- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 26, 2021

Sen. Roy Blunt said Sunday he is concerned that if President Biden’s Build Back Better plan is passed, it would exacerbate inflation, which is hitting 40-year highs.

The Missouri Republican said the $1.75 trillion social welfare legislation relies on budget “gimmicks” and said putting more money “into the economy at a time when the economy is already overheated I think is just a bad idea.”

“I think the biggest challenge that families are facing right now is inflation,” Mr. Blunt said on Fox News Sunday. “Inflation numbers [are] as high as they have been in four decades.”

Inflation at 6.8% “could become something bigger than that,” he said. “We can’t solve every problem by just dropping money on top of more money.”

Mr. Biden’s hopes of passing the plan were derailed last week after Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, joined Republicans in opposing the legislation.

The legislation includes provisions such as universal pre-kindergarten, expanded Medicare benefits for seniors, and climate and clean energy measures.

Democrats are now looking to regroup and plot their next move.

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York has vowed to hold a vote on the proposal when Congress returns from its holiday break.

Rising inflation, meanwhile, is creating headaches for Mr. Biden, who entered office vowing to bring a sense of normalcy and competence back to Washington.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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