This week's report that the consumer price index grew by 9.1% — meaning higher inflation — not only revealed a yearly increase that was the nation's largest since 1991, but also contained many "underlying elements" that point to a looming recession, Rep. Rob Wittman said on Newsmax Thursday.
"It's quite a concerning report," the Virginia Republican commented on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "It's the underlying elements of the economy that look like they're weakening, and look like they could lead us to not just these record inflation rates but also a looming recession. All of those things, I think are tremendously concerning for businesses and families."
Meanwhile, the White House and some congressional Democrats are talking about a new attempt at "Build Back Better" legislation, but Wittman pointed out trillions of dollars that have already been spent that have "inflamed this inflationary cycle."
"Economists said that at the very beginning — the Republican side said it — Don't spend this amount of money, because it will create this inflation cycle that we find ourselves in," said Wittman, adding that he agrees with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who spoke out Wednesday against another spending bill.
"Another effort to both tax and spend is the last thing this economy needs going forward," said Wittman.
Meanwhile, the White House is still shifting the blame on high gas prices while refusing to return to domestic energy.
"From the beginning, they've gone down the road, this anti-American emergy policy by canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and stopping the development of energy in the United States and then saying somehow that these energy increases are due to something else, which is shifting blame and not pursuing solutions that can be had right here in the United States," said Wittman. "Prior to the Biden administration, we were energy independent. We were a net exporter of energy. We're not there today and all the numbers enforce that."
The congressman also on Thursday discussed the heavy flooding hitting the western part of Virginia after significant amounts of localized rainfall, and said Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is doing a great job making sure communities are getting what they need and keeping the National Guard on standby.
"There are a lot of things that that are needed right now for these communities to get back on their feet," said Wittman. "We hope there's a respite there. We've seen this cycle of storms that came in over the weekend.
"In some areas, localized rainfall was at five and six inches an hour. It was just incredible and we know in these mountainous regions, it doesn't take many hours of that rate of rainfall to have a negative impact on the community."
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