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FIRST ON FOX: Several top Democrats in competitive Senate races say more needs to be done to get the economy back on track, but declined to say whether the economy was in recession, despite the latest GDP figure showing the economy contracted by second consecutive quarter.
The comments were provided exclusively to Fox News Digital on Thursday and followed an announcement by the Commerce Department that gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of goods and services produced throughout the economy, decreased by 0.9% annualized in the three-month period from April to June.
In a scathing response to recent economic data, Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, who is currently serving as the state’s lieutenant governor and will face off in November against Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, said it’s time for members of Congress to “act.” and start taking serious action.”
“It’s clear that Washington is not doing enough to address inflation and help working Pennsylvanians,” Fetterman said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “While hard working Americans continue to pay ridiculous prices for gas, ExxonMobil recently announced that they are on track to pocket $18 billion in profit in a single quarter. It doesn’t take a genius to see what’s going on happening here. Billions of dollars at the expense of ordinary people. We have to stand up to these companies and put an end to this.”
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Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, right, speaks Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Pittsburgh.
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
“We also need to do more shit in the U.S. to cut costs and make sure the supply chain starts and ends here, instead of relying on companies and countries overseas,” he added. “Making more things at home will lower prices for everyone, simplify our broken supply chains and create more good-paying jobs for Pennsylvanians. Washington needs to act and start taking serious steps to reduce costs for workers across the country.”
Meredith Brasher, communications director for Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock’s re-election campaign, insisted that the senator is continually “working to reduce costs” for his constituents in Georgia.
“Reverend Warnock is working to lower costs for Georgia’s working families: He successfully led the passage of the bipartisan CHIPS and Science bill to boost American manufacturing and reduce our dependence on foreign nations like the China is fighting to contain the cost of insulin and pushing to end the federal gas tax,” Brasher said.
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., during a hearing on May 10, 2022 in Washington, DC
(Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)
Warnock, who is aiming to defeat Georgia GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker in November, recently sponsored bipartisan legislation, known as Maritime Transport Reform Act, which was recently signed by President Biden to prevent foreign ocean carriers from refusing to ship American goods to foreign markets.
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Offering remarks similar to Brasher’s, Lauren Wodarski, a spokeswoman for Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., insisted the senator has prioritized “cost reduction” for Nevada residents.
“Senator Cortez Masto is focused on lowering costs for Nevada families, including making prescription drugs more affordable,” Wodarski said in a statement.
On Thursday, Cortez Masto, accompanied by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., introduced bicameral legislation provide the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with additional authority to protect consumers and try to prevent manipulation of the electricity and natural gas markets.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., listens during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the Department of the Interior budget on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Cortez Masto is facing a tough re-election battle in Nevada against Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt, who has the support of former President Donald Trump.
Jacob Peters, the communications director for Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., told Fox News Digital that the senator is “focused” on the burdens facing Arizonans as prices continue to rise for a series of goods and products.
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“Senator Kelly has focused on the impacts on Arizonans who face the rising costs of gas, groceries, prescription drugs and other products,” Peters said.
Earlier this year, Kelly, along with Senator Maggie Hassan, DN.H., introduced theGas price relief law in an effort to suspend the federal gas tax until the end of the year.
In addition, Kelly joined with West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin to urge the Biden administration to increase domestic oil production.
Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., speaks during a news conference following the weekly Democratic Caucus Policy Luncheon on February 8, 2022 in Washington, DC
(Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Kelly, who took office in December 2020 after a narrow victory in a special election, is running for re-election to the Senate. Arizona’s state primary election will be held on Tuesday, and there is a crowded field of Republicans seeking to unseat Kelly in the November general election.
Ahead of the Commerce Department’s first reading of the GDP contraction, economists at Refinitiv had expected the report to show the economy expanded 0.5%.
Economic output fell in the first three months of the year, with GDP falling 1.6%, the worst showing since spring 2020, when the economy was still deep in the induced recession because of the COVID
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.; Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.; Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Julia Nikhinson/Bloomberg, Michelle Gustafson/Bloomberg, Paras Griffin)
Recessions are technically defined as “a significant decline in economic activity that extends throughout the economy and lasts more than a few months,” and are characterized by high unemployment, low or negative GDP growth, a falling income and a slowdown in retail sales, according to the National. Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), which tracks declines.
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On Wednesday, Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced they had agreed to a watered-down version of Build Back Better known as the Inflation Relief Act of 2022. The measure, according to the offices from Manchin and Schumer, will raise $739 billion in revenue through IRS tax enforcement, the minimum business tax and closing the interest loophole. A total of $433 billion will be spent, they said, on energy and climate change provisions and on the extension of the Affordable Care Act.
Senate Democrats and Republicans are at odds over how the measure will affect the U.S. economy as midterm elections quickly approach.
Tyler Olson and Megan Henney of Fox News contributed to this article.
Kyle Morris covers politics for Fox News. On Twitter: @RealKyleMorris.