tv White House Press Secretary Holds Briefing CSPAN April 1, 2021 1:44pm-2:29pm EDT
green infrastructure initiative at that would rebuild roads, bridges, while creating jobs, raising taxes on corporate america, it cetera. so that will be a big fight for him. and i do not think that he can overlay that fight with another fight over health care. i think that he is going to have to do things sequentially. so, we will see how this infrastructure plan plays out. biden's time is limited, though. history
>> in addition to support from bipartisan majorities of the american people. the u.s. chamber of commerce said we need a big and bold program to modernize our nation's crumbling infrastructure and we applaud the biden administration for making infrastructure a top priority. the ceo of ford motors said we applaud the administrations efforts to provide a broad plant that prioritizes a more sustainable connected and autonomous future. one said today is a great day for jobs, justice, and climate action. the international president of that -- called it a game changer for tackling racial and economic inequality. early polling underscores the bipartisan support for components of this plan. yesterday, a poll that showed that registered voters thought the hypothetical infrastructure package. one poll showed that by a 35
point margin, voters wanted to pay for this plan by asking the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share just like the president is calling for. two other items. today, the administration is launching a nationwide grassroots network of local voices and trusted community leaders to encourage people to get vaccinated. we have talked quite a bit about how impactful we have seen having trusted community voices, the people who are getting information out to communities. this is a reflection of that. some of the 250 signing members include nascar, the naacp, the chamber of commerce, and catholic charities. the group of founding members has the ability to reach millions of people and deliver critical information. this morning, the vice president and surgeon general spoke with some of the community court founding members about the unique efforts that communities are taking to get more shots in arms including by hosting
virtual, halls -- town halls and conducting outreach. two more short items. president biden is a part of the american rescue plan. we have another development to convey. he promised to get health care costs down for families through a number of steps he is taking getting today, americans can go to healthcare.gov for inc. -- decreased premiums and increased savings. they will see their premiums decrease on average by $50 per person per month and $85 per policy per month. that is a positive development. as part of our commitment to transparency, the president was tested for covid-19 this week. it was not detected. he is tested every two weeks as a part of regular screenings.
>> questions on the infrastructure built. can you give us a sense of what comes next from the white house in terms of travel for the vice president or president for selling the plant? -- plan? >> you can certainly expect that the president and the vice president will be involved in making policy doing outreach communicating with members of congress, governors, elected officials and the american people. in addition to that, the president announced the cabinet meeting that he has asked some key members of his cabinet to serve in a jobs cabinet to be front and center voices engaging with members of congress with leadership in congress, with governors and elected officials, with the american public through
media and other direct communications also traveling around the country to communicate about this plant that he has proposed. that is another piece of it you will see grow over the coming weeks. >> former president trump said that the tax increases in the plan will shift more companies and jobs overseas and the china will be the big winner. it also depends on giving countries -- getting countries to stop a race to the bottom on corporate taxes. i'm wondering how you get those other countries to go along with that idea? not racing to the bottom on corporate tax. >> we have a little chart that i can pull up. we will bring it up again, because it is relevant for people to look at. it shows the journey of corporate tax rates over the
last several decades. the corporate tax rate at 21% is lower than it has ever been in the past. we are talking about raising it to 28%, which is lower than it has been in the past several decades for most of that time. it goes back to a rate that was the case during part of the bush administration. during the 60's, it was about 50%. it is gone down progressively and it was in the mid-30's through about 2015 or right before then. then, it went dramatically down. we are talking it -- about raising it to a rate that is still lower than it has been through the vast majority of time over the last 70 years. we think that is an incredibly reasonable proposal. in the wake of the 2017 tax bill, tax giveaway corporate america, 90% of the fortune 500
companies paid zero federal taxes. that is not something that the american people believe is fair, that we believe is fair and what we are talking about is making adjustments to the tax code to make it more fair to invest in our infrastructure, and american workers so we can be more competitive over the long-term. >> lastly senator mcconnell was talking and said that the package is not going to get support from our side. he opposes the undoing of the 2017 tax cuts and said that i'm going to fight them every step of the way. how do you respond? >> i think there are more questions to be asked. does he disagree that our nation infrastructure is outdated and needs repair? does he disagree that we need to do more to put american workers back to work and to invest in industries that have growth tension over the long-term? does he disagree that one third
of the country who doesn't have broadband access should have access to broadband? there are a lot of areas that have agreement across the political spectrum. what we're really talking about is how to pay for. what we are looking for is proposals of alternatives. if you don't want to raise the corporate tax rate, still lower than it has been over the last 70 years across decades, if you don't want to put in place global minimum tax, what are the alternatives? we are happy to hear this proposals. >> -- spoke about corporate taxes. he specifically named amazon of the fortune 500 companies. why did he name amazon? >> there were actually 91 companies who didn't pay any corporate taxes in 2018. there are many to pick from. that was just an example.
