by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Inflation Reduction Act is now at the center of the White House’s messaging on inflation ahead of the midterm elections despite an uncertain time frame over when or if it might start reducing inflation.
President Joe Biden has used Republican calls to repeal the Democratic spending bill to argue a GOP takeover of Congress wouldworsen the problem of high consumer prices.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday that Biden has “done the work” on fighting inflation.
“Every single Democrat — as, in fact, Katie spoke about — every single one voted for the Inflation Reduction Act,” Biden said Friday at an appearance with Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA). “Not a single solitary Republican in both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate voted for it. Every single one voted against it. Every single one.”
“Republicans are telling us their No. 1 priority is to repeal, if they win back the House and the Senate, repeal the Inflation Reduction Act,” he continued. “That includes things that I’m not even talking about today, including the environment.”
Many economists dispute that the Inflation Reduction Act will reduce inflation, while others project that its anti-inflationary effects will come later. The White House has not taken a firm position on when it might lead consumer prices to come down, with Jean-Pierre pointing to certain benefits of the law kicking in “next year.”
Twice since the Inflation Reduction Act, the consumer price index has come in worse than expected. This includes the final inflation report before November’s elections, which ran at a still-hot 8.2% annual rate. This suggests that the Federal Reserve may need to inflict significant economic pain to bring inflation under control.