tv White House Press Secretary Holds Briefing CSPAN July 2, 2021 11:26pm-12:25am EDT
thank about those around you. that's what we should be thinking about today. the fourth of july this year is different from the fourth of july last year. it will be better next year and thank you all. reporter: do you think congress will enact your plan. [inaudible]. biden: come on you guys. have you ever been confident about everything and guarantees. look folks, this is the process. i love you guys but it is a process. what you want me to say, yes, i am absolutely certain well are you absolutely certain that this information is going to work and investigating what happened on the sixth. are you guys confident that the republicans are going to participate. but, all i know what to do and i'm going to me this is do my best to do what i think the country has to do to try to be as persuasive as i can, and have
thus far, and it seems to working a little bit. thanks. reporter: mr. president do think it's fair with the olympics. announcer: the presidents national economic council director led the white house. if -- briefing and then press secretary jen psaki to questions on troop withdrawal from afghanistan, vaccine hesitancy, defending the police, and voting rights. hite house briefing room.
>> it's a sign of the progress we are making last time that i came here in the briefing room was significantly less full. we are making progress across the board and always. -- in all ways. happy to spend a couple of minutes with you guys to provide more context. you all heard the president discussing the employment report we got today. i want to provide additional context on how we are looking at that data in the context of what we have seen over the course of the last couple of weeks. obviously, strong and encouraging jobs report today, 850,000 jobs created last month. that takes us to more than 3 million jobs created since the president took office. i just want to raise a couple of issues.
in addition to a strong jobs report, we saw a strong story about wages, wages for workers, average hourly earnings up 3.6% over the year and if you take out the pandemic and some of the movement, we have seen the largest three month increase in wages on record and they go back to 2006. what we are seeing here is a labor market where, as employers are increasingly looking for employment and jobs are plentiful, they are paying higher wages and people are taking jobs at a faster clip. that's good news on both fronts. there is the payroll survey and the household survey which feeds into the unappointed rate. a couple of things on the household survey that may be of interest to you. the first is around labor force participation. we saw an increase in labor force participation among the prime working population.
for those workers age 25-54, we saw an increase in the pandemic, because of particular energies around teenagers in early retirement, the primary workforce is particular irrelevant. we keep an eye on that. if you look at the broader definitions of doubt employment which have been something we and others have followed, one notable thing this month is a market to client and the number of people who were working part-time for economic reasons. this is a category that labor statistics tracks where people would like to be working more hours but are only employed part-time. we saw 644,000 person decline in that figure over the course of this past month. it's a sign that those who want to work more are having an opportunity to do so. i would also note that there was
a slight uptick in the number of long-term unemployed and that number has come down but that's an issue that is a reminder we continue to have challenges in an economy that is coming back from the historic pandemic and we are still down more than 6 million jobs so we still have a lot of work left to do. the third point is to put this report into context of economic data over the course of the last week in particular, it's been a heavy week for economic data so a couple of things -- we saw consumer confidence come out earlier this week and not only did we see the index increase for the fourth straight month at high levels in terms of consumers and current and future sentiments about the economy but a record level of consumers are seeing the job market is improving. the share of consumers that say that jobs are plentiful in the
economy is now at a 21 year high. that's consistent with a strong recovering labor market. we saw the congressional budget office and the imf come out this week with updated growth projections. the cbo in particular doubled its projected growth for 2021 from 3.7% to 7.4%. if we achieve that growth in that range, it would be the highest in nearly four years. notably, the cbo not only increased its projections but projected downward where unemployment will be next year and downwardly revised its projections for tenure deficits. it's growth estimate increased and projections for future deficits as a share of our economy came down from where was projecting in february. on the imf front, projections of growth at 7% for the u.s. economy and we are at the
fastest pace in a generation. also this week, we saw the oecd region agreement with 130 countries endorsing a global minimum tax of at least 15%. says bennett priority for president biden and our economic strategy from the beginning of this administration to try to galvanize the global effort to actually and the race to the bottom on taxes and to encourage multinational companies to invest and compete on quality and price and not the effectiveness of the be able to strip profits into low tax jurisdictions. to an important milestone in our effort to get that done. i just wanted to also let you know in terms of actions that we are focused on to try and help
