UPDATED 11:08 AM PT – Sunday, December 12, 2021
Amidst the country’s worst inflation in almost four decades, Democrats have continued to push their multi-trillion-dollar Build Back Better bill and some economists have claimed more spending will not fuel more inflation.
In a recent interview, White House Chief Economist Jared Bernstein said passing the social spending bill wouldn’t affect the current supply chain crisis and said gas prices have already dropped since August. However, Americans have continued to suffer financially with Bernstein saying the bill will help in the long-term.
“In the near term, Building Back Better does nothing to the current inflation, to the things that we’re talking about now, these month to month prints that we’re describing today. What it does do is help cut costs for middle class and lower income families, cost of prescription drugs, cost in childcare, cost of education, cost in housing…some of the most challenging aspects in family budgets. Building Back Better helps to ameliorate those costs. It ameliorates near term costs, it lowers inflationary pressures over the longer term,” said Bernstein.
Pres Biden this AM: “Our economic recovery has 2 key components: getting America back to work, & getting prices & supply chains back to normal. Simply put, it is about jobs & prices.” For info on our work & how we’re doing, PLS read text & see figures…https://t.co/hvsPJmlFID pic.twitter.com/iT2L6bOt3V
— Jared Bernstein (@econjared46) December 9, 2021
Bernstein is confident the legislation will assist near term costs and that inflation levels won’t change, however, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who is actually in favor of the bill, has said the opposite. During an interview on Friday, Summers said if he was a senator, he would vote in favor of the measure, but would scale back on certain things within the legislation, including reducing taxes for the rich.
He further added it was wrong to make large and broad payments earlier in the year, which is why moderate Democrat senators like Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) are doubtful about passing the measure. Both senators have faced pressure from their party, especially Manchin, who is reportedly set to meet with Biden to discuss the details of the bill this week.
Although most of the pressure is on the West Virginia senator, Sinema’s vote is also vital for Democrats to be able to pass the measure in an evenly divided Senate. However, the Arizona senator previously stated she wouldn’t support the legislation and would continue her efforts to renegotiate the bill in order to “vote for what’s right.”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration said they’re on track to get the measure passed before Christmas, but without the support of Manchin and Sinema it could be delayed until 2022.