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Karine Jean-Pierre: Biden’s ‘Most Biggest Priority’ Has Been Lowering Costs

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On Monday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre explained that President Biden’s “most biggest priority” – which is ostensibly more important than his biggest priority – has been to “lower costs.”

“The President’s most biggest priority — right? — his economic priority was making sure that we lower costs,” Jean-Pierre said as prices have risen at a faster pace under Biden than in the last 40 years. “That’s why the Inflation Reduction Act was so important.  Only Democrats voted for it.”

Notably, Jean-Pierre referenced the Democrats’ so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” which is a $740 billion spending package primarily focused on climate change, that is expected to worsen inflation and cut after-tax incomes for all Americans, according to a report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

Jean-Pierre went on to push another piece of legislation passed by Biden, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which is largely seen as a main factor that led to the ongoing inflation crisis.

When the American Rescue Plan was passed in March 2021, inflation was at 2.6%. The following month, inflation soared to 4.2%. From March 2021 to April 2021, core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.9% – which at the time was the largest monthly increase since April 1982.

The American Rescue Plan also included an extension of $300 weekly enhanced federal unemployment insurance and $1,400 COVID relief payments. Following the extension of unemployment benefits, the unemployment rate increased for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic as the economy added back about 750,000 jobs less than expected. Forbes reported at the time, “The United States added 266,000 jobs in April, according to data released by the Labor Department Friday—much worse than the 1 million job gains economists expected and far fewer than the 916,000 jobs added in March, indicating that the long-tepid labor market recovery is slowing down again even as stocks and corporate earnings rip higher.”

“Some economists say employers, particularly in the restaurant and entertainment industry, have been struggling to find workers because Biden’s relief package which included extended pandemic benefits for the unemployed, is deterring some workers from returning to their old job or seeking out a new position,” NBC News wrote in May 2021, adding, “Bank of America estimates that for those who were earning less than $32,000 a year before the pandemic, unemployment pays more than their former job. And, the bank estimates, that could keep 1 million people out of the workforce.”

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