Biden Says Time to Pass US Inflation Reduction Act as Consumer Prices Retreat

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Inflation in the United States is showing signs of slowing and it is time to maximize the benefit by passing a law to further curb price growth, President Joe Biden said on Wednesday after a government report showed consumer prices retreating from four- decade highs.

“There are hints that inflation may be slowing,” Biden said during a nationally televised speech after the US Labor Department reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 8.5% during the year to July versus a 9.1% annual expansion in June that marked the most in 41 years. “We need to pass the Inflation Reduction Act right away. That’s the most consequential thing that Congress can do to keep our progress on inflation in getting better [than] getting worse.”

The inflation reduction bill is the most significant climate investment in US history that sets conditions for expansion of oil and gas drilling on federal lands and waters. It includes a new minimum tax designed to ensure that large corporations pay at least 15% of their profits to the federal government, and grants corporations tax subsidies to reduce their commitments.

On Sunday, the US Senate passed the $430 billion bill on climate, health care and tax overhaul and the House of Representatives is expected to approve it on Friday, before it is sent to Biden to sign it.

Biden said Americans were still hurting from high prices although he noted that “we had zero inflation last month,” referring to the month-on-month CPI reading for July that came in zero.

“When you couple that zero inflation with last week’s booming jobs report of 528,000 jobs created for last month and the 3.5% unemployment, that underscores the kind of economy we’ve been building,” Biden added.

Despite the retreat in inflationary pressure, Biden said the US economy continues to be challenged by the conflict in Ukraine and the burden that places on global supply chains, intensified by China’s on and off coronavirus-related lockdowns.

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