tv White House Press Secretary Transportation Secretary Hold Briefing CSPAN April 9, 2021 6:04pm-7:11pm EDT
infrastructure is not expected on the house floor until later in the spring early summer. watch live coverage of the house on c-span, the senate on c-span two, and follow our congressional coverage any time c-span.org or listen at the free c-span radio app. >> met the white house today, transportation secretary pete buttigieg and white house secretary jen psaki spoke with reporters about president biden's infrastructure and jobs plan.
>> household income group, poverty fell, he helped spark citywide job growth and innovative public-private partnership like a benefits program to improve the city's transportation experience for workers. one of the mayor's initiatives lead to benefits that included small business growth along previously neglected corridors, and hundreds of millions of dollars and new private investment in the once empty downtown. he served for seven years and the office of federal reserve, taking a leave of absence, and he is the first openly gay person confirmed to serve in the cabinet. he will take a few questions at the end, we have a time limits, so i will be the bad cop.
mayor buttegieg: thanks a lot, and thanks everyone. it is an honor to be here, especially at such an important and exciting moment for the country. i am convinced that this is the best chance and our lifetimes to make a generational investment in infrastructure, and that is what the american jobs plan does. the need is clear, it is growing by the day after decades of underinvestment, we have fallen to 13th place globally for infrastructure. delays caused by traffic congestion cost over billions of dollars a year, and motorists are forced to pay over thousands of dollars in wasted time and fuel. americans are spending money on transportation in the wrong ways or do not have access to it at all. in the american people are making clear to all of us, regardless of party that they wanted to get it done. they are not asking us to tinker around the edges. we have risen to the challenge
before as a country. building bold infrastructure has always been central to america story. we beat -- built the ear he can now, we conducted east to west to the transcontinental railroad, and we created the highway system. each of those projects was audacious and transformative, and partly because it challenged the american people to expand our concept of infrastructure. in doing so, these projects transformed our nation for the better and they fueled the u.s. economy and way of life or the long run. now it is our turn. the american jobs plan will again transform for the better. it will help modernize our transportation infrastructure so we can compete in the 21st century and connect communities. it will create millions of good jobs across the country. this is the biggest investment in american jobs since world war ii. it is important to just --
demystify the kinds of jobs this plan will create. these are good jobs, they are not mysterious or overly futuristic or inaccessible. we will need workers who are good with steel to make cars and trucks of the future. we are talking about building retrofits that will require union carpenters, painters, and we will need electrical workers more than ever. we are not going to be able to build the roads that we need to build without construction workers, pipefitters will be a huge part of the story of how we overhauled the lead service lines. this is a jobs plan that is building americans economy coming at just the right time. it is meeting the challenges we face today, and it is fully paid for by making corporations pay their fair share. we think it is unacceptable that there are major profitable corporations in this country paying less in taxes than a teacher or firefighter manatt in
terms of percentage, but in terms of dollars, specifically in many cases paying zero. there has been a lot of talk at this moment about what infrastructure is and is not. i would argue infrastructure is the foundation that makes it possible for people to live and work well. you cannot to live or work or thrive without things like roads, clean water, electricity, yes, that it -- is infrastructure, and investing and a full picture of infrastructure is how we build a safer and more prosperous america and critical to the american dream. that is why i am thrilled to be in this role, delighted by the american jobs plan, announcing and spending time. >> peter, go ahead. peter: president biden is saying $80 billion for rail and he was saying that trains could go across the country as fast as
the flame. do you see a big demand for that, for high-speed cross-country train? >> there is excitement about the american people enjoying high rail service. americans should not settle for less then citizens and other countries enjoying as a matter of course. we have a backlog to deal with in addition to making sure that we can create new routes and new capacity. what is great about the scale of the american job plan as it is going to support both of those things. maintenance that we needed to do all along and the chance to expand what americans can access. >> how long the way are we from something like a high-speed cross-country train? >> we need to add a lot to what we already have guides, but we can build new routes with the resources that are here. it is not the end of the story, but it is a fantastic beginning. >> thanks for doing this. there has been criticism about
the corporate tax site. some people have said that user fees should fund the structure, and i was curious because user fees often cut into the cost of maintenance repairs. does this administration have a plan to cover the costs? >> the president believes strongly that this is not something that should burden ordinary american families at a time where we have so many corporations that have paid literally zero. i would argue that there is ample evidence that american corporations can be competitive at a tax rate like 20% for the simple reason that they are extremely competitive added tax rate for 35%. surely they can handle 28% which would be lower than it has been for most of my lifetime. we have heard different ideas on what the pay for should be, and i think this is a good time to take those inputs on board, but it is pretty hard to eat the vision that the president
