U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding inflation:
“This week’s inflation report confirmed what working people across this country know all too well:
“The costs of feeding a family and keeping the lights on have skyrocketed more quickly this past year than at any time since the wake of the Carter Administration.
“A year and a half of crippling runaway inflation is the most important story to the American people every day.
“The media may have grown somewhat numb to month after month of 8- and 9-percent inflation, but working Americans have not had the luxury of growing numb. The pain gets worse every single time they have to fill a shopping cart or pay their credit card bill.
“One mother of young sons in my hometown of Louisville put it this way, ‘My grocery bill has went up a lot. It’s terrible right now. I have to be really strategic on how I plan out the whole month to make sure we have enough money.’
“Of course Kentuckians aren’t the only ones in this predicament.
“In Nevada, an office worker recently told reporters, ‘I’ve not been buying a lot of things because I can’t afford it. I’m like, ‘The kids don’t need juice for school anymore. We’ll just do water.’’
“In Arizona, so many families are having to make tough choices at the grocery store, many are accepting charity to keep food on the table. According to an employee of one food bank in Phoenix, ‘The impact we are seeing day in and day out continues to go up. The families are stressed.’
“And who can blame them, Madam President? Food inflation in America is at a more than four-decade high!
“Bread is 16.2% more expensive than it was a year ago. Milk is up 17%. Flour is up 23.3%. And eggs are going for nearly 40% more.
“Week after week, feeding a family has become a stressful proposition for millions of Americans. And every extra dollar spent on groceries is one fewer to spare for soaring electricity bills.
“In the suburbs of Las Vegas, residents have commiserated over the astronomical cost of keeping their homes cool this summer. One neighborhood message board reads like this: ‘My bill for this month will be $574… it’s insane.’ ‘Yes, ours was $800 for June.’
“In Arizona, a restaurant worker didn’t mince words about scraping together enough to keep the lights and AC on. ‘If I didn’t have roommates, I wouldn’t be able to make it on the salary that I have.’
“Overall inflation in Phoenix and Atlanta is way, way higher than even the sky-high national average. The country as a whole is still grappling with inflation over 8%, but Phoenix has seen a staggering 13% inflation in just the last year, and Atlanta has seen nearly 12%.
“Of course, for working Americans in some other states, the most acute emergency is not the cost of summer cooling, but rather the cost of winter heating.
“In places like New Hampshire and Vermont where many homes burn heating oil, this important price is up more than 91% since President Biden took office.
“And in every corner of the country, one of the biggest collective headaches facing working families with young kids is the rising cost of the back-to-school shopping list.
“According to one working mother in Pennsylvania, she had to take items like a backpack for her pre-schooler out of her shopping cart in the checkout line. ‘It’s been at least 20 years since I have had to pull back to this extent. This is a new and humbling experience for me as an adult.’
“Madam President, American families are facing math problems that just don’t add up.
“Meanwhile, the same Washington Democrats who got them into this mess spent Tuesday celebrating having rammed through a party-line bill that does nothing to help them solve it.
“Hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending, just as working families are having the hardest time in decades making ends meet at home.
“Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars that wouldn’t even accomplish Democrats’ own underlying radical climate goals, let alone the false claims of ‘Inflation Reduction’ on the cover.
“So our economy continues to hand working families a raw deal. But the same day this latest awful inflation report was published, Washington Democrats went to a concert at the White House and celebrated their economic policies!
“How much more out-of-touch does it get?
“The Democrats’ giant inflationary spiral is costing the average American household $460 extra every single month just to buy the same things they bought last year. President Biden and his government have imposed a silent Democrat Inflation Tax of $460 every single month!
“In Kentucky, the average household has to pay $608 more a month — well over $7,000 a year — just to stay where they were when President Biden was sworn in.
“Americans’ real wages — their purchasing power — has plummeted since this all-Democrat government was sworn in.
“And the Democrats’ response? Print and spend hundreds of billions more; make Americans without bachelor’s degrees pay off the graduate school debt of doctors and lawyers; and throw themselves a party on the White House Lawn.
“Our colleagues across the aisle created this human catastrophe.
“This runaway inflation was a policy choice by Democrats.
“And they aren’t even trying to stop it.”