The highest inflation increase in nearly 40 years is proof President Joe Biden's agenda needs to pass urgently, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday.

Republicans, meanwhile, painted that same agenda as responsible for rising consumer costs.

The Labor Department's Consumer Price Index rose by 6.8% without seasonal adjustments compared over a 12-month period ending in November, marking the fastest annual increase found by the measure since 1982.


The House recently passed the Build Back Better Act, a sweeping social spending bill now under consideration by the Senate. Democratic leadership is seeking to pass the bill in the upper chamber by Christmas but have yet to secure the support of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who has objected to portions of the bill. Manchin’s support would be crucial to the bill’s passage by the Senate, as no Republicans are expected to support the legislation.

In a statement, Pelosi said: “November’s inflation numbers only add urgency to passing the Build Back Better Act to lower the costs that weigh heaviest on working families’ budgets, from the price of child care, to health care to prescription drugs and more.”

“The Build Back Better Act is the most significant cost-cutting and inflation-fighting measure in recent history — taking concrete action to lower everyday costs, slash middle-class taxes and put more money in working families’ pockets,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi argued the bill will “ease labor shortages by giving working parents the child care, universal pre-K, paid family and medical leave and home based care they need to succeed in the workforce: with children learning, and parents earning.”

She also argued Democrats and Biden “have already been taking aggressive steps to combat rising prices, and we are glad to see progress at the ports and gas prices falling nationally since the data for this report was collected” and that a bipartisan infrastructure bill recently signed by the president will ease supply chain issues.

“Democrats are For The People — creating jobs, lowering costs and cutting taxes for working families, while making sure the biggest corporations and wealthiest few pay their fair share,” Pelosi said.

Republicans, meanwhile, argued the bill paves the way for reckless spending and would worsen rising costs.

In a statement to the Washington Examiner, Georgia Rep. Drew Ferguson, chief deputy whip for House Republicans, said: “November’s inflation report — which reflects the highest increase in nearly 40 years — is a symptom of the Democrats’ big-government, socialist spending sprees."

"When skyrocketing inflation makes many Americans choose between filling their gas tanks and putting food on the table, skip traveling to see family, or forego holiday gift-giving, they can thank Democrats and their reckless policies," Ferguson said. "Instead of restoring fiscal responsibility to our government, Democrats are pouring fuel on the fire by jamming through trillions of new government spending. It’s clear that hardworking American families are suffering as a direct result of the Biden Administration’s radical agenda.”

Senate Republicans blasted the results of the report as they seek to prevent the Build Back Better Act from passing in the upper chamber.

In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the report confirms “what every American family already knows: Inflation is out of control on the Democrats’ watch.”

“6.8% inflation is the worst in almost 40 years,” the Kentucky Republican said. “The costs of essentials have skyrocketed. Wages have not even come close to keeping pace, so the average American has gotten a pay cut. It is exactly what experts warned Democrats’ reckless spending would cause.”

McConnell said Democrats “want to double down and attempt to inflate their way out of inflation.”

“The American people cannot take another reckless taxing and spending spree that hurts their families and helps China,” he said. “It is unthinkable that Senate Democrats would try to respond to this inflation report by ramming through another massive socialist spending package in a matter of days.”

Other Senate Republicans echoed McConnell. Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey called the report “jaw-dropping,” adding that Democrats “should immediately halt” their “spending spree.” Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota called the report “a scary indicator of Joe Biden’s soaring inflation.”


“This is a de facto tax, chipping away at family’s paychecks and eating the savings of hardworking American families,” Cramer said. “Build Back Broke would only make it worse!”