Skip to main content

tv   White House Holds Briefing with Reporters  CSPAN  April 12, 2021 12:23pm-12:57pm EDT

12:23 pm
21% to 28%, which as not as high as it was, 35%, but higher than during the trump era tax rate. the "new york times" put together a thing -- republicans and others like the caller are saying -- jen: happy monday. i know we have a busy monday afternoon so we will try to get the resume questions as we can get through. i've got two items at the top -- this morning, the white house, we released 50 state-by-state fact sheets in addition to fact sheets for the district of columbia and puerto rico for passing the american jobs plan so we can invest in infrastructure and grow our economy. on the screen behind me, you will see some of the needs outlined and the tangible difference the jobs plan will
12:24 pm
make in improving the lives of americans. for a few highlights here -- from 2010 to 2020, florida has experienced 20 extreme weather events costing the state up to 100 billion dollars in damages. the president is calling for $50 billion to improve our infrastructure. many states across the country have had weather events, but this is just one of the examples. in michigan, there are more than 1200 bridges and 7300 miles of highway import condition. that's clearly an area that could benefit from funding. in south dakota, 13% of south dakota ends do not have access to acceptable broadband speed. that something we would like to improve. there's $100 billion for universal, reliable, high-speed coverage to every family. in nevada, 243,000 renters spend
12:25 pm
a big portion of their income on rent. these are state-by-state, you should all have them, but they identify the needs in the states and how this package could be of benefit. there are different types of funding for infrastructure that would be worked through with congress as the discussions proceed. finally, i want to highlight a significant win for american workers in the auto industry over the weekend. late saturday night, sunday morning, a key part of the president told back better plan includes a significant number of electric vehicles and batteries built here in america. we need a better battery supply chain so we can meet the growing global demand for these components. the settlement we announced over the weekend, that was announced by usg and others and lga is a positive step that builds
12:26 pm
reliability as suppliers to the u.s. auto industry. great news for many people in the country, including the people of georgia and other states that are impacted a great deal by this issue. with that, alex, kick us off. reporter: i want to ask about the attack in iran. [indiscernible] has there been any effort to reach out to intermediaries and is it clear the u.s. was involved in the attack? jen: we have received reports of the incident. the u.s. was not involved in any manner. we have nothing to add on speculation about the causes or impact. i will say on your first question, we are focused on the discussions that we expect to proceed this wednesday in vienna , the diplomatic discussions that have been taking place and took place last week, we expect
12:27 pm
them to be difficult on long. we have not been given any information about a change in participation to these discussions. reporter: are there any actions the federal government can take to address the shortage or is this they kind of thing you need more funding for? [indiscernible] jen: we certainly do. there are a number of steps we can take as a federal government. we need a holistic, long-term, across government approach. in the near term, we are engaging with industry as evidenced by the meeting taking place later this afternoon as well as our international partners to make sure american companies are operating on an even playing field. even before this meeting today, we proposed major investments. that's something we feel the federal government could also
12:28 pm
do. we have called on congress to invest $50 billion in semiconductor manufacture and research. we have called for additional funding and -- like an investment of $50 billion in the national science foundation which would create -- to help increase our competitiveness at home. our view is this is something where we need to work closely with industry. there is agreement on this issue, being one impacting industries across the country and also allies and partners to prevent this shortage from happening in the future. reporter: to follow up on the chip shortage and a short-term solution, any conversations with chip manufacturers like samsung to prioritize u.s. automakers or
12:29 pm
any thoughts on getting rid of regulations that would help supplies for automakers? any sense of what you can do now? jen: one of the reasons the president is stopping by this meeting is to hear directly from companies about the impact, what would help the most through this time and this shortage that as you have reported on, has impacted a range of industries across the country. this is not a meeting where we expect a decision or announcement, but part of our ongoing engagement and discussion about how to address this issue over the long-term, but also over the short term. reporter: a couple of questions on immigration. we understand there was an agreement with mexico and guatemala to place more troops at the border. we understand the vice president was able to secure commitments, but when were these agreements
12:30 pm
struck and if you could give us any sense of what this would entail. jen: there have been a series of bilateral discussions between our leaders with mexico, guatemala and honduras. the commitment come as you mention, to increase border security. mexico made the decision to maintain 10,000 troops at the southern border, resulting in twice as many daily migrants interdiction. what a mullah surged 1500 police and military personnel to the southern border with honduras and have checkpoints along the migratory route. honduras does first military. these discussions happen at several levels and, as you know, we have an envoy who has discussions with the region. we have roberta jacobson to help have these discussions with the region about what steps can be
12:31 pm
taken to help reduce the number of migrants coming to the u.s.-mexico border. reporter: were these struck recently, in the past few weeks? jen: i think that's fair to say, but often these discussions are ongoing and take place at several levels of the government both here and within these countries. reporter: is there a plan to apprehend these migrants trying to cross the border question mark is the plan to stop them there? how would this work? jen: you would have to speak with these countries about how they would be implementing. the objective is to make it more difficult to make the journey and make crossing the borders were difficult. reporter: on minnesota and another officer-involved shooting in the death of an african american man. are there any resources from the federal government being offered
