President Joe Biden last week admitted that his signature Inflation Reduction Act was not actually about fighting inflation. At an Aug. 10 fundraiser, he said he wishes he "hadn’t called it that because it has less to do with inflation than it has to do with providing alternatives that generate economic growth."
Lawmakers and economists made that point while Congress was debating the bill in August 2022. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said it was "just a catalog of tax hikes and green boondoggles that Democrats have wanted for years, with a false new label slapped on the front." Republicans cited the Congressional Budget Office's report that the bill's impact on inflation would be "negligible" in 2022 and 2023, as well as that of the Penn Wharton Budget Model, which estimated that the bill's effect on inflation would be "statistically indistinguishable from zero."
But Biden and other Democrats attempted to make the case to the American people that the bill would help fight inflation—often pointing to the name of the bill.
"This bill is fighting inflation," Biden said in July 2022 remarks at the White House.
"It's called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, as you rightly identified," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) told MSNBC's Mehdi Hasan. "Good naming there."
Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) in August 2022 disagreed with CNBC's Sara Eisen when she asked if the bill's title was "a bit misleading." When ABC's Jon Karl asked if the bill's title was "almost Orwellian," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the bill, "in its totality" will "lower the deficit."