As President Biden sets out this week to publicly promote the benefits of his just-passed infrastructure bill, he will assert that one of the benefits will be the gradual easing of supply chain pressures that have pushed inflation to a 30-year high.
Wednesday morning the Department of Labor released its latest monthly data, showing the Consumer Price Index for October was 6.2 percent higher than the year before, the greatest year-over-year jump since 1990. Month to month, October prices were up 0.9 percent.
A key factor in driving prices higher has been the increased demand for goods as the country continues to reopen, coupled with lagging supply due to workforce constraints and uneven recovery from the pandemic globally.
In a statement Wednesday morning, President Biden said, “Inflation hurts Americans’ pocketbooks, and reversing this trend is a top priority for me.”
The President traveled to the Port of Baltimore Wednesday afternoon, where he said the infrastructure bill will help bring down costs and reduce cargo bottlenecks, making goods more available and less costly.
"It's a big deal," said the president, "it's going to make a big difference."
Clogged ports and a tangled supply chain have contributed to inflation by slowing the pace of goods to the market where demand continues to exceed supply.
"You have supply chain issues running through the roof," said Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK2) in a recent interview.
Representative -- and business owner -- Mullin says the problems have been exacerbated by the Biden administration coming in and reversing Trump policies, especially related to energy production.
"And so now that’s causing a shortage on heating," said Mullin, "and so now they’re predicting that our heating costs will go up over 30 percent this winter."
Senator James Lankford has been criticizing the administration's energy policies for months.
"Literally, this has been a situation that’s been created this year by policies, by positions, by threats to capital."
Lankford says the administration's policies have created uncertainty within the industry, chilling U.S. production and helping push prices at the pump more than a dollar higher than a year ago.
"When you talk about an extra $50 or $60 a month in gasoline prices, that’s a big cost for a lot of people," said Lankford in an interview.
"That’s more money out of the economy, based on this administration’s heavy hand of regulation," added Mullin.
The silver lining for President Biden is that unemployment claims continue to decline and jobs are up—employers added more than half a million new jobs last month.