- Joe Manchin ripped the Biden administration for not doing more to stop inflation.
- “Instead of acting boldly, our elected leaders and the Federal Reserve continue to respond with half-measures,” Manchin said.
- Tuesday’s latest figures show inflation in March was at its highest rate in 41 years.
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia tore into President Joe Biden’s administration on Tuesday for failing “to act fast enough” to stop rising inflation.
The scorching statement comes as the White House tries to quietly woo Manchin back to the table for talks about Biden’s agenda.
“When will this end? It is a disservice to the American people to act as if inflation is a new phenomenon,” Manchin said in a statement. “The
and the Administration failed to act fast enough, and today’s data is a snapshot in time of the consequences being felt across the country.”
The Consumer Price Index delivered more sobering news on Tuesday. The closely monitored inflation gauge rose 8.5% year-over-year in March, the largest such increase in four decades.
The report reveals just how much the war in Ukraine has already affected price growth in the US as food and energy costs saw particularly large rises, but Americans were already feeling the pinch before Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Manchin made clear that his frustration lies with more than “just one party,” but his near palpable anger with his own party’s leadership on their handling of inflation will likely not go unnoticed. He also threw cold water on additional federal spending and raised alarm about the growing national debt.
“Instead of acting boldly, our elected leaders and the Federal Reserve continue to respond with half-measures and rhetorical failures searching for where to lay the blame,” he said. “The American people deserve the truth about why record inflation is happening and what must be done to control it.”
Top Biden administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, echoed what was largely the economic consensus for months: Inflation would be a transitory problem that would improve as the pandemic receded and global supply chains sorted themselves out.
“I believe it’s transitory, but I don’t mean to suggest these pressures will disappear in the next month or two,” Yellen told CBS Evening News last October.
However, Yellen, a former Federal Reserve Chair, said by December that it was time to abandon the more optimistic projections.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, Yellen’s successor, also ended up changing his tune on inflation. As the US’ central bank, one of the Fed’s mandates is to closely monitor and attempt to control inflation.
The White House has tried to soothe tensions with Manchin. In a closely divided Washington, the West Virginia Democrat wields outsized influence. He sank the House-approved social and climate spending package late last year, stalling out the Democratic agenda in the 50-50 Senate.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.