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tv   President Biden on Trucking Industry Supply Chain  CSPAN  April 4, 2022 6:02pm-6:31pm EDT

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entries, visit our website at [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]? >> president biden called for a war crime trial after russia's actions in ukraine. he reiterated statements that president putin is a war criminal and pledged additional sanctions during remarks at fort mcnair in washington, d.c.
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the president: i have one comment to make before i start the day. you may remember i got criticized for calling putin a war criminal. well, the truth of the matter -- you saw what happened in bucha. this warrants him -- he is a war criminal. but we have to gather the information, we have to continue to provide ukraine with the weapons they need to continue the fight, and we have to get all the detail so this can be an actual -- have a wartime trial. this guy is brutal, and what's happening in bucha is outrageous and everyone's seen it. reporter: do you agree it's genocide? president biden: no, i think it's a war crime.
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reporter: what are you going to do about it, sir? are you going to do more sanctions on russia? president biden: i'm seeking more sanctions, yes. i'll have time to announce that to you. reporter: can you actually hold putin accountable, though? you called him a war criminal. president biden: he should be held accountable. reporter: can you actually hold him accountable without sanctions? president biden well, no. reporter: what else can you do? president biden: no, no -- yes, i'm going to continue to add sanctions. thank you. i'll let you know. >> later, president biden shared administrations on how to improve driving and wages for driving in the trucking industry. he also took a moment to talk about issues in the u.s. supply chain. his remarks are just under 30 minutes.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states with the secretary of transportation and truck driver maria rodriguez. ♪
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["hail to the chief "] ♪
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>> good afternoon, everybody. first, i want to thank president biden and vice president harris for hosting this event at the white house, making clear that trucking is indeed a national priority. and i want to thank everyone here, especially the truck drivers and transportation workers we count on so much. i have to share, this is a big day in my own household because it was our first time taking our kids to daycare, and as i was getting ready for that -- because i knew this event was coming up -- i kept looking around at all the physical items that surrounded us and thought about how they got here. the bottles, the little jars of baby food, the spoons we were
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using to feed them, the high chairs they were sitting in. even the family minivan itself got to us because truck drivers brought them to where they needed to be. [applause] and that's true for everybody we count on, groceries, books, livestock, medicine. if you enjoyed the food you ate for breakfast, the clothes you're wearing right now, or the device you might be using to watch this event, you can thank a truck driver for getting that to you. [applause] secretary buttigieg: and that's what is making this trucking plan so important. plus, it fits two essential priorities the president laid out, getting workers the pay and the respect that they deserve. over the last two years, we've been using terms like supply chain and essential worker more than we used to. in fact, there's nothing new about how much america count on
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truckers, but it has become more urgent than ever. right now the industry estimates we're short 80,000 truck drivers. and my department estimates 300,000 leave the career every year. so we must do more and do better to recruit more people into the job and to support them so they choose to stay in the job. and that's more than saying thank you. it is concrete, specific actions to help our trucking workforce thrive in this career. to make sure the trucking jobs are as high quality, as safe, and is well paid as they ought to be. and that's what president biden challenged us to do with this trucking action plan. so we start out by going and listening to truck drivers virtually and in person. we talked to truck drivers in every part of the country. as part of that i got to spend some time on the road in the passenger seat of a semi with a driver in illinois named lola who i think is here today. there you are. hey, it's good seeing you.
