Democratic Rep. Axne Leads Call for Pelosi to Address Inflation

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Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa) is leading a group of more than 20 Democrats who are calling on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to address inflation.

While the U.S. Department of Labor has not yet released information for how much inflation rose during the month of November, previous data has shown that costs across various consumer sectors have skyrocketed.

Currently, inflation of the U.S. dollar is at its highest level since 1990. According to the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), inflation jumped by 0.9 percent in October alone, more than doubling September’s 0.4 percent increase.

The energy sector has been hit the hardest by rising costs according to different Labor Department data.

The CPI showed a 30 percent increase in the price of energy in October. The price of gasoline itself increased by a staggering 49.6 percent in October.

The cost of food also increased by 5.3 percent during the month of October, riding on the back of unprecedented supply chain issues.

Axne, hailing from the Republican-leaning state of Iowa, is the only Democrat from the state whose seat has been judged as “vulnerable” by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which helps to fundraise and elect Republicans to Congress.

In a letter on the ongoing crisis addressed to Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), a coalition of Democrats led by Axne and Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) called on leadership to advance legislation to decrease inflationary pressures.

Many Democratic signatories, are, like Axne, judged “vulnerable” by the NRCC.

“We are concerned about the ongoing disruptions to our nation’s supply chain, which are causing delays and increasing inflation for our constituents,” the letter begins.

“We are pleased that the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has been signed into law by President Biden and encouraged by the continued work on the Build Back Better Act. These are key steps in addressing these supply chain problems and lowering costs for people,” the letter continues, “but Congress must do more.”

“We urge additional action by the House of Representatives to further address the disruptions and higher costs our constituents are experiencing,” the Democratic coalition wrote.

The Democrats who signed the letter were, nevertheless, cautious not to place the blame directly on Biden, opting instead for the now common refrain of blaming the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus for issues ranging from inflation to supply chain problems.

“The COVID-19 pandemic put unprecedented strain on our already crumbling infrastructure and changed consumer habits leading to severe transportation bottlenecks and backlogs at our nation’s ports and rail yards,” the letter says in explaining the crisis.

The letter fits into a larger trend among vulnerable Democrats of distancing themselves from Biden and other Democratic leaders, whose popularity among voters has waned amid the growing crises.

Axne, one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the lower chamber, is the most recent member to cautiously cut some ties with the party. But during much of the past year, Axne took the opposite position on inflation, arguing that it was not the problem that some critics were making it out to be.

In June, Axne was asked about whether Republicans were justified in warning about rising inflation.

“We’re not even remotely close to a point to say that we’re at rising inflation, so no, I wouldn’t agree with that,” Axne responded.

During a July town hall, Axne doubled down on her insouciant attitude toward inflation, saying that Republican warnings about rising inflation were “false advertising,” and that the “economy is on a great track.”

Axne has also voted for several trillion-dollar bills during her term in the 117th Congress, bills that some observers blame in part for rising inflation.

In February, Axne joined her party in voting for the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, a relief package passed using the reconciliation process with no GOP support. Later, Axne voted for both the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which has since been signed into law by Biden, and the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better social spending package, which still has to get through the Senate.

In a statement to The Epoch Times, Axne rejected these criticisms.

“The inflation and supply chain problems that we’ve seen this past year are a worldwide issue, caused both by the COVID-19 pandemic and the workforce disruptions that have come from it,” Axne said.

Defending her vote for the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, Axne argued that “The American Rescue Plan has helped bring the U.S. economy back to the highest workforce participation rate and lowest unemployment rate since March 2020, and make it the only major Western economy with a larger economy than pre-pandemic.”

Axne added that “more than a dozen Nobel Prize-winning economists” have said that the $1.85 trillion Build Back Better bill, “will curb inflation… cut taxes, and lower prices of everyday essentials.”

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