President Joe Biden delivers remarks on American manufacturing and is expected to sign an executive order strengthening former President Trump’s order for government contracts to use U.S. made products.
The order reportedly increases the percentage of a product that must be manufactured in the United States for it to qualify for federal procurement.
The president is also expected to take questions from the White House pool for the first time since entering the White House.
Notes from the Question and Answer Session
First, it’s odd for a president to have a flipbook to answer questions. Biden had one on the podium during the Q&A session. Press secretaries and spokespeople use them to make sure they stay on-message. The president is the creator and owner of the message – usually.
Q (From AP): Do you believe that teachers should return to school now?
Biden: Rambling answer talking about air systems, plastic sheets and sanitizing. Never answered the actual question.
[looks through flipbook before next question]
Q (From Reuters): Are you considering sanctions on Russia due to treatment of Navalny and will Putin’s actions delay the START treaty negotiations.
Biden: [Re-consults flipbook before answering] Brings up the Solar Winds hacking attacks, Alexei Navalny, and disputed reports of Russian bounties on American troops in Afghanistan to say that he’s asked agencies to “do a thorough read” for him on each of the issues and he will not hesitate to raise those issues with Russia.
Q (unidentified): How long will you wait for bi-partisanship before resorting to the nuclear option (reconciliation) to pass the $1.9 trillion coronavirus +progressive agenda bill?
Biden: “The decision to use reconciliation will depend on how these negotiations go.” He also said that he expects negotiations to carry on for at least a couple of weeks.
Q (Washington Post): Can you reflect on what you see as unity?
Biden: “Eliminate the vitriol.” “Reflect on what the majority of the American people think needs to be done to make their lives better.”
Q (Josh from [unintelligible]): Is it more important to get something passed quickly or to do so with more bi-partisan support? And, when will any American who wants to get vaccinated be able to do so?
Biden: Time is of the essence. I’m reluctant to cherry-pick and take out one or two items. The issues go hand-in-glove.
– “I’m quite confident we will be in a position within the next 3 weeks or so to be vaccinating people at the range of a million a day.” [The U.S. was already doing so before the inauguration].
– “I think it will be this Spring,” Biden responded when re-asked when he thought anyone that wants to could get vaccinated and by Summer approaching herd immunity.
Q (Fox News): You said you think we’ll be doing 1 million vaccinations per day in 3 weeks … [gets cut off]
Biden: No no. I misspoke. I think we’ll be there before that.
Live Stream of Remarks and Signing
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