ABC News anchor Jonathan Karl and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had a tense exchange over the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” and whether it would actually reduce inflation.
While appearing on “This Week” on Sunday, Jean-Pierre touted the bill, which passed the House on Friday and is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden this week. But Karl noted that despite the bill’s name, the Congressional Budget Office says it would have minimal impact on inflation.
“Inflation has been a number one priority for this president, lowering costs has been a number one priority for this president,” said Jean-Pierre. “If you look…what Democrats in Congress did with this Inflation Reduction Act, the work of this president… you see that anti-inflation bill, you see that it’s going to lower costs for Americans.”
Karl took issue with Jean-Pierre’s framing.
“But let me ask you, it’s called the ‘Inflation Reduction Act,’ but the Congressional Budget Office, which is nonpartisan, said that there would be a negligible impact on inflation this year and barely impact inflation at all next year, isn’t it almost Orwellian?” Karl asked. “How can you call it inflation reduction when the nonpartisan experts say it’s not gonna bring inflation down?”
“I appreciate the question. We’ve actually addressed this with the CBO,” Jean-Pierre continued. “It was the top line number; there’s more in there that shows it will have the money from– remember how we’re doing this, too, it’s making sure that billionaires in corporate America are paying their fair share, making sure that the tax code is a little bit more fair, and so when you do that, put it in its totality, you will see that it will bring down, lower the deficit, which will help fight inflation.”
“Look, here’s the thing,” she added. “We have 126 economists, both Republicans, both Democrats who have said it’s going to fight inflation, five former secretaries of treasury–”
“So you disagree with the assessment of the CBO?” Karl pressed.
“Well, there’s more to it than that,” she replied. “It was just the way that Republicans did that was so that [they] could make an argument that is false. It is going to fight inflation, it has been proven and said by economists across the board, on the Republican side and the Democrat side.”