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President Biden on Tuesday outlined his plan to fight inflation, which he says is his “top national priority,” saying his policies “will help, not hurt,” while warning against Republican plans and what he calls their “ultra-MAGA”. agenda.
Inflation figures released last month hit a new four-decade high in March as Russia’s war on Ukraine fueled rapid oil and gas price hikes that wiped out the benefits of rising wages for most Americans.
BIDEN TO PRESENT ‘INFLATION-FIGHTING PLAN’, CONTRAST BETWEEN HIS ADMINISTRATION AND ‘ULTRA-MAGA’ PLANS
The consumer price index rose 8.5% in March from a year ago, according to the Labor Department report released Tuesday, marking the fastest rise since January 1982, when inflation reached 8.4%. The CPI, which measures a host of goods from gas and health care to groceries and rents, jumped 1.2% in the January period.
The president said on Tuesday he “takes inflation very seriously” and called it “my national priority.”
Biden said the “once-in-a-century pandemic” and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine were the two drivers of inflation, not the policies of his administration.
The president said his plan was “to increasingly reduce the daily costs of American workers and reduce the deficit by asking big business and the wealthiest Americans not to price gouge and pay their fair share of taxes”.
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By contrast, Biden said the Republicans’ plan “is to raise taxes on middle-class families, let billionaires and big corporations off the hook when they raise prices, and represent record profits.” .
“My plan is tackling tax inflation and growing the economy, cutting costs for working families, giving workers well-deserved raises, reducing the deficit to historic levels, forcing big businesses, the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share,” Biden said.
Biden denounced what he called the “ultra-MAGA” plan of some congressional Republicans
When asked if his administration would take responsibility for inflation, the president stressed that his policies and plans were working to address the problem.
“I think our policies help, quite a bit,” Biden said.
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When asked again by a reporter if the Biden administration bore some responsibility for record inflation, the president pointed to “power.”
“We control all three branches of government,” Biden said. “Well, we don’t really.”
The president pointed to the party’s 50-50 split in the Senate.
“You need 60 votes to get things done. I’ve been pushing the things I’m proposing here… since I’ve been in power, and I need to get 60 votes to even get through.”
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The president focused Tuesday on his pledge to release 1 million barrels of oil a day from the strategic petroleum reserve for the next 6 months, and his approval to sell E15 fuel across the United States during the summer. to lower prices and “reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reckless autocrats like Putin.”
Biden slammed Republicans for offering “a lot of blame” for gasoline prices, which hit record highs on Tuesday, but said they didn’t offer “one solution to actually do lower energy prices.
According to the AAA average gas price calculatorthe national average cost of a regular gallon of gasoline hit $4.374 on Tuesday, the highest on record according to AAA.
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Meanwhile, the president is contrasting his administration’s policies with Republicans as he prepares for the midterm elections. The president in recent weeks has begun rolling out endorsements for Democrats, kicking off the campaign trail for fundraisers, outlining his platform, and working to “refine the contrast“between his administration and congressional Republicans, a Advisor Biden told Fox News last month.
Part of Biden’s key campaign strategy, the adviser said, will be to “emphasize the contrast” between Democrats and Republicans.
Fox News’ Pat Ward and Hillary Vaughan contributed to this report.
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