But these efforts have done little to tame inflation, which is at its fastest in 40 years, the result of knotted supply chains that have created shortages of goods; Russia’s war in Ukraine, which is driving up energy prices; and unbridled consumer demand.
Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen told a Senate committee on Tuesday that she remains concerned about rising prices in the United States and that despite some predictions that inflation has peaked, it’s not clear when prices will ease. She pointed to the trajectory of the pandemic, lockdowns in China and changing consumption patterns in the United States as important variables.
“The inflation outlook still remains quite uncertain,” Ms Yellen said.
While the President’s ability to fight inflation is limited — the main tools to fight rising prices rest with the Federal Reserve — rising costs have become a talking point for Republicans and a political burden for Mr. Biden, whose approval ratings have plummeted are.
Republicans have tried to blame the Biden administration and Democrats for inflation, seeing it as a winning theme ahead of the midterms. Republicans have pointed to the $1.9 trillion Pandemic Assistance Act passed by Congress last year, which expanded stimulus payments and unemployment benefits and pumped billions of dollars into states and cities when economies were already recovering.
“Biden may live in an alternate reality, but voters don’t, which is why they blame Biden and Democrats alone for the rising prices they see for essential commodities, gas and groceries,” Ms. McDaniel said. “The economy is on the ballot in November, and voters know Biden and the Democrats are only going to make it worse.”
The Biden administration has blamed external factors for inflation, such as the pandemic, supply chain disruptions and the aftermath of the war in Ukraine, and has argued that Republicans are responsible for the stimulus money approved during the Trump administration became. The Biden administration has also accused companies of making things worse by cutting prices to bolster profits.
Mr Biden has for months claimed credit for cutting the federal deficit and promoting tax hikes on corporations and the wealthy, saying they haven’t paid their fair share. He has also accused energy companies of making a profit without increasing production.
Alan Rappeport contributed to the coverage.