Congressional members react on record high inflation rate
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Recent data shows inflation hit 8.5% last month, the highest rate in 40 years. These new numbers are raising the alarm of our local congressional members.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released some unwelcome data: U.S. inflation climbed to 8.5%. It’s the highest rate since December of 1981. These new numbers are an increase from February's 7.9%.
Economists said pandemic related supply and demand concerns as well as the war in Ukraine is contributing to inflation. The recent data shows surging food, energy and shelter costs helped account for the percent gain.
Although the data from BLS shows gas prices have also reached record highs, recent data from AAA shows gas prices are coming down little by little. As you can see both the national average in red and Pennsylvania's in blue, prices are coming down. Over in New York, they are showing a similar pattern, too. But members say these prices are still too high.
Congressman Mike Kelly (R- PA) Tweeted saying in part, “Hardworking Americans can’t keep up with #bidenflation”.
In response to the BLS recent inflation numbers, Sen. Bob Casey (D- PA) told us in an email:
“To ease the burden of higher prices on families’ budgets caused by Putin's war in Ukraine, I urged President Biden to tap into our nation’s strategic oil reserves to help lower gas prices and introduced the Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act to provide Americans relief at the gas pump and crack down on oil companies abusing their power during a time of crisis. We must put an end to unfair price gouging by big corporations so they can’t take advantage of consumers by jacking up prices. We must also provide direct help to families. I’m fighting to permanently expand both the Child Care Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit from the American Rescue Plan to offset rising costs and I will continue to work closely with the Biden Administration to lower prices for families.”
“People will have to earn an extra five thousand to purchase what they just purchased a year ago,” said Rep. Fred Keller (R- PA). Keller said the U.S. needs to be more energy independent in order to help curb costs.
“When you think about this and you look at energy and it takes energy to do everything in our lives today and it’s a result of the Biden administration’s energy policies that have really created this issue from day one,” said Keller.
Biden recently announced a move they say will help the U.S. become less reliant on foreign fuels: by boosting production and sale of ethanol blended gasoline to alleviate some of the pain at the pump. Even with this plan, the White House said it would lower prices by about ten cents a gallon.