>> about the baltimore plant, we understand there are 15 million doses. when did this happen and went to the administration find out? >> the issue was identified as part of rigorous quality control system checks. hhs made us aware last week. >> we understand that the supply is headed to europe. and not for the united states. hasn't that overall changed the supply chain -- supply plans and were they planning to use this to deliver the 24 million doses they had planned for the united states? >> the issue doesn't impact any of the j&j doses that are available. johnson & johnson has made clear that they expect to deliver 24 million doses in april and they expect to meet their commitment of 100 billion doses by the end of may.
we are looking forward to that. these are doses that the u.s. government has purchased, but we also have plenty of doses from pfizer and moderna vaccine's as well. >> there is no supply disruption caused by the baltimore plant for u.s. supply? >> for the supply that we are anticipating for the course of may, we have been assured that they expect to meet those deadlines. >> about hong kong. there were seven veterans advocates who were arrested yesterday. this is a continuation of beijing trying to quash pro-democracy protests in the country. do you have a comment? is the administration monitoring the situation even now? we certainly are. today's politically motivated
conviction of pro-democracy activists shows the degree to which beijing plans to crush dissent in the city. these people were taking part and up peaceful demonstration protesting for the freedom promised to them. their conviction is another example of aging eroding hong kong's freedom and failing to live up to its international obligations under the joint declaration. >> once the company informed the administration about the timing of the problems in the plant, was there an obligation to speak about this earlier than acknowledge it today? parks it's important for people to remember that this plant has not been fda approved. it is still going through a rigorous review. j&j is working through that process to bring the facility
online and gain authorization. hhs updated us. this is probably the process working as it should. they updated us for the manufacturing and where things stood at the facility. it wasn't going to impact the supply to the american people. j&j is working through this with the fda. we refer to them on the process. >> on the infrastructure jobs plan, the president also talked about inviting republicans to the oval office. given the comments from his friend mitch mcconnell, do we have that on the books yet and do you anticipate that there is any legitimate room to move or is the white house really settling into the idea that this will be a democrat only push in order to accomplish this priority? >> we just announced the proposal yesterday. there is a long history of agreement on the need to invest
in infrastructure. we feel there are a lot of areas of agreement. the president will be inviting republicans and democrats here to hear about their ideas. there are some differences between the american rescue plan. it was an emergency rescue package that we needed to get relief direct checks out to americans. we have more time here to work and have discussions with members of both parties. we want to see progress by memorial day. we would like to see this past by the summer, when congress returns, i anticipate president to invite members to the oval office. >> when you consider that timeline, there are democrats who would like to see the ability to get this done quickly in order to touch on other priorities. is there a real sense that you can work with republicans when the leader said there will be no
support when the house republican leader kevin mccarthy says we love infrastructure but we don't like the tax idea. is there any room left? >> that is a question for them. they support investment in infrastructure. they believe we need to do more to compete with china. maybe they don't believe we should pay for. if they do, they should say that. maybe they have alternative ideas. there are proposals out there about user fees or gas taxes essentially. we don't believe that. we don't believe the cost should be on the backs of the american people. we believe the corporations should be able to bear the brunt for investing in america's workers. they can come forward with their ideas. we believe we can start from a place where we agree. >> given the economy has been hard on so many businesses, is this the time to increase taxes when they are not really out of the covid slide of the economic impact of the pandemic?
