House Democrats rejected a resolution demanding an assessment from the Treasury Department on why President Biden’s biggest spending bill in the last two years contributed to inflation.
The GOP resolution requires the Treasury to provide any analysis it has done on the topic to Congress, and it was brought up Thursday in the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s Markup. The resolution targets the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill Biden signed in 2021, and $750 billion Inflation Reduction Act he signed this year – economists have said both spending bills juiced demand in the US and contributed to the level of inflation that has not been seen in decades.
But Democrats chose to report the resolution “unfavorably” to the House floor, effectively killing it. Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the top Republican on the committee, accused Democrats of willfully ignoring the inflationary effects of trillions of dollars in spending approved by the Biden administration.
“Even congressional Democrats know that spending is hurting the economy,” Comer said. “Rep. Jim Clyburn recently admitted that they know the government’s spending on recovery programs is expected to drive up prices. What an astounding admission.”
While some Republicans supported the infrastructure bill, Comer said in hindsight that it was over Free up hundreds of billions of money at a time when “the American people are suffering under the weight of inflation.”
Democrats rejected this argument and cited economists who said President Biden’s spending bill would help raise prices for consumers. Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., added that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was the main cause of inflation, and accused Republicans of turning inflation “into a political sideshow.”
But Republicans argue that many economists believe that the flood of trillions of dollars in government spending creates excess demand that leads to higher prices, and that the Democratic spending bill will only make matters worse. Economists agree that it is a basic economic principle that excess money in the system causes high prices that the Federal Reserve is now trying to fight by increasing interest rates, which can cause a recession.
Some Republicans have accused Democrats of trying to shield the Treasury Department from a congressional investigation that could show officials knew more spending would lead to higher prices.
“Why are my Democratic colleagues going to withhold documents that are part of their own executive branch leadership?” asked Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La. “Do members of the Oversight Committee want to withhold the availability of documents available to … members of this committee from the secretary of the Treasury?”
Inflation has raised costs for millions of American families over the past two years and began to increase as soon as Biden took office. According to the latest data from October, consumer prices rose 7.7% in the last year, and were higher than the 8% in the year ending September.
Republicans have filed dozens of similar “investigative resolutions” to demand information from the Biden administration on various topics. These resolutions are privileged, which means they must be considered at the committee level or allowed to come to the House floor for a vote.
Democrats have defeated every one of these GOP resolutions, which serve as a roadmap for a variety of oversight issues Republicans are expected to pursue next year when they hold the majority in the House of Representatives.