WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Consumer prices are continuing to skyrocket. New federal data shows last month’s prices spiked 7.5% percent from last year — that’s the highest inflation rate in nearly four decades.
In response to the numbers, President Biden said his administration is doing everything it can to fight rising prices. He insists the increase is only temporary.
Right now, there is growing pressure from both Republicans and Democrats to do more to bring relief.
Millions of Americans are facing higher prices for everyday goods. On Thursday, Republicans like Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley blamed president Joe Biden for soaring costs.
“They’re just off the charts,” said Hawley. “Working families — they can hardly afford to fill their cars with gas, they can hardly afford, increasingly, to buy groceries, and there’s no end in sight.”
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) said instead of helping, Democratic policies hurt the middle class.
“If you haven’t personally gotten a pay raise of 8% or more in the last year, then Democrats’ policies have given you a pay cut,” McConnell said.
The White House insists relief is on the way.
“I’m going to work like the devil to bring gas prices down,” said Biden.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell announced plans to increase interest rates as early as next month. That’s just one way the administration is planning to take action.
Biden says his administration is also working to resolve global supply chain issues he says are causing the underlying problem.
“There’s a lot we can do to give families extra breathing room,” he said.
In the meantime, Democrats like Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow are pitching their own ideas. She and a group of 18 Democratic senators want to create a gas tax holiday. She says the temporary tax break could shave up to 18 cents off every gallon of fuel.
Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville calls the effort a distraction.
“If you want to get prices down you can do it by opening up the pipelines,” he said. “Hopefully the administration wakes up and starts smelling the roses, and starts doing something.”