As the June inflation rate is still too high, Hoosiers are facing high gas prices and food costs. I want to provide an update on the economy and what Congress and the Biden administration are doing to help during this tough time.
High gas prices affect every Hoosier and American, and they are a direct cause of the abrupt increase in demand for gas as we get back to normal life as we move from a COVID-19 pandemic into an endemic. As more people have transitioned from working at home to the office and resumed traveling, the demand for gas has grown significantly. Also, our economic sanctions on Russian crude oil and natural gas have caused a spike in gas prices. The sanctions are a blow to the Russian economy and are imperative due to their war on Ukraine.
President Biden and House Democrats are working to address this issue. Last month, we passed the Lower Food & Fuel Costs Act, a package of bipartisan bills to lower prices for America’s families in the grocery aisle. This package will also lower prices at the pump by making cheaper, cleaner Unleaded 88 fuel more available. Recently President Biden announced that gas prices have been dropping for 34 days straight; we are starting to see direct relief in Indiana, and I hope that will give Hoosiers a little more breathing room.
While the new inflation numbers are elevated, forecasters continue to project inflation easing substantially by the end of this year and going into 2023. We separately saw good news with new unemployment claims continuing to decline. That’s a sign of the real progress we’ve made in getting Americans back to work over the last year.
In Congress, I am continuing to push for the passage of the bold Build Back Better agenda, which will improve supply chain issues and provide economic benefits. It is also my hope that Congress will soon pass the America COMPETES Act and U.S. Innovation and Competition Act which will reduce prices by strengthening our supply chains, addressing some of the worst bottlenecks and bringing more manufacturing back to the U.S.
This legislation is particularly important right now as we see a shortage of semiconductor chips driving higher prices for cars and delaying the availability of many products, which accounts for a quarter of the inflation over the past year. The $52 billion investment through the COMPETES ACT, along with the Make it in America plan, would make more chips in the U.S. This legislation first passed the House in February before a similar bill was passed in the Senate in March. Congress is now trying to reconcile differences in the legislation before sending it to President Biden’s desk.
I understand that even though our recovery is promising, there are still many in our community who are still looking for work or a job with a better wage. That is why I am excited to be hosting my annual job fair this year. I am excited to host this year’s job fair in person and gather together employers and prospective employees in person for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. There will also be interview preparation workshops, resume review available and computers available for applying to jobs online. It will be a one-stop shop for those looking for jobs or those wanting to freshen up their resume or interview skills. The job fair will take place 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Ivy Tech Culinary and Conference located at 2820 N. Meridian St. We hope to see you there!
Rep. Carson represents the 7th District of Indiana. He is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and one of three Muslims in Congress. Rep. Carson sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, where he is chairman of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence and Counterproliferation. Contact Rep. Carson at carson.house.gov/contact.