Pelosi: 'It's not right' for Manchin to say 'what we're doing is contributing to inflation'

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) addresses reporters during her weekly press conference on Wednesday, February 9, 2022.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday said "it's not right" for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to say that the Democrats' policy initiatives are "contributing to inflation."

"With all the respect in the world to my friend Joe Manchin, it's not right to say that what we're doing is contributing to inflation because it is exactly the opposite," Pelosi told anchor George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week."

Pelosi's comments came days after the Labor Department announced that consumer prices in the year ending in January had increased 7.5 percent annually, which was the fastest rate since February 1982.

Hours after the Labor Department released its data on Friday, Manchin wrote in a statement that Congress should not add "more fuel to an economy already on fire," a likely reference to the Democrats' push for a roughly $2 trillion special spending and climate package.

Manchin effectively killed the effort, dubbed the Build Back Better Act, in December when he said he would not support the bill, citing concerns with inflation and the price tag on the legislation.

Asked by Stephanopoulos on Sunday what Congress can do to bring costs down, Pelosi pointed to the Build Back Better Act, arguing that the legislation is a "deficit-reduction bill." She cited a letter in which 17 Nobel laureates said that the way the was written makes it non-inflationary.

Pressed by Stephanopoulos on Manchin's comment that the bill will hurt inflation, Pelosi said the West Virginia Democrat's comments are "not right."

She also pointed to a bill the House passed last week that seeks to strengthen domestic supply chains and scientific research to make the U.S. more competitive amongst countries like China.

Pelosi said the passage of the bill, dubbed the Competes Act, "was a giant step forward" because it "address[es] supply chain shortages that we have and therefore will decrease inflation."

The Hill has requested comment from Manchin's office on Pelosi's remarks.