Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today in response to the Labor Department’s report that consumer prices jumped 1.1 percent in June – the fastest increase in 26 years. The report comes a day after President Bush said the U.S. economy is fundamentally strong:
“Today’s news that consumer prices jumped faster in June than in any other month in the last 26 years is yet another unambiguous signal that Bush-McCain Republicans’ failed economic policies hurt Americans every day. Americans’ earning power continues to drop as the cost of living continues to rise, yet the President closes his eyes and plugs his ears to economic reality.
“It comes as no surprise that record-high energy prices are responsible for the lion’s share of that increase. We cannot afford to wait any longer to relieve Americans’ pain at the pump, and we must act today – not in 2030, as Bush-McCain Republicans propose with their singular focus on expanded offshore drilling. Democrats believe oil and gas companies should drill on the leases they already have, and unlike the President, believe any oil found on those sites needs to stay in America. We also call on the President to announce to the world that we will release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and to join us in standing up to greedy speculators who drive up energy prices.
“If the hardest hit to Americans’ wallets in more than a quarter-century does not encourage Bush-McCain Republicans to finally abandon their hands-off strategy, what will?”