Top Biden administration officials will be dispatched across the country this week to reassure Americans that combating inflation remains a top priority for the White House as prices soar and economic concerns mount, a White House official tells CNN.
The travel blitz by Cabinet members and senior officials comes as President Joe Biden meets with world leaders at the G7 and NATO summits in Germany and Spain, where leaders are discussing, among other things, rising costs that have been driven in part by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. One White House official said the travel is designed to highlight how “Biden’s leadership on the world stage is centered around delivering for the American middle class.”
The officials are expected to tout the bipartisan infrastructure law and outline steps the President has taken to try to bring down costs, even as Biden himself has acknowledged there is little he can do to immediately bring down the high price of gas and groceries that has been putting stress on millions of Americans.
Cabinet officials with scheduled trips this week include Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and others, according to a schedule shared with CNN.
Vilsack is expected to make a new announcement related to the bipartisan infrastructure law in Iowa on Tuesday, and Buttigieg will make a separate announcement about the law on Thursday in Alabama, according to the schedule.
Biden has sought to emphasize he is doing everything in his power to combat inflation but is left without many options because of a narrowly divided Senate that has blocked the bulk of his domestic agenda.
The President recently called on lawmakers to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes until the end of September – a proposal that faces steep odds in Congress – and acknowledged the move itself would not be enough to resolve the problem of surging energy prices. It was the latest attempt by the President to show he is taking initiative to reduce fuel prices as Russia’s war in Ukraine pushes gas prices higher.
The administration has also been contending with growing warning signs of a recession. Beyond soaring prices, teetering poll numbers for Biden and fragile congressional majorities ahead of the midterms are reasons for unease for the White House.