Biden huddles with Pelosi and Schumer on inflation

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President Biden on Wednesday met with Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) at the White House to discuss ways to combat inflation, an issue weighing heavily on Democrats heading into November’s midterms.

The three leaders “discussed their plans for fighting the global problem of inflation that is affecting every major economy, such as bringing down prescription drug and energy costs, and adding to the historic deficit reduction we have accomplished,” according to a White House readout of the call.

The meeting comes as the White House and congressional Democrats face pressure to bring down prices, and gas prices in particular.

Biden on Wednesday sent a letter to seven major oil executives chiding them for making large profits amid the spike in gas prices and demanding they take actions to boost the supply of gasoline, diesel and other refined products on the market to help ease the burden on American consumers.

The Labor Department announced last Friday that the consumer price index (CPI), a closely watched gauge of inflation, rose 1 percent in May alone and 8.6 percent over the past 12 months. Experts were concerned not only by how high prices rose, but also by how many goods and services saw rapid price growth in May.

In response, the Federal Open Market Committee, the panel of Fed leaders responsible for setting monetary policy, hiked its baseline interest range Wednesday by 0.75 percentage points. The decision came after Fed leaders — including Chairman Jerome Powell — signaled for weeks that the Fed would hike rates by 0.5 percentage points this month.

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