Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) was more than happy to talk about the recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act — until a reporter dared to ask him what specifically the package might do to lower inflation and thus reduce the strain on Americans’ budgets.
Raskin spoke to reporters, touting the passage of the act and saying that the sooner its provisions could be implemented, the sooner Americans would start seeing some relief — but when a reporter asked him to point to a specific provision that would act to lower inflation, Raskin made it clear that he was no longer interested in continuing the conversation.
"What parts of the bill do you think will put to work on [lowering inflation] specifically?"
Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin: "Next question." pic.twitter.com/88O5sWNgJP
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 15, 2022
“As soon as the act goes into effect, I hope that all of the provisions will begin to work,” he began. “I’m — I know that those who have been blaming President Biden for the inflation going up are now giving President Biden all the credit for inflation going down. So we’re moving things in the right direction already.”
“And what parts of the bill do you think will put — will work on that specifically?” a reporter challenged Raskin, who stumbled over his words briefly before offering a very definitive answer.
“Next question,” he said, shaking his head.
The Inflation Reduction Act passed both the Senate and the House along party lines late last week — which has been touted as a climate, health, and tax bill that will massively inflate the size of the Internal Revenue Service — but very few Biden surrogates have been able to explain how exactly it’s passage and the billions in new spending it represents will work to bring down inflation.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre struggled with a similar question over the weekend while speaking to Jonathan Karl on ABC’s “This Week.”
After she claimed that the bill would lower costs for Americans, Karl pushed back: “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? How can you call it inflation reduction when the nonpartisan experts say it’s not gonna bring inflation down?”
“Look, here’s the thing. We have 126 economists, both Republicans, both Democrats who have said it’s going to fight inflation, five former secretaries of treasury,” Jean-Pierre claimed.
“So you disagree with the assessment of the CBO?” Karl pressed again, but Jean-Pierre didn’t budge.
“Well, there’s more to it than that,” she said, arguing that Republicans were just framing the issue in such a way that it looked like it wouldn’t work.
According to the Penn Wharton Budget Model, an analysis compiled by a group of economists and data analysts at the University of Pennsylvania, the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act will likely be “statistically indistinguishable from zero.”