160 House Republicans Accuse Biden of ‘Exacerbating’ Supply Chain Crisis

President Joe Biden speaks about Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

One hundred sixty House Republicans on Tuesday blamed President Joe Biden for “exacerbating” the supply chain crisis by pushing welfare “spending and taxation legislation.”

“We must address the global supply chain and ports crisis before Congress even considers additional social spending and taxation legislation,” the letter began, noting Biden’s largest welfare spending proposal since the Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” proposals in the 1960s.

The House Republicans then charged Biden with increasing the cost of goods for American workers and families. Food costs, for example, have massively risen since 2020 with meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increasing by 10.5 percent.

Meats are seen in a deli display at the Acme supermarket store in Lawrenceville, N.J., Tuesday, March 13, 2007. The Labor Department reported Thursday, March 15, 2007, that inflation at the wholesale level surged in February, pushed higher by a big jump in energy prices and the largest increase in food costs in more than three years. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

AP Photo/Mel Evans

“Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, and your Administration use infrastructure as a Trojan horse to push radical policies that make it more difficult and expensive for families to find or afford basic goods and for businesses to continue the long road to recovery from the pandemic,” the group continued.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (L) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) lead a rally and news conference ahead of a House vote on health care and prescription drug legislation in the Rayburn Room at the U.S. Capitol May 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. The bicameral group of Democrats urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to bring the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act up for a vote in the Senate. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (L) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images).

The Republicans then demanded Biden reverse his priority of enacting massive tax and spend legislation and focus on reducing the supply chain crisis. “Our priority right now should be strengthening our Nation’s economy and increasing our global competitiveness,” the letter read. “The policies of your Presidency and party’s leaders in Congress are exacerbating or simply ignoring the underlying supply chain crisis.”

“These efforts only serve to weaken American competitiveness and shrink our economy,” they said, “and they will certainly ensure that this Christmas will not be merry.”

The members lastly demanded Biden “step up for American workers and businesses by halting your reckless tax and spending plan currently pending before Congress” and “work on real infrastructure solutions that focus on moving goods and people safely and efficiently throughout our great country and around the world.”

The supply chain crisis has likely been created by a lack of labor due to Democrat-controlled states and the federal government handing out large unemployment benefits, which has encouraged workers to remain unemployed after the pandemic. Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Association, told CNN this week the supply chain crisis is short 80,000 drivers, a “record high.”

As a result of the short supply of truckers, seaports are full of containers that need to be moved across the country to their final destinations. The crowded ports are causing shipping vessels to wait sometimes up to two weeks to unload cargo.

The delay in offloading has delayed voyages back to Asia to pick up another load of containers. The extended amount of time in transatlantic shipping has caused cargo shipping prices to increase. What would once cost $3,800 in 2020 to ship a container from Asia to the West Coast now costs $17,000.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.

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