>> what we are talking about here, that's exactly why we should not be increasing taxes on the american people, people making less than $400,000 per year. why we should not put in place user fees because people are still tried to get through this. corporations who have had their tax rate lowered to 21% lower by a great margin than ever and history, corporations that didn't pay any taxes in 2018, we think you can afford to help rebuild our workforce, help investment industries of the future and make>> what the press talking about yesterday. he wants corporations together front of the $2.5 trillion over eight years. the corporate tax hike is not going to raise that much until 2036. i'm curious where the rest of the money comes from. sec. psaki: we are talking about paying for an eight year
investment over the course of 18 years. that's given the investments, investments that are temporary, we would more than make up for the cost of these investments over time. >> one of the most colorful examples as people remember the bridge going down, but only 5% of the spending in the package goes toward roads and bridges. i'm curious why the number is so low. sec. psaki: we are selling it as a once in a century or once in a generation investment. american workers and the workforce, there are areas like broadband which is not a physical bridge. one third of the country does not have access to broadband. that impacts workers that it been working from home. kids that are trying to learn from home.
parts of the country where they cannot have jobs where they are working remotely. we feel that that is an area where we can improve, expand access and be more competitive with other countries. >> immigration, has the white house considered can security now that there is video of a three euros and five-year-old being thrown over -- a three-year-old and five-year-old being thrown over the wall? sec. psaki: i've seen the video and i think any of us whose -- who saw the video were incredibly alarmed. as -- the inhumane way smugglers abuse children is reprehensible. the president agrees with that and these kids, i believe, were rescued by individuals that were working at the border. >> they still got close enough,
to throw them over a wall into the desert and i'm curious what the white house is doing to stop that from happening. sec. psaki: are you concerned about the kids safety? are you concerned about kids getting in? >> if they see sec. psaki: which is why i'm surprised at the line of questioning. our concern and our focus is on sending a clear message to the region that this is not the time to come. you should not send your kids on this treacherous journey. these smugglers are praying on vulnerabilities. there are a lot of issues and steps that we make -- that we need to take to address root causes. these border patrol agent who save our kids deserve our thanks and gratitude for ensuring their
safety. >> it's not just senator mcconnell who is taking issue with this plan. we have seen some democrats wasn't concerns. what is the president message -- what is the president message to those who say this play does not go far enough? >> enormous investment in our infrastructure, and our roads, railways, bridges, broadband, making sure that people have access to clean water. it accounts for 1% of our gdp. it's significant attempt to address that. the president will be speaking more in the coming weeks about how we can do more to help our caregivers, help address the needs of childcare, help lower the cost of health care and do more to make sure we are easing the burden on families across the country.
i think the president believes that democrats, independents, republicans. the we should do more to invest in our infrastructure. that means ensuring access to broadband, ensuring that we rebelled -- rebuild our roads. >> why are you splitting this into two parts? >> sec. psaki: i wouldn't over read into it that way. we don't know what the process will look like at this point. we are quite open to congressional committees moving forward on certain components. we are open to members of congress coming back with different ideas how we can achieve the objective outline. it is an opportunity to lay out in a speech what our objective is. separately lay out in a couple
of weeks what we need to do better as a country and as a government to help families address the needs of childcare and that's why he's splitting it up. >> the president is also said the ultimate -- is the overall price tag open to negotiation? sec. psaki: the president proposed, based on advice of economists and economic experts, how he feels what we could achieve with these objectives and proposals in different ways to rebuild our infrastructure and make sure that we are competing with china and better positioning ourselves in the world. >> the president said that along with the stimulus bill, an estimated 18 million jobs could be created with this plan. what's the range that the white house thinks in terms of how many jobs will be created?
