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Democrats Are Actually Blaming Republicans for Not Doing More on Inflation

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

When it comes to the Biden administration's failures, there's no shortage of them, though inflation may be its worst one. How the president has handled it isn't doing him any favors. And the DNC isn't exactly doing a spectacular job, either. In a Wednesday press release, the DNC claimed that Republicans were the ones who ought to take the blame. "Democrats Blast Republicans for Failing to Show Up to Fight Inflation," it read.

The bone to pick specifically has to do with a boycott from Senate Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee, led by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA). Toomey indicated on Tuesday that the Republican members will not provide a quorum to vote on President Joe Biden's nominees to the Federal Reserve Board, including Chairman Jerome Powell. 

Not shockingly, what the DNC focuses on isn't the whole story. A statement from Toomey, who serves as the ranking member on the committee, explained it was to do with concerns on the nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin, the wife of Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who would serve as the top banking regulator for the Fed. 

Toomey's statement read:

“Last week, I told Chairman Brown that Republican Committee members would agree to proceed with a markup on all outstanding nominations except that of Sarah Bloom Raskin. Today, Chairman Brown may choose not to allow votes on the five nominees pending before the committee and for whom he could have advanced the process.

“Ms. Raskin’s repeated and forceful advocacy for having the Federal Reserve allocate capital and choke off credit to disfavored industries is alone disqualifying and reason enough to vote against her. But whether to proceed with a vote today is a separate question.

“Important questions about Ms. Raskin’s use of the ‘revolving door’ remain unanswered largely because of her repeated disingenuousness with the Committee, from her sloppy questionnaire, to an evasive conversation with Committee staff, to her refusal to answer questions from Senator Lummis at her nomination hearing, and her non-answers in written follow-up questions to the hearing. On 36 questions for the record, for example, Ms. Raskin claimed she either did ‘not recall’ or was ‘unaware’. Her repeated forgetfulness defies credulity.

“All senators—not just Banking Republicans—deserve straightforward and honest answers from Ms. Raskin before having to cast a vote on her nomination. Her fitness to serve, her judgment, and her probity are of utmost importance because Ms. Raskin is being considered for a 10-year term at the nation’s independent central bank and foremost financial regulator. This isn’t a garden-variety political appointment.

“Committee Republicans aren’t seeking to delay her vote. We’re seeking answers. Until basic questions have been adequately addressed, I do not think the Committee should proceed with a vote on Ms. Raskin.”

In addition to challenging the narrative, the statement--from its first line--indicated that Ranking Member Toomey had already informed Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the committee's chairman, of such concerns and intentions.

The DNC press release cited reports from FOX Business and Pennsylvania Capital-Star to include remarks from DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison, who had the strongest of words for Republicans. 

As Marisa Schultz reported for FOX Business:

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Jaime Harrison Wednesday also held a conference call with reporters that sought to cast Republicans as the obstacle to Democrats' efforts to lower costs.  

"It's the Democratic Party that is the only party with an actual plan to lower costs for American families. And yet again, our Republican colleagues are doing nothing but trying to stand in the way," Harrison said. 

"…I wish I could tell you that they gave a damn, but they don't. But they do seem to only be interested in political games. They seem to have made the cynical calculation that the American people succeeding is bad politics. I've never seen a party that has talked down America's success more than today's Republican Party."

Schultz's report was perhaps not the wisest for the DNC press release to include. 

Mentioned in her reporting are results from a January Fox News poll that found 85 percent of voters are worried about inflation, including 81 percent of Democrats and 91 percent of Republicans. A plurality of voters, by 48 percent, blame government policies, while 42 percent blame the pandemic. 

A poll from Morning Consult/POLITICO from last November found that 62 percent of voters believe the Biden administration is "very responsible (42 percent)" or "somewhat responsible (20 percent)," including 46 percent of Democrats.

And, as Leah covered last November, a Yahoo News/YouGov survey released at that time similarly showed 57 percent of Americans blame Biden for inflation. 

Schultz had also mentioned that Build Back Better is "effectively dead" something Democrats and President Joe Biden continue to attempt to sell, from their social media accounts to cringeworthy speeches.

A Democratic talking point for selling Build Back Better claims to be relief from inflation. Concerns with inflation, though, and the bill's costs, were in part why Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) signaled his opposition last December, thus killing the bill. He continues to assert that it's "dead," by the way. In a 50-50 Senate, Democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote, including Manchin's vote.

Wednesday's press release is hardly the only time the DNC has touted reporting that actually hurts their bottom line. Last December, as I covered in another VIP article, the DNC War Room actually touted a Monmouth University poll that showed the president underwater by 10 points, with a 40 percent approval rating and 50 percent disapproval rating. 

It's not merely the reconciliation spending bill that has yet-to-be-passed, but already passed legislation. Larry Summers, who was the Treasury Secretary under the Clinton administration, has raised concerns about inflation to do with the American Rescue Plan Act, which passed last March. 

Summers once more referenced inflation in an interview published earlier this month with The Harvard Gazette. 

"It’s clear that inflation is the dominant economic problem as seen by the American people. It’s clear that inflation is significantly contributing to distrust in the institutions and to pessimism about the future. That is a terribly, terribly important thing at a time when our democratic institutions are being challenged," Summers said. He also credited the poor handling of inflation to electing Republican presidents. "I think that if inflation had better been controlled, there’s a real possibility that the election of Richard Nixon in 1968 and Ronald Reagan in 1980 would not have happened."

As another piece for FOX Business, by Bradford Betz, highlighted, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) has warned that it's "all because of bad economic policy" from the Biden administration that has made inflation such a concern. 

In a column for Townhall published on Wednesday, Isabelle Morales cites Biden policies, such as energy dependence and spending, that have made inflation worse. 

How does Biden himself respond to inflation? In an interview with NBC's Lester Holt, which aired last Thursday, the president called Holt a "wise guy" for pressing him on inflation. 



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