‘Out of Touch’ Biden Faces Heat From GOP for Downplaying Inflation Data That Roiled Markets
On the heels of the report, the US Federal Reserve is expected to make its biggest increase in interest rates yet when it meets next week: a full percentage point, expressed as 100 base points.However, Joe Biden appeared unrattled by the data when he was asked if he was worried about inflation, telling reporters in Delaware:“I’m not, because we’re talking about one-tenth of one percent.”Earlier in the day, Biden said the latest data showed “progress” toward curbing inflation, acknowledging that more needed to be done in "bringing global inflation down in the US economy."GOP: Dems ‘Out of Touch’As markets plummeted, Joe Biden did not mention the latest inflation data at all during his speech at a party-like celebration on the lawn of the White House on September 13. The event was timed to his signature climate-and-tax law - the Inflation Reduction Act. The Biden administration has hailed the bill for its provisions on lowering the cost of prescription drugs, combating the climate crisis, reducing the federal deficit, and raising taxes on billion-dollar corporations.Tackling inflation before the November midterms has been the Democratic POTUS’ top priority. However, the bill may fail to make a dent in record-breaking inflation in the near future, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The CBO report estimated the bill will have a “negligible effect on inflation” in 2022.Biden’s economic policies were yet again scathingly criticized by Republicans.“They could not look more out of touch if they tried,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday.Joe Biden and the Democrats have been battling the headwinds of raging inflation before the November 8 midterm elections.All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are on the ballot, as well as 35 Senate seats, are up for grabs. Democrats currently have narrow majorities in both chambers of Congress, and have been attempting to boost their chances for retaining control of at least one as they ease price pressures. After exceeding $5 a gallon for the first time in history on June 14, US gasoline prices have been on a downward trajectory. Biden ordered a historic release of barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lessen the damage on consumer wallets at the gas pump. The $700bn-worth climate, health and tax bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, signed by Biden on August 16 after it received party-line votes in both the House and Senate has also been touted as a legislative victory. However, forecasts from FiveThirtyEight suggest that Republicans would win the House in 74 outcomes out of 100, while Democrats would keep the Senate in 69 outcomes out of 100. The Economist appears to offer similar forecasts.Meanwhile, Joe Biden's public approval rating remains close to the lowest level of his presidency, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll completed on Tuesday. Only 39% of Americans approved of Biden's handling of his job.