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tv   White House Press Secretary Holds Briefing  CSPAN  October 4, 2021 2:38pm-3:31pm EDT

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line to create a lot of new jobs. what obstacles do you see other businesses having to doing the type of partnership work you are talking about? especially small and medium-size businesses, and how do we scale up from that dramatically? >> thank you for the question, senator. it is the most important question is is this just a nice program, or going to change our country? in manufacturing, you go to the root of the problem and saw that there as opposed to in the warehouse. >> you can watch the rest of the program on our website. we take you to the white house for the press secretary briefing with jen psaki. sec. psaki: within 53 days, were able to get to over 95% of its staff vaccinated. we saw jetblue, alaska and american airlines step up with
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their own requirements. these actions represent a significant share of our nation air travel. i wanted to note that the usda announcement today, sec. vilsack spoke about our efforts to address competition a few weeks ago. talked about how the pandemic revealed vulnerabilities in our food system, including a consolidation in processing capacity. , leading to the increase in prices as people go to the grocery store and try to buy other products to feed their families. we know farmers are losing money. consumers are paying more. we need more competition, and we
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can do that i helping small and midsized farmers. the more processing capacity we have, the more competition there is for farmers. consumers will get fair prices, too. the department of agriculture is announcing the food chain supply guarantee program, using rescue funds to leverage millions in loan guarantees to expand capacity and address bottlenecks in supply more broadly. today's announcement adds a new commitment to the $500 million previously announced to support processing capacity. welcome back. do you have a rotation? go ahead. reporter: senator manchin says he wants to see the hyde amendment in the reconciliation
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bill. others are opposed to that. where does the president stand on including the hyde amendment? sec. psaki: the president opposes the hyde amendment. that has not changed. reporter: the pandora papers, there's a lot to absorb, but the main thing is the filtering of assets by the world's most powerful, protecting it in secrecy, what we've seen overseas and now in the united states -- what does the administration what to do about addressing this matter? should states be allowed to set these financial regulations that make some states, including delaware and other states, particularly attractive? sec. psaki: broadly speaking,
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the president is committed to bringing additional transparency to the u.s. and international financial systems. you can see that in policies he has supported over the course of his presidency. in june, he issued a memorandum saying that fighting corruption was in the national security interest. we have elevated efforts to curb illicit transactions at home and abroad. as necessary, identifying the need for new reforms. he's pledged to work with allies. it is something we've seen.
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the last thing i would say, and you may have follow-ups -- if you look at the president's proposals, he has been clear he wants to make the tax system more fair. reporter:reporter: one other thing. opec said it will add 400,000 barrels per day in production. is this an obstacle for recovery, and should opec be pumping sec. psaki: more? sec. psaki:the united states is not a member of opec. while we do communicate with our international partners who are members of opec and convey as we did a few months ago our urging to find a compromise solution to allow production increases to move forward, as they did, i
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would note as it relates to gas prices, but we are seeing in some parts of the country is gasoline prices are naturally picking up. while we are not a member of opec, we are taking a number of steps to protect against rising prices here within the purview of what we have, and the department of transportation amended how many hours a truck driver can drive, as well as
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gasoline and other types of fuel building materials in an effort to ensure this was not having an impact. back in august, brian deese sent a letter to the ftc, asking the ftc to use its available tools to monitor the gasoline market. she responded and said she would look into it. reporter: was there any concrete movement or progress in the negotiations with senators mansion and cinema this weekend, -- manchin and sinema this weekend, and what can you tell us about it? sec. psaki: the president will have a meeting with progressive house members this afternoon in order to have a discussion about the path forward this afternoon, including the recognition that
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this package is going to be smaller than originally proposed, and what he wants to hear from them is what their priorities are, what their bottom lines are, so he can print -- he can play a productive role. i suspect he will have a virtual meeting with members who consider themselves more moderate. we've been in touch or have stayed in touch with staff and a range of members over the course of the weekend as we work to continue to make progress, but i don't have any specific updates. reporter: how long do you plan to give negotiations with manc hin and sinema? sec. psaki: our objective is getting this done and delivering for the american people, and we are coined to continue to press forward until we get it done. it requires senator manchin and senator sinema supporting a path forward. it also requires agreement on
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what a package would look like. the president is going to work with members across the democratic caucus. reporter: i assume you saw what the facebook whistleblower had to say last night. do these revelations change the way the white house thinks about regulating facebook and other social media giants? sec. psaki: as we saw, the revelations that came out, in our view, this is the latest in a range of revelations about social media platforms that make clear self-regulation is not working. that has long been the president's view. they validate a significant concern that the president and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed about how social media giants operate and the power they have amassed. obviously, the whistleblower came forward last night in the report.
