- The Washington Times - Friday, November 12, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris said Friday that fighting record-high inflation is “probably” one of the Biden administration’s top priorities and that Democrats’ trillion-dollar spending plans won’t make the problem worse.

She also insisted the administration’s $1.75 trillion social-welfare bill “won’t cost anything” and that it would reduce household expenses for many families. A new study by a liberal think tank has found that the package would raise taxes on the middle class while giving tax breaks for the wealthy.

Speaking to reporters in Paris, Ms. Harris said the 6.2% spike in consumer prices last month from a year earlier, a 31-year high, is “a big deal.”

“We are doing what we can, making it probably one of our highest priorities — I talk to the president about it often — one of our highest priorities,” the vice president said. She called rising costs at the gas pump and at grocery stores “a heavy weight to carry” for families.

She said the administration is working with labor unions to ease shipping bottlenecks at major ports. And she asserted again that the administration’s “Build Back Better” bill “is designed to make it less expensive for working people to live.”

“It was specifically designed to bring down the cost of childcare and increase accessibility and availability; designed to bring down the cost of eldercare and make it available to all those working families that need that support and need that help,” Ms. Harris said. “And Build Back Better is not going to cost anything; we’re paying for it.”

The left-leaning Tax Policy Center said in a new analysis that the tax increases proposed by House Democrats would hit about 30% of lower- and middle-class households starting in 2022 if the bill becomes law.

Asked if Democrats need a “course correction” after losing statewide elections in Virginia this month, Ms. Harris said her party needs to pass the $1.75 trillion bill as a follow-up to the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that Mr. Biden is set to sign into law on Monday.

“The next step is to pass our Build Back Better Agenda, which, again, is going to be about delivering for the American people,” she said. “What they want is that we’re not sitting around talking about politics; that we’re talking about, instead, the policies that are going to impact them and improve their lives. And that’s where we’re putting our attention.”

Haris Alic contributed to this story.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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