WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – It’s impossible not to notice the impacts of inflation. Lawmakers are fighting over who is to blame and how to address it.
Democrats say rising costs are caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. But Republicans say Democratic policies are to blame.
Now both sides are looking for solutions.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the Biden administration believes lawmakers need to pass legislation to tackle high cost areas like child care, energy and health care.
“Congress can do a lot to mitigate some of the most important and burdensome costs,” Yellen said.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., says Democrats are working on legislation to cut costs.
“Prescription drugs, for example. I mean, that’s key. Medical expenses are gobbling everything up in sight,” Wyden said.
Republicans think proposals that require government spending are the problem, not the solution. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., says the American Rescue Plan is one of the prime reasons inflation is so high right now.
“There’s no question that the $2 trillion bill last year overheated the economy,” Thune said.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also blames inflation on the President’s energy policies.
“Strangling American energy production and driving the cost of gasoline through the roof,” Cruz said.
Secretary Yellen believes investing in clean energy will help.
“That would free our dependence on global oil markets which are subject to geopolitical risk,” Yellen said.
But Cruz says the administration’s green policies are making things worse.
“They want to make you sell your truck and they’re going to make gasoline so expensive that your family hurts as a result. It is cynical and it’s wrong,” Cruz said.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., says both parties need to focus on solutions.
“Political theater to point and just say, ‘oh prices are up.’ My reaction is – duh, they’re up for everybody. The question is what are we going to do about it?” Stabenow said.