12:32 pm
and this comes at a time when the derek chauvin trail is progressing. is there a plan for when the trail reaches that conclusion, whatever the outcome may be? the president had promised a police commission that dr. rice said would not go forward at this time. it seems officer involved interactions are intensely important at the moment. but minnesota, if you could address that quickly. jen: let me first say we are incredibly saddened to hear about the loss of life at the hands of law enforcement in minnesota yesterday. the president has been briefed. he has a few words he will share at the top of the semi conductor event that will be starting shortly. we are also in touch with the governor and mayor, in touch
12:33 pm
with local law enforcement authorities as well. i would say it's a reminder of the pain, anger, trauma and exhaustion many communities across the country have felt avenue we had -- as we have seen these incidents occur within just a few miles of where the tragic events happen just a year ago. in terms of the police commission, we have been in close contact over the course of several months, back to the transition, with civil rights activists, law enforcement authorities about what would be most effective moving forward. as dr. rice conveyed or the statement we put out conveyed, we should make a decision in coordination at the best path forward is to pass the george floyd policing act. that has a great deal of the contents of the policy changes
12:34 pm
of the necessary reforms we would all like to see in place. that was a collective decision and that is where our focus will be. reporter: is this a delay or do you you expect it to not go forward? jen: we expect the focus to be on moving the legislation forward and not the policing commission. reporter: you mentioned the focus is on passing the george floyd policing act. we have not seen a big push, at least not publicly from this administration. what kind of steps are being taken to pressure congress and should we expect this to rise on the list of priorities? jen: we do. i would say the president was addressing racial equity, ensuring we are putting in place long-overdue reforms, real change is a priority for him. it is something he looks forward to continuing to discuss with members of congress. he believes there is a path forward, that this legislation
12:35 pm
offers that path forward and he will use the power of his presidency to move it forward. reporter: [indiscernible] did they put forth other recommendations while you try to pressure congress and hope the senate will act on it? jen: we are in very close touch with them. i should say more specifically we have been in touch with a range of groups, including the naacp legal defense fund, the leadership conference and leading experts. the strong consensus from all these groups is the work should be focused on trying to pass the george floyd act and the commission would not be the most constructive way to deliver on our top priorities. we are working together collectively to do just that. there are steps that i will work in conjunction to take as they are possible and some of them we signed through executive orders and we will continue to commune kate with these groups.
12:36 pm
-- communicate with these groups. reporter: what is your message to the congressional republicans who have expressed skepticism about whether the white house is interested in negotiation? jen: you don't use the president's time multiple times over, including bipartisan meetings we've already had or the meeting today if you do not want to authentically hear from the members attending about their ideas, about how to move forward this package in a bipartisan manner. reporter: would they be willing to negotiate on the scope and the price tag? jen: he absolutely is. his objective is to find a way forward where we can monitor from -- modernize our nations infrastructure to compete with china. he has proposed a way to pay for it, which is what he thinks is a responsible thing to do and he will still come to the table with ideas. reporter: on march 18, you said there was a stockpile of
12:37 pm
astrazeneca vaccines. what is the current number [indiscernible] jen: i don't have anything to predict in terms of sharing the stockpiles at this point. i can assure you we don't want the stockpile to expire and we don't have control over the fda approval process. jen: do you have any idea when the stockpile would expire? reporter: i'm happy to check and astrazeneca could share more details publicly. jen: [indiscernible] -- reporter: [indiscernible] jen: i think that's a question about their contract. we have had this discussion for. there is an obligation to
12:38 pm
deliver on the commitments made in the contract with the u.s. government when the defense production act has been invoked. i would send you to the companies for that question. jen: why did she make the decision to step down from that post and can you say if cindy mccain is being considered for the ambassador post? reporter: it was always ambassador jacobson's position to stay for about 100 days. she's been serving in a wide variety of roles for decades. she's retiring and has certainly paid her time to do and that was her intention was to stay for a time. we also announced the naming of an envoy who had played a prominent role in the western hemisphere in the past for the u.s. government. the president has asked the vice
12:39 pm
president to play an elevated role in engagement and negotiations with the northern tranquil, hence our discussion about her role there and the path forward there. -- northern triangle. we are happy to have had the expertise of ambassador jacobson for as long as we have there's an ongoing process and i know there's a lot of eagerness in learning more. the president has not made the decisions about the vast majority of his ambassadorial nominations. reporter: president biden has made very clear that his top priorities for the infrastructure plan is to create jobs and stimulate the economy. jerome powell says economic forecasters already see this happening. i wonder if the optimism level changes the presidents priority in the plan at all and offers more wiggle room for negotiation in certain areas? jen: we don't need as many jobs?