opposed. >> does there need to be a dedicated revenue stream? >> we will keep talking with congress, because you know for some time, we have seen general fund dollars going into maintenance, but it is exactly what is in the president's plan. >> having covered state and local government for almost 20 years before coming here, i have seen the division that can erupt with anna estate between regions of the state over as they fight over limited pots of money to build these kinds of infrastructure projects. how involved do you think the federal government and the department of transportation, congress, white house should be in making the inevitable choices that will have to be made in terms of which ridge gets fixed first, which road gets widened? there is not enough money to do everything, so how much of a
role do you envision playing, or is it up to the states the kind of wage the war? sec. buttigieg: there has always been a push poll here because communities often know what is most needed for them, and we welcome that. our program design recognizes that. i view our role as laying out the broad policies. for example, with infra, we made sure that that first wave of calling for applications clarifies that we are looking for great projects that also bear on things like equity and climate. you will continue to see that in the program design. there is always going to be competition for limited funds, but the other thing i would say is that competition is most ferocious when the funds are most limited. part of what we are trying to do is make sure there is an ample set of resources to go around so some communities may be the most successful and rounds of competition but that it does not
feel like other communities are being left behind, because we have to make sure there isn't enough to raise the bar as a whole. >> to the extent that a lot of the decision-making gets pushed to the local level because that is how they know to allocate the need, how does the federal government retain oversight over what is an enormous amount of money both in terms of fraud and abuse, but also making sure that it is here's to those broader equity issues that you guys talk so much about? sec. buttigieg: that is a bigger sponsor ability for a department like mine. the president has made clear his high expectations for us in the rescue plan dollars, that is $40 billion. he also rightly takes pride in the remarkably low rates of waste fraud and abuse in the recovery act.
he led that in the obama administration. now is the moment to make sure that we double down on those principles to make sure the dollars are well spent, and we have to make sure that they actually meet public policy goals that are motivating us to do this in the first place. >> thanks for doing this. with you and chris here, i am having alternative universe. [laughter] >> other times and other places. since you are the transportation secretary, travel is a big part of what you have to worry about. two americans eager to get back overseas whether biplane or by cruise ship, you know there have been questions about the cruise industry, especially as we have seen the guidance. there is concern about specifics. specific benchmarks, have you been in touch with the cdc about that industry's concerns, and could industry leaders say that we should be treated more like the airlines, what would you say? sec. buttigieg: bottom line is safety.
i am the secretary of transportation. i can't wait for all of us to be on the move as much as possible and as safely as possible, but it has to be safe and responsible. airplanes have one safety profile, cruise ships have another, vehicles have another. each one needs to be treated based on what is safe for that sector. i certainly care a lot about seeing the cruise sector thrive, and i know the cdc is hopeful that a lot of these operators will be in a position to be sailing by midsummer, and laying out the specific dates that they need to get through is very important step towards that. >> and for energy and governors who say the summer is too late, you would say what? sec. buttigieg: we want to do this as soon we can responsibly, but we also have to make sure it is safe. >> once you get the money from the rescue plan, is there a process for speeding the
projects, getting construction started, because there is always delays in permitting. sec. buttigieg: this was something that i was glad to see specifically in the jobs plan. efficiently delivering these dollars. we see a lot of countries that have very rigorous standards around this also have ways to make sure it is efficient. provided that it is not entail cutting it any corners like environmental standards, vita b can do it without cutting corners, i think we can find a way to make sure the process is more efficient to look for duplication and try to route that out and that is going to be an important part of making sure these dollars do the most good economically, although i would point out, this is not the same kind of stimulus pattern we were talking about in 2009. we were looking for several projects, but also several worthy projects in that pipeline. >> to pivot quickly, there has
been problems discovered with the 737 max, dozens of them have been grounded. i am curious if you are still confident in the faa's decision to ground the jets. sec. buttigieg: my understanding is that this is different from any of those other issues, and that obviously, we need to make sure that there is full confidence before specific aircraft's return to the air and that is what the faa will be closely monitoring. >> many administration officials including one yesterday blame infrastructure in the concept of competition with china. why do that? why design and frame a policy in the context? sec. buttigieg: i think because it is really important to understand that american competitiveness happens in a context, and when you see other
