Biden, in Rare Powell Meeting, Seeks to Deflect Inflation Blame


President Joe Biden used a rare meeting with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to declare that he’s respecting the central bank’s independence – while simultaneously shifting responsibility for taming decades-high inflation ahead of the November midterms. 

Biden seized on the Oval Office session to argue that while fighting price increases is his top priority, that work was primarily the purview of the Federal Reserve.

“My plan is to address inflation. That starts with a simple proposition: respect the Fed, respect the Fed’s independence, which I have done and will continue to do,” Biden said.

It’s Biden’s third in-person session with Powell since taking office, and recalls the stakes when Ronald Reagan met with then-Fed chief Paul Volcker almost four decades ago as he sought re-election amid galloping price pressure.

Biden has been attempting to show he’s maximizing efforts to curb the hottest inflation in 40 years heading into November midterms, in which Democrats’ risk losing their slim congressional majorities. 

The White House has increasingly sought to shift the burden for battling prices to the Fed in public comments, as polls show rising costs are voters’ top concern. In an op-ed published Monday in the Wall Street Journal, Biden said the Fed has “a primary responsibility to control inflation.”


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