WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden on Monday tried to ease concerns about the price surge that threatens to undermine the US economic recovery by saying that the current rise in inflation is a “temporary” rather than a long-term problem.
He also said that one of the best ways to keep the American economy on track was for Congress to approve additional federal spending in the form of a large bipartisan infrastructure package, which is due in the US Senate this week.
The president argued that his administration’s vaccination campaign and his broad domestic agenda, which includes injecting trillions of dollars into the economy, would “ease inflation pressures” rather than increase them.
The global supply chain has faced challenges in recovering speed from the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in price spikes on many products.
“Some people are expressing concern that this could be a sign of persistent inflation, but this is not our point of view,” Biden said in a speech at the White House.
“Our experts believe, and the data show, that most of the price increases we have observed were expected and are expected to be temporary.”
Biden’s reassurance efforts came as U.S. stocks fell 2.1% on Monday amid resurgent fears over COVID-19 and fears of inflation holding back global growth.
Biden emphasized that overall the economy is in good shape – despite “doom and gloom predictions” after six months of his rule by Republican critics.
Meanwhile, Biden has pushed Congress to take action on his multi-trillion dollar plan to change government intervention in American society with the largest federal investment in a generation.
– “It is necessary to unite” –
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pushed hard on Monday to implement the first part of Biden’s plan – a historic bipartisan infrastructure package to repair and modernize national roads, bridges, ports and broadband internet.
Schumer initiated a test vote on Wednesday, although the infrastructure deal, which is being negotiated by 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans, and includes new spending of $ 579 billion (2.4 trillion ringgit), is in jeopardy.
Legislative language has yet to be finalized as Republicans have abandoned the discussed key source of revenue: empowering the government to more aggressively track tax fraud.
Schumer stressed that the first step – a procedural step known as closing the vote – is just an introductory gambit and that the bill could be finalized later.
“The proposal to continue on Wednesday is just about starting the legislative process here in the Senate Hall,” Schumer told his colleagues.
“This is not a deadline to determine all the details of the bill.”
Biden previously expressed support for the move, stating that “we must unite” as we go through the bipartisan infrastructure infrastructure that lawmakers and the White House roughly agreed upon after weeks of haggling.
But some Republicans are unhappy with the need for speed, given that the deal is still in the process of changing.
“How can I vote to close if no invoice has been posted?” Sen. Bill Cassidy told Fox News on Sunday.
Infrastructure is part of Biden’s internal agenda. He also supports the $ 3.5 trillion (RM14.7 trillion) budgetary framework that Democrats are seeking to adopt.
The ambitious plan, which includes one-off investments in health, education, climate initiatives, and welfare expansion, will use an accelerated process known as reconciliation, which will allow budget legislation to be passed with a simple majority vote.
As Republicans banded together against the broader budget bill, every Democrat in the Senate would have to support a package — not a guarantee in a caucus that includes progressive and moderate.
Biden insisted on his broad range of initiatives, outlined in the $ 3.5 trillion (RM14.7 trillion) box, saying, “Simply put, we cannot afford not to make this investment.”
Republicans warn that such spending will fuel inflation.
“Trust me, another reckless rampage of multi-trillion dollar taxes and spending is the last thing American families want,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. – AFP