President Joe Biden sought to distance himself and Democratic policies from stubbornly high consumer prices, saying while his party is in power, it does not control Congress.
“I think our policies help, not hurt," Biden told reporters Tuesday at the White House. "Economists think that this is going to be a real tough problem to solve, but it's not because of spending. We brought down the deficit."
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Alluding to Democrats' slim Senate majority, he provided a muddled message on his party not monopolizing Capitol Hill power, preventing his preferred measures from passing.
"You're justifiably right: We control all three branches of the government. Well, we don't really. We have a 50-50 Senate. You need 60 votes to get things done," he said. Democrats only control the Senate due to Vice President Kamala Harris's tiebreaking vote.
When needled on how long the public should expect to experience elevated prices, Biden was adamant he was "not going to predict that." Earlier in his inflation-focused remarks, he tried to convey he understood the public's concerns.
"I know you guys are frustrated. I know. I can taste it," he said.
Biden was later asked to clarify his position on abortion restrictions after a draft opinion leaked last week indicated the Supreme Court is preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade, but he declined to respond to shouted questions from reporters on the issue.
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"I want this story to be about inflation," he said.