up his attack on Republicans in recent days, including calling former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement extreme. Read more

“Voters know that Republican-led states are leading the way in economic recovery and job creation, and will vote for Republicans and our proven platform in November,” said National Committee spokeswoman Emma Vaughn. republican.

Biden has taken aim at a ‘Rescue America’ proposal by Republican Rick Scott, the U.S. senator from Florida, which includes a federal minimum income tax that the White House says would cost families in the class $1,500 a year mean.

Scott said the plan was uniquely his, despite his role as chairman of the Republican National Senate Committee, the campaign arm of the Senate Republican caucus. Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected Scott’s calls to tax Americans who do not pay income tax and to remove Social Security and Medicare entitlements.

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Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by Steve Holland and David Morgan; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell, Heather Timmons and Paul Simao

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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