WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the U.S. economy:
“Working Americans and their families are being hammered by the worst inflation in 40 years. And Washington Democrats own it.
“Sometimes it can be difficult to directly connect Washington policies to the downstream effects on families. Sometimes it can be tricky to identify cause and effect.
“Not this time. Not in this case. The pain that families are feeling today was not just foreseeable, it was foreseen, by experts across the political spectrum. Economists said this inflation is exactly what would happen if Democrats pushed ahead with their reckless spending sprees the economy did not need.
“Larry Summers, who was Treasury Secretary for President Clinton and ran the National Economic Council for President Obama, warned Democrats a year ago this week that Democrats’ far-left plans could trigger, ‘inflationary pressures of a kind we have not seen in a generation.’
“Jason Furman, who chaired President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, said the same thing. He said the Democrats’ spending binge was, ‘definitely too big for the moment… I don’t know any economist that was recommending something the size of what was done.’
“But our Democratic colleagues did not let families’ actual needs restrain their radical daydreaming. They had already made up their minds. This temporary pandemic was to serve as a Trojan horse for permanent socialism.
“Remember, right from the start, in March of 2020, with Americans dying from this new mysterious virus, a top House Democrat called it ‘a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.’
“So the new Democratic Party government’s first major act was to start printing, borrowing, and spending money like there was no tomorrow.
“They managed to blow roughly $2 trillion on a so-called COVID bill that utterly failed to crush the virus. Less than 9% of the money went to the healthcare fight at all. Even the liberal expert Steven Rattner, another former Obama official, says this spending spree was Democrats’ ‘original sin’ when it comes to inflation.
“And working Americans are paying dearly for it every day. Just look at the headlines.
“‘2021 went down as the worst year for inflation since 1982 … Higher prices seeped into just about everything households and businesses buy… There’s no telling when prices will fall to more sustainable levels.’
“‘[R]ising costs for food, rent and other necessities are heightening the financial pressures on America’s households…. Rising prices have wiped out the healthy pay increases that many Americans have been receiving, making it harder for households, especially lower-income families, to afford basic expenses.’
“Yes, it’s true that inflation is up all around the world. This is partially a global phenomenon. But the United States has it worse than almost everyone else.
“Data from Pew show that America’s inflation spike has been the third-worst among all the countries they measured. We have it worse than any other country in the G12. Much worse inflation than the U.K., or France, or Australia, or Japan.
“That’s what this agenda has bought us.
“And Americans are afraid this may still be just the beginning. 79% of Americans now expect inflation will get even worse over the next six months.
“Now the Democrat-caused inflation has the Federal Reserve signaling they may need to raise interest rates higher and faster than they’d expected.
“This brings its own set of risks upon the American people. And again, it’s exactly what experts predicted.
“A full year ago this week, the economist Michael Strain testified that Democrats’ spending could corner the Fed and force them to clamp down on the recovery sooner than necessary.
“Democrats had mainstream economic experts warning against their reckless spending plans and still decided to drive over the cliff.
“Working families are paying the price every day — at the checkout counter, at the gas pump, at the used-car lot, when they pay their bills, when they look for housing.
“And now Washington Democrats are trying again to revive talk of yet another reckless bout of spending this year.
“American families are already hurting enough. They need that bad idea to stay buried.”