address issues that consumers are facing with increased competition and lower prices. i want to confirm that there was some reporting this morning that the president is indeed intending to direct department of transportation to engage in a series of rulemaking to protect airline passengers and promote fair competition in the airline industry. this may sound esoteric that i will make it simple for any of you who are intending to fly now that that's more available. these rulemakings will specifically ensure that a passenger pays to cad -- to check a bag, they should get the feedback if the bag is not a roof just is not right on time. if the passenger plays
every piece of data is uncertain and we don't put too much stock in any one month's data. we are looking at longer-term trends and as we assess the trend over the longer-term, we feel like we are seeing a strong and accelerating recovery. it's connected to and driven by the president's economic strategy. >> good news on hiring but we saw an increase in black unemployment. unemployment for black men is 10%, almost double what it is for white men. do you expect to close this gap and which policies will be the most important to do that? >> i'm glad you raise the issue and it underscores why it's so important to not let up on the strategy we have been putting in
place to drive a strong recovery as fast as we can to get to full employment. one of the things we know is that one of the most powerful ways of addressing disparities within the labor market and the persistent gap between unemployment rates for whites and people of color is to have a strong economy that is operating at full capacity where that person can have a wider scope and those who want to enter the labor force have more options and more leverage and more power in the labor market. you have heard the president talk about this and he went to cleveland and lay this out as an explicit part of his strategy is to have policies in place to get us to full unemployed -- to full employment as soon as possible. the american rescue plan was unique across the world in terms of fiscal responses to this
pandemic crisis. the united states had a more aggressive fiscal response than almost any country in the world. what you've seen as a result is most independent projections pulled forward by a year or more their projection of when we will get to full appointment but as we assess what it means to get to that economy, we believe it's critical to look at that from an inclusive perspective and not just look at the headline unemployment rate and recognize these persistent barriers that have driven those diversions is in employment outcomes need to be at the center of what we are trying to address. >> is there to be a stumbling block? >> we see the announcement today or this week as both an historic
milestone an important momentum to achieve a corporate tax reform in the united states that would not only help to improve u.s. competitiveness by making it more attractive to invest in the united states rather than invest in shifting production and profits to low tax jurisdictions but also raise revenue and productivity, enhancing measures like universal preschool. the president has laid out that planet one of the principal arguments against the kind of tax reform the president has laid out is that if the united states ask, what happens of the rest the world doesn't come along. we are actually demonstrating that the world is prepared to do that and connects to a set of constructive conversations we are having with leadership and relevant committees in congress about moving forward with the president's corporate tax reform. this is a process.
at the g7, there were questions with the g7 endorsing this framework and they did. we have 130 countries endorsing this framework and we will keep working at it step this is a milestone in the process but sends a real strong signal of momentum for the final goal. >> can you address the competition issue you mentioned? can you give us a flavor of what's coming on that and could you address the chip shortage that still hurting forward which is down 27 -- ford which is down 27%. how much of a drag will that have on your rosie outlook? >> i won't get ahead of the president. the president will have more to say about this shortly. it's an issue we have been working on across government and
the actions that i outlined with respect to the department of transportation. at the core, this is about recognizing that having more competition and more competitive markets is actually key to driving strong, durable, shared economic growth. we have seen increasing evidence that the lack of competition in a variety of markets can actually reduce choices and increase prices for consumers and small businesses and also hurt wages and wage growth for workers in the labor market. we are looking at an effort across government, looking at the different trust statutes in different measures agencies can take to try to improve competition and have the opportunities for businesses to compete fairly without being impeded. we will have more to say about that but that's the basic
contours of that. the chipset been an issue we have been focused on for some time. we have been in close contact with auto manufacturers and others. in the short-term, we hear signs that there is some improvement in the challenges. the second quarter clearly was a point where you saw that impacting on the production side and the employment site. the indications we are hearing from industry participants is that you should expect some improvement sequentially over the second half of this year. this is why we are incredibly focused on trying to move the president's proposal of a $50 million to invest in semiconductor production in the united states. that's the long-term answer.
