Biden takes a victory lap one year after signing Inflation Reduction Act

U.S. President Joe Biden gives a fist bump salute to the audience during an event to celebrate the anniversary of his signing of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act legislation, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, August 16, 2023.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden celebrated the one year anniversary of the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, arguing that the bill had done what it was intended to, namely, reduce inflation.

“When the Inflation Reduction Act was passed a year ago today inflation was at 8.3%,” Biden said at a White House event. “It’s now down to 3.2%, and it’s going to go lower.”

Yet tying the drop in inflation to a bill that funded investments in green energy and healthcare subsidies is a tenuous case. Most economists agree that the single biggest factor in lowering inflation over the past year was higher interest rates, hiked repeatedly by the Federal Reserve.

Speaking at a fundraiser last week, Biden said he regretted naming it the Inflation Reduction Act, admitting “it has less to do with reducing inflation than it does to do with dealing with providing for alternatives that generate economic growth.”

In his speech Wednesday, Biden expanded on the law’s job growth focus, pledging that the U.S. will no longer be as reliant on other countries for materials.

We are building here and sending over there,” Biden said.” This isn’t about the past. It’s about the future. We’re going to build.”

Still, the anniversary offered a White House busy gearing up for a tough reelection fight the opportunity to bask in the glow of a U.S. economy that appears to be defying expectations of a recession in the second half of this year.

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