Senator Joe Manchin, joined the GOP in raising the alarm about rising inflation, saying that now is not the right time to make broad spending plans from Congress. Manchin was concerned about the new economic numbers released Thursday, which showed that inflation rose 7.5% in January to a new 40-year high.
Manchin firmly rejected the assertions of fellow Democrats that President Biden’s $2 trillion Build Back better legislation would increase inflation. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Speaker, has doubled down on her claim that this sweeping legislation is “a key tool in the fight against inflation” citing 17 Nobel Prize-winning economists.
Manchin stated that spending more money is not the right time. “We have inflation and an economy that’s basically on fire. We need to fix our house.”
The senator said that the Fed cannot continue to “pussyfoot around like they have been” during a WVMetroNews radio interview on Thursday.
According to a Labor Department report, January’s consumer price index increased 7.5% compared to a year ago. Republicans attacked the inflation numbers and claimed they were tied to Biden’s leadership. Rep. Kevin Brady, a top Republican on House Ways and Means Committee in Texas, said that “he just doesn’t understand it.
Wyoming GOP Senator John Barrasso is the Chair of the Senate Republican Conference. He stated that families are paying the bill for the “Democrats’ reckless spending” and misguided policies. He stated that Joe Biden’s economic system has caused Americans to drown in record-high levels of inflation.
Blaine Luetkemeyer (Republican from Missouri), is the ranking member of the House Small Business Committee. He stated that “Americans can’t keep up with reckless spending by the Democrats and this Administration.” It is enough.
Rising inflation is reducing the strong wage gains American workers have seen over the past months. Real hourly earnings increased 0.1% in January compared to the previous month. According to the Labor Department, the 0.6% inflation rise eroded the 0.7% total wages gain. Real earnings fell 1.7% in January on an annual basis.
Biden stated Thursday that although the numbers are high, forecasters believe inflation will fall substantially by 2022. He also pointed out that wage growth and job growth have been the fastest in decades.
Biden stated that “on higher prices, we’ve been using every tool we have at our disposal” and that while today serves as a reminder of Americans’ budgets being stretched in ways that cause real stress at home, there are signs that we can overcome this challenge.