sec. psaki: we expect a number outside economists and forecasters who will do protections in the coming days. we expect them to be in the ballpark of what the senate said yesterday. >> you are asking for two tree in dollars. why not put out an estimate of how many -- you are asking for $2 trillion. white not -- why not ask -- why not put an estimate on how many jobs will be created? >> mitch mcconnell has already said that republicans are not going to play ball. if republicans come back with skinny infrastructure package, brought back some thing that did not include the $400 million for help for people. with the white house be open to that, to looking at a different
package? sec. psaki: i'm not going to negotiate from here. we are open to hearing ideas and proposals from democrats and for publicans. we certainly put in the caregiving component -- and republicans. we certainly put in the caregiving component and he believes in the workforce. caregiving has a huge impact on our workforce. the time, the cost, the energy, the effort. something that is keeping people out of the workforce, keep people from progressing in their jobs. that's why he put it in there. if republicans don't believe that that's pet -- that it has a place in our society, they should come forward and say that. >> one democrat saying no deal on infrastructure. sec. psaki: if democrats want to propose a way to eliminate salt and they want to propose a way
to pay for it and they want to put that forward, we are happy to hear their ideas. >> i have this as a follow-up. specifically, are there red lines in the first phase of the emperor structure bill on things like -- first phase of the infrastructure bill on things like racial equity? sec. psaki: the president's focus is on the objectives he is trying to achieve which is rebuilding our infrastructure so we can compete around the world, putting millions of americans back to work, easing the burden as you noted of caregiving which is impacting millions of americans who are not in the workforce in the way they would like. i'm not going to give you redlined from here, only to convey that he designed this bill. it and designed this bill with an effort to meet the moments and to do it in a way that
ensures we are looking at addressing challenges in our country, that we are doing it in a way that helps cities in rural america. we are doing it in a way that meets the moment and meets the moment of the needs of up once in a century investment. we understand that there will be a difference. there will be a discussion on how to achieve these objectives. >> are you willing to narrow the bill for things that the republicans fill is truly critical info structure? sec. psaki: i have not seen a proposal from them. if they want to propose that, i'm sure he would be happy to have a discussion but we are not going to negotiate from here. >> the initiation delivered an intelligence report and warned of the rise endangers by white supremacists. thus the president feel it's time for the u.s. to adopt a domestic terrorism statute? sec. psaki: what he has asked is
to do 108 dip -- 100 day to view -- 100 day review on the threat around the country of domestic violence extremism. we have 100 more weeks of that -- we have i once that's completed, there will be some recommendation on how to best address this threat. >> the administration has often that they continue to excel -- expel single adults south across the border. those markets are going to some of the same areas that they will return to. cdc officials have also opposed, one that was limited by the trump and attrition. how does continuation of that
rule square with president biden's campaign quest question mark what is the cdc assessing when it comes to deciding when to lift that order? sec. psaki: we are still in the middle of a public health crisis. there are 1000 people a day approximately dying of covid-19. the cdc and others look at that and the impact. i don't anticipate any near-term change, but i would refer to them on their timeline. >> on the list of the most urgent for structure projects that you have identified, when will the white house put out a list for those projects as outlined in the plan and which agency is in charge? sec. psaki: there's a jobs cabinet and counsel or jobs cabinet that will be playing a
variety of roles -- roles including internal policy development, engagement with governors, the american public. once the bill passes, there will be a bidding that there will be a competitive bidding process. >> sec. psaki: there will be in charge of communicating with the public, communicative with congress, medicating with mayors and governors. -- communicating with congress, communicating with mayors and governors. these are the cabinet members who will also play a role in this engagement. the competitive bidding process would not start into the bill is passed. >> on the president budget, can you give us an update on why it's delayed. we expected to see it today. sec. psaki: i don't have any
update on the timeline. it will be out soon. >> on the president's last night, he was critical of the texas rangers reopening their stadium in the middle of a pick them -- reopening their stadium and mask -- max capacity. sec. psaki: his focus is on action and you have noted some of them. when he saw an urgency in the rise in cases, we took some urgent action including doubling the number of pharmacies that will have the vaccine. we increase our commitment and investment in mass vaccination sites. his view is the more people get vaccinated more quickly, the better positioned we will be.
