President Joe Biden praised his administration’s economic achievements on Monday, attempting to allay inflation fears as he and congressional Democrats seek substantial additional infrastructure spending.
In remarks delivered at the White House as Congress this week considers a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal and a larger $3.5 trillion social spending package, Biden trumpeted the country’s “record growth” during the first six months of his administration.
“Our economy’s come a long way over the last six months — we can’t slow down now,” he said. “We can make this boom we’re experiencing today one that will ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to share in it for years to come, and we can show the world that American democracy can deliver for the people.”
A separate $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure” package backed by Biden and congressional Democrats is connected to the infrastructure talks, and Republican leaders have sought to tie the increased spending to accelerating inflation.
In the last year, consumer prices have grown by 5.4 percent, the highest rate in more than a decade.
Biden, on the other hand, responded to the GOP’s criticisms on Monday, stating that Federal Reserve analysts believe the inflation is just temporary and is caused by disconnects between supply and demand as the economy recovers quickly.
“I want to be clear — my administration understands that if we were to ever experience unchecked inflation over the long term, that would pose a real challenge to our economy,” he said.
“So while we’re confident that isn’t what we’re seeing today, we’re going to remain vigilant about any response that is needed.”
Biden said he told Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in a recent meeting that the central bank should “take whatever steps it deems necessary” to help the recovery.