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Joe Manchin slams rising inflation and dismisses the Biden administration's argument that it will be short-lived

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Senator Joe Manchin gestures in front of an American flag with his palms up, the right half of the photo is blurred out in black.
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Manchin dismissed arguments from the Biden administration that inflation would be short-lived.

  • "From the grocery store to the gas pump, Americans know the inflation tax is real," he tweeted.

  • Manchin is a key holdout on Democrats' $1.75 trillion social-spending plan.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia slammed a key argument from the Biden administration that inflation would be temporary. His comments cast doubt on the near-term passage of the Democratic social-spending plan.

A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics said inflation worsened last month, with supply-chain issues contributing to rising prices across the board, particularly for fuel oil, gas, and utilities.

Manchin, a key swing vote, said inflation was "getting worse."

"From the grocery store to the gas pump, Americans know the inflation tax is real and DC can no longer ignore the economic pain Americans feel every day," he wrote on Twitter.

The West Virginia Democrat has repeatedly warned about rising inflation since the summer, echoing a GOP line of attack against President Joe Biden's spending plans. This may give him additional leverage to keep holding out from backing the $1.75 trillion social-spending plan.

"We need to be very careful with this," Manchin told reporters last week, adding he'd spoken with West Virginians alarmed about the rising grocery and fuel prices.

Congressional Democrats are struggling to get their $1.75 trillion spending package to Biden's desk because of resistance from Manchin, and they need near unanimity in both the House and Senate to succeed. The package includes a one-year extension of the expanded child tax credit, federal drug-price controls, and measures to provide families with subsidies to afford childcare.

Experts said the Democratic package spread out planned spending over a 10-year period and wouldn't contribute to inflation significantly in the long term. Democrats also want to fully pay for their spending with tax hikes on the richest Americans to keep the threat of inflation in check.

Recent polling indicated that Americans were concerned about rising inflation eating up more of their paychecks. The White House and congressional Democrats pivoted in recent weeks by saying their social-spending bill would ease inflation and cut the federal deficit.

In a statement, Biden said it was important for lawmakers to approve his social-spending package, which he said would be fully financed and not pile on more to the federal debt. He added that it would encourage Americans to reenter the workforce by cutting childcare and eldercare costs, among other provisions.

During an appearance touting the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Wednesday, Biden acknowledged how worsening inflation is threatening people's pocketbooks at the moment.

"We still face challenges, and we have to tackle them," Biden said from the Port of Baltimore. "Many people remain unsettled about the economy, and we know why. They see higher prices. They go to the store or go online and can't find what they want."

Read the original article on Business Insider