>> that reopening and arise in cases. sec. psaki: i would leave that to our health experts. i would say that what we have control of here is how rapidly we can get the vaccine out. how many locations we can ensure the vaccine is available. we can continue to do more to meet people where they are. that's where our focus is. i would also note that though some governors have rolled back public health guidelines, a number of mayors have kept them in place because it's not a political issue and they have taken those steps to keep people and that's people in their jurisdictions safe. >> the president for extending medical leave. the provision was enacted during the pandemic expired.
will it be something that the president will commit to including? sec. psaki: there's still ongoing discussions about the final pieces of the package. he does believe that it is, he did include emergency paid leave and that rescue plan. it was president biden signed into law this month and extension on paid leave credit that more families have access to paid leave. this is important to families across the country, especially if they are trying to make ends meet. he has been clear about his support for permanent paid leave and medical leave. i don't have anything to put into terms for the next package. >> the shooting in california is
the latest in a series of several high-profile gun tragedies over the last few weeks. is the president start -- is the president ready to start issuing executive orders? >> the disturbing sec. psaki:sec. psaki: -- the disturbing violence in california it resulted in the tragic loss of lives last night is another example of senseless gun violence that occurs all too frequently. the president supports to ban support weapons and high-capacity weapons. the president, there is an ongoing review and something that he is personally committed to and hopefully will have more to say on testing. >> the number of gun violence prevention at the desk advocacy groups with the president, is that something that he is going to do? can you give me an idea of when that meeting is going to happen?
sec. psaki: the president has worked hand in hand with a number of these groups for decades. as a semi who fought to get the brady bill passed, getting that into law in the 90's, nearly two dozen negative actions while he was vice president. he will continue to be an advocate for additional commonsense sense gun safety measures. there is in the american jobs plan a proposal of $5 billion investment to support evidence-based committee violence intervention. this is a step that would help on gun violence. we know that violence is a public health crisis disproportionately impacting black and brown communities in america. intervention strategies to
connect individuals to job training and job opportunities. it's another effort that many of these gun safety organizations feel is important, to address the community violence in order to reduce that across the country. >> usa that if democrats are able to negotiate -- you are saying that if democrats are able to negotiate, that they need to find some other way. sec. psaki: unless i think that package does not need to be paid for. we are open to hearing ideas and proposals. eliminating salt is a revenue -- is not a revenue raiser. it is something that either would have to be paid for or not. our focus right now is on ensuring that we are getting relief to the american people
who are most impacted by the downturn. the till minyan -- the 10 million out of work. the people who are looking to be a part of the growing industry of the future. we understand that many democrats or some democrats i should say are focused on that. >> document increment -- immigrants to get vaccinated but they don't have a drivers license or id. i know the federal government, but what can you do, is there anything the admission she can do to advocate on their behalf -- is there anything that the administration can do to advocate on their behalf? sec. psaki: the more people that are vaccinated, documented or not, the safer we are as a country. that's certainly the president of view. that is not our federal guidelines. i will have to check if there is anything we can specifically do in south border or parts of
order where this is having an impact. >> president biden talked about how concerned he was that americans are too cavalier about safeguarding against covid and skepticism with the vaccine. we also have variants. can you characterize how worried americans should be? sec. psaki: i'm not here to scare people. we have been saying from the beginning that we need to be vigilant. and that we are still at war with pandemic. that has been our consistent message. one of the reasons why the president did the meeting today was that we have also seen that it is the most powerful voices, the most impactful voices are those who are leaders. sometimes those aren't faith
leaders, local doctors. that's why a big part of our investment is in those communities. that was the purpose of the meeting today. we've seen progress around the country. we've seen the data, the number of people who are vaccinated. we need to remain vigilant and that's why the president repeats that message. >> you said you are not here to scare people. president biden's message. sec. psaki: we are conveying and we have conveyed consistently that we need to remain vigilant. people need to steer wear masks. they he duped social distance. they need to hand wash. as -- they need to social distance. they need to hand wash. if you get vaccinated with pfizer, you get your first dose.
