West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said Wednesday that lawmakers can no longer ignore worsening inflation, which consumer data showed hit a 30-year high.
“By all accounts, the threat posed by record inflation to the American people is not ‘transitory’ and is instead getting worse,” Manchin said in a tweet. “From the grocery store to the gas pump, Americans know the inflation tax is real and DC can no longer ignore the economic pain Americans feel every day.”
Manchin’s statement came shortly after the Labor Department announcement that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.9% in October and 6.2% over a year’s span, the highest rate in three decades. It also comes as Democrats prepare to pass their $1.75 trillion spending package, which Manchin has repeatedly questioned and trimmed from its original $3.5 trillion price tag.
Despite Manchin objections to parts of his party’s bill, his vote is necessary for it to pass given the chamber’s 50-50 split, if Republicans unanimously vote against it. And while the House version of the bill includes long-sought Democratic priorities like paid family leave, Manchin has already made clear where he stands.
“I have a lot of concerns, let’s put it that way,” Manchin said during an interview with Fox News last week. “They’re working off the House bill. That’s not going to be the bill I work off of.”
Democratic leadership, however, has insisted that the bill’s passage will actually lower inflation.
“As I have said repeatedly, when this bill is passed, it will be fully paid for and reduce — reduce — inflationary pressures,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said last week on the Senate floor. “This will be just what the American people need, and it will not be … inflationary.”
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