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Press Release Published: Mar 9, 2023

McClain: President Biden Doubled Down on Reckless Spending Despite Warnings, Worsened Inflation for American Families

WASHINGTON – Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services Chairwoman Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) opened today’s subcommittee hearing examining how the Biden Administration’s reckless spending under the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act have driven inflation to 40-year highs.

Below are Subcommittee Chairwoman McClain’s remarks as prepared for delivery.

Welcome to the first hearing of the Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services in the 118th Congress.

To the witnesses, thank you very much for your attendance and participation in today’s hearing on the Inflation Crisis.

I think it is most important to understand how we got here so we don’t make the same mistakes going forward.

We first have to agree we have a problem before we can fix it and move forward for the American people.

When the pandemic began in March 2020, Congress and federal agencies took quick action to deliver financial relief to the American people. 

Congress quickly enacted a series of five laws providing over $3.1 trillion in Federal funds to mitigate the economic and public health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

President Trump’s pro-growth and pro-worker economy created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and investing in American manufacturing combined with the unparalleled response to the pandemic created the fastest economic recovery in history.

As a result, only $1.9 trillion of the COVID relief funds were spent by January 2021, leaving over $1 trillion for further relief.

Between the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and March 2021, inflation rose 2.6 percent.

The food index rose just 3.5 percent.

Energy services increased by only 4.1 percent.

And gasoline prices increased $0.67 cents to $2.89.

Instead of allowing President Trump’s policies to continue supplementing the successful economic recovery efforts, Democrats jammed through Congress another $1.9 trillion claiming it was for pandemic relief.

I just wanted to remind everyone that we still had $1 trillion left over from prior relief packages. The definition of inflation is too many dollars chasing too few goods.

Republicans and economic leaders of both parties, including Larry Summers, Greg Mankiw, and Michael Strain, warned that this completely unnecessary spending would put the economy at risk of inflation and recession. 

Congressional Democrats simply did not listen to the experts. They were determined to spend more money. The government clearly has a spending problem.

Then exactly what Republicans and economic experts predicted, happened.

In 2022, inflation rose to 40-year highs, the price of groceries went through the roof, gas prices soared, and retirement accounts plummeted.

Between March 2021 and March 2022, inflation rose 8.5 percent.

The food index rose 8.8 percent – the largest increase since 1981. Welcome back Jimmy Carter.

The energy services index rose 13.5 percent, more than triple the rate it did in the year prior under President Trump despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

And gasoline prices increased $1.43 to $4.32. What was the Democrats’ response?  More reckless spending.

They pushed through the wrongly named Inflation Reduction Act.

Another $740 billion boondoggle which did nothing to fight inflation but did spend more than $360 billion on climate policies and funded the hiring of 87,000 IRS agents.

This is on top of the 3.1 trillion and 1.9 trillion Democrats decided to spend even more money. Let me remind you we still have left over money to this day from prior relief bills. 

Democrats’ spending spree last Congress drove the price of groceries up by more than 11 percent.

Their spending spree and attack on American energy caused Americans across the country to pay 27 percent more to heat their homes this winter.

Inflation driven by Democrat policies made many Michiganders choose between heating their homes and buying groceries. I don’t know if you know this but it gets a little cold in Michigan in the winter.

What was President Biden’s solution to skyrocketing energy inflation?

He told Americans to buy expensive electric vehicles.

President Biden’s “let-them-eat-cake” response illustrates just how little he and congressional Democrats care about the impacts of their reckless spending policies have had on working Americans.

This Committee stood on the sidelines for too long while Americans across the country were feeling the pressure of inflation brought on by the Biden Administration and congressional Democrats.

Today we will hear from experts to better understand how inflation could have been prevented and what this Administration must do to address it.

Thank you and we look forward to your testimony.