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tv   President Biden Holds News Conference at G20 Summit  CSPAN  October 31, 2021 9:31pm-10:01pm EDT

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the end of the g20 summit in rome. your his remarks. -- here are his remarks. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. president biden: i apologize for keeping you waiting. we were playing with elevators. long story. we have had a series of very productive meetings the past few days. i am looking forward to continuing to make progress on critical global issues as we head off to glasgow. because of what we have seen in
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rome, what i think is the power of america showing out and working with our allies and partners to make progress on issues that matter to all of us. there is really no substitute for face-to-face discussions and negotiations when it comes to building understanding and cooperation. i have found in all of my meetings, both the larger and one-on-one sessions, a real eagerness among our partners and allies for american leadership to help bring the world together and solve big problems. i found my 1-1 engagement with so many of the leaders and the importance of strong personal relationships never ceases to amaze me, when you are looking at something straight in the when they are trying to get something done. they know me. i know them. we can get things done together. so i want to thank the italian people, by the way, at the g20, for their hospitality.
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and congratulate prime minister draghi. he did one heck of a job. for driving broad-based sustainable recovery and tackling the climate crisis. we made tangible progress. i am proud that g20 endorsed the global minimum tax, something the u.s. has been driving for for over a year, building momentum to this achievement. this is an incredible win for all of our countries. a set of nations competing against one another to attract investment by bottoming out on corporate tax rates, this set a minimum floor of 15% to ensure that giant corporations begin to pay their fair share the matter where they are headquartered, instead of hiding profits overseas.
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we agreed to establish a fund in the future that is for countries to draw on to help prevent, if necessary, and responded to the next pandemic. to prepare for the next time around. yesterday prime minister johnson and angela merkel, president emmanuel macron, came together to agree that diplomacy is the best way to stop iran from gaining nuclear weapons, and we discussed how best to encourage a rental resume negotiations. even as i have been here in rome , i have been focused on the battle issues that affect american workers and families at home. i just finished meeting with a coalition of partners about how to address the immediate supply-chain backlogs that the world has been dealing with an facing and we are facing back at home and how to make sure we have access to the products we
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need, from schuster furniture to electronics, to automobiles, the lecture we talked about how to better secure ourselves against the future that's of the pandemic, whether climate change, or other disasters. in the build back better framework, which is going to be voted on as early as sometime better this week that i announced on thursday includes for the first time ever, several billion dollars to help strengthen the supply chain's, to make sure we have access to everything we need. it is going to give workers and folks making all these products are little breathing room. the build back better will also make it easier for them to afford everything from childcare while they are at work for their kids, two years of free high-quality preschool, and finally, today i was proud to announce together with our close e.u. partners another critical win for both american workers and the climate agenda, the world's first based on how much carpet is in a product based on steel and aluminum tariffs.
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we made an agreement. i might add, strong support of the u.s. steelworkers back home. i want to thank them and tom conway who i spoke to today, president of the united states workers, for his partnership in arriving in this deal. the deal will immediately remove a point of significant tension with our friends in the european union, and it rejects the idea that we cannot grow an economy and support american workers well tackling economic crisis at the same time -- while tackling a climate crisis at the same time. we talked a lot during the cop26. we also know that tackling the climate crisis has been an all hands on deck effort. american workers are a critical part of the solution. i am happy to take some questions. i am told i should start with ap, zach miller.
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>> thank you, mr. president. you have tried to showcase that america's black, but at home, your numbers have fallen, your party's nominee for governor in virginia is facing a tougher-than-expected race, your party spent months trying to negotiate the centerpiece of your domestic legislative agenda. we are one year since the election. and you have done a lot in office trying to turn the page on the last administration. we have seen how the president can turn the page one day from another. why should the world believe that build back better is here to stay? pres. biden: they want to know what view is, and we held elite what will happen here. it is simple.
