Stimulus Checks

What have the Republicans said about stimulus checks and rising inflation?

The GOP has criticised the Democrats for what they see as wasteful spending as the US tries to navigate its way out of the pandemic.

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What have the Republicans said about stimulus checks and rising inflation?
Kevin Dietsch AFP

The Republican Party's new tactic to attack the Biden administration is to criticise his economic policies. Specifically, the rising inflation that is striking the US economy. The GOP believes that the huge spending the Biden administration has committed to will actually be detrimental for the US economy.

What is the GOP saying about inflation?

The Federal Reserve has a target of 2% inflation annually, but so far this year core inflation, leaving out volatile goods like food and energy, it is rising at 3.8%, a 13-year-high. Furthermore, the Consumer Price Index has risen by 4.5% since the turn of the year. This index is the measure of the increase in inflation for goods and services that typically apply for the average person, such as the price of fuel and shopping. The Republicans have taken aim at the increase in prices.

Senate leader Mitch McConnell described the inflation as "painful" and lambasted, "trillions in runaway spending."

Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy called on Biden to "wake up," to inflation, in a little reference to Trump's moniker for Biden as 'Sleepy Joe.'

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said, "wait until Democrats spend another $4.5 trillion on infrastructure," after rhetorically asking if people think inflation is bad now.

And Texas Senator Ted Cruz decried the Democrats, "reckless spending."

Can inflation all be blamed on Democrats?

Many economists believe that the spike in inflation will only be temporary after a 2020 with little inflation due to the pandemic, only 1.4% over the whole year. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, told CNN, "Businesses that slashed prices during the height of the pandemic, such as hotels, airlines, rental car companies, etc. are simply raising prices back to where they were pre-pandemic."

Zandi added, "the supply-side of the economy has lagged demand as the pandemic continues to struggle with scrambled global supply chains."

And the inflation can't be put down solely to Democrat decisions. Two stimulus checks were passed during the Trump presidency, costing $3.1 trillionIt is impossible to argue that these huge financial injections have no bearing on current inflation rates. The Republican Party now attacking the Democrats for implementing the same policies, albeit tweaked, doesn't really make sense.

None of this takes into consideration the idea that the Republicans could be arguing in bad faith. The party has its own economists and senior leaders in the party will understand the workings of the economy during covid-19. But that knowledge isn't as important as finding an axe to grind with the Democrats. Regardless, while inflation continue to rise, the Republicans will harangue Biden for it.

What was the GOP plan for stimulus checks?

While Democrats and Republicans have largely been politically aligned on the distribution of stimulus checks, differences have arisen over the size of the checks and who should be receiving them. For example, with Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan from last March, the GOP submitted counter proposals of a bill a third of the size, $600 billion. They disagreed with Biden's proposed $15 minimum wage, which was scrapped anyway, and also removed the Child Tax Credit. The Republicans planned to send $1,000 to each adult, $600 under the Democrat total of $1,600.