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tv   White House Press Secretary Holds Briefing  CSPAN  November 19, 2021 2:52pm-3:31pm EST

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ms. psaki: a couple of items for you today. not much going on around here obviously could from the president's statement he issued this morning on the house passing the build back better agenda for the middle class, which came three weeks after the bipartisan infrastructure deal also passed. since this came through today, i want to highlight and note for the american people a couple of the big benefits that are in the package that we are looking forward to moving through the senate. today families pay $8,600 per year on pre-k. under this plan, most of them will play -- pay $0. the average family pays 13% of their income and under the president's plan,, no middle income will pay more than 7% of
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their income on childcare. two parents earning 100,000 dollars per year will say $5,000 per year. a family of four earning $80,000 per year will save $3000 per year, or $246 per month, on health insurance premiums. countless americans will save thousands of dollars by negotiating prescription drug prices. limiting cost sharing for insulin products to make sure there are no -- they are no higher than $35 starting in 2023. insulin is essential for many people around the country. it will cap it at $35. that is a big deal. one of the biggest financial burdens on families is housing costs we are seeing around the country. build back better will take a set to reduce those costs by building, rehabilitating, or preserving one million homes. it reduces the deficit by $112 billion over 10 years and several economists and analysts
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from leading agencies have made clear the president's agenda will not contribute to higher prices. their findings echo 17 prize -- nobel prize winners who have stated they believed the build back better act will ease longer-term inflationary pressures. also wanted to provide a brief update on covid. alaka going on in our efforts to take on the pandemic. this morning, the fda authorized boosters for all american adults six months after primary vaccination. the cdc will make the clinical recommendations. this afternoon. . this is an encouraging spec -- step to protect americans as we enter the winter months. if you are one of the approximately 100 million people in the country eligible for a booster, our recommendation is to get to the extra protection as soon as possible. they are widely available across the country and accessible,
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thanks to the presidents operational plan, planning since august, 32 americans have their booster and boosters are available at 80,000 locations. we are making strong progress protecting kids with 10% of five to 11-year-olds getting their first shot. kids have gotten vaccinated this week. we will be fully vaccinated by christmas. we are continuing to make a good push to reach parents and kids, visiting to 30,000 sites for kids, innovative partnerships, and the white house visit earlier this week. we have shipped over 250 million vaccines to the world, more than all countries combined, and made enough of an historic opportunity for mrna manufacturers to receive funding from the u.s. government to produce one billion doses next year. over 80% of 12 and older americans have gotten one-shot, a huge number. we are pushing for more vaccinations. our view and recent polling shows you vaccination
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requirements work. 60% of companies are moving forward with a vaccine requirement,, which is a big step forward. another little update happening today, the first week on the job, our infrastructure implantation coordinator and seven cabinet members -- outlining in the executive order from commerce, energy, transportation, labor, interior, agriculture, held their first meeting. also attending was -- senior staff from across the white house, gina mccarthy, susan rice, and jason miller. i have invited him to speak to all of you, and he has convinced me he is putting his head down and getting his --to work but will be eager to speak to you sometime after nights giving. finally, we gave a lengthy update on supply chains yesterday. today, we have new data from a
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leading freight indicator that i wanted to highlight that shows shipping prices have declined almost 25% over the past two week. specifically, the price for shipping a container between china and the west coast, which has declined two straight weeks. this reduction in prices and shipping costs insureds we are cutting costs for consumers as well. last thing here is a week ahead, we announced earlier this week president and first lady will travel to fort bragg, north carolina to celebrate thanksgiving -- or frie ndsgiving --with military members to celebrate their service. on tuesday, the president, the first lady, the vice president, and the second gentleman or participate in a service project and the president and first lady will later travel to nantucket, massachusetts where they will remain for thanksgiving. reporter: now since the bill has