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we got significant support here. significant support. the united states of america is the most critical part of this entire agenda, and we did it. by the way, the polls are going to go up and down and up and down. the were hired and they went back up, then they are low. look at every other president. the same thing has happened. that is not why i ran, i did not run to determine how well i will do in the polls, iran to make sure i would follow through on what i said i would do as president of the united states. where we dealt with climate change, we moved in the direction that was significantly improve the prospects of american workers in having good jobs and good pay. further, i would make sure we dealt with the crisis that was caused by covid. real journal those. we will see what happens. but i am not running because
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of the polls. next question is for jeff mason from reuters. reporter: mr. president, a question on climate and energy. can the world and others be confident that you will be able to follow or make good on the premises on climate change that you have made at glasgow we thought about having taken place on your bill, and on the same topic, the statements today were underwhelming. how do you respond to their criticism that they g20 response is not a good sign for cop26? pres. biden: number one, i believe we will pass my build back better plan, and i believe we will pass the infrastructure bill. combined, they have $900 billion in climate resistance and dealing with climate and resilience. it is a largest investment in the history of the world that has ever occurred, and it is
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going to pass, in my view. but we will see. you all believed it would not happen from the very beginning of the moment i announced it, and you always seem amazed when it is alive again. you may turn out to be right , maybe it won't work, but i believe we will see by the end of next week at home that it is passed. by the way, the infrastructure bill delivers an awful lot of things in terms of everything from tax credits for electric vehicles to making sure we are able to invest literally billions of dollars in everything from highways, roads, bridges, public transit, airports, etcetera. but we will see. and with regard to the disappointment related to the fact that russia and -- including not only russia, but
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china basically did not show up in terms of many commitments to deal with climate change, there is a reason why people should be disappointed in that. i find it disappointing myself. but we passed a number of things to end the subsidization of coal, we made commitments here from across the board, all of us, in terms of what we are going to bring to the g20 six. as that old trite saying goes, the proof is in the pudding you will be eating. you're going to see we have made significant progress and more has to be done. it is going to require us to continue to focus on what china is not doing, what russia is not doing, and what saudi arabia is not doing. reporter: what steps are you considering taking if opec flask does not raise supply, and do you see any irony in pushing them to increase oil production
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at the same time that you're going to cop26 to urge people to lower emissions? pres. biden: the truth of the matter is that you know and everyone knows that the idea that we will be able to move to renewable energy overnight and not have from this moment on not use oil or not use gas or not use hydrogen, it is just not rational. certain things we can wipe out. we should be moving immediately to get rid of, as they have adopted here, my proposal, to end methane to deal with a whole range of things. it does on the surface seem inconsistent, but not at all inconsistent in that no one has anticipated that this year we'd be in a position or even next year that we're not going to use anymore oil or gas, that we are not going to be engaged in any fossil fuels. we will stop subsidizing fossil fuels. will make significant changes. it just makes the argument that
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we should move more rapidly to renewable energy the wind and solar. we are going to cop26 to deal with renewable energy and i am saying, why are you guys cutting off oil and raising the price just to make it look harder for us? but it is a legitimate question. i think that if anybody thinks about it, no one ever thought that tomorrow -- for example, it will take us between now and 2030 to have half of the vehicles in america as electric vehicles. we will get to the point that by 2050, we have zero emissions. jim tankers, the new york times. reporter: thank you so much. i would like to actually start by following up on jeff's question and then ask you supply chains as a follow-up. on the question of oil crisis, economists say that when you raise the price of something,
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people will consume less of it. so why not allow even middle-class people around the world to pay more for gasoline in the hope that they would consume fewer fossil fuels and emit less? pres. biden: because they have to get to work. they have to get an automobile and get their kids to school, the school buses have to run. the idea that there is an alternative to walk away from being able to get in your automobile is just not realistic . it is not going to happen. this is not intended to happen. either way, when the cost of a gallon of gasoline gets above three dollars $.35 a gallon, it has a profound impact on working-class families just to get back and forth to work. so i don't see anything inconsistent with that. i do think the 80 othered russia and saudi arabia and other major producers are not going to pump oil so that people can have
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gasoline to get to and from work, for example, is not right. what we are considering doing, i am reluctant to say before i do it. reporter: one of the big problems for the united states for supply chains is not having enough workers, not enough people to drive trucks or unload at ports,. workers have not returned to the labor force in america as fast as your administration thought they would. why do you think that is? pres. biden: because they are able to negotiate for higher wages and they move from one job to another. a lot of people don't want to do the job they did before, making nine dollars an hour. an awful lot of the truck drivers are not unionized truck drivers. they are working like hell and not getting paid a lot. what you're seeing here is a combination of the desire of people to be able to change
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professions to be able to do more and take care of their families, at the same time, dealing with the issue that in fact we are short of workers. but worker pay has actually grown up. we have employed 6 million people just since i got elected. so employment is up. the economy is actually in in spite of all of this, growing. i forget the number, i think it was 60 major economists acknowledging that what will happen is you will see continued economic growth and our proposals. you had, i think it was 14, nobel laureate economists in economics saying this is going to -- what i am proposing will reduce inflation. so there's a lot going on. look, -- i know you are tired of hearing me say this -- we are at an inflection point in history.
