Biden Goes On The Defensive Over Inflation

Biden Goes On The Defensive Over Inflation

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(CNN)President Joe Biden on Tuesday blamed the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine for troubling economic news as he and his administration went on the defensive over mounting inflation and rising gas prices.

The President’s speech at the White House was advertised by his advisers as being focused on his plan to fight inflation. While Biden did speak about inflation, he spent a significant amount of time attacking Republicans for a plan put out by the head of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm rather than laying out any new proposals to combat the worst inflation the country has seen in 40 years.

Biden said combating inflation is his top domestic priority and acknowledged “families all across America are hurting.”

“They’re frustrated. I don’t blame them. I really don’t blame them. There’s a lot we have to do,” Biden said.

When asked by CNN’s Jeremy Diamond if his administration bears some responsibility for the rising prices, the President said, “I think our policies help, not hurt.”

During his speech, the President pointed to several steps his administration has already taken to bring down gas prices, including directing the release of one million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and enacting emergency measures to expand biofuel sales during the summer. He also cited his proposals to raise taxes on billionaires and other super-wealthy Americans and lower prescription drug prices for millions of Americans by letting Medicare negotiate drug prices, saying those ideas could help bring down inflation.

However, many of those proposals face a dead-end in Congress, and the President expressed frustration that Democrats don’t have the 60 votes needed in the Senate to pass the kind of legislation he’s proposed. The Senate is currently split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats.

“We control all three branches of government — well, we don’t really,” Biden said.

Biden’s speech comes at a moment when

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