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passed the house, can you tell me about the game plan in the weeks ahead to get it through the senate? i guess in the media, do you have plans over the weekend with senator manchin and senato let us know what the plan is to get this through over the end zone. sec. psaki: the president is committed to getting this through the senate, sign it into law, and make sure these cost-cutting measures are put into law as soon as possible. a number of these steps including cutting childcare costs could have an impact as soon as next year. we've remained in touch even as we've been working to get it through the house at a senior staff level with senator manchin, senator sinema, other members of the senate. the president will engage when
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it is the right minute to do that, but i don't have anything to predict for you over the next couple days. reporter: the president announced his intention to nominate two new members to the postal service board of governors. is he looking to remove postmaster dejoy? sec. psaki: let me say we continue to be deeply troubled the, on early reporting by postmaster dejoy's financial interests. the president does not have the authority to fire the postmaster general. it is up to the board of governors by a majority. the president has intention to nominate two leaders to the postal service board of governors to replace ron bloom and john barker. both are experience public servants, and to reiterate, it
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is up to the board to make a determination about leadership, but we have continued concerns about postmaster general dejoy's leadership. reporter: i wanted to ask if you questions about oil. has the u.s. heard back from japan, india, and south korea about a coordinated release of emergency stockpiles? sec. psaki: i don't have any update for you today. we've been in touch with a range of officials and leaders from countries, including china, including other countries around the world that are oil producers , about ensuring there is adequate supply, but i don't have updates for today. reporter: is biden considering using authority to limit exports of oil for a few years? sec. psaki: we have a range of options, but i don't have any new ones to introduce. reporter: any message for opec ahead of its december summit?
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sec. psaki: our message continues to be privately as well as publicly -- it is always good when it is consistent -- we want to ensure that the opec member countries and opec as an organization meets the demand needs out there with the adequate supply. that is something we have pressed them on, and i don't have any new conversations, but i will see if there is more we can report to all of you about the meeting. reporter:reporter: we know the president was at walter reed. can you provide an update on how the physical went and the colonoscopy? sec. psaki: we will have a comprehensive written summary released to you later today as soon it is finalized. i'm not going to get ahead of it. it is number -- medical experts, as appropriate. as i noted in a tweet earlier
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this morning, the president had a conversation with vice president harris as well as chief of staff ron klain at around 11:35. he was in good spirits. he resumed his duties as president. there were two sets of letters we release publicly at 10:10 and levin: 30 a.m. about the transfer of power and resumption of power, but that is a reflection of how he is. reporter:reporter: the vaccine mandate for the civilian federal workforce, if that takes effect, can you provide us an update on what that will be like, and are there any concerns? sec. psaki: there are not. let me give you an update on this overall. november 22 is the deadline, not 12:01, but by the end of the day. we don't see it as a cliff.
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we will be providing more guidance. we are the largest employer in the country, the u.s. government, so it will take some time to collect that data, and once we've gone through the data, we will share that with you publicly. there is a surge in vaccinations as we get closer to the deadline. we want to have the final data monday through the day before we release it publicly. it is going to take a little bit of time to process. we do not anticipate facing of a mental disruption -- face any governmental disruptions. reporter: how will the boosters for mode do not and pfizer factor into -- moderna and pfizer factor into the vaccine strategy? pres. biden:pres. biden: we abide by cdc guidance, which is
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to shots of on mrna vaccine or one j&j shot. we will not get ahead of any changes they may make in the future. reporter: follow up on the build back better plan and how went ins in the house. what response do you have two representative mccarthy's speech? sec. psaki: kevin mccarthy set a lot over the course of eight and a half hours. he shared his wish he could have been in tiananmen square. he mused about whether abraham lincoln was actually assassinated. he shared his thought, his dream about picturing america in a swim meet after world war ii. what he did not talk about was cutting the cost of childcare, eldercare, what we were going to do to bring more women into the workforce, to protect our