it has passed through the senate and we are now working with the house to try to advance that legislation is willing we look forward to getting that to the president's desk as soon as possible. >> what are the metrics that the administration will look to to determine if the u.s. is reaching full employment and on manufacturing, wire manufacturing jobs lagging so much, up only 15,000 in june, 480 thousand below pre-pandemic levels? >> i will take the second half of your question first. sequentially, we have seen progress in the manufacturing sector in terms of employment. it's important to remember where we are coming from. we had a pandemic and an historic economic crisis that
cratered production and has created huge supply chain challenges and bottlenecks over the course of the economy. what we are seeing now demand has come back faster than anticipated in large part because of the success of the vaccines and the historic fiscal response the united states has taken. you are seeing manufacturers respond and there will certainly be short-term issues to work through but part of the job growth we saw in june is reflected of the sector possibility to come back. our approach to full employment is to look at this from an inclusive perspective. our approach has been to say what does it mean to have an economy that is working for everybody. and where workers who want an
opportunity to be full department -- participants and labor market, have that opportunity. that means not only looking under the hood of the traditional unemployment rate and significant -- discrepancies we have seen on racial and ethnic lines but also parents and women and what are the barriers to full participation in this economy? you see that from the perspective of the biden economic strategy to try to invest in the drivers that will increase labor force participation and increase the productive capacity of the economy by driving shared growth that we think will be durable. >> hi, want to ask you about infrastructure and negotiations on that hill. the house passed its invest in america act. the house transportation chairman has said he wants the
policy in that bill to help flesh out the framework the president agreed to. is that something you would agree with? it looks like there are certain policies you would want to keep in the final bill. >> that bill happened earlier this week and i congratulate chairman defazio and the committee and the house for progressing that. you are seeing the legislative process work. you saw the senate committee pass a surface transportation reauthorization unanimously out of committee. now you have seen a transportation reauthorization pass out of the house as well. as we have said for some time, the expectation is the legislative process will now work the way that it has and is
part of the bipartisan infrastructure framework moving to legislation, the president has said the committee chairman will be part of that process. the process is happening in the senate right now but obviously, working between the senate in the house is a key element. it's a milestone and chairman defazio issuing incredible strength on this. [inaudible] [no audio] >> thank you so much for joining us, he will be back. ms. psaki: two quick items for all of you at the top. as we shared a few weeks ago, the white house recently established the supply chain disruption task force cochaired by the secretaries of commerce,
transportation and alga culture -- in agriculture to address bottlenecks and supply constraints. the task force has been actively engaging with a broad set of stakeholders to diagnose albums and identify solutions and we want to share a few examples. on homebuilding, secretary raimondo and senior officials have been meeting with timber and lumber companies, retailers, plants members and home from across the nation and will meet in the coming days with affordable housing and labor leaders to ensure the challenges in the homebuilding supply chain are thoroughly understood from every angle to address bottlenecks in the sector. on semiconductors which affects many industries from automobiles to everyday electronics, secretary rome under has secretary gina raimondo is having a hearing. the commerce department has
supported nearly $75 billion in direct investment from both u.s. and foreign businesses and domestic semiconductor manufacturing. as for the secretary of transportation, they are addressing the truck driver shortages by increasing driver's license rates. an average of 50,000 have been issued each month which is 14% higher than the 2019 average and 16% higher than the 2020 average. their work is ongoing but i wide to provide you an update about their out niche -- outreach. this sunday, we will send 1.5 million doses of modernity el salvador. as we look to the week ahead which includes this weekend. on saturday, he will travel to traverse city michigan governor gretchen whitmer as part of the nationwide back together tour to
celebrate our countries aggress against the virus3 . he will visit a cherry farm there will you highlight the benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure framework and what they will do to deliver to communities across the country. then he will travel to wilmington, delaware what he will remain overnight step on sunday, the president and first lady will return to the white house while they were whole -- where they will hold a fourth of july barbecue. at 7:30 p.m. sunday night, the president will deliver remarks to celebrate in tenants j and independents from covid-19. later that night, the national mall will be open for the traditional independence day ironworks so friends and family can gathered together. the president will not have public events. it's a federal holiday in next week, we will have more details in the coming days but he will continue to talk about the infrastructure framework and we
will have more announcements about that step as many of you know, emily is a part of our amazing press team and is a spokesperson on economic issues. i wanted to welcome her here and thank her for all of her work and to chairman schiff who let me steal her from him. i'm grateful for that every day. i wanted to introduce you to emily. josh, go ahead. you definitely know emily. >> is the president satisfied with the moratorium where does he want to go further? does he want lawyers to continue to seek the death penalty? ms. psaki: the president made clear during his first conversations with and judge garland about the job that he wanted to see in and to executions. the announcement that was made is that the attorney general is