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they are hardly isolated incidents. our effort is going to be to continue to support fundamental reforms, efforts to address these issues. that would be up to the purview of congress. reporter: we've got the president of united states on our site. is that how the present views it? sec. psaki: he's on the side of the american people, and he will continue to press forward with the infrastructure package and reconciliation package. reporter: does he see senators manchin and sinema as the obstacles? sec. psaki: as he stated earlier today, you all know that the majority of members support moving forward with a bold and
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ambitious agenda that will fundamentally make us more competitive in the world, help us rebuild our roads and bridges, give the american people more breathing room. reporter: regarding the debt ceiling, he can't guarantee that the u.s. won't breach the debt ceiling -- given the grave consequences outlined, can you elaborate on what you were saying in terms of what the american people should be preparing for? does he see this as potentially inevitable? sec. psaki: he also said in the same set of remarks or comments he couldn't imagine it going to that point. congress has raised the debt limit 80 times. they've done it in a bipartisan fashion. it is imperative we move forward given the impact this could have
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on the american people. there is a great deal of retirement savings, salaries for ri for americans who are goingat to be waiting at home, watching how this might impact them. the moment we are in is, despite the fact that under the last administration nearly $8 trillion in bills was compiled -- i think i have a chart here to give you a visual -- despite $8 trillion in bills, 600 $60 billion during the the biden administration, so what senator mcconnell is failing to do is paying the debts he rung up under his leadership and when trump was president. the debt limit is about paying bills we already spent. it is not about initiatives we are talking about now.
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this tells you where those costs came from. reporter: the president said he intended to speak to senator mcconnell. have they had that conversation, and will it be face-to-face? sec. psaki: what the president was conveying his that he is open to speaking with senator mcconnell. that should be the role of any president, to work to address what could be an economic catastrophe for the american public. they have not talked yet. i don't know when it will be scheduled, but this is not a negotiation. we know it needs to happen. what is happening in the senate is democrats have proposed that they would do all the votes to raise the debt limit. they are happy to be the adults in the room. they are not asking republicans to vote for it. we know they are unwilling. they are blocking the effort by democrats to raise the debt limit themselves. it is clear what needs to happen.
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that is the fastest, the simplest, the cleanest, the least risky way to get this done, and that is what the president would convey. reporter: the president has known senator mcconnell for a long time. he also knows he is not someone who generally changes his mind or vows to put pressure like this. if republicans do not give honor this, what is the president's recommendation to senator schumer, as the clock is quickly ticking towards that deadline? sec. psaki: when we keep ticking, we will keep having a discussion. the democrats have expressed a willingness and desire to get this done, unlike republicans in the senate despite the fact that $2 trillion of that $8 trillion was for tax cuts for the wealthiest, which were unpaid for, and the rest of it most of them supported across the board. the president was not ruling out
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options this morning as it relates to legislative paths forward, but what is clear is that the easiest way to get this done is by the republicans allowing democrats to move forward with a vote. they can do that tomorrow, and we can reduce uncertainty for the american people. reporter: he is not ruling out reconciliation? sec. psaki: let's be clear about that process. that is a long procedural process. it is a procedural process. it allows for the republicans to do unlimited -- unlimited amendments that could be about any topic that may or may not have anything to do with the debt ceiling. why would we play around with the security of the american people and the full faith and credit of the united states? that is the president's point. reporter: does the president agree with dr. fauci that it is too soon to see if people will be able to gather for christmas? sec. psaki: the president relies
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on cdc guidelines, and they have not changed their guidelines about who can gather together, those who are vaccinated, but we will leave it to them if they need to change their guidelines. reporter: following up on something you said, you said the president will have a virtual meeting with house progressives to talk about how this build back better package will be smaller than $3.5 trillion. are you now admitting that the plan does not cost zero, or is it less than zero? sec. psaki: let's not dumb this down for the american public. what we are talking about is how much the topline investments are, which are all paid for. no matter what the cost of the topline investments are, we have a way to pay for it. the point is, this is not going to cost the american public a dollar. we are going to pay for this by
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asking corporations, people under $400,000, i should say -- we will ask corporations and the wealthy to cover the cost of those investments. reporter: does the plan cost nothing, or is it free? sec. psaki:sec. psaki: the plan costs nothing for the american people who make less than $400,000. if you think companies that paid zero dollars in taxes, 50 of the top companies, should pay zero dollars in taxes, we are happy to have that debate. reporter: a group of activists followed senator sinema into a ladies room screaming about the build back better plan. the president said, i don't think they are appropriate tactics, but it is part of the process. he's an expert on the process. has he ever been chased into a restroom by activists? sec. psaki: i think the context of what happened was important. as senator sinema said, the protection of the freedom to
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protest and speak out and criticize is fundamental to our democracy. the president believes that. he wanted to make that clear. what happened this weekend was her students, in a safe and intellectually stimulating environment she has worked to create at asu, was breached. that is inappropriate and unacceptable. i think the context is important. even though the president supports for the fundamental right of people to criticize, as they often do. reporter: does the white house condemned these protesters? sec. psaki: i just said it was inappropriate and unacceptable. i think it's pretty clear that they shouldn't breach the classroom and make students feel like their privacy, their intellectually stimulating classroom, and their time as students in college is being broached upon.