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climate. that in our view tells you all you need to know about kevin mccarthy's agenda and what he supports. reporter: and senator manchin, he says he has still not decided on this bill. is there anything the white house is doing to get him to come around to the bill? is there anything specific you are doing for him? sec. psaki: we have been in close touch with senator manchin for several months now. that will continue. that may include hearing concerns he will have. we believe he's been operating and negotiating in good faith. the next step is getting it through the senate. i expect we will continue the discussions and negotiations as they have occurred today. reporter: can you tell us when
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was the last on the president spoke with him? sec. psaki: a lot of this work happens, and i think a lot of members of congress will tell you this -- at the staff level. the president has had him here a number of times. i don't have an update on the last call. reporter: following up on that, has the president made it clear how important paid leave is to him in this bill? with the president signed the bill back better act if paid leave got dropped? sec. psaki: you are right that the president wants to see paid leave in a final package. that is why he proposed it in an initial proposal when he outlined his bill back better agenda. he thinks it will help bring more women into the workforce, ensure that more women have seats at the table, and it is something he would like to see in the package. he notes and recognizes you need the majority of members in the senate, every democrat, to
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support something to get it across the finish line. i am not going to prejudge what the outcome is. this is how the american people look at things, the totality of the package, what is included. this bill, no matter what, everybody supports universal pre-k, cutting the cost of childcare, and historic investment in the climate crisis, making sure eldercare is less expensive. there are disagreements. everybody knows that publicly, but he knows he is not going to get everything in this package. he will continue to fight for it. reporter: what is the backup plan if it gets dropped? sec. psaki: he will continue to fight to make it law. reporter: will we get all the results of the president's physical, or are there some lab results we won't see until a later date? sec. psaki: i expect it will be a comprehensive summary today and don't anticipate there would be lagging results later. reporter: following up on the
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physical, if this was a routine physical, why wasn't it on the schedule last night? sec. psaki: just to peel the curtain back for the american people, how it typically works, if you look in the history, this morning, we notified the press pool -- many of you are part of that and rotate through that -- we call it the white house correspondents association. we called the network bureau chief chair and indicated the president not only would be getting a routine physical -- i sent out a tweet to many people out there at around 6:15 a.m., and we put out many updates since then, and we will put out a comprehensive written summary this afternoon. that is standard for how it is approached. it follows protocols that have been followed in the past, and
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you all will receive a comprehensive summary this afternoon. reporter: is the president going to stop saying the build back better plan does not increase the deficit one single cent when we know that isn't true? sec. psaki: it is true. i would note that several economists and experts -- i would note you are talking about the cbo score -- reporter: which joe biden has called of the gold standard for democrats and republicans. sec. psaki: since we are here to communicate with the public about accurate information, what i would note is that several -- one of the components that former heads of the cbo have pointed to his that irs enforcement is not something that there's a lot of experience in the cbo with scoring the. it is undervalued by the assessment of many economists and experts, including people critical of us in the past,
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including former treasury of both parties who estimate there will be significant savings higher than what is estimated currently. our assessment and the assessment by many economists is that there will be savings over 10 years and it will reduce the deficit. reporter: there is an estimate that it will increase the deficit $160 billion over 10 years. the president was not telling the truth. sec. psaki: to go back to the content facts. the irs enforcement component, something commended by former secretary hank paulson, former secretary larry summers, secretaries of treasury from both parties, note there could be significant savings.
