President Joe Biden will deliver remarks on inflation Tuesday, a White House official said, as his administration looks to further address one of the key economic concerns for voters heading into November’s midterm elections.
“He’ll detail his plan to fight inflation and lower costs for working families, and contrast his approach with Congressional Republicans’ ultra-MAGA plan to raise taxes on 75 million American families and threaten to sunset programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” the official said in an email.
A CNN poll released last week found 8 in 10 US adults said the federal government wasn’t doing enough to curb inflation, and a majority said the President’s policies have hurt the economy. Even within the Democratic Party, just 7 in 10 approve of Biden on the economy (71%) and helping the middle class (71%), considerably lower than the 86% of Democrats who approve of his performance overall.
Biden’s expected remarks were first reported by Axios.
Inflation rates have been increasing sharply since August 2021 and have been out of the normal 2%-to-4% range for a full year. The Consumer Price Index rose 8.5% for the year ending in March, a rate that hadn’t been seen since December of 1981.
“It’s our job to make sure that inflation of that unpleasant high nature doesn’t get entrenched in the economy,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said last week, just after he announced a half-point interest rate hike to combat inflation.
Still, Americans are struggling with rising costs everywhere from the grocery store to the gas pump. Keeping prices stable is part of the Fed’s mandate, but so far inflation has kept creeping higher, leading some to wonder if the central bank is behind the curve with its policy.
The GOP is already leveraging inflation to weaken Democrats heading into the midterm elections as it argues that Biden and congressional Democrats aggravated the problem with the injection of pandemic-related stimulus funds into the economy in 2021.
Biden, for his part, has repeatedly acknowledged the reality of rising inflation while still touting the strength of the US economy.
“Too many families are struggling to keep up with their bills,” the President said during his State of the Union address earlier this year, noting that soaring costs are keeping workers from reaping the benefits of the strong labor market and rising wages. “I get it. That’s why my top priority is getting prices under control.”
This story has been updated with additional information Sunday.