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reporter: i have a follow-up. sec. psaki: i will come to you next. reporter: china has flown warplanes over taiwan. what is the white house's interpretation of what china is doing? sec. psaki: we remain concerned by the people republic of china's provocative activity near the republic of taiwan, which undermines a regional peace and stability. we urge beijing to cease its coercion against taiwan, and we have an abiding influence on peace and security across the taiwan straight. we will maintain our commitments as outlined in the three communiques, taiwan relations act, and the success her and says -- the six assurances. we have been clear privately and publicly about our concern about the p.r.c.'s pressuring and coercion towards taiwan, and we
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will watch the situation closely. reporter: is the white house monitoring the oil spill in california, and are you guys engaged on that? sec. psaki: we are certainly monitoring the oil and are engaged. we are working collaboratively with state and local partners to address the spell and address potential causes. the response is a 24/7 operation. it will continue until federal and state officials feel it is complete. all actions are being taken to ensure the safety of the public and to recover spilled materials, to maximize the protection of environmentally sensitive areas, and minimize the impact to maritime commerce.
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the federal government so far -- 14 boats have been conducting oil recovery operations since sunday. four aircraft were deployed. reconnaissance was recovered. 5300 60 feet of boom has been deployed. we are very engaged in the effort that is 24/7. reporter: the white house economic advisers predicted there would be short term inflation, but we are seeing reports that this is long-term, maybe into next year. has the white house misjudged the situation, and what is the white house doing to manage expectations? sec. psaki: the federal reserve continued to project that it will come down. he looked to those projections. they are under purview. over the long-term, we are looking to get our build back
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better agenda past. something that they have said would address cost. that is a huge priority for the president. reporter: china has grown -- we are starting trade talks with them. there was concern. as of april, we have not yet done that. do you have an update on that? sec. psaki: i would put you to his representatives on that. i think you are referring to the announcement, the speech by the
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ambassador about phase i. i think it is important to note that this approach definitely differs. their approach for select sectors of the economy. these initial steps will realign the trade policies towards our priorities. that is the objective. it is just the first stage in this process. reporter: would it be assuring to the american people, if they just let the american people know? sec. psaki: again, i conveyed to you that you should talk to his representatives. there is no reason tl. you need to talk to his representatives.
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he has been working to find that down. reporter: dr. fauci has indicated that people should be willing to give up civil liberties for the greater good. we are seeing very disturbing images out of australia. the president agree with that statement from dr. fauci? does president biden support what the australian government is doing in their country? will he consider similar measures? sec. psaki: the president has been pursuing his own policies in the u.s., which has led to much of the public getting at least one shot. we will continue to abide by and conduct our own policies. reporter: has he started
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considering what would be a priority, keeping the bill versus not? is he talking about that or sharing his view? is he sharing what he thinks? sec. psaki: it is a conversation, but he said he will not raise taxes for those making less than -- he wants to have a conversation and hear from everybody and what their top lines are. this is a conversation to move the ball forward. it is a conversation that i will have with members later this week. smile, he will be traveling to michigan. it is a state that would benefit
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greatly from the package and the agenda. michiganders spend much of their time commuting because of the need for updating infrastructure. this impacts people every day. many people do not have broadband access. that is something that will help . many live in child care deserts. there are more details and we are happy to provide more to you, but this is a state that would benefit greatly from the president's bold agenda. he is wanting to make people's lives better, even as we are having conversations about logistics.
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reporter: right now, the cdc says the guidance can be applied . will there be any change to this guidance? sec. psaki: we are going to have an update on our guidelines as we get closer to november. november remains the timeline that we are focused on. go ahead. reporter: a couple weeks ago, canadians cannot fly from vancouver to seattle, but they can drive across the border. that has a big impact across the country.