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this is an area where economic experts -- neither of us are one, we can confirm that -- have confirmed there are significant savings that will come from this. they've said they felt comfortable with it because of the expertise out there because of the impacts of irs enforcement. reporter: when the last administration tried to say the cbo was incorrect, you tweeted, washington may tried to walk away from the cbo score, it's
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awkward and uncomfortable to watch. what is the difference between the trump administration saying, don't listen to the cbo, and the biden administration? sec. psaki: we've praise to the overall work of the cbo on the build back better act. that is what we believe. i would point to the fact that there isn't a great deal of history or experience of scoring irs enforcement. that is something economists across the board have noted. that is something democrats and republicans have been briefed on, and that is why it wasn't a surprise to them. reporter: can you explain the timing of the physical today, what was behind it? is it the fact that the president is turning 79 years old tomorrow? sec. psaki:sec. psaki: the president is well aware that his birthday is a matter of public record. he wanted to do and committed to
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do a physical before the end of the year, so this meets that timeline, and we worked through scheduling availability and requirements to do that. any president is at walter reed for a couple hours. reporter: i think there was an expectation there would be a press conference tomorrow. sec. psaki: tomorrow? sec. psaki:reporter: yesterday. he obviously had a full day yesterday. was there any last minute-ness to the decision about him going in today? sec. psaki: i'm sorry. reporter: to do the physical? sec. psaki: i'm not sure in i'm understanding. reporter: was it planned days in advance? sec. psaki: we had plans to do the physical. what is the root of your question? reporter: when was it planned? he had such a full day yesterday. sec. psaki: that is the nature of the president, and this may
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be why you are asking. the meetings yesterday didn't end until after 8:00. the president was watching the vote last night, as we all were, maybe not to the totality of the eight and a half hour missive, but he was watching closely. reporter: is there any discussion of having a doctor brief us? sec. psaki: we will be releasing a comprehensive summary that will have details from the doctor and other experts who were consulted, medical experts, that you will receive later today. reporter: i want to ask you on a different topic broadly speaking, the country is waiting for or anticipating a jury verdict in the kyle rittenhouse case. what is the president's direct message to people who want to protest, express their opinions after the verdict? sec. psaki: i am not going to
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prejudge a verdict on an ongoing deliberation over a case, and once it is concluded, i'm sure there will be something we have to say from the white house. we've been in close touch to support any effort at preece full protest. -- peaceful protest. go ahead. reporter: is it accurate to say it will happen monday or tuesday? sec. psaki: the president has to make a decision, and i expect we will have more to spare -- share in advance of a decision. reporter: government funding on september 3 -- i'm wondering if
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the president is looking for acr to get us towards new year's or if he would like longer government funding. sec. psaki: it is a great question. given the pure volume of legislative work, i haven't had a conversation with the legislative team about this. we would typically work closely with leadership. let me see if there's more to report on that to you. reporter: yesterday, you talked about the tax credit in build back better. senator manchin said he does not support it. is that an accurate representation of what the conversation was? how would you characterize what it was? sec. psaki: i think his message is what i conveyed publicly, which is that there's a long history of using tax credits to incentivize choices. it will lower the cost of electric vehicles by 12,005
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hundred dollars for middle-class family. that is something we want to incentivize. we believe it will help to move us towards a clean energy future, something that will help us through the climate crisis. this was and issued the canadian leaders raised. i will leave it to them to characterize further. this is something the president is deeply committed to because he believes good paying union jobs that will help us move towards a clean energy industry is in our economic and national security interest. reporter: one last question -- the cbo estimated that the tax would bring in a little bit over $240 billion. i don't think they are just throwing darts.
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i know this is a point you guys say, they are not experienced at figuring out how much, but twice as much is a big discrepancy. i wonder why you disagree so dramatically with the cbo. sec. psaki: i wouldn't characterize it in those terms. another person i have not introduced, but doug elmendorf who you are familiar with who directed the cbo from 2009 2015 said estimating the returns on additional irs enforcement was challenging because it was difficult to quantify the effect of more auditors. we technically have disagreements with economic experts who are projected it would have larger savings. our projections are not exactly the same as larry summers who said the proposal could result in almost $800 billion in
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revenue and has an op-ed about it. others have projected it would have even larger savings. it is an indication of the difficulty, but what we think is an important indication for the american people and members of congress who are concerned, as the president is about deficit reduction, this money will help the deficit over 10 years -- this is something where it will have that impact. it has a larger impact than what we were projecting. reporter: is there anything you can tell us about the 85 minutes , harris had as acting president? sec. psaki: i will leave that to the vice president and her team to characterize. i would note -- you didn't ask me this, but other people have been talking about this. as a woman, i would note when the president selected her to be his running mate, he knew he was making history, making the history that was long overdue in
