WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Leaders in Washington, D.C. are warning that inflation issues could get worse, but they disagree over what to do about it.
President Joe Biden says that if Russia invades Ukraine, it could cost the U.S.
“I will not pretend this will be painless. There could be impact on our energy prices,” Biden said Tuesday.
Inflation in America is already surging. The Labor Department reported last week that inflation went up 7.5% in January compared to last year – the highest jump in 40 years.
Republicans, like Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, blame that partly on the spending included in the American Rescue Plan.
“You can’t just throw the stimulus in and change the policies on the supply side as well and not expect inflation to rage,” Portman said.
Sen. Mitch McConnell connects high energy costs to the president’s policies, including shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline and limiting offshore drilling.
“If the president is serious about providing relief for Americans at the pump or blunting [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s manipulation of energy markets, he will stop his administration’s anti-energy policies,” McConnell said.
Democrats say they are actively looking for solutions. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says Republicans should do more than just complain.
“Republicans seem to have no solutions, just rhetoric,” the New York Democrat said. “These challenges demand action and Democrats remain laser focused on lowering costs.”
One thing Democrats are considering is a temporary federal gas tax holiday.
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., says he also believes a number of the policies his party is pushing could help cut costs.
“Having their child care costs go down could help provide some relief. Having other costs go down – the price of prescription drugs should go down,” Casey said.
But Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., thinks the solution comes down to cutting regulations.
“Stop spending money. Stop making it difficult to open and build a business. Stop making difficult to run a business,” Scott said.