taking steps forward which will put a stop to executions at the federal level during this review. he feels that's an important step forward in delivering on that discussion step >> second president and where they are in the military chain of command, has the president stopped short of where senator gilman is? what is the white house thinking? ms. psaki: i would note that we put out a statement from the president stop let me highlight some components of that. it was an important step forward in his view today. he supports secretary austen's announcement that he is excepting the core recommendations put forth by the independent review commission on military sexual assault. he views sexual assault as an abusive power in the military,
it's doubly damaging as it disturbs the unity and cohesion. he also noted that he looks forward to working with congress to implement these necessary reforms. he's grateful for the leadership of senator gillibrand, the work of senator ernst, the work of senders. and senator melinda who have worked hard to get this forward. he feels this announcement and the decision by secretary austen is a step forward most of >> there had been a campaign pledge to introduce legislation to and the federal death sentence. ms. psaki: the president felt it was so important that it was a part of his discussion with the attorney general when he talked to him about the job. the today announced there will be a halt in executions while there is an important review in the president feels that's an important step forward. >> some advocates have called it
a commute pole. has there been a discussion on that? ms. psaki: there was a review that was just announced but we won't speak to that well it's ongoing. >> there was a wide chasm between what senior leaders are seeing in their commands and what union members experience as a result, trust is broken between. commanders and the service members it's a scathing vote of no-confidence in a predominantly male military leadership. i'm curious if these discussions with the secretary of defense or with uniformed leaders, if the president has talked to these guys at all? ms. psaki: he has spoken to secretary austen about it and has spoken to buckley about his concerns step the sexual assault
of the military was happening long before he became president step he also called out in a statement today that he wanted to record highs the experience of our service members who survived sexual assault in the bravery of those who have shared their stories and advocated for reform which is something they felt important to note today. secretary austen is taking an action step to hopefully change the course of what we've seen for several years, something the president applauds and supports. >> we won't see this implemented until 2023 in the bill will have 60 votes. will there be a push by him to say let's do this? ms. psaki: he noted in his statement that he looks forward to working with congress to implement than the -- these necessary reforms and promote a work environment that is free
from sexual assault and harassment for everyone of our brave service members. it is also the leadership of the military and secretary austen and who the president works with on a daily race -- bases who accepted these recommended shins and they need to be implemented. >> we saw the debris at the white house and the president and first lady were back at the white house when the tornado warning was in effect step where they sheltered during the tornado warning? ms. psaki: i don't know if they were back from their trip yet were arriving shortly back but they were here at the white house but i don't have more details. >> would you follow-up? ms. psaki: sure. >> as we head into july 4, the white house is said shots are effective and available but many states with the lowest vaccination rate are governed by republicans. what risk does the white house
leave those pockets of noncompliance might pose to other americans, the rest of the country? ms. psaki: the guidance from medical roots is clear -- experts is clear. if you are vaccinated come you're safe and if you're not vaccinated, you're at risk of getting the virus. the transmissibility of the delta variant is a reminder of what risks people are putting on themselves if they don't get vaccinated step what risk do you think those pockets of noncompliance arch of the rest of the population. ms. psaki: i would look at it as individuals in the pockets were not vaccinated and they are at a significant risk given the transmissibility of the delta variant? if individuals are vaccinated in those areas, then they are protected step we had some news this morning about the effectiveness of j&j but we know
that moderna and pfizer are effective in fighting and protecting individuals from the delta variant. we announced just yesterday our plans for a surge team in response to the rise of the delta variant across the country that will include the physical deployment of personnel, virtual assistance sharing of resources. we have already deployed a team to colorado to collaborate with the local department of health and that something we will continue to work with communities across the country to address the rising threat of the delta variant step >> given that the white house will fall shy of its goal, is the white house done setting goals? ms. psaki: another way of describing it is we are on track once the data comes in to report that 70% of adults 27 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
that's a significant step forward and we are proud of that and it's a reflection of the leadership present in the organizational expertise of the team he's hired and that in norma's step forward and that's why hospitalizations have fallen by more than 90% since january stuff we feel it's important to set ambitious goals. our job is not done and the work continues even on july 5. i have no new goal to set today but we feel it's important to sit old and ambitious markers and hold ourselves to account . >> is the white house concerned that some vice presidential staffers work in a soap old abusive environment? ms. psaki: the vice president is incredibly important partner to the president of the united states and has a challenging job and she has a great supportive
team of people around her. other than that, i will have no comments on that route. >> what about defending the police? you say the president does not want to defund the police. is the president concerned that last year's attorney general said it was critical to proceed and she wants those to have movement for black lives matter. ms. psaki: as a fox news report that came about in february, " current and former police chiefs across the country as well as the national fraternal order of police are supporting the nominationg of benitaupta and urging the senate judiciary committee to quickly approve her.