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many have asked the administration to either change that policy or explain it. can you tell us the reason why? sec. psaki: it is determined by our public health officials. we are working towards returning to international travel, but we leave it to them to make that determination. reporter: you said that there is potentially things that could happen. you have the majority to knock down an amendment that they offer.
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i am wondering if you could identify what the risk is, particularly what republicans would say is that do not want to go down this path. reconciliation would force you to put an actual dollar amount on it. sec. psaki: it would be a separate reconciliation bill, not the same as the reconciliation package that we have been debating and talking about. the reconciliation process would mean starting from scratch. why wouldn't it be the preference? for everybody involved. we have a bill that we could vote up or down to raise the debt limit. it is a less risky process.
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republicans can still bring up a range of amendment about a range of issues. they can be unlimited. that is how the process works. to us, that does not make sense as a preference. it is crystal clear to us. reporter: i wanted to talk about what we touched on earlier. he spoke about efforts to shore up energy in u.s., but there are a couple points. we have the supply chain that is broad. some of our closest allies are in line. >> -- i wonder what we are doing.
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months ago, but in the past week, he would circle back on what message we would convey. we want to accelerate beyond -- a few months ago, a sort of gradual increase in production. sec. psaki: one of the questions i was asked was about our advisor. in those meetings, the study of abm meeting was focused on yemen, but he and his team reiterated the imperative of supporting recovery. included in that is the price of oil. i did not mean to convey -- we are in regular touch with opec numbers -- members. that has been ongoing.
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ahead. reporter: you have said in this room that the white house belong -- leaves this is the only way. sec. psaki: as was reported, we look at a vein of option. none of those options were viable, either because it would not be accepted by our treasury or by legal restriction, so we know that the only path forward is through congress acting. there is a simple process that could be done. it would reduce uncertainty to make sure that the american people do not have to worry about their bank accounts. they just have to take a vote.
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>> another question. last night there was expiration into this situation that members of the military have been in. nine out of 10 of them have had their forgiveness projected when they applied. the president has the power to solve this problem from the -- for members of the military. will he use that law? sec. psaki: what you are referring to is the public service loan forgiveness program. it is promised to professionals to do hard work. fixing the program is important. they plan to announce a major overhaul of the program. executive actions it would
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include an opportunity for public service and professionals , counting towards that ledge payments were made. they will have more, but this is something that we want to reform and address. reporter: with the president saying that he cannot guarantee that the debt ceiling will not be breached, is the white house taking preparation, in the event of that happening? you have outlined that it would be catastrophic. sec. psaki: the next sentence was, i cannot imagine that would happen. that is important for people to understand.
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that is the one path forward. it is why he gave remarks today. reporter: are they preparing for the worst? sec. psaki: there is not another option. it has to pass legislatively. reporter: can you comment about the shutdown of facebook and instagram and other apps? sec. psaki: we are monitoring, but i do not have any updates. i would point you to the companies for that. reporter: -- if this is such an economic risk, why give mcconnell any say at all? sec. psaki: this is their debt, that they chalked up, themselves.
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it is a period of time. we could easily do that by allowing democrats to be the adults in the room, despite the fact that republicans spent like sailors. it is easy to get it done, procedural process. we are not ruling out options. we have to get this done. we have to get it done to make sure that people do not worry about their retirement savings or their college savings for their kids. it is easy to get it done and we do not think republicans should be let off the hook. reporter: when was the last time that you spoke on the debt limit? sec. psaki: i do not have any notes about that. they have been pretty on how
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they want to engage with members. we are going to part of the state that could benefit from these packages because they are hugely popular. people do not think of their roads as partisan. that is why the president is wanting to make the case. reporter: negotiations require trust. they have been very forthcoming about where they are in negotiations. does it include rebuilding trust within the democratic party? how would you do that? sec. psaki: we are in the midst
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of a legislative process, and this is how it works. the word is thrown out a lot, but the president put out his proposals. they argued for their priorities, some with strong emotions. good for them for being passionate about what these issues are and how they could change things for people across the country. this is a recognition of the important moment that this is, but this is how the process plays out. there will be arguments and disagreements, not dysfunction. that is democracy. look at the affordable care act. look at dodd frank. these were not smooth legislative processes. we are still in the middle of it. reporter: why go on the road to
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do an event like this? sec. psaki: we all felt like the week -- the last week or two, it was important to have these conversations. now, it is also important to remind people, as the sausage making has been the dominant storyline, what this is all about and why he is fighting so hard for it. why there are debates and discussions about what are in these important packages. i think you will do more of it in the days ahead. reporter: what about the emergency declaration? sec. psaki: that is something typically asked for by the governor and granted by fema. i would point you to fema about -- for an update. reporter: the judge blocked --
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how does this underscore that effort? sec. psaki: one of the reasons -- it has not changed. i've referenced the ongoing litigation. the president has identified identifying the crisis. certainly taking every step possible to do that remains a priority. this does not change that. it will be the case, even as we work to ensure that recovery is complete. [indiscernible]
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reporter: in past administrations, referrals have not been active. i know the president has said it is independent of the white house, but will the biden administration break with the recent president and actually follow the law? >> these witnesses have not -- sec. psaki: these witnesses have not failed to appear. there have been cases -- since you asked about january 6, where we did not exert executive privilege in the matter of doj officials called to testify before congress. obviously, issues will remain. we are not quite at the point where anyone has failed to
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appear. reporter: past administrations have not followed the law. whether or not one will happen in the future -- sec. psaki: we are going to follow the law, but i will not get into hypotheticals that are not right now relevant to the current state of play. i also wanted to note if we have broken with any past precedent, just to give you an example. [indiscernible] reporter: we are just wondering what the holdup is. sec. psaki: i do not have any other update. leaving student debt is a priority.
