The Biden administration cited inflation — Democrats’ biggest political liability — as a national and global security threat, less than a month before midterm elections that will decide control of Congress.
The national defense strategy outlined Wednesday enumerates inflation as one of the cross-border issues that “people all over the world are struggling to cope with.”
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan cited US efforts to counter Russia in Ukraine as part of the bid to bring down gasoline prices, along with building more “resilient supply chains so that the supply chain side of the inflation problem is abated and alleviated over time.”
Stubbornly high inflation has been a drag on Democrats’ prospects heading into the November midterm elections, in which President Joe Biden and his party are campaigning to hold on to slim House and Senate majorities.
Rising prices have the Federal Reserve poised to deliver its fourth-straight 75-basis-point hike when it meets early next month, just days before voters go to the polls. The central bank’s rate hikes have fueled concerns of a recession.
The Department of Labor will release the latest inflation numbers Thursday, the last release before Election Day. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg is for a 8.1% annual rate — the lowest since February.
A Monmouth poll conducted in late September showed 82% of Americans called inflation an extremely or very important issue and just 30% approve of Biden’s handling of the issue. On jobs and unemployment, 68% said the issue was extremely or very important, with 43% approving of the president.
In an interview Tuesday with CNN, Biden said a recession in the US is possible but that any downturn would be “very slight” and that the US economy is resilient enough to ride out the turbulence.