>> in senate testimony, she said she wanted to decrease the police force. ms. psaki:ms. psaki: she also said she opposes defunding the police. the president has always opposed to the police. when we talk about individuals in congress and their support for funding or opposition to funding for the police, but the american people are most focus on is how people vote is a public record. while the president ran on one the most foods of any candidate in history of boosting they are trying to cut the cost program which is public record. you need to undervalue the intelligence of the american people. the president ran on increasing that funding. presence -- president trump's
budget significantly cut that. it doesn't require me telling you names of individuals who oppose the american rescue plan. every republican did and i don't have time to read out all their names. >> the official white house account tweeted that the cause of a -- the cost of eight fourth of july cookout is down $.15 from last year. ms. psaki: there has been a reduction of some of the key components of fourth of july barbecues step that's with the tweet was noted. >> does the white house think that is more of an ink captive people as opposed to the gas prices? >> if you don't like hot dogs, you may not care. ms. psaki: what we are most focus on is the fact that we have created more than 3 million
jobs since the president took office. we continue to implement other elements of his build back better agenda. >> the president of belarus has shut the border to ukraine. is there concern about this? can you give an update on what is happening there? ms. psaki: we have put in place a number of sanctions over the past several weeks in coordination with our european partners. i had not seen that report and i will talk with our national security team and see if there's additional action that is happening today. oecd talks will be heading into the g20 meeting that's coming up step the treasury secretary will be goin.
can you see what your primary goal is for the upcoming g20 meeting? what is the president saying to the treasury secretary? ms. psaki: obviously, the treasury team and the secretary will preview what the focus of their position is. a component about that will be the global minimum tax. we are quite encouraged that there are 100 30 countries representing more than 90% of global gdp who have come together to support the biden administration plan for a strong global minimum tax. of course, there is more work to be done. that will be the focus but otherwise i would defer to the treasury department. >> president will speak later today for the national education society.
what is his primary concern? what will he break up? ms. psaki: he is married to a teacher and a longtime teacher, still a teacher so certainly, educators and making sure he is communicating his commitment to the education system and the role of educators in the country will always be close to his heart. i would expect he would talk a bit about his plans and initiatives whether is the american jobs and or the components of the american family plan which will be critical to communities, school communities across the country but i think that would be the focus on his remarks. >> did the president not think the drawdown would be done in a few days? what is the latest date the white house is looking at. ms. psaki: we currently expected to be completed by the end of
august. the president decided to withdraw the troops from afghanistan and and the u.s. were there. bagram will have a statement from the secretary of defense today. in terms of the timeline, we really expected to become weighted by the end of august. >> when it comes to the translators and drivers and engineers who risk their lives for the u.s. and they are waiting on these applications, is it true the administration is considering housing them in other countries in central asia while they wait for those applications to be accepted towards nine? -- or be denied? ms. psaki: we have identified interpreters and translators as well as other categories. they will be relocated to a location outside afghanistan. there are a range of options and
that will happen before we complete our military drawdown by the end of august. they will complete their visa application from there. i cannot get into the specifics for security reasons. >> can you explain why the president did not answer further questions on afghanistan? ms. psaki: what he was trying to convey is that he is heading into july 4 weekend come a week and for family and to celebrate america and that he was ready to be done answering questions. it wasn't related to afghanistan. >> the fighting is getting closer and closer to kabul and there is a bloodbath there. is there any instance for the united states cutting troops back? ms. psaki: when he announced air
drawdown coming made clear that the tele-band would've been shooting at american troops again after may 1. when he came into office with the lowest number of u.s. partner forces in afghanistan since the early days of the war, an agreement was already in place in the military was at a height. he also asked for a review of genuine, realistic options to advance and protect options. we emerge from that with a clear assessment of the best path forward to advance american instruments -- interests. ending the war in afghanistan after 20 years we can address the global threat picture and protect our men and women
serving was his priority. that continues to be and he continues to move forward toward our withdrawal plan by the end of august. ms. psaki: a year ago, president biden said he was creating a list. will there be a list of potential nominees? ms. psaki: if there is not an opening on the supreme court, that's not a current hypothetical. he made clear at the time that he would nominate an african-american woman to serve on supreme court should there be an opening while he is president. >> a little more than a week ago, -- allowed infections to continue. the main site expired.