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our view, and part of that was selecting someone who could serve by your side as your partner, but also step in if there was a reason to. that includes the application of the 25th amendment, as was done this morning. we make history every time they are working together, every time she is speaking on behalf of the government as the vice president, but certainly today was another chapter in that history. that will be noted for many women, girls across the country. reporter: you've disclosed that the president received a colonoscopy. are you in a position to disclose any other tests? sec. psaki: we will disclose that, but i will leave that to the medical experts. reporter: in a statement yesterday when he talked about pfizer's covid-19 pill, the president said -- [indiscernible] could you lay out how that would
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work? sec. psaki: vaccines around the country are largely free, so there is a precedent for that. he wants to make sure it is available and accessible to people to protect them from covid, and i think this falls into the category, falls into our expensive effort to fight the pandemic, get it under control, and get on the other cited it. in terms of how it would work with contracts? reporter: [indiscernible] sec. psaki: let me see what else it would require. reporter: in ethiopia, it seems to be deteriorating. what guidance do you have for american still in the country? sec. psaki: as things have deteriorated, we've taken strong
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efforts to leave ethiopia as soon as possible. they can do so safely via travel. things can change in an instant. the state department goes to great lengths to assist citizens in crisis. there are no plans, and people should understand this on the ground, to fly the u.s. military into ethiopia to assist in the evacuation. the state department is using every measure they have to communicate with americans about the fact it is time to depart. reporter: you were asked about the chinese, and you didn't have anything to say. i wonder if you have any updates from the white house? sec. psaki: we are deeply concerned by reports that she appears to be missing after accusing a former p.r.c. senior official of sexual assault. we join in the college of
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authorities to provide independent proof of her whereabouts. i know you are not asking this, but i cannot speak to the details of the case or details of where she might be. i want to be clear where the united stands -- united states stands. any report of sexual assault should be investigated, and we support a woman's ability to speak out. we will stand out for freedom of speech. we know the prc has zero tolerance for criticism and has a record of silencing those who speak out. we condemned those practices. reporter: talking about some news yesterday, there was this diplomatic -- [indiscernible] sec. psaki: i don't have any more updates from here today, and it's an indication that there has not been a final decision. reporter: you mentioned that the infrastructure czar -- can you
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provide details about what they were discussing? sec. psaki: i can tell you going back to last friday when the president had a meeting with his cabinet, the focus was infrastructure implementation. he went to each infrastructure -- cabinet member and got an update on what their approach would be. some departments are creating new programs. some will have a level of funding like the department of commerce they never had a. it is different project to project. what i would anticipate is that our implementation coordinator will receive an update on the work that is happening by each of these members, and these will be regular meetings that continue to ensure that there is implementation that is effective and efficient, and we are reducing wage fraud and abuse.
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reporter: can you confirm where the turkeys will be going after they are pardoned? sec. psaki: this is an important question. we will get to that after the briefing. i can confirm they are staying in a hotel. they stay in advance. i think there have been details put out by the -- i'm not sure if it is the turkey bureau, but we will get you details. reporter: are there going to be pardons for humans in prison for pot? are people going to get pardoned by president biden? sec. psaki: the president will look into the use of his clemency powers. he is talked about his view on
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nonviolent drug offenders, but i don't have anything to update you on today. reporter: on the topic of the president's health. a new poll found that voters found did not agree with the statement that present biden is in good health. i understand that the president disagrees with the assessment, but where do you think these voter concerns are coming from? sec. psaki: i cannot speak to the assessments of voters. there is quite a bit of conspiracy theory pushing. that could be a root cause, as you know. we are not only following past precedent of what has been done, and i know this was noted in the statement we put out where there was a transfer power under the bush administration, looking at
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past precedent, but also going beyond in many cases, and the comprehensive summary we put a note will certainly have an overview of the president's routine physical and their assessments, and that is something we will make available. reporter: on build back better, how confident is the president that he will be able to keep all senators on board, and on the topic of changes, is there any redline for him on something that has to stay? sec. psaki: the president would have loved to have seen his original proposal passed, but he knows that is not how it goes. he governs from the position of compromise not being a dirty word. he sees consensus as the way to get things done. his bottom lines have not changed. he wants to lower costs for the
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american people, give them more breathing room, ease the burden on childcare, elder care. those are components that are solidly in this package, and he will not raise taxes on those making over $400,000 a year. reporter: kyle rittenhouse has been declared not guilty by a jury -- ♪ ♪ pres. biden: good afternoon, everyone. please be seated. i'm honored to welcome you for the first time as president to a thanksgiving tradition here at the white house that reminds us to have a little bit of fun and always be grateful. as


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