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[applause] secretary buttigieg: and she brought her granddaughter, lola ann, who she talked about. she talked about her family. she talked about wanting to be a driver for years but waiting until her kids were grown so she can start going over the road. we talked about safety, talked about training. talked about why she loves this job and how we could make it easier. and that day and across all the conversations i saw the pride truckers take in their work and the challenges they face. their voices have shaped the work we took off in the president's trucking action plan. we just completed the 90-day sprint to get these actions off the ground so i am pleased to provide an update. in order to have a career for more people, including more women and drivers of color, we teamed up with the department of labor to grow the number of registered apprenticeships for high-quality paid on-the-job training. we're investigating truck leasing arrangements to make sure they're above board. we're working on truck driver pay, including those hours when drivers don't get paid even though they're very much on the
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job because they're waiting for somebody else. we're making it easier for veterans to join the trucking workforce, partnering with the department of defense and, of course, we are fixing roads and bridges across america. one trucker told me infrastructure is our workplace. and now we are enhancing that workplace thanks to unprecedented funding through the president's infrastructure law. yes, that includes working with states to use that funding to build more safe truck parking because we know that that is such a central issue for truckers today. these actions are going to help us recruit more drivers and just as importantly, retain them. to help keep down shipping delays, rein in the price of goods at a time when we're fighting inflation with everything we got and, of course, supporting these essential workers is just the right thing to do. i'm proud of all we got done in this 90-day sprint, but i promise you to the trucking community and i promise you, mr. president, this is just the beginning. we're going to keep our foot on the gas to deliver for the
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drivers who deliver for us every single day. and you're going to hear more about that shortly. now it's my pleasure to hand it over to a good friend, a proud army veteran, an entrepreneur who served as a u.s. congressman, acting secretary of the army and chair of a new veterans' task force, patrick murphy. secretary murphy. secretary murphy: thank you, mr. secretary, mr. president, and maria. it is great to be here. i want to begin by saying thank you to secretary buttigieg. for our brothers and sister veterans, he's truly one of the leading voices of the 9/11 generation. thank you for that leadership and your introduction. and i want to thank the white house economic council for doing phenomenal work around task force movement to discuss and launch. you know, when you look at the secretary mentioned lola ann is over there. she's 8 years old. i tried to get her to say, go army, beat navy.
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she comes from a navy family. jada is ready to say it. mr. president, i know you asked for a nonpartisan event so i am not allowed to say that. i apologize for -- president biden: good luck. secretary murphy: going off script. we are all brothers and sisters in that profession. and that profession is incredibly important to the trucking industry. in fact, that's an industry that my grandfather, when he came back from the navy in world war ii and the pacific he came back as a trucker with the teamsters 107 in philadelphia and he drove for a&p supermarkets. when my dad came back from the navy, he also joined them, was a trucker. first was a police officer in philadelphia. to make ends meet did trucking. i remember going with him on the weekends down i-95.
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what movement is all about is to create that bridge, the bridge between veterans and the trucking industry. because for my family, it was built and survived on in that industry. it's how we got through. and i will tell you it's that bridge that means more accessible to our brother and sister veterans. it is that bridge that needs to make sure we launch this and make it happen for the next generation of truckers, whether it's lola or jada in the crowd. and that's what today's -- that's what today is about. that's what this work will be for. and i will tell you when secretary pete came back from afghanistan, when i came back from iraq, we committed ourselves to public service. we committed to be there for our brothers and sisters to make sure that although we made it home, we need to make sure our generation has the opportunities to succeed in life. and we committed ourselves to
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that and that's what this task force will do. it's about opportunity. it's about the future of america. it's about making sure america gets back to work. and today is a proud moment but today is just the beginning to continue what you already established, not just here in the white house, not just at the department of transportation but across america. the numbers will speak for themselves, but it is that burden, that sacred burden for those of us who have been overseas to make sure that we give back and make it better for the scene of the accident rein ration -- next generation for the lolas and the jadas. it's now my honor to introduce one of the faces of american infrastructure, one of the faces that are out there in these type of cabs out there making things happen and that's maria rodriguez. so please give it up for our next speaker, maria rodriguez.