a couple of officials, including the secretary of state have said it would be a big problem if we lose continuity. now we are a week out. is it your understanding that we have no expected continuity? tell us how this affects how the president was hoping things unwind. how do you get to any agreement if you're not sure if there is a burden along the way? ms. psaki: we certainly expect there could be challenges on the road. we have lived through a version of this before. with what the secretary of state said, we believe iran must comply with the inspectors and with obligations under its agreements. we are working to reinforce broad support for the team to carry out their work.
our message from the beginning has continued to be that one of the reasons to move forward and continue to pursue a diplomatic agreement, to reengage with our partners in the iranians even indirectly is because we want to have that reliable access and understand it has visibility into what the iranians are into and how they are getting a good weapons -- getting nuclear weapons. >> following on the question you got before in afghanistan, during the previous event on the economy, when i asked the president about couple, he said -- about kabul, he said the afghans are going to have to do it themselves with the air force they have. if we understand your answer, is he essentially saying if kabul
falls it is not our primary responsibility? we are happy to help but it is completely up to you? ms. psaki: he is saying as we said in a beginning that he asked for an assessment of what the impact would be of our decision to withdraw troops. we asked them not to sugarcoat that and they did not. there has been until out there from our own government. we have never taken a step back from those. at the same time, what i think he was conveying during his answer to you is that we will also continue to work collaboratively with a range of countries that share our interests in recapturing -- we will maintain over the horizon capacity. that is something that will continue as well as other security assistance to the afghan security forces, but they will be in the lead when we withdraw our troops. >> the u.s. trakstar, sha'carri
richardson, tested positive for drug use. is this something the president -- ms. psaki: this was made by the u.s. doping -- anti-doping agency and not a decision made by the u.s. government. we will leave them space and room to make their decision about anti-doping policies that need to be implemented. i will also note that sha'carri is an inspiring young woman who has gone through a lot personally. she happens to be one of the fastest women in the world and that is an important part of this story as well. this is an independent decision by the anti-doping agency. it is important to know who she is and her history. >> follow-up on afghanistan, when it comes to the vulnerable
afghan employees we could move to other countries, what assurances does the government have that they can be moved safely. they have a target on their backs. ms. psaki: one of the reasons i will not get into security details about what country they may go to and how many is for that reason. certainly our timeline is to relocate his individuals to a location outside of afghanistan before we complete our military drawdown. we will continue, even after we have our drawdown, with a presence -- a diplomatic presence within kabul. that is the goal of the timeline and the reason i'm not giving more specific details. >> questions on voting rights. he said yesterday he intends to speak on this issue. really give remarks next week? thus will he give remarks next week? ms. psaki: he is eager to do
that -- will he give remarks next week? ms. psaki: he is eager to do that. as you would note in his statement, he is disappointed by the supreme court's decision. it is a reminder of how important it is to move forward on legislation and that congress restored the voting rights act. it is a reminder of the stakes that democracy is on the line. we are still working out and finalizing details for next week. i don't have anything to breathe you in terms of travel at this point in time. >> another related question which is on the remarks he gave yesterday. i wanted to clarify, he said he is "mildly positive there is a remedy available in the voting decision." what does he mean by "mildly positive."
