President Biden has vowed to do “everything within my power” to curb inflation, which has hit its highest rate in more than 40 years, according to the latest data from the Labor Department.
The consumer price index for March jumped 8.5% from a year ago, the fastest pace since 1981, the Labor Department said. Gas prices were the main contributor to the surge, jumping 18.3% but the cost of other basic needs like food and rent are also skyrocketing.
Recognizing the political problem facing his administration, Biden has taken to blaming Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for soaring gas prices. The White House has also announced some steps to address the issue, releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and announcing this week that the Environmental Protection Agency is going to allow a type of ethanol-blended gasoline to be sold this summer to create more supply.
“Home grown biofuels have a role to play right now as we work to get prices under control and reduce the costs for families,” Biden said at an event in Iowa this week. “Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank, none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide half a world away.”
Republican lawmakers continue to hammer the administration for not doing enough to curb inflation.
“Inflation just reached 8.5 percent – a new 40-year high – for the fifth month in a row,” tweeted Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-PA), ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee. “Americans’ paychecks are worth less and less each month. Unfortunately, the administration’s new scheme to address soaring gas prices by forcing more ethanol into the system will likely lead to higher corn, i.e. food, prices. This must be a wake-up call for the White House.”