countries, our allies, and strategic competitors doing more than we are, it challenges the fundamental idea of the american life is what it is partly because america is in so many of these aspects of our national life. america is not in first place and infrastructure. we are in 13th. when you have a strategic competitor like china investing sometimes multiples of what we are and forms of transportation, we have to make a decision about whether we are content to be left behind or whether we actually want to remain number one. for my dime, there is no good reason why we should settle for less, why we should be content -- it is nothing against chinese citizens, but i am not content that a chinese citizen cannot count on a dramatically better standard of train travel been the u.s. that is the tone that the president sets every day. >> is it partly also a messaging strategy to get more republican support? sec. buttigieg: i have heard a
lot of voices from across the aisle expressing concern about whether america is falling behind in any number of strategic and economic dimensions and again, a lot of that depends on what we are investing. this is nothing new. part of what made the interstate highway system so important was understanding that our national security and eisenhower era was well served by making sure that we had a more connected did economy and country. this is not the eisenhower era, but that principle that national security is at stake applies, especially when you consider today that one of the biggest threats to national security is the global security threat posed by climate change. >> have you personally spoken with senator manchin about this? sec. buttigieg: i am looking forward to speaking with them soon. >> next week? sec. buttigieg: we have a conversation in the works. >> in his proposal, it has been
25%. can the plan be successful with a 25% corporate tax rate? sec. buttigieg: maybe the flagship piece that people are talking about most is the rate, but there are other things alongside that in terms of what is going on with loopholes, the off shoring incentives, and i have not gotten a chance to see how he views those things adding up. those of the kinds of things i want to take up with him and get that have a good conversation, because for everyone who is on board, and by the way, i have yet to talk to anybody including conversations with republicans, who are against the idea of the biggest investment in infrastructure. most of the dialogue we are having is around how we are going to pay for it. we are really eager to hear alternative suggestions. >> have republicans giving you alternative suggestions that you believe are viable? sec. buttigieg: not in any detail, no.
>> you would be willing to lower the corporate tax rate in exchange -- like 20% is not what you are dead set on? sec. buttigieg: we heard the president say that this is going to be a process of negotiation, that there will be refinement as we go. i've not heard a proposal that i consider to be better than what the president put forward, but it is early in the legislative process. >> make it a good one. >> the l.a. times on the former high-speed chain question -- how about california high speed train, is that something that could be funded through the infrastructure bill? sec. buttigieg: potentially.
communities of different types can benefit from high-speed rail or even from raising the standards of what most other countries would consider regular speed rail. this is not grafted in a way that is targeting anyone area. this is about lifting our game as a country. >> does the administration support congestion charging in new york city, and will the administration do anything for drivers who will pay the premium? sec. buttigieg: this is a decision for the different parties that are involved. our response ability mostly has to do with the environmental assessment process that goes on, and we are certainly very interested to see that process unfold, and we think different solutions work differently, and that is not an example of something that is best designed here in washington, but obviously there is a real challenge with congestion there,
and real revenue opportunities as well. >> thank you. sec. buttigieg: i feel honored to be here. >> thank you. >> and thank you for -- sec. buttigieg: i was concerned when i saw him deputized as a backup easter bunny, but i am counting on you all to treat him well. >> thank you for joining us. all right. chris will always be the bunny in our eyes. [laughter] sec. psaki: a couple of items for you while we are wrapping up the week. as you know, the administration is admitted to congress that president biden's discretionary funding request for fiscal year 2022. to give you all a bit more from here, as congress prepares to make the annual preparations process, the discretionary
outlines a strategy for reinvesting in the foundations of our country's resilience and strength. the request which represents only one element of the administration's agenda includes major investments in k-12, medical research, housing, civil rights, and other priorities that are vital. later in the spring, we will release the president's full budget to which will overlap the crisis that we face in a fiscally and economically responsible way and that will include the number of polls you have seen him introduce that's of proposals you have seen him introduce -- include the number of proposals you have seen him introduce. our country is facing a number of crises at the same time. we are also inheriting a legacy of chronic underinvestment and priorities vital to our long-term success and ability to confront challenges before us,
