Congressional Record Vol. 169, No. 21
(Senate - February 1, 2023) PDF

  Mrs. HYDE-SMITH. Madam President, in less than a week, President 
Biden will deliver his State of the Union Address to the Nation. In the 
buildup to that speech, we are already seeing the President and his 
administration spinning a tale about just how wonderful things are in 
this country, particularly after they took power and racked up more 
than $3 trillion more in spending. Unfortunately, those tall tales do 
not reflect the reality for the people in my home State of Mississippi 
or across the Nation.

  In the 2 years since President Biden took office, we have seen his 
administration fail the American people time and time again. Inflation 
was 1.4 percent in January of 2021, but the policies the President has 
forced on this Nation since then have made daily living unaffordable 
for families. Today, a strong majority of Americans--more than 70 
percent--believe that the country is on the wrong track, and it is easy 
to understand why. Too many workers and families now live paycheck to 
paycheck, trying to keep the lights on, put food on the table, get gas 
in their cars, and stock up on everyday essentials that they have to 

  President Biden's inflationary runaway spending is a root cause of 
the skyrocketed prices we are paying for all goods and services. Not a 
single industry is spared the cost of this inflation. Since Joe Biden 
took office, higher prices have cost families an additional $10,000, 
and there seems to be no end in sight. Prices have gone up across the 
board to 13.5 percent, and grocery costs have jumped 18.6 percent. Just 
look at the price of essential staples: Chicken breast prices have gone 
up by 33 percent, and ground beef, whole milk, and bread have gone up 
by 21 percent.

  Unlike President Biden, I actually have to take a trip to the grocery 
store to feed my family. I do all of my own shopping, and I see 
firsthand how these price increases affect the people of Mississippi. 
In the checkout line, I have watched a mother forced to put something 
back on the shelf after realizing that she can't afford everything in 
her cart. I have seen a retired husband grabbing only the barest 
necessities for the week. Up and down the aisle, as I push my buggy, 
the conversation is constant on ``Can you believe how much the price of 
groceries has increased and how expensive it is?''

  It breaks my heart to see the individuals in my community and the 
Nation struggling to get by. It shouldn't be this way, but in Joe 
Biden's America, you are forced to weigh priorities on buying 
groceries, prescription medicine, or putting gas in your car.

  When it comes to energy prices, the hardship continues for many 
Americans. This pain is 100 percent self-inflicted by the Biden 
administration's stubborn refusal to maximize American energy 
production. According to census data, about 22 percent of American 
households could not pay their energy bill last year. When families 
were actually able to pay, they had to sacrifice other necessities, 
such as groceries, their medicine, or their gasoline.

  This winter isn't bringing any relief either. Compared to last 
winter, the average household will spend upwards of 28 percent more to 
heat their home with natural gas, according to the Energy Information 
Administration. Electricity rates are also expected to continue to rise 
due to lower domestic supply of liquefied natural gas as well as labor 
shortages and the cost of materials. But this should come as no 
surprise since the attack on American energy began on day one of the 
Biden Presidency. In fact, this administration's regulatory overreach 
also contributes to rising costs across our economy.

  Despite record-high prices, Joe Biden wants to further regulate the 
agriculture industry. The Food Safety and Inspection Service, for 
instance, is studying line speeds of poultry plants with the ultimate 
goal of just slowing them down, which will affect costs and supplies in 
the grocery stores. In addition, the EPA recently unveiled its new 
waters of the United States rule, which will further hamper the ability 
of farmers to grow food because the Federal Government will have the 
ability to regulate ditches and low spots on private land.

  It is a basic fact that it is expensive to comply with overly 
burdensome regulations. The Biden administration's desire to 
overregulate everything makes it seem as if the President wants 
Americans to struggle to afford food.

  Madam President, the American people are smart, and they understand 
when things aren't going well.

  The rosy stories the White House will barrage us with before the 
State of the Union Address won't change the fact that the American 
dream seems further from attainable for hard-working families because 
we just cannot afford Joe Biden.

  My colleagues and I want to get our economy back on track to relieve 
the financial stress that families are experiencing. We must stop the 
irresponsible government spending, unleash American energy production, 
cut regulations, and embrace pro-growth commonsense policies. The
American people deserve that.

  I yield the floor.