Is the U.S. heading towards a recession, or already in one? The Biden administration says no to both of those questions, but recent economic numbers are painting a different picture.
As fears of an economic recession grow across the country, White House officials are trying to assure Americans that everything is fine. "This is not an economy that's in recession," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen declared on Meet the Press last Sunday.
Yellen blamed the historically rapid growth in 2021 for the current economic slowdown. She pointed to the economy bouncing back from the COVID-19 shutdowns and claimed we're not in a recession because the labor market is "extremely strong."
"You don't see any of the signs now," claimed Yellen. "A recession is a broad-based contraction that affects many sectors of the economy. We just don't have that."
President Biden is also trying to downplay recession fears. "My hope is we go from this rapid growth to a steady growth," Biden said this week. "And so, we'll see some coming down. But I don't think we're going to, God willing, I don't think we're going to see a recession."
The Federal Reserve is expected to hike interest rates by an unusually high .75 percent this week for the second time this year to combat inflation.
"We are crippling ourselves," said Republican Sen. Cynthia Lummis (WY) on Tuesday at an event organized by the America First Policy Institute.
At the event, Republican economists and lawmakers criticized President Biden's economic policies and claimed we are heading toward recession.
"Free spending, reduce regulation, make tax cuts permanent, and you'll unleash the economy," continued Lummis. "This administration is doing the exact opposite, and it's causing inflation."
Republicans like House Minority Whip Steve Scalise believe inflation will be the driving issue in the 2022 midterm elections.
"We've already seen what they've done to wreck our economy with massive spending and crazy far-left socialist regulations," remarked Scalise. "Stop the madness, help is on the way in November."
On Thursday, the Commerce Department is set to release a report that some predict will show a contraction in the American economy for the second consecutive quarter.
If so, that performance is generally defined as a recession.