On The Money — Biden’s inflation frustration
The White House has a lot of problems with rising prices and few options to fix them. We’ll also look at how the Biden administration is responding to the baby formula shortage and Democratic agitation over an Elon Musk-run Twitter.
But first, take a look at The Hill’s Photos of the Week.
Let’s get to it.
White House gets boxed in on inflation
President Biden is boxed in by high inflation, leaving him with few options to take the heat off on an issue that is hurting his party politically.
Biden has limited control over inflation beyond proposing policies and investments that could take months, if not years, to make an impact. It’s also hard for the president to pass the buck on the matter.
“We’re in a period now where this is much more of a narrative battle than a policy battle,” said Bill Galston, chair of the Brookings Institution’s governance studies program and a former domestic policy aide to former President Clinton.
“The sad fact is that, aside from actions by the Federal Reserve board, there is relatively little that policy can do in the short term to affect the inflation numbers very much,” he added.
Alex Gangitano and Sylvan explain here.
SIGHTS ON SHORTAGE
House Democrats to bring up legislation to address baby formula shortage
House Democrats will bring legislation to the floor next week to address the nationwide shortage of baby formula, which Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday called “unconscionable.”
In a letter to colleagues Friday afternoon, Pelosi announced that the House will bring up a bill on suspension next week that calls for giving emergency authority to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children — known as the WIC program — to address supply chain issues and recalls and in turn allow the federal government to loosen some non-safety regulations amid the shortage.
- The speaker also announced that Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) is planning to bring an Emergency Supplemental Appropriation to the floor “to immediately address the infant formula shortage.”
- The U.S. has been struggling with a nationwide shortage of instant baby formula since at least the week starting April 24, when the out-of-stock percentage of the product hit 40 percent.
The Hill’s Mychael Schnell has more here.
Read more: Biden: Progress on baby formula supply coming ‘very shortly’
CASH FOR COPS
Biden calls on cities to bulk up police forces
President Biden on Friday called on mayors and local leaders to use funds from the American Rescue Plan to bulk up police forces and safety programs ahead of the summer months.
“It’s up to the cities, the towns, and the counties to spend the money and spend it now,” Biden said at an event with police chiefs and mayors at the White House.
- The White House announced that it was committing $10 billion in funding from the coronavirus relief bill signed into law by Biden early last year to public safety and violence prevention.
- The funding will pay for front-line public safety workers and various efforts to prevent crime through community violence interventions and crisis responders.
The Hill’s Alex Gangitano has more here.
45 WEIGHS IN
Trump criticizes spending for Ukraine
Former President Trump on Friday criticized lawmakers for working to pass $40 billion in aid for Ukraine, blaming Democrats for advancing the legislation despite it also having support from a majority of House Republicans.
“The Democrats are sending another $40 billion to Ukraine, yet America’s parents are struggling to even feed their children,” Trump said in a statement issued through his Save America PAC.
- Trump referred to the ongoing baby formula shortage, an issue Republicans have sought to capitalize on ahead of November’s midterms.
- Earlier this week, the House passed nearly $40 billion in aid for Ukraine, including about $8.7 billion for an Economic Support Fund, $6 billion in security assistance and $900 million in support services for refugees. Just 57 Republicans voted “no.”
The Hill’s Caroline Vakil has more here.
Read more: Congress must pass next Ukraine aid by Thursday to avoid interruptions, Pentagon says
Good to Know
Democrats on Capitol Hill are sounding alarms this week over the possibility that Donald Trump could return to Twitter, warning that providing the former president with such a powerful megaphone could lead to violence on par with last year’s Capitol riot.
The would-be reversal has been hailed by Trump’s allies and other conservatives, who are characterizing it as a victory for free speech over the “woke” policies of the nation’s Big Tech companies.
Here’s what else have our eye on:
- Seventeen Republican state attorneys general on Friday announced a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency for allowing California to set its own vehicle emissions standards.
- Congress must pass a proposed $40 billion Ukraine supplemental aid package by Thursday to avoid an interruption of U.S. weapons shipments to the embattled country, the Pentagon’s top spokesperson said Friday.
- The United States and United Kingdom signed a commercial spaceflight partnership agreement on Wednesday that will help boost quicker, more streamlined and cheaper spaceflight operations from both countries, the U.K.’s Department of Transport announced.
- A Finnish transmission system operator announced on Friday that a Russian energy company would be cutting off its electricity imports to Finland beginning the next day.
On tap next week:
- Labor Secretary Marty Walsh testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the Department of Labor’s fiscal 2023 budget request at 9 a.m.
- The House Financial Services Committee holds a markup of nine bills at 12 p.m.
- A House Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on “combating corporate profiteering” at 1 p.m.
- Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the fiscal 2023 OMB budget request at 2 p.m.
- Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler and Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan testify before a House Appropriations subcommittee at 10 a.m.
- A House Ways and Means subcommittee holds a hearing on taxpayer fairness at the IRS at 10 a.m.
- IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the agency’s fiscal 2023 budget request at 1 p.m.
- The Senate Banking Committee holds a confirmation hearing for Federal Reserve vice chair of supervision nominee Michael Barr and SEC commissioner nominees Jaime Lizárraga and Mark Uyeda at 10 a.m.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you next week.
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