so the president is focused on reversing this trend and reinvesting in the foundations of our strength, and this process provides another opportunity to do that, so the funding proposal is an indication of our priorities. you may have noticed another flag flying above the white house today. in keeping with the president and first lady's commitment to honor all those who serve, the president and first lady have restored the pow mia flag to its original location on top of the white house residence. in a true display of bipartisanship, three senators wrote to the president at the beginning of the administration requesting the pow mia flag flies high. this follows passage of a bipartisan legislation in 2019, led by those same senators, which requires the flag to be displayed whenever the american flag flies on federal buildings. today also happens to be
national former prisoner of war recognition day, a day when we remembered those who were in captivity and service to our nation and recognize those who awaited their return. two more items, one is the week ahead. the semiconductor summit. on monday afternoon following president biden's release -- on monday afternoon, national security advisor jake sullivan and nac director will host a virtual cal's -- virtual summit to discuss the american jobs plan as well as the strength of resilience of the american supply chain, something we discussed frequently. they will be joined by the secretary of commerce who has been one of the leading voices in the administration. we provided a list of to the pool of the attendees are companies that will be represented that you should all have, and if not, let us know. finally, for the week ahead, the president will of course
continue making the case in public and the critical need to pass the american jobs plan and make a investment in infrastructure, will meet with democratic members, and the need for a bold once in a generation investment to put millions of people to work. i expect we will provide that list on monday once attendees are confirmed. it will be bipartisan. as speaker pelosi's office announced early today, on tuesday, the president will pay his respects and a congressional tribute to officer william evans as he lies in honor in the capitol rotunda. later that day, he will meet with members of the congressional black caucus. on thursday, the president will meet with members of the asian-pacific caucus, and then on friday, the president will welcome the prime minister of japan. reflecting the importance of our
bilateral relationship, i expect they will take questions after that meeting. josh. josh: thanks. first, the discretionary spending proposal, trying to make investments in the country that the administration said could not be made because of the 2011 budget control act and cap on spending. that deal had to be reached with republicans. what gives you more confidence that an increase in discretionary spending can be reached with the days republicans than republicans a decade ago? sec. psaki: any budgetary proposal, including a discretionary proposal that is not a full budget, but the opportunity to outline the priorities of the existing administration. it is the reflection of the president's view that a number of these discretionary programs were underfunded over the last several years, and therefore prompted a plus up. if we are going to address a
range of issues where there is an agreement among republicans as well that we need to work together to support additional funding to address these various crises in our country. i will say we are at the beginning of our process, this is the beginning of a long journey, and it is meant to give discretionary guidance so that officials and staffers on the hill, the people that followed in the footsteps of shalonda young can get to work. we are looking forward to having those conversations. >> does the president have any thoughts on amazon workers in alabama against unionization? something that he encouraged them to take that to both? sec. psaki: the president has said whether to organize a union is their choice. there's a process for ensuring that there is an accurate count of the votes cast, so we can know what choice the workers have made. the president is going to wait for it to finish its process and
the clear a result to make further comment. but i will say, broadly, as you alluded in your question, we know it's difficult for workers to make the choice to form a union. that's why the president's american jobs plan includes the right of protecting the rights to organize act, giving workers the ability to organize and bargain collectively with employees. that's a fundamental priority for him, something he has fought for throughout his career. but we will wait for further comment. >> and north korea's leader says the country's economic growth is the worst since the 1990's. this debt creates additional security risks? are we under any obligation to deal with their humanitarian crisis? press sec. psaki: i would say no actions that we are taking is -- as related to sanctions are meant to be targeting the north korean people. they are in the conditions and circumstances they are in because of the actions of their leadership. we continue to work with international leaders and organizations to provide
assistance, something we believe is important and vital. even as we have issues with their nuclear aspirations. >> we looked at the pentagon budget and you are proposing a modest increase. is that enough to meet the priorities set out by the administration since you are facing increasingly aggressive china and russia with a threat to ukraine? sec. psaki: you are right, we spoke about those issues in our concerns with them. this is a proposal to give guidance to the hill. and hard-working budget staffers on the hill as they put together the 2020 to -- 2022 budgetary plans. the focus is meant to address the couple of issues over a period of time, including diversity and inclusion in the arms forces, fulfilling our commitment to military families,