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[applause] maria: thank you. hi, good afternoon. my name is maria rodriguez and i am very honored to be here today. i'm currently an apprentice truck driver n.f.i. my road to get to this point was very unique. i came to the united states with my parents from venezuela at the age of 2. my family came here looking for a better life and to live the american dream. i admired their hard work, dedication and sacrifices even when times were tough, they kept driving forward. i watched my father cook. he would make masterpieces out of a few ingredients and be able to bring so much joy and happiness through his food. i knew i wanted to do the same and be a chef someday. when i was old enough i began to work as a server in a very small restaurant. as time went on i worked for so many amazing restaurants, but in
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march of 2020, i was laid off due to the covid pandemic. at the time i was also a new mom and worried about how i would support my family. i knew i had to make a career change. at first i attended school to be an e.m.t. with hopes of being a firefighter, but ultimately, the training made it difficult for me to also support my family. my significant other, abel, and our son and i lived two minutes away from new england tractor-trailer training school. we also would watch these big 18-wheelers drive by our house. [laughter] for months i encouraged abel to call them so he could enroll since he was also looking for a fresh start. that gave him an equal -- they gave him an equal opportunity and his passion for the industry grew. he convinced me to attend as well. i was a bit intimidated in a male-dominated field but i
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immediately felt comfortable there and throughout our training, different companies could come speak about their opportunities. n.f.i. stuck out from day one with their core family value and local routes. where you're home every day. my family and home time are everything to me. so i knew n.f.i. would be my top choice. n.f.i. also offered the apprenticeship opportunity where once i was hired i received hands on training and mentorship all while being paid while i continued to learn. upon graduation, i applied to n.f.i. and worked with the local recruiter. his name is craig. who also made the application to the apprenticeship extremely easy. i signed on to n.f.i. and so did abel did. we went to school today, graduated together and now we're working and training together. i couldn't have done it without
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his encouragement and support, and i'm so happy that we did this together. [applause] as a -- thank you. as i continue my apprenticeship, i love that my schedule is very consistent and i get home before my son finishes school. through our new careers, we found a place where we can be financially stable. the trucking industry is in high demand and there are jobs here that can support our family. as an essential part of the supply chain, i feel like i'm a part of something bigger than myself, which is very rewarding. i want to thank president biden and vice president harris for leading the 90-day trucking apprenticeship program. this program has built clear paths to careers in truck driving that are fulfilling and offer endless opportunities. i feel like i lept into this new career and i'm so happy that i
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did. i hope i can be an inspiration to other women who are thinking of joining the industry. i struggled to find a career but i didn't give up and now i'm a successful mom, daughter, friend, and truck driver. [applause] now, it is my great honor to introduce a president who has done more for truckers in three months than other presidents have in four years, a man who has put workers first his entire life and at the center of this administration. president joe biden. thank you. thank you. president biden: great job. i think she can do anything she wants, don't you? well, hello, everyone. it's an honor to welcome you to the white house out on the lawn here. i heard that helicopter going by. i was hoping the helo wasn't
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going to land. maria, thanks for sharing your story. and my buddy, patrick murphy, former assistant secretary — secretary of the army as well as a former congressman. and the boy stays in shape, man. huh? look at him. i want to thank you for being here, man. nobody worked harder as a congressman or acting secretary of the army to connect veterans to opportunities -- and that's what it's been all about for you. and i want to thank another veteran who knows a thing or two about laying the foundation for good jobs and the transportation sector: secretary buttigieg. he says, go navy, go army. i used to say, go navy. but then my son got a bronze star in the army and i decided i couldn't say it anymore. so i just say, go american forces. [laughter] anyway. i also want to recognize -- he couldn't be here but marty
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walsh, the secretary of labor. and he's doing an outstanding job helping to lead this effort alongside pete — secretary buttigieg. and, you know, i want to welcome members of congress who are here today as well. tammy. how are you, tammy? good to see you. tammy baldwin, by the way. and also, congressman pete defazio. [applause] and laura underwood. where's laura? there she is right there, right in front. good to see you, laura. and i want to particularly shout out to the new president of the teamsters, sean o'brien. stand up man. i want them to see you. as they say in parts of wilmington, delaware, “these guys brung me to the dance" 35 years ago, 40 years ago. and also, i want to say a quick hi to a pal. and you've been a pal.
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you know, i -- thank you for being here and getting things done. and, you know, in addition to all that, there's an outfit called -- you've probably heard of them -- the united mine workers. yeah, well, you know, they got the president here too. mr. president, where are you? where is he sitting? he was here. a lot of truckers in the united mine workers. at any rate, folks, i spend a lot of time talking about the economy and the record-breaking economic comeback we're -- experienced because of all of you sitting out there in those chairs. today, i want to talk with people who are making the comeback possible -- people like maria, who you just heard from, and her son roman who's going there pretty soon. and all those truck drivers and their families that are here today, i want to thank you all what you're doing to keep america moving, because that's literally what you're doing, especially these last two years helping carry the nation, literally, on your backs. you learned, on friday, the economy created 431,000 jobs in march. [applause] a record. over the course of my presidency, the economy has now
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created 7.9 million jobs. more jobs in the first 14 months than any president ever -- in large part because of all of you. not a joke. unemployment is at 3.6%, down from 6.4% when we took office. the fastest decline in unemployment at the start of any presidential term ever recorded. and after a long stretch, americans are back to work. americans are back to work. an economy has gone from being on the mend to being on the move. and the economy we're building -- we're building a strong economy. one where hardworking americans can live with dignity, support their families, build a better life and a better life for their children as well. all of you here today are people our economy should be built around because you all -- you all are the people who literally make it run. that's not hyperbole. you literally make it run. i have nothing against investment bankers. they could all retire and nothing much would change. you all quit, everything comes to a halt.
