President Biden’s Secretary of Transportation and economic advisers were pressed on inflation and the state of the economy ahead of the midterm elections on Sunday.
CNN’s Dana Bash asked Council of Economic Advisers Chair Cecilia Rouse about the September inflation report and the president’s reaction to the numbers during “State of the Union” on Sunday.
“The price of food is part of our inflation challenge,” Rouse said. “Part of the challenge for food is actually through energy, and so Putin’s war against Ukraine, where he has weaponized natural gas, he’s weaponized energy, shows up in food prices as well.”
Rouse also told Bash that Americans would not feel the effects of the Inflation Reduction Act until next year, and she pointed to tax credits that allow people to weatherize their homes.
“For example, there are tax credits for energy to help people weatherize their homes and also bring down other forms of energy costs,” Rouse said. “We are focused on helping to make that transition to clean energy in a way that brings down energy costs for families.”
Fox News’ Shannon Bream asked White House Council of Economic Advisers member Jared Bernstein about the high numbers during “Fox News Sunday.”
“Whether it is the Inflation Reduction Act, whether it’s work in the ports, whether it’s our work with energy and the release of oil from the reserves, we are doing all we can to ease inflationary pressures and we see results. It’s going to take time for those results to get into the price. Would like to see that happen a whole lot faster. We’re going to try to work to make that happen,” Bernstein said.
Bernstein touted lower gas prices as a major accomplishment and said the administration was doing everything they can to increase energy supply.
“I think the key story there is that is this administration doing as much as we can to help increase the energy supply? I think the answer’s unequivocally ‘yes,’” he said.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” as well as ABC’s “This Week.” CBS’s Margaret Brennan pressed the transportation secretary on the forecast for a potential recession.
“The president said this week that the economy is both ‘strong as hell’ but also, if there is a recession, it will be very slight. What exactly is the forecast?” Brennan asked.
Buttigieg said forecasting was “uncertain” as Brennan interjected and said “that’s political spin.”
“I don’t think anybody could argue that for example, our unemployment numbers are anything but strong as hell,” Buttigieg said. “They’re under 4%. That almost never happens. We’re at or near the definition of full employment. We also don’t have any illusions about the challenges Americans face with prices. But that’s why it’s mystifying that as we speak you got Republicans in Congress arguing against the things we have done to give Americans a little more breathing room.”
“Voting against measures to make prescription drugs cheaper, voting against the $35 insulin cap that’s going to be especially important in the environment where you have inflation, against the energy credits that will help more Americans save on energy. We are squarely focused on making it easier for Americans to get by on their income,” he continued.
During his appearance on ABC, Buttigieg said a recession was “possible” but not “inevitable.”
“And we’re doing everything we can to strengthen the foundations of the American economy,” he said. “And that means a lot on the supply side.”
Biden said Friday during a speech that inflation would go up if Republicans take control of Congress is November.
“Here’s the bottom line. So please hear this. When it actually comes time to do something about inflation around the table, Republicans in Congress are saying ‘no,'” Biden said. “If the Republicans take control, the prices are going to go up, as will inflation, it’s this simple.”