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Chairman Smith: High Prices and Interest Rates Continue to Make Life More Uncertain for Working Families

September 20, 2023

WASHINGTON – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) released the following statement after the September meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee:

“Even with the Federal Reserve’s decision to pause rate increases, interest rates remain at the highest level in 22 years which, coupled with high inflation, continues to make life uncertain and expensive for families and small businesses. Incomes fell by $1,750 last year alone, leaving families on edge about whether their paychecks will keep up with constantly rising prices, let alone save for their future, while small businesses lack the confidence they need to succeed. High prices, which triggered the Federal Reserve’s season of interest rate increases, continue to weigh down the economy and leave Americans wondering how they’ll put food on their tables, clothes on their backs, and gasoline in their cars.”

Key Background:

  • Interest rates are at their highest level in 22 years.
  • The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates 11 times since March 2022.
  • Inflation rose for the second month in a row in August, and prices have increased 17.4 percent since President Biden took office.
  • Actual median incomes fell by $1,750 last year alone, according to the Census Bureau.
  • Monthly Mortgage Payments Double Under Biden: The average mortgage payment is $1,232 dollars and 109 percent higher per month than when President Biden took office.
  • Families Turn to Credit Cards to Cope With Inflation: Credit card rates have hit a record high of 21 percent, while credit card debt has hit the $1 trillion mark.