12:40 pm
reporter: if the goal of the plan is to create jobs and stimulate the economy, they say that's already happening. if you want to scale back on some of the items because we are already seeing growth? jen: i regularly watch 60 minutes, but i did not see the whole episode and don't have the context of his remarks, but part of what economists feel is we are still behind, that we still need to do more because if you look at our last jobs report, we were are still about a port -- about 8.4 million jobs in the red that we need to create, americans that we need to put back to work. there are still parts of the american population with high levels of unemployment among african americans, latino americans, asian americans that we need to address. this is a jobs package, hence
12:41 pm
the american jobs plan, but what it also helps do is modernize, invest in our nations infrastructure in a way that will help us compete in the long term and help us have jobs for the future. there are many objectives of this package, but certainly we feel there's more work to be done to put more americans back to work and we are not in the clear on that front. reporter: on the state-by-state fact sheet you released this morning, could you share how that process happen, including who was involved putting together the state-by-state report and what the metrics were to assign that for each state? jen: it was done by a collection of sort and brilliant people on our economic team that you would not necessarily identify on the streets, but they work to identify the needs are in the states. i don't know i have the exact process to outline for you. reporter: did they work with
12:42 pm
state officials and local departments to decide what each state needs? jen: i'm happy to check and see if there's more about the process we can share. reporter: you talk about paying for the infrastructure bill. the president wants to raise the corporate tax rate to do that -- is that open to negotiation? jen: it is all open to negotiation, but having corporations pay their fair share, raising the rate to a rate that is still lower than it has been aside from a few years since world war ii, the president feels it is an entirely reasonable, appropriate, effective way to pay for this package. there are other proposals that have been put out there, including user fees. the president doesn't feel we should pay for this package on the backs of the american people, but he's eager to hear ideas from democrats and republicans. reporter: senator john cornyn
12:43 pm
said they were largely scripted and question whether he was really in charge. does the white house have any reaction to that? jen: i can confirm the president does not spend his time tweeting conspiracy theories and spends his time working on behalf of the american people. reporter: to piggyback on the corporate tax rate, senator manchin said he would only raise it to 25%, that is his line in the sand. what is the white house response to that and has the president or secretary buttigieg spoken to him about that? jen: we are in touch with a range of officials and members of congress and there have been dozens of meetings and briefings. i don't have a specific readout, but we are encouraged to hear senator manchin is open to raising the corporate tax rate as a means of potentially paying for a historic and been spent --
12:44 pm
historic investment in our nations infrastructure and creating jobs. the president is happy to ideas about how this plan and package should be paid for. his primary focus is on creating jobs, on helping put back to work the millions of men and women who don't have college degrees, on evening the playing field, doing what we can to deal with china over the long-term. there are disagreements about have -- about how to pay for it and we are happy to discuss that. reporter: there seems to be a buildup of russian forces on the order with ukraine. what is the president's plan? jen: we are concerned and we have been watching it over the course of the weekend about the increasing oppression of russian forces on the border. secretary blinken and secretary often are in brussels meeting with their nato partners and
12:45 pm
this will be a topic of discussion and we main -- we remain in touch with ukrainian officials at a range of levels. reporter: on police reform again -- you mentioned the president is meeting [indiscernible] what exactly will they be discussing? jen: the primary purpose is to discuss the american jobs plan and how to move forward. as is always the case, there will be a range of topics we expect to discuss during the meeting. 10 more minutes. alex is so responsible for keeping track. go ahead. reporter: when can we expect to see the president announced the american family plan? also, the expanded child tax care -- child tax credit
12:46 pm
permanent? jen: the president believes there is a huge benefit to the child tax credit. that is why he put it in his american rescue plan, because he feels it is vital to help get the 2 million women who are out of work back to work, hopefully back into the workforce. we will hear more in the coming weeks but i don't have an exact data for you yet. reporter: [indiscernible] jen: i don't have anything more to preview for you, just to reiterate the president believes the child tax credit is a way to help american families, especially although working moms out there trying to make ends meet all stop -- to make ends meet. reporter: i feel like it was a month ago now -- the new york times did a story that
12:47 pm
mississippi was having a hard time -- it's not just mississippi, it's ohio, oklahoma, they are at 34% vaccination rate. i know we talked a little bit about this before, but has the white house been in touch of these governors to see what they can do now? jen: there are a number of steps we have taken in recent weeks, including launching the community core, our program to provide messages into the hands of local messengers. we are working with more than 4000 organizations that have signed up so far across the country, including in a number of the states you mention. we are also investing $3 billion to states and community-based organizations to strengthen confidence in the vaccine and the hardest hit communities.