part of it goes to pay increases, or that's what's proposed, right or ties in defense investments in climate resilience. we believe it provides robust funding for the military forces needed to deter war and ensure national security is grounded in the interim guidance. but, there will be a full budget later this spring proposed by the white house. >> china has been conducting military exercises around taiwan. how do you interpret these moves? are you concerned they might invade taiwan? sec. buttigieg: -- sec. psaki: first, let me say that we are not looking for confrontation with china. our focus and our relationship is one of competition. we have publicly and privately expressed growing concerns about china's aggression towards taiwan. china has taken increasingly coercive actions to undercut
democracy in taiwan. we have seen concerning increases in the taiwan strait which we believe is potentially destabilizing. we are watching that closely. i cannot make any other predictions. the department of defense and others would be in the lead on making those assessments. >> thank you. the president's commission on expanding the supreme court is out, i know he will wait for the results. what is the president's view of the calls for justice breyer to step down? sec. psaki: he believes that is the decision justice breyer will make when he decides it's no longer time to serve on the supreme court. >> is the group pushing for him to go back off? sec. psaki: i think i can just speak to the president's view of supreme court justices abilities to make his own decision. >> and outside of the inauguration, did he have any conversation with the supreme court justice? sec. psaki: not that i'm aware
of. i'm happy to check if there's anything we can read out. >> you are in an interesting phase where in the house and the senate, there is a single vote margin between the two parties. in essence, 1, 2, 3 members of your own party could upend the president's legislative agenda. how are you recalibrating to deal with this closer margin in both chambers as you try to get these images plans passed? sec. psaki: what an interesting time to be in washington. our focus has long been working with democrats and republicans. the close margins make that a necessity. when we're inviting, when he is inviting members here, he's inviting not just one wing of a party, not just one wing of even his own party. he wants to have the discussion
about how we can work together to address our nation's outdated infrastructure, and rebuilding our workforce for the future. from our vantage point and viewpoint, we have seen a number of republicans in the senate , i will give you more homework what you probably know it at the top of your head, who have supported infrastructure bills. who have supported the wra bills. who have supported legislations that are consistent. and as sec. buttigieg just conveyed, in a lot of discussions, most of the disagreement is about the size, something gets too small or too big. like goldilocks, we have those discussions, but also about the pay force. those are the conversations we will have. largely, the margins in washington don't change our
approach. the president was elected because he was committed to working with both parties. to address the crisis our country was facing. >> to follow up questions on the supreme court, president biden once said that in 1983 he press sec. psaki: a back machine. >> oh yes. he thought that court packing was a bad idea when fdr tried it. why now? press sec. psaki: the panel is big enough to take a number of steps, including weighing the pros and cons of that issue. but they will also be looking at the court's role in the constitutional system. the length of service and turnover of justices on the court, the membership and size of the court, the court case selection, rules, and practices pre-the makeup of the commission has progressives, conservatives, people will present different opinions and different points of views and there will be report at 180 days. >> and about immigration, the u.s. government is accordingly -- reportedly spending $50 million a week to shelter migrant children. that's $3.1 billion a year.
where's the money coming from? sec. psaki: as you may recall, the prior administration requested and received nearly $3 billion in supplemental funding from congress for the program back in 2019. that came after the previous administration made multiple transfers of hundreds of millions of dollars. our commitment is to ensuring hhs has the funds it needs now to safely and humanely care for children. which is resource intensive. we know that. there are 200 permanent shelters around the country and there are needs related to the social distancing, enhanced ventilation and testing that are additional needs given the time we are living. >> and given the additional need, is there concerned that these hhs shelters might be draining pandemic responses elsewhere? sec. psaki: that is not what our
concern is at all. we have funding for the pandemic response, but i am just conveying to you what we feel this cost is and why it is at the rate it is at this point. >> and texas governor greg abbott said he asked the biden demonstration to shut down the temporary shelter for migrant kids at the freeman coliseum in san antonio. he says he has information to -- gotten information that children there are being sexually assaulted. is that facility going to be shut down? sec. psaki: we take safety and the well-being of children in our care very seriously. hence our early conversation about the funding to keep them safe during the pandemic. his claims will be looked into and investigated by the department of health and human services. currently, we have no basis for his call to shut down this san antonio freeman coliseum as an intake site but we will take these allegations seriously and they will be investigated.
