Speaking with reporters on Monday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre inadvertently suggested that Biden’s American Rescue Plan contributed to inflation.
After claiming that gas prices have been trending downwards for months (not true), Jean-Pierre told her audience that Americans would start to see relief from inflation “early next year” and then went on a tangent about hearing aids.
That’s about the time Fox Business correspondent Edward Lawrence interrupted her to point out that inflation and gas prices have only increased since President Joe Biden took office 18 months ago.
Jean-Pierre’s rebuttal was that – 18 months ago – Democratic lawmakers approved the American Rescue Act on their own, without help from Republicans.
Social media erupted with comments mocking the Press Secretary’s gaffe:
- “Sounds like cause and effect,” quipped RNC executive Tommy Pigott.
- “She finally gets it!” added GOP Senator Tom Cotton.
- “From the same lying hacks who brought you ‘inflation is transitory,’” wrote Donald Trump, Jr.
Seeming not to realize what her words implied, Jean-Pierre went on to celebrate the Rescue Plan for helping the American people by assisting schools and small businesses as they reopened following pandemic closures.
“[The Rescue Plan] was something that was so critical to meet the moment that the American people were going through, that helped put shots in arms. That matters. That was part of the President’s economy plan, right, that was part of his policy. That helped us gain these jobs back,” continued Jean-Pierre, again avoiding the topic of inflation. “We created more than 10 million jobs, that’s because of what the President was able to do.”
Speaking of inflation, Biden recently claimed the US was ‘making progress’ despite the fact that inflation has been sitting at a 40-year high of 8.2% for months.
“The president understands…that, um, inflation is an issue, high costs is an issue for the American people,” said Jean-Pierre awkwardly. “He’s been very clear about making that his number one economic priority…And he has done the work.”
When pressed by Fox News reporter Steve Doocy to explain why Biden’s alleged ‘hard work’ had failed to produce results, Jean-Pierre said the Administration “understands that there are challenges” and accused GOP lawmakers of hindering Democrats’ attempts to lower prices.
According to the latest polls, however, voters have little faith in the Biden Administration’s ability to tackle inflation and are looking to Republicans for a solution as we head towards midterms.
Though Biden has framed the Inflation Reduction Act (signed in August) as a way to lower the cost of prescription drugs and reduce the national deficit, economists warn the legislation will have little to no impact. At the very best, Americans will start to experience savings in 2024.