During remarks on Friday at the House Democrats' retreat in Philadelphia, President Joe Biden said that "inflation is largely the fault" of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Biden said that prices have been rising as a result of factors related to COVID-19, including supply chain issues and heavy demand for certain goods. He also directed blame toward the Russian president.
"The second big reason for inflation is Vladimir Putin," Biden said. The U.S. president said that gas prices rose as Putin staged troops on the Ukrainian border — Biden noted that Putin then invaded Ukraine. "Make no mistake, inflation is largely the" Russian figure's fault, Biden claimed.
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The president rejected the notion that the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that Democrats passed last year made gas prices rise. Congressional Democrats rammed the plan through without GOP support.
Biden said that the San Francisco Federal Reserve indicated that the American Rescue Plan "contributed to 0.3% of inflation."
People have been getting hammered by skyrocketing gas prices. As of Friday, the AAA national average price for regular gas was $4.331 per gallon.
Earlier this week, President Biden signed an executive order to ban the import of Russian crude oil into the U.S. — the order also prohibits importing "petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal; and coal products" from Russia.
Americans have been suffering the financial strain caused by rapid inflation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the consumer price index rose by 0.8% in February.
"The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.8 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.6 percent in January," according to BLS. "Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 7.9 percent before seasonal adjustment."
Biden said in a statement on Thursday that, "A large contributor to inflation this month was an increase in gas and energy prices as markets reacted to Putin’s aggressive actions. As I have said from the start, there will be costs at home as we impose crippling sanctions in response to Putin’s unprovoked war, but Americans can know this: the costs we are imposing on Putin and his cronies are far more devastating than the costs we are facing."
Steven Rattner, who served as counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury during a portion of the Obama administration, fired back: "Well, no. These are Feb #'s and only include small Russia effect. This is Biden's inflation and he needs to own it."