PARK CITY, Utah — President Biden on Thursday acknowledged his massive climate, health and tax law was not aimed at reducing inflation, despite repeated claims for months it would cure rising prices.
At a private campaign fundraiser, Mr. Biden told the crowd the so-called Inflation Reduction Act isn’t really targeting the cost of living.
“I wish I hadn’t called it that. It has less to do with reducing inflation than it does providing for alternatives that generate economic growth,” Mr. Biden said. “And so, we’re now in a situation where if you look at what we’re doing in the Inflation Reduction Act, we’re literally reducing the cost of people being able to make their — meet their basic needs.”
“Even when there is inflation, there is a way to provide breathing room,” Mr. Biden said, citing negotiating medical prices as one example.
The government this week reported that overall consumer prices in July rose 3.2% from a year earlier, up from a 3% annual increase in June.
Mr. Biden’s comments Thursday sharply differ from what he repeatedly said last summer while pushing Congress to pass the measure, which it ultimately did along party lines.
“The Inflation Reduction Act is the strongest bill you can pass. It will lower inflation, cut the deficit, reduce health care costs,” he said in July 2022.
Upon its passing, Mr. Biden boasted in September that it “cut costs for families, reduced inflation at the kitchen table.”
At the time of its passage, inflation was at its highest level in 40 years, with Americans struggling to afford groceries and other household items.
However, the Congressional Budget Office declared the bill would have a “negligible effect” on inflation in 2022 and would reduce inflation by 0.1% or raise it by 0.1% in 2023.