ABC News Host Confronts Jean-Pierre on 'Almost Orwellian' Inflation Reduction Act


White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is facing questions about whether the Democrats’ climate, tax, and healthcare bill will bring down prices.

During a segment of ABC News’ “This Week” Sunday, host Jon Karl asked the press secretary about the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act if it is “almost Orwellian.”

“Inflation has been a number one priority for this president, lowering costs has been a number one priority for this president,” Jean-Pierre said, adding, “If you look at every day this summer, we saw gas prices go down by more than a dollar — saving Americans about a little bit more than $100 a month — that matters.”

She also pointed to the July inflation report, which found prices rose 8.5% compared to the same month last year, which was lower than the 9.1% annual rate in June.

“So that is the work that we will continue to do. And if you look…what Democrats in Congress did with this Inflation Reduction Act… you see that anti-inflation bill, you see that it’s going to lower costs for Americans, prescription drugs, energy costs, and also let’s not forget those 13 million Americans on the ACA, Affordable Care Act, who are now going to continue to see their premiums go down,” she added.

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However, Karl picked up on Jean-Pierre’s statement that the legislation would bring down prices.

He asked, “But let me ask you, it’s called the Inflation Reduction Act, but the Congressional Budget Office, which is nonpartisan, said that there would be a negligible impact on inflation this year and barely impact inflation at all next year, isn’t it almost Orwellian? How can you call it inflation reduction when the nonpartisan experts say it’s not gonna bring inflation down?”

Do you think the bill will impact inflation?

Jean-Pierre responded, “No…I appreciate the question. We’ve actually addressed this with the CBO. It was the top line number.”

“There’s more in there that shows it will have the money…remember how we’re doing this, too, it’s making sure that billionaires in corporate America are paying their fair share, making sure that the tax code is a little bit more fair, and so when you do that, put it in its totality, you will see that it will bring down, lower the deficit, which will help fight inflation,” she continued.

She added, “Look, here’s the thing, we have 126 economists, both Republicans, both Democrats who have said it’s going to fight inflation.”

When Karl asked if she disagreed with the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) assessment of the legislation, Jean-Pierre said, “Well, there’s more to it than that. It was just the way that Republicans did that was so that [they] could make an argument that is false.”

“It is going to fight inflation, it has been proven and said by economists across the board, on the Republican side and the Democrat side,” she insisted.

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Karl’s question refers to an analysis by the CBO that found the Inflation Reduction Act would have a “negligible effect on inflation” in 2022 and 2023.

While Jean-Pierre appeared to suggest the CBO’s findings were possibly skewed by “the way Republicans” asked about the legislation, other economists have concluded it would not have a meaningful impact on inflation.

An analysis of the bill by the Penn Wharton Budget Model found that its effect on inflation would be “statistically indistinguishable from zero.” Meanwhile, economists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it would have “almost no effect” on inflation.

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