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if congress is wanting to send a bill that would relieve $10,000 in student debt, the president would be happy to sign that. i would note that part of the proposal has been getting more people access to college who would not have otherwise had it. reporter: i want to get this right from what he said. when you get this, individuals a feeling persecution. he also said we need more humane alternatives. your reaction to that memo? sec. psaki: i am not seen the
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memo. we do not see title 42 as an immigration policy. it is a public health authority and it is determined by the cdc. it is also true that there are several exception, including those who are fleeing persecution, who express a concern or fear, those who have health issues. it remains in place because we are in the middle of a pandemic, but it is not an accurate depiction of what our policy actually is. reporter: the president called for bold action on climate change and other extreme events.
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what is the president telling democrats during those talks and is this an area where he will make concessions? sec. psaki: there is very broad support within congress for provisions that are in the reconciliation package, as well as the infrastructure package, which includes electric vehicles, charging stations, the replacing of lead pipes, and in the reconciliation package, it helps to make sure that there is a standard. i'm not going to negotiate from here, but the president would not propose it, if they were not a priority to him. >> i will be brief.
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joe manchin -- do you know if you is wanting to be president? does he like the president? it is going to go -- [indiscernible] sec. psaki: we do not see it that way. we are in the middle of a process, so we are going to keep at it. reporter: if i could go back to that question on inflation, you said this would help inflation over the long-term. what is the timeline that you are looking at, especially since this to go into effect in the
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next 10 years. how long should americans wait for this to come down? sec. psaki: they continued to say it is transitory. what is important about the package is that several have conveyed that it would help to address inflation over the long term. reporter: many say that they have reopened the hotline. what concerns do you have about the alleged hypersonic missile? sec. psaki: the first part of your question, we support and engagement and cooperation.
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we will work with our partners to that end. as it relates to our engagement, -- on the missile launches, let me add that we condemn anything that is destabilizing. we are working with our allies as we assess the recent event and look at next steps. our goal remains and we are prepared in our messages. we have made proposals and we hope they will respond positively to our outreach. at this point, we have not had a response. reporter: it has been reported that china sent 52 aircraft.
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they do not appear to be listened to in beijing. what next? >> we are -- sec. psaki: we are conveying clear messages through diplomatic channels. that is the appropriate place for those. we have high-level officials who are in touch. reporter: will the pandora papers affect the relationship with the white house? a month ago, president biden was discussing corruption issues. now mr. zelensky is reportedly involved in this offshore scandal. does this undermine? sec. psaki: let me reiterate. the president's commitment is bringing transparency.
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it is something that he has pressed for in his domestic agenda and in international forums. it is important to reduce corruption and making sure that we are doing that as an international body. maybe it makes it even more important to be on the international agenda. go ahead, in the middle. reporter: can you say which u.s. officials are concerned about china's military? is there an update on a potential meeting between president biden and president xi jinping? sec. psaki: no. i would say that there was a significant speech given today
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and part of the objective as it relates to the china strategy is to maintain a high level of dialogue. i do not have anything to preview for you, but certainly maintaining a high level. in cuba. we will do this again tomorrow. >> c-span has your unfiltered view of government. including charter communication. >> broadband is a force for empowerment. that is my charter has invested billions. upgrading technology, empowering opportunity, in communities big and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications support c-span along with other television providers, giving you
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