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Chairman Smith: High Interest Rates More Evidence of President Biden’s Failed Leadership

March 20, 2024

“Interest rates are remaining at the highest levels in 23 years because Bidenflation is still out of control.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) released the following statement in response to the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it is maintaining interest rates at the highest level in 23 years:

“Interest rates are remaining at the highest levels in 23 years because Bidenflation is still out of control, yet the President’s latest budget proposal, with $7 trillion in tax hikes, shows he is in denial and doubling down. Wall Street thought the inflation caused by President Biden was over and the Federal Reserve would start lowering rates. Working families know inflation is still a real issue. They also know President Biden and Washington Democrats’ big spending are to blame for high prices that refuse to come down and high interest rates. American families need relief, not the largest tax hike in American history that President Biden just proposed in his budget. That’s why the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act helps drive up wages and job growth while building on the success of President Trump’s doubled Child Tax Credit to put more money in the pockets of working parents.”

Key Background:

  • The benchmark interest rate set by the Federal Reserve remains at 5.33 percent, the highest level since February 2001, increasing costs for all Americans and increasing the risk of defaults that could devastate businesses and local communities.   
  • Prices have increased 18.6 percent since President Biden took office.
  • After inflation, wages have fallen 4.2 percent since President Biden took office.
  • Inflation outpaced wages for 26 straight months of Biden’s presidency.
  • Mortgage rates reached a 23 year high of 7.8 percent in October. The average monthly mortgage payment has increased by $1,082 and is 95 percent higher than when President Biden took office in January 2021.
  • The average monthly payment on a new car reached a record $739 in the latest calendar quarter, according to Edmunds, up nearly 30 percent since Biden took office. Down payments also exceeded $7,000 for the first time, up from $4,729 in Q1 of 2021.
  • Credit card interest rates are at the highest level in nearly three decades, while consumer credit debt has reached an all-time high of more than $1.1 trillion and the percentage of Americans struggling to pay credit card bills is now back up to the same level as during the worst part of the COVID-19 pandemic.