President Joe Biden is expected to visit Saudi Arabia next month, according to a Tuesday announcement from the White House.
The announcement has been criticized by congressional Democrats, including Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL).
During an interview with FNC’s “Special Report” host Bret Baier on Tuesday, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) expressed her skepticism about the Biden trip but urged Biden to be “demanding” and “firm” with Saudi Arabia and other nations she deemed as “oil-producing nations” on the trip.
Partial transcript as follows:
JACKSON LEE: Well, I hope that part of the focus is the inability or the resistance of the overseas — not the overseas, but the oil-producing countries — excuse me — to really respond to this gas-driven inflation, to a certain extent, because food prices and other commodities that are needed by Americans are driven by transportation costs, are driven by fuel costs.
And that’s where we are. This would have happened if any other president would have been in place. We went through a horrific pandemic. The president was a genius in putting forth the American Rescue Plan that saved people from absolute despair and disgrace, if you will, when I say disgrace, thrown out on the streets, no food for their children.
Here we are, in a situation where inflation is unacceptable. We realize that. We are working real hard to deal with it, the supply chain. All of that got disrupted with a pandemic. If, as the president goes to Saudi Arabia, it will not be for fun and games. It will not be an affirmation for some of the most dastardly acts that the Saudis have engaged in, from Yemen, to the killing of journalists.
But what it will be is, I think, a real eye-to-eye that you have got to play in the world arena. And when there is this kind of increasing costs in fuel, then you have got to be as responsive as Saudis wanted the United States to be in some of the prices that they have had in the Mideast.
I think the president, and hope he will be demanding, hope he will be firm and come away with the fact that these prices coming out of those oil-producing nations will go down.
If they go down, it will help in the midst of this war.
You know the war has driven the cost up, Bret, but it will help. And we’re going to do a number of other things. I think the gas tax should be looked at. And it’s been done in other states. It’s helped in other states. And we’re going to break this impasse on these supply chains, so that we can get products moving to our shelves to help bring down the costs as well.
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