Biden uses inflation report to hit GOP on economy

AP-Susan Walsh
President Joe Biden talks with reporters outside White House.

President Biden says Thursday’s positive inflation report, which showed prices cooling in December, supports his stewardship of the economy and should make House Republicans reconsider their agenda.

Biden spoke to reporters shortly after data from the consumer price index showed the annual inflation rate fell from 7.1 percent in November 2022 to 6.5 percent in December. The report indicated prices fell 0.1 percent overall last month after rising 0.1 percent in November. 

While some costs, such as shelter, increased last month, the report overall was welcome news for Biden as he projected confidence that inflation is cooling and a recession can be avoided. 

“Today’s inflation numbers are good news, good news about our economy,” he said. “We have more work to do, but we’re on the right track. We’re seeing bright spots across the country where great things are happening.” 

The president argued that his economic plan and Democratic legislation that included tax credits for certain environmentally friendly purchases, caps on insulin costs for seniors on Medicare and investments in manufacturing is paying off. 

“These were all pieces of that big law that we passed last year,” Biden said, referring to the Inflation Reduction Act. “Now they’re kicking in and Americans are starting to feel the benefits.” 

He sought to contrast his record on the economy with proposals in the opening days of the new Congress by House Republicans, who hold the majority in the chamber. 

“House Republicans campaigned on inflation. They didn’t say their plan if elected was to make inflation worse,” Biden said. 

The president pointed to a bill passed earlier this week by Republicans to claw back roughly $80 billion in funding for the IRS set aside in the Inflation Reduction Act. Biden vowed to veto the legislation if it reached his desk, warning that it would benefit wealthy Americans and corporations using loopholes in the tax system.  

Democrats have said the money will be used to improve taxpayer services and increase the agency’s ability to crack down on corporations and wealthy Americans who are skirting tax laws. 

Republicans for months vowed to reverse the funding if they won control of the House, claiming the money would be used to fund other Democratic priorities and that the agency would go after middle-income Americans. 

Biden’s speech on inflation was delayed roughly 30 minutes after the White House issued a statement confirming additional classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president were found at his Delaware home.

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