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Manchin repeats worries about inflation amid final social spending bill battle

The social spending and climate package is still being negotiated and its fate is dependent on Manchin's support.
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WASHINGTON — Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is not backing down from his concerns about rising inflation, which is one of his main roadblocks in supporting President Joe Biden's social spending and climate package.

"By all accounts, the threat posed by record inflation to the American people is not 'transitory' and is instead getting worse," he said in a tweet, following the release of the latest Consumer Price Index for October, which recorded a 6.2 percent increase, year over year, according to data Wednesday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"From the grocery store to the gas pump, Americans know the inflation tax is real and DC can no longer ignore the economic pain Americans feel every day," Manchin said.

He has said before he's concerned a multitrillion-dollar spending package would worsen inflation and that he can't vote for a bill in good conscience that would expand social programs and that would "irresponsibly" add trillions in national debt.

The October numbers show the largest increase in over 30 years and far outpaced economists’ expectations of a 5.9 percent spike. October's data represents a continuation of months of markedly faster rising prices, compared to levels the U.S. economy has seen in recent years.

The greatest month-to-month increases were seen in food, up 0.9 percent; energy, up 4.8 percent; and shelter rising 0.5 percent. Used cars and trucks reversed a late summer decline and rose 2.5 percent, and new vehicles notched up a 1.4 percent increase.

The social spending bill cleared a procedural vote Friday in the House, after the infrastructure bill passed, with House Democrats voting unanimously to proceed to debate the measure after the Congressional Budget Office issues its cost analysis.

If the bill passes the House, it still needs to clear the Senate, where Manchin has objected to some of the provisions, particularly four weeks of paid family and medical leave.