Inflation is making it harder for Americanas to bring home the bacon — including Rep. Katie Porter.
The California Democrat and self-described “minivan-driving single mom” revealed in a Politico interview published Wednesday that she had to take the bacon out of her grocery cart during a recent shopping trip when saw the price had jumped to $9.99 pound. And this is the kind of reality check she said that many in Congress recognize “too late.”
The story reveals that Porter gave “an emotional speech” about how inflation has hurt her family during a private House Democratic Caucus meeting last week. And she said it seemed like this was the first time that high consumer prices were resonating with some of her colleagues.
“Too often, Congress recognizes issues too late,” Porter said. “I had a colleague mention to me, ‘We’re not seeing it in the polls’ … Well, you don’t know what to ask.”
Porter doubled down on these remarks in a Twitter thread on Wednesday, writing that “people, myself included, are shopping differently, putting back $6.29 boxes of cereal and spending considerable time looking for sandwich bread for under $5.”
“We need to lower costs for families,” concluded Porter, who is up for re-election in Orange County this fall. “I will keep pushing until Americans get relief from Wall Street’s greed at the grocery store.”
Porter added that members of her party need to do more than just switch up their talking points in order to connect with voters. “Conveying is part of it. But first, you have to see it. Voters are very quick to be able to sense when something is hollow rhetoric,” she said. “It’s not about just switching up your talking points. It’s about seeing the issues.”
Porter’s Politico interview and Twitter thread certainly seemed to strike a chord with readers, as her name trended on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon with more than 16,000 tweets.
The National Republican Congressional Committee countered that Porter herself is late to realizing how expensive pork products have become. The body shared a press releasing mocking that she “just realized bacon is expensive,” and blamed “Democrat policies and out-of-control government spending” for the rise in prices.
Politico’s report added that some people who attended the Democratic caucus meeting said privately “they were surprised by Porter’s emotional remarks about the price of food given her $174,000-a-year congressional salary.” But the piece also noted that Porter’s job requires her to keep homes in two of the country’s most expensive cities, and to fly between them frequently. She also has to pay for child care, as well.
These comments came the same day that latest Consumer Price Index report found food prices jumped almost 1% last month, and grocery prices have spiked 10.8% in the past year, marking the biggest surge since 1981.
President Joe Biden has ramped up promoting his administration’s moves to address inflation recently as continues to get blamed for inflation, and faces low approval ratings. If these high prices continue, it could spell trouble for Democrats in November’s midterm elections.
Biden met with Illinois farmers on Wednesday, stating: “We have to keep investing in our farmers to reduce the costs, to reduce prices to consumers and have the most productive, most efficient farmers in the world here in the United States.” The president gave an inflation speech on Tuesday in which he contrasted his plans and how Republicans would address high prices. And on Monday he highlighted initiatives to provide free internet service for low-income households.