Democrat Says He ‘Never Bought Into’ Biden’s ‘Putin Price Hike’ Scheme

[Screenshot/Fox News]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna told “America Reports” Tuesday that he “never bought into President Joe Biden’s “Putin’s Price Hike” scheme.

“America Reports” host John Roberts played an exchange of a reporter pressing White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein on taking credit for the $0.50 decrease in gas prices after previously blaming soaring costs on Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bernstein credited the president with tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and making inflation a top priority, then arguing he disagreed with the framing that it only involves the president when prices are easing.

“I think the president deserves credit for the release of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but I think the president can do more,” Khanna said. “The president can have a greater release by buying oil when it’s low, we can ban exports, we can have a tax on big oil. But I never bought into the, ‘let’s just blame Putin.’ I believe that ultimately we have to have policies that are going to lower prices and we can do that with the ones I outlined.”

The representative raised the importance of diplomacy overseas, as the American people will “pay the largest price” for the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The White House has continuously branded the rising prices as “Putin’s Price Hike” after the president first used the label during an address in March announcing the nation’s ban on Russian imports of oil. One day prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the average cost of gasoline soared 55%, sitting at $3.51 per gallon. (RELATED: ‘You’re At 33% Approval At This Point’: CNBC Host Calls Out Biden Economic Adviser For Using ‘Putin Price Hike’ Scheme) 

The term has since been echoed by members of the administration, including White House National Economic Council director Brian Deese, and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre,

Gas prices surged to their highest levels since 2014 in November, several months before the full-scale war. For the first time, the president tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to release 50 million barrels of oil on November 23.

The media have strongly pushed back against the White House continuing to blame Putin for rising gas prices. CNBC host Joe Kernen called it “pure demagoguery” in a June segment, comparing the current state of the economy to former President Jimmy Carter’s administration.

MSNBC host Willie Geist told White House National Economic Council (NEC) Brian Deese that Americans are not pointing fingers at Putin for rising prices.

“Brian, it’s true of course that Russia’s war in Ukraine is impacting oil prices, yes. But I promise you, the landscaper two days ago I talked to at the gas pump who was trying to fill up two cans and backpack blowers and mowers in his truck was not going ‘damn you, Putin,'” Geist said.

The war in Ukraine has led many to urge the White House to increase domestic oil production. When Biden entered office, he immediately stopped the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which intended to transport 830,000 oil barrels from western Canada to the U.S. The White House has repeatedly argued that restarting the pipeline would not bring down the price of oil and gas.

The administration also canceled the release of new federal leases for oil and gas companies to drill on public lands.