Dems forge ahead on $1.75T bill over inflation fears

“We don’t spend any more money unless it’s absolutely paid for. So it doesn’t add to the inflation index, “said MP Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), One of the loudest critics of the State Spending Group, who is likely to support the bill, provided there isn’t any bad news from Congress’ goalkeeper in the coming days.

“Taxpayers don’t want us to increase the deficit. We’ve already spent $ 5 trillion, for God’s sake. It is time to contain this rampant spending while making sure it doesn’t add to the inflation index, ”said Schrader.

The Democrats are pushing a vote on their sweeping bill and are largely confident that the Congressional Budget Office’s new data will be enough to win over half a dozen recalcitrant moderates over the next 48 hours. Once that happens, House Democrats must quickly move on to the task of explaining what is on their bill – and why more cash will actually help control prices in the long run.

It won’t be easy to find the balance. Some senior members and aides have secretly grumbled that their party has not yet given them enough tools to counter the spate of GOP attacks on the issue, and are looking for more than Biden’s recent talking points including a recent letter from more than a dozen Nobel Prize winners in economics.

Many battlefield district Democrats recognize concern about the roughly 6 percent rise in consumer costs, the fastest twelve-month move since 1990.

“I’m worried about inflation. And I noticed that myself at the pump. Prices are going up and I know it’s stressful for people, especially during the holidays, ”said MEP Elaine Luria (D-Va.), Who represents a swing district.

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.), A centrist Blue Dog whose district is just outside Los Angeles, said he blamed the pandemic for the city’s blocked ports that have resulted in mass bottlenecks.

“I’ve been watching inflation since the 1980s,” Correa said, brushing aside broader macroeconomic inflation fears. Instead, he said, it’s more likely to be limited to certain goods.

“We have to ensure that the aftermath of Covid-19 does not continue. That is the topic right now. Covid-19 deficiency, “said Correa. “Ship bottlenecks, why do you have ship bottlenecks? Covid19. “

The concerns were stronger in the Senate, where Sens. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) Have been fueling fears of inflation for months.

“I’m very worried about inflation. It’s all I hear at home. People are very, very concerned,” Sinema said in an interview, recalling a recent visit to a grocery store where she was of her own Bill was shocked.

“The costs continue to rise. So it’s very worrying to see this kind of record-breaking inflation which is the worst we’ve seen in 30 years, so certainly most of my life. And it is certainly of the utmost importance to the Arizonans, ”said Sinema.

While GOP leaders claimed that record congressional spending was responsible for the recent spurts of inflation, top Democrats say the reality is far more complicated than the government’s red ink during a public health emergency.

“Inflation is a real problem, we have to deal with it. We are dealing with this in the infrastructure law, which will support the supply routes, ”Steny Hoyer, majority leader in the House of Representatives, told reporters on Tuesday. “We know that prices go up when the offer is not available. That is the simplified reason why there are other, more complicated reasons. ”

Instead, Democrats argue that Biden’s top legislative priority could actually help fix supply chain problems and lower the costs Americans pay for things like prescription drugs and childcare.

“The Build Back Better Act will address this cost of living critically. Some could argue in a historically transformative way, ”said Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Caucus.

Republicans have used inflation as a stick against the Democrats and see it as one of their biggest weaknesses at halftime. They argue that the spending packages will worsen inflation as Americans move into the holiday season.

Strategists have already warned of rising gasoline and food prices in advertisements on major battlefields. An ad this week from the American Action Network – part of a $ 2 million purchase in half a dozen boroughs – targets Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) And seeks to tie him to inflation.

“There is no end to the creativity Republicans use when they’re not tied to the truth,” Kildee said of the GOP attacks.

Marianne LeVine and Heather Caygle contributed to this report.

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