-- what does he mean by "mildly positive?" ms. psaki: -- whether that is actions by the department of justice that the attorney general has announced some of or if it is efforts we have underway led by our vice president to engage with civil rights groups, legislatures, and be american people to push back on anti-voting laws at the state level. that is probably what is you is and what he was trying to project. >> there have been talks about raising oil production to ease prices. is the white house concerned about high oil prices? has the administration been in touch with allies who are involved in opec to talk about this? on gas prices being high in the u.s., peaked travel time -- peak travel time and even more so
because of the pandemic getting better, are you concerned about that for americans at the time when there seems like there are economic data points working in your favor? this is one americans really do feel day in and day out -- day out. ms. psaki: we have seen an increase in the price of oil as anyone has seen who watches data. it will be a topic of discussion when opec meets over the coming days. i'm not in a position to speak to those conversations from here. i can say that currently we expect there is enough spare oil production capacity globally. as you know, because of the restart, and in of consumer activity, there is some impact on oil market conditions. on your second question on the impact of consumers, that is one of the core reasons why the president was opposed to a gas
tax and opposed to any tax on travel or vehicles. he felt that would fall on the backs of americans who are returning to their workplaces, driving their kids to school. that was a redline for him in negotiations. as you know, the price of gas is often linked to oil prices. that will again be a topic of discussion over the coming days but i don't have anything to preview on the front. >> there are a number of republicans on the hill that raise concerns about the idea of getting the irs $40 billion to crackdown on tax cheats. one of them is the possibility of abuse by the irs. i'm wondering what the administration's response to that is. ms. psaki: i think it is a deal
agreed to by the bipartisan deal. what it would do is ensure the irs has the support, the staffing, and the resources needed to ensure the wealthiest americans are paying what they owe. we have some estimates of what that would raise in terms of pay force. those are quite conservative when you look at what many economists suggest across the board. it is a pay forward that was agreed to and one that does not violate what was a redline for many republicans which was doing anything to change the 2017 tax law. we will go to that when we go to reconciliation, but that was a redline as it related to these negotiations. >> we saw the president was exasperated when he was asked several questions about afghanistan. 20 years ago we were a nation full of people -- most americans were full of patriotism to go
get those people who attacked their country in 2001. 20 years on, we seem to be average americans just shrugging their shoulders at the state of afghanistan. they have afghanistan fatigue. does the president feel that way? this he have afghanistan fatigue? does a sense that in the american people? -- does he sense that in the american people? ms. psaki: the president has hoped, as many americans have, that the war on afghanistan was not won -- is not one that can be won militarily. we will continue to have a diplomatic presence on the ground even after we bring our men and women home. as commander-in-chief, you have to make decisions about how to protect the men and women serving. wendy may 1 deadline was set, that provided us a timeline in which the president has to make
a decision about bringing our men and women home so that they did not risk rater threats on the ground. he went through an entire review , an assessment by his national security team to jump to that conclusion. i would reiterate that we will continue to provide community assistance, humanitarian assistance, and be partners to the government of afghanistan as evident by the fact that he hosted leaders here last friday. >> does he feel that way, do you think? ms. psaki: i think people are over-reading into his response over a series of q&a going into a holiday weekend when he had already answered three questions on afghanistan. the president could not be more proud of the men and women serving who have served over the last 20 years and he will lose -- she will use every opportunity he can't to thank them for their service and think their families of those fallen servicemembers who have served bravely. this was a decision he made
because he felt it was in the best interest of the united states. go ahead, last one. >> you mentioned a covid-19 surge team was headed to colorado. do you have any update on one can do it on when one can arrive in missouri -- on when one can arrive in missouri? ms. psaki: i think i have -- we are also working with the mystery health department in identifying needs there and we are prepared to mobilize a team to missouri with a focus on vaccine confidence, epidemiology surveillance and sequencing support related to the delta variant. our concern is where there are communities, lower vaccination rates -- communities where there are lower vaccination rates because there are more people at risk. we are going to everything within the power of the federal
government, whether that is sending response teams, helping people understand where they can get access, or communicating to young people who have a lower vaccination rate, that's good continue in communities in the midwest for parts of the country where there are lower vaccination rates. >> follow-up with the president's visit to surfside, once that is complete will be no more about -- once the investigation is complete and we will know more about the collapse, is there legislation that would address issues like building standards and recertification's? ms. psaki: let's see with the investigation concludes and then we can have a question -- a discussion about the next step. have a great weekend. >>