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House Republicans make case for November victory at roundtable on inflation

GOP is laser focused on rising prices as midterm races heat up

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is seen in the Capitol on May 13.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is seen in the Capitol on May 13. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Dwight Mashburn, the general manager of Mashburn Transportation Services, said fuel costs, which comprise up to 40 percent of its overall operating expenses, have nearly doubled, a reality that has been hampering the Bakersfield, Calif., company.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Monday convened a roundtable of members and business owners, including Mashburn, to highlight the impacts of rising inflation under the Biden administration’s watch and Democratic control of Congress.

In addition to high fuel costs, the transportation company based in McCarthy’s district is having a difficult time hiring class A drivers, which has boosted labor prices 6 to 10 percent, Mashburn said.

“And so you can imagine, the only way for us to stay in business is to pass that down to our customers, which is just a chain reaction, right, that everybody else is experiencing from high cost of transportation,” Mashburn said.

Inflation is an issue President Joe Biden’s administration has been grappling with, so far with little success. It’s a problem on which Republicans are laser focused and one of their arguments for why people should vote for GOP candidates in November. The Consumer Price Index rose by 8.3 percent in April, and prices Americans are paying continue to rise, according to The New York Times.

Suzy Batlle, who owns Azucar Ice Cream in Miami, said costs for raw materials have jumped 40 percent, which she described as “crippling.”

On May 11, speaking at O’Connor Farm in Kankakee, Ill., Biden emphasized rising prices and inflation as a major issue plaguing Americans. 

“But I — just think about it: Right now, America is fighting on two fronts.  At home, it’s inflation and rising prices,” Biden said.

McCarthy said curbing inflation is a part of his “Commitment to America,” the GOP platform of legislative priorities that is the basis of their argument for why they should win the majority. One of those answers proposed by Republicans is to unleash American energy independence by tapping into the country’s natural resources, an action Biden’s administration is unlikely to support.

“First, stop wasteful spending. Secondly, lower the energy cost,” McCarthy said, adding that the U.S. was blessed with “a lot of natural resources.”

As elections in November approach, House Republicans are making their case to the electorate.

As the discussion closed, Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, said, “We can make a change in November and stop all this.”

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