12:48 pm
people think of that often as black and brown communities, but it's not. it's conservative communities, white evangelicals, a range of communities across the country. what has been found to be most effective is to work with these local organizations, faith-based organizations, civic leaders and others who can get this message deeply in communities. we have had a number of members of our covid team from dr. fauci and dr. collins participate in a range of interviews. dr. collins participate in the 700 club. we are looking to psa's on the deadliest catch, we are working with nascar and a number of creative ways to get directly connected to white conservative communities. we may not be the best messenger, but we are trying to meet people where we are and empower local organizations.
12:49 pm
reporter: [indiscernible] jen: the states are going to have their own implementation plans and we work with them to advise how to distribute the vaccines as equitably as possible and as effectively and efficiently. no state is 100% vaccinated, as we know. our ferc is -- our focus has been working on getting them to the communities that are hardest hit. reporter: [indiscernible] jen: i don't have an update on the signing of the paperwork. reporter: the reason the white
12:50 pm
house has decided against surging vaccines in michigan? [indiscernible] reporter: i think it's important to understand how we have approached vaccine distribution from the beginning. it is done with equity in mind, it is done with the state adult population in mind. we don't pick by our friends, we don't pick through a political prism, we do what is most fair and equitable around the country. we made an announcement during the transition that we were not going to hold onto a big supply. we distribute and get the supply out as quickly as possible. that's why our focus is on working with states like michigan to surge testing, surge tracing, surge the distribution of therapeutics, areas where we have the ability to provide additional help and resources. but we are not in a place, nor will we be to take supply from one state and give it to
12:51 pm
another. in -- reporter: a follow-up on the question about vaccines. some americans who are skeptical about this administration, they see people in the cabinet appear to wear masks around each other [indiscernible] do you think that is having a negative effect at all? jen: people not taking the vaccine? reporter: people who are skeptical of the vaccine and don't trust the biden administration. jen: we realize we are not always the best messenger. we know president biden and vice president harris may not be the right voices in a range of communities across the country. we believe part of our objective is to model public health guidelines and that means
12:52 pm
continuing to wear masks, continuing to hand wash, social distance, because there is still ongoing research on what is most effective and how to prevent the pandemic traveling further. i'm not sure i'm understanding your question. reporter: how do you strike the balance which can being a model and contributing to a sense of hopelessness among people who are skeptical and feeling like getting it would not make a difference in their life? jen: a big part of what we are trying to do is provide accurate information about what getting a vaccination will enable the american people to do. hence the president gave a prime time address when he said when the vaccine is available, get it and we can work on having back yard barbecues. the cdc has put out guidance that says if you are vaccinated, if your neighbors are vaccinated, you can have dinner
12:53 pm
inside together. it's a pandemic, we don't think it's easy, it has required a lot of sacrifice, but we are trying to provide accurate public health-based guidance on what people can do once they have taken the vaccine. reporter: john kerry's potential visit -- what is president biden's expectation of that? jen: of john kerry's visit? he will be focused on discussing climate and how we can work with leaders around the region to get control of the climate crisis, but i would send you to the state department because that is where he works. reporter: according to south korean media, industry watchers say following this white house
12:54 pm
meeting, samsung may be forced to make a decision sooner for the production line of its chips given the shortage of such chips in the united states. jen: we will put out a readout after the meeting, but the purpose is to consult with these business leaders about how we can help address the shortage. reporter: on iran, [indiscernible] revenge against israel for the attack on its nuclear facility. how concerned is the white house that the actions of an ally may be derailing efforts to get iran back into compliance? jen: i think i answered a version of this question earlier. we have seen the reports, we
12:55 pm
don't have any thing more to speak to as to the causes or who is responsible. our focus is on the diplomatic path forward. we have not been given any indication that attendance of the discussion that will proceed on wednesday has changed. that's where our focus is. reporter: is there concern the actions of an ally may be derailing? jen: i have answered that a couple of times. the -- reporter: the secretary of state have said there would be consequences [indiscernible] at the border. can you get a sense of what the range of options are and at what level does this escalation require president biden to reach out to latin america? jen: what we have long said is there will be some consequences that are seen in some that are unseen. i'm not going to give you a menu of the options. when we are ready to announce
12:56 pm
them, we will share the details with all of you. reporter: very quickly on immigration. with regard to the militarization of the border in central america, did the white house, is the white house concerned given the record number of children that have been making this track that they are at greater risk given that these are soldiers and not daycare workers? jen: the goal is to deter the journey. that's why discussions with these countries involve increasing law enforcement at the border. those are your words -- not mine. we work to increase law enforcement at the border to deter the travel, which is a treacherous journey. thank you so much. i


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on