>> you said this week that you guys are trying to make the processing more efficient and effective and you are addressing this in a humane way that keeps these kids as safe as we possibly can. if these allegations are true, how is that consistent? sec. psaki: again, we are looking into the allegations and we take them seriously, and hence, we are looking into them and taken the very seriously. our focus remains on safety and well-being of children. so we are taking it very seriously. >> on the issue the supreme court, when president biden was a candidate, he said he wanted recommendations as to how to reform the court systems because "it is getting out of whack." is this commission not actually making recommendations? sec. psaki: they will do a report at 180 days. >> but it's not them action making recommendations to the president? sec. psaki: i'm sure he will take a look at the report that this diverse group of members is
thinking through and it will impact his thinking moving forward. >> but it will not explicitly say here's our recommendation for what we have studied? sec. psaki: it's meant to be a summary of discussions and findings. i don't know what it will look like and i will not get ahead of their process. >> lawmakers are being invited. takes the lawmakers that are being invited? sec. psaki: the white house. these decisions are made in coordination between the legislative affairs team and of course with the approval of the president. whenever we have the final list, this will be the first of what we envision as you can see by his schedule next week to be many meetings and many of them bipartisan as well. >> is important to have senator manchin be there? sec. psaki: i don't know if he will be there are not. we look forward to moving the
american jobs plan forward. >> my next question, with how much money the federal government has given johnson & johnson, has the president actually spoken with any of the executives at johnson & johnson, given these uneven numbers of doses coming in and how slow they have been to get an even, steady supply? sec. psaki: our covid coordinator and other members of our team are typically the appropriate points of contact. we always expected there to be up and down, their production. we of course, as you all know, they have taken steps and they have worked closely with hhs to work towards fda approval. that is up to the fda for the emerging facility, which will enhance their production capacity. we see this as our role here is to take steps we can from the federal government and along the way, to help ensure that we are
getting as much jay and jason polite to doses and out to states so that it can contribute to my recovery -- our recovery from the pandemic. we have always knew the therapy ups and downs on the road. sec. psaki: but i think -- >> it is far different understandably, but does the president feel that it rises to the level that he should make a phone call to someone at johnson & johnson? sec. psaki: he is confident in the role that the covid team plays and we have also been assured by johnson & johnson that they remain committed to meeting their contract of delivering 100 million doses by the end of may. >> two things. to follow up on caitlin's question, it's my understanding that the commission is actively decided not to make any recommendations for or against the issues they are examining.
whether that's term limits on justices, or expanding the size of the court. that does differ from what the president seems to say as a candidate. are you suggesting that he wants the commission to change that direction and come to him with specific recommendations? sec. psaki: i'm only suggesting that he put together -- he asked his team to put together this commission to reflect the diversity of viewpoints, and i am certain that when that report is released, that is in 180 days , it can officially begin that he -- that will impact his thinking moving forward. he wants a smart, legal experts, people who have been thinking about these issues for decades to have a discussion and a debate about it, and deliver him a report that we will again be delivering to the public at, and you can read once it is completed. >> on afghanistan, there are
reports about growing frustration about the presidents decision on the question of what to do by may 1. what do you say, what does the president say to his generals and the people that are dealing with the situation in afghanistan as to why we are now just weeks from this deadline and we still do not have an answer into which way this is going to go? sec. psaki: there was a report with unnamed sources, so we don't know those reports are, of course, but the president commitment is to bringing a responsible and to the conflict. we are moving our troops and that afghanistan could never again be, i haven that would threaten the united states and are any of our allies.
he wants to make that decision in close consultation with partners around the world, with the advice of his national security team, and do it in a way that we are protecting our national interest and the safety and secretive our troops. all the same time, there is diplomatic negotiations with the taliban. it is operationally challenging to get troops out by may 1. i certainly expect you will hear from him on what his decision is in advance of that period of time. >> we talk about responsible management of the situation, is it responsible to let a deadline like that come within a matter of days with the military not really knowing for sure what their postures is going to be? sec. psaki: i can assure you that the presidents approach is responsible and he is taking the advice, the consultations of members of his military leadership, members of his diplomatic leadership, and also
our partners and friends around the world into consideration as he is making his decision. his view is that is the responsible approach. >> i would not want friday to go by without asking -- sec. psaki: about the job? [laughter] >> the speech to congress, with the week ahead, did not seem to have that included in their for next week. sec. psaki: it will not be next week. >> do you have any -- nothing new to add? sec. psaki: whenever the date is finalized, the invitation would be issued from the speaker's office. >> part of the question about that, you are obviously now stacking up things that you and