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so many pieces on the table are moving. how they get resettled depends upon the judgments we make and whether or not the united states among others can lead the world in a direction that is going to increase the circumstances for a higher standard of living for workers here and abroad, as well as making sure that people have an opportunity. as i said again, i use the phrase -- just have a little breathing room. i meant what i said when i ran. my desire was to build this economy from the bottom up in the middle out, not from the top down. that is in the process of happening. but in the meantime, there has been enormous changes as a consequence of covid on the supply chains. what are we having trouble an awful lot of the very factories and operations that produced material we need for supply chains and everything from shoes to dealing with computer chips, they are out sick, not working. so it is changing. the economy is changing and the
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united states has to stay ahead of the curve, that is why a introduced infrastructure bill, why it introduced the build back better initiative. the washington post -- there you are, i am sorry. reporter: thank you, mr. president. on iran, how would you determine whether the iranians are serious about rejoining the nuclear talks as they have indicated they will do by the end of november, and what costs are you prepared to impose on iran if it continues to carry out attacks against the u.s., such as the recent strikes against u.s. forces in syria? pres. biden: in a sense, there are two different issues. one is whether or not we rejoined a j.c.p.o.a. that is why i had the meetings here in rome who are part of the original group of six nations that got together to say that we should negotiate a
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change which i have found that, i think we are continuing to suffer from the very bad judgment that president trump made in pulling out of the j.c.p.o.a.. that is one issue and that will depend on how that gets resolved , it will depend on their action and the willingness of our friends who are part of the original agreement to stick with us and make sure there is a price to pay economically for them if they fail to come back. with regard to how we will respond to actions taken by them against the interests of the united states, drone strikes or anything else, is we will respond, and we will continue to respond. abc, cecelia vega. it is hard to see you guys with a mask on. reporter: and the masks are making my glasses fogged up, so i apologize, too.
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thank you, sir. on climate change, you just mentioned the incentives you have on renewable energy and your build back better plan. as it stands right now, there are no punitive measures in this plan to hold these companies accountable and many experts firmly believe that you've got to have the stick along with the character in order to get -- with the carrot in order to get to your goal to reduce emissions by 2030 by 50%. can you stand here today and stay for the world that people definitively will still meet that goal? pres. biden: yes, i can. because what we are proposing and what we have initiated is everything from getting the automobile makers to commit to going all-electric, number one. getting the unions to agree to do that as well. making sure we have the investment and battery technology that requires us to have the ability to generate electric vehicles, electric buses, electric transportation
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grids. making sure that we are dealing with everything from -- let me go through some of these -- that we have tax credits of $320 billion for dealing with alternatives by people getting tax credits for moving on solar panels, on wind, and a whole range of other things and winterizing their properties. i don't think you are going to need any punitive action to get people to step up and do those things. there has been no indication that that is the case at all with regard to -- there is a total of $555 billion -- i am checking the numbers to make sure i am right -- climate investment in terms of resilience. now it is very much in the interest of the industry to see to it that we moved to making
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sure that we have the resilience to be able, when those powers come down -- towers come down and the lines and appealing the ground and burning down large swaths of the west, to bury this underground. there is a whole range of things. there is no indication that there has to be a punitive effort to get people to react the way in which we have to do it. reporter: the more than 50 million catholics back at home are seeing something layout that has never happened before, the lead in the conservative wing of the catholic church moving to deny someone like you, a catholic president, the sacrament of communion. for these catholics back home, what did it mean for you to hear pope francis in the middle of this debate, call you a good catholic. shouldn't that put this debate to rest?
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pres. biden: a lot of this is just personal. pope francis has become a i don't want to exaggerate, he has become someone who has provided great solace for my family. i remember when my son died -- he has, in my view -- he has always -- that has always been this debate in the catholic church going back to pope john xxiii, that talk about how we reach out and embrace people with differences. if you notice what the pope said when he was asked when he first got elected pope and he was traveling with the press, they said, what is your position on homosexuality? he said, who am i to judge?
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this is a man of great empathy, a man who understands that part of his christianity is to reach out and to forgive. so i just find my relationship with him one that i personally take great solace in. he is a really, truly, genuine, decent man. i will end by saying that there are an awful lot of people who -- i am not putting you in this position, i apologize -- but many of you who, or even the press, who went out of your way to express your empathy and sympathy when i lost the real part of my soul, when i lost my beau, my son. and i, my family will never forget my extended family. it was only a matter of days since my son had passed away and pope francis came to the united states to visit with not only
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president obama, but with the catholic church here. and i was asked if i would accompany him to philadelphia, to the seminary -- anyway i did. but the wounds were still raw, of the loss of my son. i had my extended family, and you are all tired of seeing my extended family. they're always around, my grandchildren, my wife, my daughters-in-law. before he left and got in the plane, the pope asked whether or not he could meet with my family. we met in the hangar in the philadelphia airport. he came in and talked to my family for a considerable amount of time, 10, 15 minutes, about my son, beau.
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he did not just generically talk about him, he knew about him. he knew what he did, who he was, where he went to school, what a man he was. it had such a cathartic impact on his children and my wife and our family, that it meant a great deal. and as i meant what i said, everybody was laughing and i didn't realize you all were able to film what i was doing with the pope and i give him a command coin -- when i gave him a command coin. i meant what i said. this is a man who is someone who is looking to establish peace and decency and honor, not just in the catholic church,
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generically. when i won, he called me to tell me how much he appreciated the fact that i would focus on the poor and focus on the needs of people who are in trouble and so i just, again, i don't want to talk more about it because so much of it is personal, but, he is everything i learned about catholicism from the time i was a kid going from grade school through high school. and i have great respect for people who have other religious views. but he is just a fine, decent, honorable man. and we keep in touch. i thank you all very, very much for your patience. [reporters asking questions] [indiscernible] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021]
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