Several GOP Congressmen were quick to blame President Joe Biden’s (D) policies for a higher-than-expected inflation report.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported inflation at 7.5%, the highest since 1982. Food and energy were the sectors with the greatest increases.

Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL04) said on social media, “The Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed today that inflation has now jumped 7.5% in the last year. That’s a new 40-year high.”

Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL03) said on social media, “Inflation has risen to its highest in decades under Joe Biden. Meaning more money is coming out of your hard-earned paychecks just to cover the cost of groceries.”

Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL05) said, “Inflation hasn’t been this high since 1982! Caused by Socialist Democrats’ reckless spending and welfare policies, rising prices on everything from groceries to used cars are squeezing working family budgets. The out-of-control Washington spending has to stop.”

Congressman Barry Moore (R-AL04) said, “The inflation rate just hit a whopping 7.5%, the highest in nearly 40 years. Americans are suffering from President Biden's out-of-control spending at their grocery store, the gas pump, and everywhere they spend their hard-earned money. We cannot continue down this path. We need policies to drive inflation down and wages up.”

Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL06) said, “Inflation is officially the highest it's been in 40 years and it's not slowing down. Some estimates say that inflation is costing the average family an extra $250 per month.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) issued a statement in response to the January CPI report.

“The White House’s policies have defied the most basic principles of economics,” McCarthy said. “They injected trillions into the economy while forcing lockdowns, driving inflation to another 40-year high. Washington Democrats were warned by both Republicans and even members of their own party this would happen. But they did it anyway because recklessly spending taxpayer dollars appears to be the only thing the Democrat Party seems to know how to do.

"The only ‘transitory’ aspect of this entire situation has been the short time Americans experienced lower costs at the beginning of 2021 before they were sabotaged by the Biden administration,” McCarthy continued. "And now, under Democrats' one-party control, paychecks of American workers are worth 7.5% less today than a year ago. We cannot continue on this path. The American people need relief – it is time for a leadership change in Washington who will focus on lowering costs, getting our economy back on track, and returning our country back to normal.”

Current gas prices are at an eight-year high, impacting the costs of production of almost everything else to a degree. Oil prices are at $90 a barrel and the average cost of a gallon of gas nationally is at $3.47, even though, historically, gas prices drop after the Christmas holidays as demand drops. Republicans blame President Biden’s energy policies, including blocking the Keystone Pipeline and suspending oil and gas exploration in ANWAR and on all federal lands, including in the Gulf of Mexico.

McCarthy said that Biden’s release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, tapping into an emergency supply, did nothing to alleviate costs. The GOP also blames exorbitant government spending for contributing to the inflation crisis.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about inflation in the Friday press briefing at the White House.

“Well, there’s a couple steps that the President is very focused on as it relates to addressing inflation,” Psaki said. “One, I would note that economists and the Federal Reserve still predict that inflation will come down — will moderate over the course of the year. And the President has also said that he supports the steps that the Federal Reserve — an independent body — has announced about recalibrating over the course of the coming months.  And he’s obviously nominated a number of individuals to fill the board, which is an essential part of addressing this.

"But I would also note, beyond that, how the President really looks at this is how you’re addressing core costs for the American people.  So, you referenced the Build Back Better plan. First, we believe there’s a path forward, and the President is going to continue to fight for it. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have gone to Virginia earlier this week and talked about negotiating the price of prescription drugs. So, his view is that in order to address costs that have been affecting inflation but also affecting families for many decades — the cost of prescription drugs, the cost of child care — we need to move that forward.

"But it’s not just that. We also need to address supply chains in the short term at the ports, rebuild our manufacturing infrastructure, make sure that we are implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and continuing to press for the competitiveness legislation that will help ensure we have funding for chips for manufacturing of cars here in the United States. And you’ve also heard him talk a fair amount about promoting competition.  And that addresses issues — like we’ve seen price increases in the meat industry and others.  And that will help bring down costs for Americans.”

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