the white house and the president need to sell to the american public. you have the jobs plan. now you have the budget. the president typically uses these moments of a speech to the congress and to the public as an opportunity to sell this the kind of make the pitch. are you depriving yourself of some opportunities to do that by delaying this? sec. psaki: i promise you, we will have something to sell in the speech. we will use it for that opportunity. >> my question is about the u.s. global response to the pandemic. we have given $4 billion to covax. the initiative, sharing with mexico, but we have heard from the administration that there is a kind of comprehensive and detailed strategy in terms of what the u.s. is doing to help the world recover from the pandemic, not just in terms of vaccine sharing, but also supporting finance mechanism are
manufacturing or what have you, and i know with the global covid response coordinator -- but when can we expect them to share this with us? sec. psaki: we are happy to invite her. she works out of the state department, so i suspect she would speak their if you are a first. colleague is over there covering. our approach is that the president remains committed to playing a constructive role in the global effort to defeat the virus. that includes contributing through covax. it includes lending doses to canada and mexico and it includes considering a range of requests coming in from around the world. but as we have seen, this is an unpredictable virus, his first priority is ensuring the american people are vaccinated. that means we need to plan for supplies so that when we know was most effective for kids that
we can plandaround the different things that come up as we have seen over the last week coming up with johnson & johnson that we have enough supply and capacity and done enough contingency planning. that's our first priority, but we will continue to work to play a constructive role. >> i understand that the a strategy is to be oversupplied, but what point should the administration consider pivoting from just focusing on domestic needs and responding to global need, particularly at a time when china and russia is increasing in terms of their vaccine diplomacy. sec. psaki: when we are confident in our supply at home , we will continue to share vaccine. >> you mentioned that the administration is concerned about russia's increased military presence on the border of ukraine. can you confirm reporting that the administration is considering sending warships as
show of support to ukraine? >> i would point you to dod for military assets. >> on the climate side, -- on the china side, i think we are now two weeks away and i asked a couple of weeks ago if there was any plan to have a bilateral with the chinese president on the side of it. and were any bilateral's plane -- planned on the sidelines to conduct business outside of the overall climate summit taking place? sec. psaki: great question. we are still figuring out what the additional components of the format will look like. we've invited about 40 leaders from around the world, so there is a lot of scheduling to be done. i expect we will not have a final update on that until we get to be within days of the summit. >> two questions. on ukraine, do you have a
response on the past election meddling -- is there any concern that the new challenges from russia are tying up now, and the administration, is it ready for that and as an example, does the administration have a response with some of those troops into ukraine. if you do have a response ready to go, have you communicated to the kremlin? sec. psaki: of the actions that have already been taken that we have had ongoing reviews about, we have been clear, but i will reiterate that there will be consequences. some unseen, and some seen. i know you are tired of hearing that, but hopefully, soon. as it relates to the escalating russian aggressions, including russia's troop movements on
ukraine's borders, we are in close consultation and working with partners and allies in the region to assess and share intelligence and determine what's happening and what can be done about it. i am not going to get ahead of that internal diplomatic process. >> have you made that call to the kremlin to say, if you do this, this is what is going to happen? sec. psaki: i would not say that that is exactly how it goes down, but we communicate at many levels. there was a call done at the defense secretary level last week with the russians. also call done by our secretary of state. we communicate at many levels that are far below that. and the president spoke with the president of ukraine just last friday. so there is ongoing diplomatic
engagement between us and the number of countries in the region, including russia and ukraine and our partners and allies who share a number of our concerns about the aggression of russian movement on the border. >> on a scale of one to 10 -- sec. psaki: i love yes and no questions. go ahead. >> president, bipartisan guy, getting one or more republicans to support -- because the public supports with the president is doing. sec. psaki: we don't say it does not matter, it is just an impasse. and there's a question that i hope your colleagues on the hill asked a number of republicans which is, why would they oppose investment in our nation's infrastructure when the vast majority of the american public thinks it's imperative we do? but secretary just said, for -- the disagreement is not about
the need to modernize our infrastructure. it's about the size and paying for it and we understand there will be compromise and debate. that's part of the process. >> is it a little dangerous to always be fighting the pulse? sec. psaki: do you not think the american people's views are important as per elected officials on the hill? >> sure. sec. psaki: there's been pretty consistent support for infrastructure and it is an important point. we feel like important because when we talk about bipartisanship we're talking about how we meet the needs of the american people. republicans, independents, democrats -- rebuilding bridges is not a democratic idea. ensuring kids have access to clean water is not a democratic idea. broadband access probably actually impacts more rural areas that might be leaning more republican than democratic if you look at it, the maps across the country. our point is that this is addressing not a political issue, but a vital need in the
