“Well, inflation is high right now, and it is affecting consumers in their pocketbook and also in their outlook for the economy. But those concerns underscore why it’s so important that we move forward on the Build Back Better legislation
— this legislation that the House is going to consider this week,” Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Deese said that he was “confident” that government officials would approve the package sometime this week, reiterating that it would help to lower costs for American families. The $1.75 trillion bill will pour money into the economy with the hopes of creating a more comprehensive social safety net for lower and middle-class Americans. The New York Times notes that prices have increased by 6.2 percent over the last year, “the fastest pace in 31 years and far above the Federal Reserve’s inflation target.”
Deese added that while inflation is high, Americans could expect prices to go back below 2 percent sometime in 2022. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen also mentioned that the pandemic had played a significant role in driving inflation costs
. Still, she praised President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, stating that it helped support millions of Americans at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown in March.
“The pandemic has been calling the shots for the economy and inflation,” Yellen said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,”
citing that spending and demand are strong currently. “And if we want to get inflation down, I think continuing to make progress against the pandemic is the most important thing we can do.”
Yellen noted that the supply of goods and workers remains low as the federal government continues to combat the global supply chain crisis spawned by the pandemic. Moody’s Analytics’ recent report
attributed the stalling mess to port congestion and lack of truck drivers who are vital for transporting goods.
“Border controls and mobility restrictions, unavailability of a global vaccine pass, and pent-up demand from being stuck at home have combined for a perfect storm where global production will be hampered because deliveries are not made in time, costs and prices will rise, and GDP growth worldwide will not be as robust as a result,” the report added.