Biden fuming about soaring inflation, privately doubted Iowa trip to talk lower gas prices: Report

Biden ‘asked senior staff what the “purpose” of going to Iowa to talk about trying to lower gas prices as he raged at his inner circle for soaring prices’

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While President Joe Biden visited an Iowa biofuel plant in April to publicly tout it as one potential solution to higher gas prices, a Monday report claims he was privately expressing doubts about the strategy.

Biden spoke at POET biofuels facility in Menlo, Iowa as the White House announced it would allow the sale of ethanol-blended gasoline known as E15 during the summer driving season of June 15 through September 1, despite its known environmental risks.

‘I’m here today because homegrown biofuels have a role to play right now — right now — as we work to get prices under control to reduce the costs for families,’ the president said during his April 12 speech in Iowa.

But behind-the-scenes Biden was worried the initiative would do more harm than good – having little impact on Americans’ pain at the pump while also aversely impacting his climate agenda, two people familiar with the issue told the Washington Post.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reportedly convinced the president that it would at least help the Midwest, where the biofuels are produced. 

At the time, nationwide average gas prices had climbed to $4.10 per gallon.

Inflation had risen 8.5 percent the month before, then easing somewhat to 8.3 percent in April.

Roughly two months later the average cost of a gallon of gas has been hitting consecutive daily records, surging past $5 over the weekend.

President Biden publicly promoted the use of biofuels even as he privately expressed hesitance and had to be talked into the strategy by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the Washington Post reports

President Biden publicly promoted the use of biofuels even as he privately expressed hesitance and had to be talked into the strategy by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the Washington Post reports

As of Monday the price is $5.01. In parts of California, the cost runs over $7 per gallon.

And inflation hit a 41-year high of 8.6 percent in May, according to the most recently available Labor Department data released last week.

Biden is privately getting more and more incensed over the toll that rising costs are having on the country.

In a sign of the all-hands attention the administration is giving to rising costs, the Post reports that top White House aides like Chief of Staff Ron Klain have directed agencies and departments to find ways to crack down on the surge.

It’s a far cry from the administration’s claims earlier this year that inflation was only ‘transitory.’

Biden told late night host Jimmy Kimmel in an interview last week, ‘Inflation is the bane of our existence.’

But the administration is insisting on staying optimistic, beating back claims that the country may soon hit a recession with no other end in sight to sky-high prices.

Last week Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen denied that a recession was on the horizon and insisted consumer spending remained ‘good.’ 

However, she conceded that gas prices are ‘unlikely’ to drop off anytime soon.

Barack Obama’s former economic adviser Larry Summers cast doubt on Yellen’s denial, claiming a recession could come ‘in the next year.’

‘I think there’s certainly a risk of recession in the next year. And I think, given where we have gotten to, it’s more likely than not that we will have a recession within the next two years,’ Summers said on CNN’s State of the Union.

‘That is something we can manage. We have had them for the whole history of the country. We need to be prepared and to respond quickly if and when it happens.’

In a more direct jab at Yellen, Summers added: ‘But I think the optimists were wrong a year ago in saying we’d have no inflation.’

‘And I think they’re wrong now in being – if anyone’s highly confident that we’re going to avoid recession.’

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