country that impacts all of the american people. i don't even know what the rating numbers are about anymore. >> has the president been in touch with buckingham palace and about the death of prince philip, and does he have any plans to attend the funeral? sec. psaki: he has not been in touch directly himself, no. we put out a statement in his and the first lady's name earlier today. i am not aware of any plans at this time. >> to what numbers does the white house, the president, whatever the timing might have been involved in vetting the contents of the president's book? sec. psaki: we were not, it was a book that he wrote himself come the president and the first lady put out a statement making clear in february when the book was announced that they are
deeply supportive of their son sharing his account about his painful experiences with the addiction, which is exactly what the book does, and they are hopeful that it can help millions of people who have struggled with the same challenges. >> and the covid-19 restrictions, allison harris of news nation shows almost half of duty troops will not get vaccinated with covid-19. sec. psaki: because of their hesitation? >> yes, the present members of congress have asked the president to waive informed consent to the troops would be mandatorily vaccinated. is that something president is considering? sec. psaki: i think he would refer to the advice and the view on the secretary of defense i would point to him. >> data this week of
unaccompanied migrant children at the border has increased 100% from february to march, and if these numbers continue to rise at their point that the admitted with considerable reversing or modifying the policy of accepting unaccompanied migrants ? sec. psaki: would we no longer accept children who are under 18? i would say, the reason for accepting these children is that we feel that it is not the humane step to send these kids back on their treacherous journey. our focus is on addressing the needs, opening up shelters, ensuring there is access to health and educational resources , expediting processing at the border, and those are the steps that we feel are most effective from a policy standpoint at this time. >> one more question. the president supports the pro act, but how does he expect it
to get through congress? sec. psaki: i did something that he strongly supports and is consistent with his advocacy for the ability and rights of workers to organize. i don't have anything on the legislative strategy and what that will look like. moving forward, i would certain point you to the hill on that. >> i want to ask you about the case of a 10-year-old boy who had a video going viral when he was seen walking the desert by himself, he was dropped off by the group he was with. we now know that this child had been deported with his mother, his mother was kidnapped in mexico and he was able to free himself with a family member. some questions for you. why does the u.s. government continue to deport these people back to mexico to dangerous situation and not to their countries of origin? the second question, the president back in october 2020
in a conversation on univision, said that he would grant deportation moratoriums to nicaraguans, cubans, and venezuelans -- not any gerlach update on that and why that has not happened? >> i do not have an update. deportation is handled on a case-by-case basis. >> it is not justly, all of the families are being sent back. do you know why? >> we typically do not speak about each case due to privacy concerns -- >> the president did not want to
meet with mr. studio, and what do you make of that? >> you are right, when he was in also -- el salvador, he did not meet with the president. but he did meet with others, so we felt it was a construct of trip. we will continue our strong dialogue from here. >> will the president be involved -- >> he had a number of other constructive meetings which we feel are a strong basis moving forward.
and of assessment and changes in behavior, i believe that is up to you to assess. we do not have a new assessment from here. we are approaching this with patients. we are not in a hurry. we are approaching the relationship from a position of strength. >> [indiscernible] >> i suspect we will have statements and a press conference as well.
there will be consequences, some scene and some scene, there will be more on that soon. >> i'm wondering if you have a topline number of all of the credit from the climate plan, and what role that might play in selling the plan? >> the plan, we feel, reflects on the president view -- present -- president's view. he wants to take every opportunity he can to address
that. the american jobs plan include president biden's goal -- revolutionizing electric vehicle manufacturing, mobilizing the next generation of conservation workers. this will not be the totality of in the climate crisis, but one that we have had a positive response from. >> do you have any idea of when those top line numbers will be forced coming? as in the actual dollar figures.
>> we did print out a fact sheet, if it is not in their, you will have more specifics. what we are going to start doing is taking questions from a regional reporter that is not here in washington. thank you for reminding me. how can we help you, what question do you have for us today. >> the cdc discussed the blocks
>> not specific to alaska, but the cruise industry in general, we want to ensure we are reopening capacity in a safe manner as quickly as we can. we have been working with senator murkowski and alaskan officials on engaging canada and we are working with your senators to address. we realize the importance of the cruise industry for alaska. thank you guys, happy friday. have a great weekend.
>> we are standing by for live coverage. congressman matt gaetz is scheduled to speak in florida. the house ethics committee announced today they are opening and invest nation into the congressman. among the alleged violations are sexual misconduct, sharing appropriate images in the capital, and acceptance of bribes. he has denied the allegations and has suggested he is the victim of an extortion plot.