President Joe Biden addressed the nation on Tuesday, saying inflation is his top domestic priority.
Inflation is at a 40-year high.
Despite low unemployment numbers and the Federal Reserve steadily raising rates, everyday costs from gas to groceries continue to rise.
The price of oil remains stubbornly high, pushing prices at the gas pump to painful heights. Drivers were paying $4.37 for a gallon of regular Tuesday, on average, according to AAA. That’s 25 cents higher than a month ago and $1.40 more than a year ago.
“I know the families across America are hurting because of inflation,” Biden said. “But I want every American to know that I’m taking inflation very seriously and it’s my top domestic priority.”
Republicans argue the Biden administration flooded the economy with too much money -- which lead to these high numbers. But Biden said Tuesday that there are other causes.
“There are two leading causes of inflation today. The first cause is a once-in-a-century pandemic,” Biden said. “And this year, we have a second cause: Mr. Putin’s war in Ukraine.”
Experts believe the European Union’s announcement to stop all imports of Russian oil by the end of the year could be the cause of oil prices going up.
Biden said he would release 1 million barrels of oil per day from reserves while enacting emergency measures to expand biofuel sales during the summer when gas is expected to get even more expensive and penalizing gas companies that refuse to release more oil.
“My plan is to lower everyday costs for hardworking Americans and lower the deficit by asking large corporations and the wealthiest Americans to not engage in price gouging and to pay their fair share in taxes,” Biden said.
Biden also spent a significant amount of time bashing the Republican Party, which has focused on the economic woes as part of midterm campaigns.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.