Recent estimates show that runaway inflation and increasing costs for essentially everything cost the typical American family an extra $5,200 a year to maintain their current way of living. The Consumer Price Index, which monitors the prices of basic goods and services, reported that Americans are paying 12% more this year for groceries when compared to last year. This is the largest increase in prices since 1979.
All of us are feeling the pain at the pump. As of last week, the cost of fuel is more than double what it was last year, and there does not seem to be an end in sight to the rising cost. The national average is more than $5.00 a gallon in the United States. While I’m grateful to live in a state like Alabama where gas is somewhat cheaper than the national average, all of us are being affected by sky-high prices in places like California. When truckers fill up their tanks in states like California where prices are through the roof, that cost is passed on to the consumer. Not only are we spending more money to get to the grocery store, but we are also paying more for the groceries once we get there.
Basic groceries items like eggs, coffee and chicken cost 15-32% more than they did last year. We’ve got to do something to bring these prices down. That’s why House Republicans have been working to cut down the cost of food transportation and lower gas prices. Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Bruce Westerman have introduced the American Energy Independence from Russia Act (which I have proudly cosponsored) to boost domestic energy production by restarting oil and gas leases on our federal lands and waters.
I’ve also introduced my own bill – the Unleashing American Energy Act – to require oil and gas lease sales off our own Gulf Coast and the coast of Alaska. My bill and the American Energy Independence from Russia Act are in response to the Biden administration’s halting of lease sales and their war on our domestic energy production. Their actions have driven energy costs through the roof and have made all consumer goods more expensive to purchase. While these bills (as well as countless others that have been introduced by House Republicans) won’t fix all our problems overnight, they will get us turned around and get these prices headed back in the right direction.
While House Republicans have been fighting to get inflation and fuel prices under control, House Democrats have been focused on the issues they care most about – things like regulating big cat ownership, crippling our energy independence, pushing the Federal Reserve to be more racially inclusive (instead of focusing on keeping inflation in check), and further infringing on our constitutional rights. The truth is simple: the American people need relief from the Democrats’ price hikes and runaway inflation, and voters should start asking them why they continue pushing an agenda that harms hardworking American families. Enough is enough.
Jerry Carl represents Alabama’s First Congressional District. He lives in Mobile with his wife Tina.