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[laughter] think about it. i'm not joking. think about it. come to a literal halt. during the pandemic, a lot of americans have been introduced to a term you all know well, and pete used it, supply chains. a simple term. a supply chain is a journey -- the journey of a product to get to a customer's doorstep. that's what it is. and during the pandemic, those chains were interrupted. factory closures around the world, not just in the united states, around the world, caused backups and delays because of covid. at the same time, because of the strength and speed of our recovery, americans had more money in their pockets than they had in a long time. during the pandemic, they wanted to spend that money not on restaurants or vacations, which are now coming back as well, but on hard goods. they wanted home improvements, television, and automobiles -- things that had to be transported. the very products that slowed down by disruptions of the supply chain.
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demand was high. supply was interrupted. and the recipe for higher prices and long delays -- that's exactly what we saw not only here, but all around the world. so, we knew we needed every tool at our disposal to address the problem. and the best way to do it was to invest in people who make the supply chain run. trucking moves about 70% -- about 70% of all the goods in this country. 70%. [applause] and truck drivers are facing real challenges. the average driver waits four and a half hours for their truck to be loaded and unloaded during an 11-hour shift, and 40e% of their day -- 40% of their day. and they don't get paid for that wait time. back in 1978, the average truck driver's pay was $34 — was $34 an hour in today's dollars. last year, it was $25 an hour, nearly a 30% decline. in this iconic american
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industry, it's getting harder and harder to raise a family with dignity and pride that you deserve. and it's no surprise so many drivers left their jobs. the workforce is getting older -- not that i am, but they are. [laughter] i used to drive a truck. it's a long story. anyway. [laughter] it's getting hard -- and i thought i was going to get to drive one of these suckers today but -- [laughter] anyway, it's another story, too. but, look, it's getting harder and harder to recruit new drivers, particularly women and people of color, to an industry that this nation and our economy desperately needs at full strength. the good news is that since i took office, we've begun to turn things around. in fact, in 2021 was the best year for trucking employment since 1994. [applause] there are now 35,000 more trucking jobs than there were before the pandemic. but we all know that we need to move faster getting more people
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working in this industry, in jobs they can rely on and raise a family on. that's why last december we brought together industry and labor to tackle the problem facing drivers, and we listened. and when we heard that there were long wait times in many states for people wanting to get their commercial driver's licenses, their c.d.l.'s -- we took action. we provided technical assistance as well as $57 million in federal funds to help states issue these c.d.l.'s faster. and i'm proud to report, because of pete and others, so far in 2022, we're issuing c.d.l.'s at double the rate of last year, 120,000 in january and february alone. we also know that the key ingredient to getting and keeping more drivers was increasing training programs like the registered apprenticeships approved by the department of labor -- programs that allow aspiring drivers to learn while they -- earn while
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they learn, while making this essential job more attractive for potential drivers regardless of age, background, and gender. the program has proven to be -- improve safety and better working conditions and better pay and benefits. typically, it takes about eight months to create a registered apprenticeship program. but because of pete and others and this department of labor, we were able to cut the red tape. and now it takes as little as two days. [applause] as a result, in the last 90 days, 100 major employers have launched new registered apprenticeship programs -- ups, domino's, pepsi, albertsons, and more, along with the trade associations, like the american trucking association, the national minority trucking association, the food industry association, and others. what that all adds up to is a strong foundation for the work ahead. a pipeline of hardworking men and women from all backgrounds, highly trained and highly motivated to get behind the wheel, including a whole lot
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of veterans, thanks to the veterans trucking initiative known as “taskforce movement” by president rick murphy -- led by patrick murphy. [applause] and, by the way, i'd say, paraphernalia theically -- if you can handle a tank, if you can handle an armored personnel carrier, you sure in hell can handle one of these suckers. and an awful lot of well-known people also. the idea -- i remember -- i'm going to digress for one second. i got a commercial license because my dad used to run an automobile agency -- >> we're going to leave this to go to live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the u.s. house of representatives. live now to the floor of the house here on c-span. . h.r. 5657. h.r. 1916. first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute


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