At least one moderate Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, has said he is concerned about inflation; on Thursday, Mr. Manchin wrote a letter to Jerome H. Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, stating, “It’s time to make sure we don’t over-prescribe the patient by further boosting an already strong recovery. and therefore our ability to respond to future crisis situations.”
Republicans have also said they will not support a move to raise the debt ceiling, which the Treasury Department said was technically reached early this month. The Department is taking what it calls “extraordinary measures” to prevent it from being breached, but is expected to do so in October with no action from Congress to increase it.
Some Republicans have hammered the infrastructure legislation for its budget tricks, arguing that they far outweigh the merits of the spending.
“If we weren’t offering real pay-fors, we should have seen a confession from them right from the start: ‘We’re not going to pay for it,'” Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee said at a news conference. on Wednesday. “Instead they said it was going to be paid for, and then they release it and say it’s paid – only it has some asterisks next to it.”
After the report was released, Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott and the chairman of his party’s Senate campaign committee said he supported investment in infrastructure, but feared the bill would fuel inflation.
“We cannot afford this reckless expenditure,” said Mr Scott.
The Congressional Budget Office on Thursday predicted in a separate report that the federal budget deficit would be $3 trillion this year and an average of $1.2 trillion annually through 2031.
The Biden administration has argued that the debt burden is manageable due to low interest rates.