AP Fact Check: House GOP Falsely Blames Biden for Gas Prices

WASHINGTON — Heading into the Memorial Day travel weekend, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and other members of his party are falsely blaming President Joe Biden for higher gasoline and lumber costs. 

Gas prices have risen in recent weeks because a key pipeline was forced to close after a cyberattack. And lumber shortages — which existed during former President Donald Trump's administration — were worsened by an unexpected housing boom.

Shortages have bedeviled the economy this spring, but most economists attribute the bulk of them to the difficulties of restarting the U.S. and global economies. 

A look at the claims and reality: 

MCCARTHY: "Despite gas prices being at historic lows this time last year, the average price for a gallon of gas is currently an astounding $3.10. That's the highest it's been since 2014, the last time Joe Biden was in the White House." — blog post on Monday.

REPUBLICANS on the HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE: "Biden's policies have led to the highest gas prices in six years." — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: Biden's policies aren't behind the price increases. Gas prices are up because of a rapid and unexpected bounce-back in demand, and because of lingering problems from the forced shutdown early this month of the Colonial Pipeline, which provides 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast. 

McCarthy's comparison to a year ago is also misleading. Gasoline prices didn't fall at the time because of the Trump administration, as Trump often claims; they plunged because of the coronavirus forcing people to abandon their offices, schools, business trips and vacations. Underscoring the connection to the pandemic shutdown, U.S. gas prices were at their lowest in April 2020 when people were staying home most but have mostly risen since then, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration, even when Trump was still in office.

In recent weeks, the biggest factor has been the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline. Even though it has been back in operation for nearly two weeks, many states, mostly in the South, still haven't fully recovered. 

Roughly one-quarter of gas stations in North and South Carolina and Georgia are without gas, according to GasBuddy.com, which tracks gas prices nationwide. In Florida, 9% of stations have run out and in Tennessee, it's 14%. Overall, more than 6,000 stations have run out, Gas Buddy's Patrick DeHaan says. 

Prices have also increased because the economy has reopened much more quickly than most analysts expected. Stimulus payments to American households, including $1,400 checks that were distributed in March, have helped Americans ramp up spending. 

Also noteworthy is while gas prices are at their highest level in six years, oil prices are still slightly below where they were in 2018. That suggests oil supplies are adequate and the refining and distribution of gasoline — through such networks as the Colonial Pipeline — are the problem.


RONNA MCDANIEL, head of the Republican National Committee: "… Lumber prices have increased 400%. We have real problems … (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi will do anything not to talk about the Biden failures." — tweet May 20.

THE FACTS: She's also wrong to link rising lumber prices to Biden "failures." This spike as well is related to rising demand and a sharp economic rebound.

At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, sawmills actually cut their output of lumber, anticipating that sales of new homes would slow, according to economists at TD Bank. Instead, Americans — and families in other countries — sought more room during the quarantine and bought new homes or sought to renovate. That pushed up demand for lumber, even as supply was reduced, sending lumber prices higher. 

The National Association of Homebuilders has pointed to insufficient domestic production dating back to Trump for the increases.

"When prices began their historic rise in August 2020, NAHB reached out extensively to the Trump administration, members of Congress and to lumber mills calling for prompt action to address supply shortages that were harming small businesses, home builders and ultimately, the overall economy" and is continuing to do so under the Biden administration, according to the group's website.

Some of the price gains in lumber and other commodities reflect strong consumer demand for goods like housing and cars, which is actually a good sign for the economy. Most officials at the Federal Reserve, the agency charged with keeping inflation in check, have repeatedly said that inflation will tick up as the country reopens, but the increases will likely be temporary, as supply bottlenecks are worked out.


PHOENIX — US Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is growing increasingly isolated from some of her party's most influential officials and donors after playing a key role in scuttling voting rights legislation that many consider essential to preserving democracy.

Top Stories


BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.


NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.


STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.


Greece: Heavy Snowfall is Expected on Monday, Schools to Remain Closed in Attica (Vid)

ATHENS - Schools of all levels of education will remain closed throughout Attica on Monday and Tuesday, January 24-25, due to extreme weather conditions.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.