you get your second dose. it's not until two weeks after that it has the full impact. that's five weeks after the first dose. even if more people are vaccinated, we need to remain vigilant. that has been our crystal clear message from the beginning. even if people felt that we did not need to abide by the rules. >> when it comes to the vaccine, remains clearly behind china or russia. is the white house any measure to catch up with those countries before the entire population is vaccinated? sec. psaki: our focus remains on ensuring the american people are vaccinated. we remain open to a range of options to helping into being a part of the global community moving forward. there remains our first focus.
>> there would be no export before sec. psaki: we exported some doses of astrazeneca. we will consider range of options, but the focus remains on vaccinating american adults in this country. >> we reported that senator joe may and jen -- senator has said he is not onboard with voting with that legislation. if that ends up happening, has president biden given any thought to considering support for the fallout? sec. psaki: i would have to check with our legislative team on that. that's a great question. >> some community leaders i've spoken with have pointed to
specific like allowing businesses with fewer than 15 employees to deny services for someone being lgbt. would he commit to not signing legislation that would create? sec. psaki: the president supports the equality act. i don't think i want to get too far down the rabbit hole of this while it's still being negotiated through congress. >> the element in the jobs plan is bringing critical supply chains back to the united states. what specific incentives is the minister should given companies? a tax break? would there be tariffs put on items? sec. psaki: there's supply chain meeting coming up that is being hosted by our director, jake
salant -- jake sullivan. this will be a discussion by murmurs of congress as they are engaging with our job's cabinet. it sounds like there is more discussion. >> you don't know if there is tax incentive? sec. psaki: i could get you more specifics. >> and georgia talking about the voting bill that was just signed, community organizers have threatened boycotts of big companies. the president said the bill requires voting ending early at 5:30 p.m. the bill standardizes voting hours by counties and it also allows extended hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. sec. psaki: it standardizes the ending of voting every day, right? it gives options to extend it.
it makes it so outside groups can't provide water and food to people in line? it makes it more difficult to absentee vote. >> early voting, standardized saturday and sunday. his the tone going to change out of the white house? sec. psaki: atone for a bill that limits -- tone for a bill that limits access to voting in georgia question mark >> that's not what >> the governor of georgia said. sec. psaki: our tone is not changing. we have concerns about the specific components of the package including the fact that it makes it harder and more difficult for people to vote i limiting absentee options, by making it not viable for people to provide water to people in line, by not standardizing
longer hours. if you are making it harder to vote, no we don't support that. >> is a president considering giving an address joint session? sec. psaki: he has definitely considered giving a joint session address. i cannot wait until he finally announces this. we are working with leaders in congress to announce that. i just don't have a date. >> why haven't refugee cap cap #sec. psaki: who arranged sec. psaki: --sec. psaki: he remains committed. >> he doesn't have anything to do with the fact that resources are going to the border at this time? sec. psaki: no. thank you everyone.
>> how speaker pelosi holding her conference on legislative agenda. it is virtual. we join it live in progress. speaker pelosi: how we can work in a bipartisan way in order to pass infrastructure legislation because it's always been nonpartisan. it meets the needs of communities and whether we are talking about additionally infrastructure for broadband and telemedicine and so many other reasons. wh