Inflation concerns leave GOP supporters of Biden's bipartisan infrastructure framework on an island

Inflation concerns leave GOP supporters of Biden's bipartisan infrastructure framework on an island
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The bipartisan infrastructure framework negotiations have seemingly driven an inflation-shaped wedge between centrist Republican senators and other party members.

Of the 11 Republican senators who endorsed the so-called bipartisan proposal, just four — Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Mike Rounds of South Dakota — publicly commented on claims made by other members of their own party that passing either of the $1 trillion physical infrastructure package or Democratic leadership's $3.5 trillion Build Back Better budget reconciliation plan will exacerbate the current inflationary run.

Furthermore, only Graham and Portman had publicly commented on the inflationary impact the bipartisan plan could have. During an appearance on Laura Ingraham's Monday night broadcast, he issued an endorsement of the president's assertion that "if your primary concern right now is inflation, you should be even more enthusiastic about" the bipartisan effort.

In between long attacks on the $3.5 trillion plan and Biden's immigration strategies, Ingraham questioned the president's suggestion on whether "these investments are going to help with inflation." Graham offered a two-word reply.

"They are."

Portman additionally cited two economists in a July 15 press release arguing that the bipartisan proposal would not impact inflation by stretching investments over a longer time frame.

"President Biden’s proposed $3.5 trillion spending package contains trillions in social spending, which will add to the demand side and put pressure on inflation," the release reads. "The bipartisan infrastructure plan does just the opposite — core infrastructure provides supply, or goods. Furthermore, they say that most of the spending in the bipartisan proposal would occur after 2022 and after the current inflation concerns will have likely subsided."

The Washington Examiner asked officials from the aforementioned four offices — as well as Susan Collins from Maine, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis from North Carolina, Todd Young from Indiana, Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, Jerry Moran from Kansas, and Mitt Romney from Utah — if they were communicating with any of their colleagues who raised inflationary concerns about their bill or if they had any inflationary concerns themselves.

Only Graham's office responded, and a spokesperson referred to the senator's comments on Fox News the night before.

The White House, holding the line that the proposals originally housed in the American Jobs and Families plans will eventually decrease supply chain issues while increasing economic efficiency, has slightly shifted its messaging around the subject after releasing the latest Consumer Price Index numbers. The administration has previously waved off concerns for months.

"We will have several more months of rapid inflation,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC on Thursday. “So, I’m not saying that this is a one-month phenomenon."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that same day the administration recognizes "the threat that inflation poses."

"We are quite mindful of it. We do monitor it," she continued. "The Federal Reserve, who’s independent, has also projected that the inflation numbers will come down to about 2.2 next year from where they're projecting for this year, which is something we also watch closely."

BIDEN TACKLES INFLATION CONCERNS WITH TWO-PRONGED INFRASTRUCTURE PUSH

Meanwhile, a number of Republicans in the House and beyond are sounding every possible alarm about the bills.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent a letter to every Republican on Sunday night framing Biden's spending initiatives as making life "more difficult."

"Prices on everything from gas to groceries are skyrocketing. And we know inflation is hitting hard-working middle class families the hardest," the letter reads. "Our country has learned the hard way that Democrat policies make life more difficult for Americans."

Missouri Rep. Jason Smith, ranking member of the House Budget Committee, told the Washington Examiner that "inflation has increased every month since Joe Biden took office," amounting "to a tax hike and a pay cut for every American."

"And yet, Washington Democrats insist their massive multi-trillion-dollar spending agenda will have little impact on future inflation — the exact opposite of what economists on all ends of the spectrum are screaming about," he continued in a statement. "Americans cannot afford to have the President ignore the real pain American consumers are feeling and risk jeopardizing the economic recovery by forging ahead with his reckless spending and tax agenda."

Steve Moore, then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 chief campaign economic adviser, told reporters on a conference call hosted by Jobs Creator Network president Alfredo Ortiz that the "massive amount of multi trillion dollar spending dollars" that "began under Trump and ... accelerated obviously under Biden" will lead to rampant inflation.

"A lot of the spending that is occurring in this bill is not tied to any kind of increase in economic output," he stated. "That's going to cause real problems for the economy in a way that, you know, the effects will be widely felt through throughout all small businesses."

Kaelen Dorr, a former Trump Treasury officials and current spokesperson for the America First Policy Institute, added that "the spin we’re seeing from the Biden Council of Economic Advisers over the latest inflation numbers cement Joseph R. Biden as our nation’s 'gaslighter in chief.'”

"They’re asking the American people to simply pretend what is happening in front of their very eyes is an illusion. There are real-world implications to the disastrous economic policies of the Biden administration, and that’s something that people will remember," he said.

Two senior GOP aides suggested to the Washington Examiner that more House Republicans aren't backing the bipartisan bill because "there's a lot on the line" heading into the 2022 midterm elections.

Still, the 29 Republican members of the House Problem Solvers Caucus endorsed the first package in early July.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

"The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus strongly supports the Senate infrastructure framework, which is closely aligned with our own 'Building Bridges' proposal released last month," a statement signed by all 58 members reads. "In light of the bipartisan, bicameral genesis of the framework, we encourage an expeditious, stand-alone vote in the House and thank our bipartisan Senate partners and the Biden Administration for working so closely with us to demonstrate that cooperation is still possible in Washington."

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Tags: News, Joe Biden, Infrastructure, White House, Inflation, Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Kevin McCarthy, Jason Smith

Original Author: Christian Datoc

Original Location: Inflation concerns leave GOP supporters of Biden's bipartisan infrastructure framework on an island

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