LITTLE ROCK, Ark – The June 10 release of the latest numbers for the Consumer Price Index showed an 8.6% jump, bringing swift and condemning reactions from Arkansas’s Washington representatives.
The 8.6% hike is the largest jump since December 1981. When looking at the increase in the energy cost index by itself over the past 12 months, the jump is 34.6%, the greatest 12-month increase since September 2005.
The release of the numbers Friday morning seemed the slam investors, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping by 20.8% by mid-day and ending trading down more than 880 points.
Federal lawmakers serving Arkansas voters were quick to assess the blame for the rising inflation to President Joe Biden and his policies.
Republican Senator John Boozman said this high of a spike in inflation has not been seen in decades and accused the president of having the wrong focus.
“Gas, food, housing, energy — prices for each continue to go through the roof while the Biden administration pushes for more taxing and spending,” Boozman tweeted, “This is a crisis not seen in 40 years that’s crushing many hardworking and vulnerable Americans.”
The junior senator, Republican Tom Cotton, called Biden the “inflation president” in one tweet, claimed the administration’s policies were depleting savings accounts in another and questioned comparisons between Biden and another Democratic president who also fought inflation in a third.
“These Jimmy Carter comparisons are very unfair—to Jimmy Carter,” Cotton posted.
Congressman French Hill was demanding “accountability and leadership” from the president regarding inflation, saying the country could not continue to face these spikes.
In a statement to KARK 4 News, Hill said the spike in inflation is causing Arkansas residents to spend more on “everything from groceries and furniture to gasoline and electricity” and that delays by the Federal Reserve to act combined with the president’s spending to cause the situation.
“First the Biden Administration told us inflation was temporary. Then they said inflation peaked. Today’s CPI report tells us otherwise. Arkansans continue to pay more for everything from groceries and furniture to gasoline and electricity because of this Administration’s economic illiteracy. We’re in this situation because the Federal Reserve waited too long to raise interest rates and the Biden Administration continues to spend money like drunken sailors. Washington needs to reign in spending and get its fiscal house in order.”Rep. French Hill
District 1 Rep. Rick Crawford said families in his district were feeling the squeeze of inflation well before the report was released, then went on criticize Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, saying she was more focused on the January 6 committee hearing, which Crawford called “a highly produced, prime-time TV special about Donald Trump,” than on working on ways she and Biden could improve energy costs.
Republican Congressman Bruce Westerman offered only a brief response, noting that it was “another day, another 40-year-inflation high” before assigning the blame for increasing costs to the Biden administration.