Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana turned up the heat on Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell over inflation and the state of the economy during a Senate hearing Wednesday.
“Look, Mr. Chairman, we got a hell of a mess here,” Kennedy told Powell during the hearing held by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. “Inflation is hitting my people so hard they are coughing up bones.”
“President Biden, I don’t blame him, I understand politics, he keeps saying, well, your 401(k) has crashed, and gas has gone from $2 to $5 a gallon because the economy is so good,” Kennedy said. “The American people know that is not true.”
The Consumer Price Index rose 8.6% year-over-year in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
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Powell admitted during the hearing that the Fed was trying to “slow down growth” to address inflation, prompting Kennedy to grill him about the possibility of increasing gas and diesel supplies.
“You can also lower demand but you can increase supply, can you not?” Kennedy asked the Fed chair.
“Yes,” Powell said, agreeing with Kennedy that increasing energy supplies could address inflation.
Kennedy also pressed Powell on whether providing incentives for oil refineries to re-open would help alleviate supply issues before lambasting the Biden administration over the economy.