The White House has been trying to avoid the discussions that have already been taking place in Congress about the nation finding itself in a recession, Rep. Scott Fitzgerald said on Newsmax Thursday.
"If you're a member of Congress, you don't have the luxury of simply sitting back and spinning this," the Wisconsin Republican said on Newsmax's "National Report." "Not only my colleagues that I talked to on the Republican side but Democrats are also concerned because the next round of figures is going to come out right before the November election cycle."
The White House, though, is spinning a new definition of recession, steering away from the traditional definition that describes a recession as having occurred when there are two quarters where the gross domestic product has dropped, said Fitzgerald.
Thursday morning, the Commerce Department reported a 0.9% contraction in the economy, following a 1.6% annual drop in the period from January through March.
The nation's small businesses have already been feeling the pressure over the past 90 days from the economy, said Fitzgerald, and Thursday's news means they will have to act again.
"This is real life versus White House spin," he said. "The president can have press conference after press conference from his basement and tell people, Don't worry. There are other parts of the economy that are strong enough."
But even the Federal Reserve has proven to be a disappointment, said Fitzgerald.
Wednesday, the Fed raised interest rates by 0.75 percentage points, but with Chairman Jerome Powell's denials of a recession, the Fed is "doing its version of spin," he said.
"Anybody that's had economics 101 would understand is that is absolutely the definition of a recession, and it was unfortunate that Director Powell didn't admit that yesterday," said Fitzgerald.
The congressman also spoke out about Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and the announcement that he and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin have reached an expansive agreement on healthcare, climate, and energy issues, and further taxes on higher earners and corporations.
"It looks like Sen. Manchin kind of threw in the towel," said Fitzgerald. "I'm not sure what got him to that point, but let's be honest. This is just another version of Build Back Better … inflation cannot be checked if you keep dumping cash into the economy — government-printed cash — and that's exactly what this is going to result in."
But, at the end of the day, Manchin is a Democrat, and even though he's been a "frustrating figure" to his party, "somehow they got to him. This is a bad deal for America."
Manchin also represents the fossil fuel-rich state of West Virginia, which means that his constituents "may not be so happy with his decision."
Meanwhile, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., is remaining "pretty tight-lipped" on the "whole adventure the Democrats have been on now for the last couple of weeks," said Fitzgerald.
"But once again, I think it just underscores the idea that the sooner we can get control in the House," the sooner America can get back on track, said Fitzgerald. "I'm very hopeful that Sen. Ron Johnson is reelected and that the U.S. Senate goes Republican in the fall."
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