(FOX 9) - A new ad in Minnesota's second congressional district race inflates U.S. Rep. Angie Craig's role in causing consumer prices to rise at their fastest pace in 40 years.
The Republican-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund's ad, which is airing in the Twin Cities television market, says Democrats' support of a $1.9 trillion stimulus law in 2021 is the root of the current inflation problems.
It's true that economists across the political spectrum say the law, known as the American Rescue Plan, contributed to inflation. But the ad only addresses one cause of rising prices while leaving out COVID-19 shocks to the supply chain. The ad also makes no mention of Republicans' support for stimulus measures the previous year.
CLF's ad shares a theme that Republicans are using against Democratic incumbents across the country. Craig's race, a rematch against Republican Tyler Kistner, is one of the most competitive in the country.
"Money for elites, higher costs for you, because she was proud to spend your money," says the narrator in CLF's ad. "Now we're all paying the price for Angie Craig."
This is misleading because it overstates the role of Congress, a FOX 9 Fact Check found.
The ad cites Craig's vote for the law known as the American Rescue Plan. That measure gave most Americans a $1,400 direct payment, extended enhanced unemployment benefits, expanded the child tax credit, and gave $350 billion to state and local governments to plug budget holes.
Democrats and President Joe Biden approved the stimulus by themselves. Not a single Republican in the House or Senate voted for it.
FOX 9 Fact Check: Click here for more stories
Before Congress acted, some economists warned that the $1.9 trillion package would contribute to inflation. Among them was Larry Summers, a former top economic adviser to President Barack Obama, who said Congress was "taking imprudent risks" by passing such a large measure.
CLF's ad says Democrats—including Craig-- ignored those warnings by voting for the bill.
Inflation stood at 8.5% in July, near a 41-year high. Prices rose broadly across industry sectors, with food and energy leading the way.
Role of the stimulus
The 2021 law increased consumer demand by putting more money into people's pockets. Several economists estimate that the stimulus contributed between 2 and 4 percentage points to consumer price increases.
That represents between one-quarter and one-half of the overall 8.5% inflation rate. Several other elements of inflation go unmentioned in CLF's ad.
COVID lockdowns in China, chronic worker shortages in the U.S., and Russia's invasion of Ukraine caused supply chain shocks that means fewer available goods and services to meet consumer demand.
The ad also doesn't mention two earlier stimulus measures backed by President Donald Trump and both parties in Congress in 2020. Those two laws included a combined $3.1 trillion in stimulus, including direct payments to most Americans of $1,200 and $600, respectively.
Political ads are not the place for economic nuance, and both sides are guilty of inflating the American Rescue Plan's effects on the economy.
Democrats have exaggerated how many jobs the legislation created, Politifact has found. When the stimulus passed, the U.S. economy was in an expansion phase as it came out of the pandemic recession and would have added jobs regardless of the new law.
FOX 9 Fact Check: Here's our rating system
True: accurate information that requires little or no additional context
Needs clarification: mostly accurate information that leaves out context that would be helpful to voters
Not the whole story: the information presented leaves out a significant amount of context that could lead voters to a different conclusion
Misleading: partial information presented in a way that misleads voters
False: inaccurate information, or information presented out of context