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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

House Republicans will be urged to lean into voters' fear of inflation and link it to enacting the White House's economic agenda, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: A memo being sent by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), who leads the Republican Study Committee, comes as some economists are increasingly concerned President Biden is doing too much, too fast, and his spending will crank up inflation.

  • Not only could rising prices jeopardize the Democrats' chances in next year's midterms but they could threaten Biden’s economic legacy.
  • Banks and GOP leaders are hoping this messaging tactic can help them achieve their goal of taking back the House majority. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) deployed it after meeting with the president this month.
  • The Republican Study Committee is the largest bloc of conservatives in the House.

Details: The document, carrying the subject line, "Tie Biden Agenda to Inflation," tells members to "explain to voters how inflation is Democrats’ hidden tax on the Middle Class."

  • It also provides a series of talking points such as telling voters "your dollar won’t go as far" if Biden continues to "devalue our currency," through COVID-19 stimulus payments and "generous unemployment benefits."
  • Banks also cites the warnings of Larry Summers, President Clinton’s Treasury secretary and former director of the National Economic Council during the Obama administration.
  • Summers cautioned in a Washington Post op-ed that Biden's stimulus could "set off inflationary pressures of a kind we have not seen in a generation."
  • The memo concludes with a chart laying out the difference in prices of consumer goods and commodities between May 2020 and May 2021, as well as links to inflation data for members' states.

Between the lines: Republicans have already drawn parallels between Biden and President Carter as inflation continues to seep into the public consciousness.

  • The memo is being sent Monday as members prepare to fly home to their districts this week for a three-week recess, beginning with the Memorial Day holiday.
  • Most members will be speaking with their constituents during this period.

Flashback: In March, Banks handed McCarthy a similar messaging memo stating the party should lean into their "new coalition" and make the GOP the party of the working class.

Read the full memo.

Go deeper

Updated Aug 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Texas House advances voting bill that Democrats fled state to protest

The Texas state Capitol is shown during the Georgetown to Austin March for Democracy rally on July 31, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Texas House Republicans gave final approval to a slate of new voting restrictions on Friday following months of protests by Democrats, including a 38-day walkout, the Texas Tribune reports.

Why it matters: Friday's vote brings Texas one step closer to enacting voting restrictions — making it set to be the latest big Republican state to pass tighter voting laws following the 2020 election, per AP.

Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull — Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies— Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker

Highlights from Biden's marathon 2-hour press conference

President Biden answers questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on Jan. 19. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden Wednesday marked the end of his first year in office with a marathon press conference from the White House East Room, during which he defended his record in office and made headlines on several fronts.

Why it matters: It was only Biden's second solo presser while in office. The president said he would support splitting his flagship budget bill, the Build Back Better Act, to pass it in increments. He also called on the Federal Reserve to do more against inflation, and predicted that Russia will invade Ukraine.