Biden’s First 100 Day’s; Monday’s Open Thread

Pardon Our Mess. Photo by Marty Mankins.

It’s Monday.

Today marks President Biden’s 33rd day in office.

For day 33, President Biden will make an announcement related to small businesses. At 6:00 p.m. D.C., time, President Biden will offer remarks on the lives lost to COVID-19.

According to the Fact-Sheet posted by the White House, President Biden is expected to announce several reforms to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

  • Institute a 14-day period, starting Wednesday, during which only businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for relief through the Program. 98 percent of small businesses have fewer than 20 employees. They are Main Street businesses that anchor our neighborhoods and help families build wealth. And while the Biden-Harris administration has directed significantly more relief to these smallest businesses in this round of PPP than in the prior round, these businesses often struggle more than larger businesses to collect the necessary paperwork and secure relief from a lender. The 14-day exclusive application period will allow lenders to focus on serving these smallest businesses. The Biden-Harris administration will also make a sustained effort to work with lenders and small business owners to ensure small businesses take maximum advantage of this two-week window.
  • Help sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals receive more financial support. These types of businesses, which include home repair contractors, beauticians, and small independent retailers, make up a significant majority of all businesses. Of these businesses, those without employees are 70 percent owned by women and people of color. Yet many are structurally excluded from the PPP or were approved for as little as $1 because of how PPP loans are calculated. To address this problem, the Biden-Harris administration will revise the loan calculation formula for these applicants so that it offers more relief, and establish a $1 billion set aside for businesses in this category without employees located in low- and moderate-income (LMI) areas.
  • Consistent with a bipartisan bill, eliminate an exclusionary restriction that prevents small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions from obtaining relief through the Paycheck Protection Program.  Currently, a business is ineligible for PPP if it is at least 20 percent owned by an individual who has either: (1) an arrest or conviction for a felony related to financial assistance fraud within the previous five years; or (2) any other felony within the previous year. To expand access to PPP, the Biden-Harris administration will adopt bipartisan reforms included in the PPP Second Chance Act, co-sponsored by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Rob Portman (R-OH), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and James Lankford (R-OK), which would eliminate the second restriction (the one-year look-back) unless the applicant or owner is incarcerated at the time of the application.
  • Eliminate an exclusionary restriction that prevents small business owners who are delinquent on their federal student loans from obtaining relief through the Paycheck Protection Program. Currently, the PPP is not available to any business with at least 20 percent ownership by an individual who is currently delinquent or has defaulted within the last seven years on a federal debt, including a student loan. Millions of Americans are delinquent on student loans, including a disproportionate number of Black borrowers. Working with the Departments of the Treasury and Education, the SBA will remove the student loan delinquency restriction to broaden access to the PPP.
  • Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to apply for relief. The PPP statute is clear that all lawful U.S. residents may access the program, but a lack of guidance from the SBA has created inconsistency in access for ITIN holders like Green Card holders or those here on a visa. The SBA will address this unfair inconsistency by issuing clear guidance in the coming days that otherwise eligible applicants cannot be denied access to the PPP because they use ITINs to pay their taxes.

Friday President Biden added 4 more tweets, to his already 3 tweets as seen in Friday’s Open Thread.

At 1:30 p.m. D.C., time, he announced that America was “officially back in the Paris Climate Agreement.”

On January 20th, 2021, President Biden announced that the U.S., would rejoin the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement.

On January 27th, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order regarding the “climate crisis at home and abroad.”

Sec. 102.  Purpose.  This order builds on and reaffirms actions my Administration has already taken to place the climate crisis at the forefront of this Nation’s foreign policy and national security planning, including submitting the United States instrument of acceptance to rejoin the Paris Agreement.  In implementing — and building upon — the Paris Agreement’s three overarching objectives (a safe global temperature, increased climate resilience, and financial flows aligned with a pathway toward low greenhouse gas emissions and climate‑resilient development), the United States will exercise its leadership to promote a significant increase in global climate ambition to meet the climate challenge.  In this regard:

(b)  The United States will reconvene the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, beginning with the Leaders’ Climate Summit.  In cooperation with the members of that Forum, as well as with other partners as appropriate, the United States will pursue green recovery efforts, initiatives to advance the clean energy transition, sectoral decarbonization, and alignment of financial flows with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, including with respect to coal financing, nature-based solutions, and solutions to other climate-related challenges.

(e)  The United States will immediately begin the process of developing its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement.  The process will include analysis and input from relevant executive departments and agencies (agencies), as well as appropriate outreach to domestic stakeholders.  The United States will aim to submit its nationally determined contribution in advance of the Leaders’ Climate Summit.

(ii)   develop a strategy for how the voice and vote of the United States can be used in international financial institutions, including the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, to promote financing programs, economic stimulus packages, and debt relief initiatives that are aligned with and support the goals of the Paris Agreement.

White 01/27/2021

On Friday, Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken offered a statement regarding America officially rejoining the Paris Agreement.

On January 20, on his first day in office, President Biden signed the instrument to bring the United States back into the Paris Agreement. Per the terms of the Agreement, the United States officially becomes a Party again today.

The Paris Agreement is an unprecedented framework for global action. We know because we helped design it and make it a reality. Its purpose is both simple and expansive: to help us all avoid catastrophic planetary warming and to build resilience around the world to the impacts from climate change we already see.

Now, as momentous as our joining the Agreement was in 2016 — and as momentous as our rejoining is today — what we do in the coming weeks, months, and years is even more important.

You have seen and will continue to see us weaving climate change into our most important bilateral and multilateral conversations at all levels. In these conversations, we’re asking other leaders: how can we do more together?

Climate change and science diplomacy can never again be “add-ons” in our foreign policy discussions. Addressing the real threats from climate change and listening to our scientists is at the center of our domestic and foreign policy priorities. It is vital in our discussions of national security, migration, international health efforts, and in our economic diplomacy and trade talks.

We are reengaging the world on all fronts, including at the President’s April 22nd Leaders’ Climate Summit. And further out, we are very much looking forward to working with the United Kingdom and other nations around the world to make COP26 a success. 02/19/2021.

President Biden’s Special Climate Envoy John Kerry marked America’s rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.

At 2:30 p.m. D.C., time he shared a photo of himself participating in the virtual G7 summit.

As the News Blender reported on Friday, the official host of the virtual event was Boris Johnson Prime Minister of the U.K..

Boris Johnson of the UK is the official host, and he is expected to press for coordination on manufacture and distribution of vaccines. This is likely to be warmly received by all of the member nations, who are dealing with their own problems related to COVID-19.

the News Blender. 02/19/2021.

At 3:17 p.m. D.C., time, President Biden shared a live feed to his remarks from the Pfizer manufacturing site in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The White House posted his full remarks @ the White

At 5:30 p.m. D.C., time, he posted a video of himself taking Twitter questions.

The video is 1 minute and 25 seconds long.

Q: hey, can I get my stimulus check?
President Biden: Yes [it cuts to an introduction that says President Biden Answers Twitter Questions] you can get your stimulus check as soon as the House and Senate pass my legislation. We committed to you, Democrat and Republican, a $2000 stimulus check. $600 came forward last time around, and another $1400 will be coming. I believe that it should go to people who in fact are in need. That is working class folks, and middle class folks.

Q: when are you ramping up vaccine production.
President Biden: We started ramping up immediately. When we got here we found out that because there wasn’t much communication and much cooperation with the last administration as there should have been to let us know exactly the state of things we were inheriting. We found out that there wasn’t nearly sufficient vaccines, so we ordered another 200 million and I made a commitment that in the first 100 days we would make sure we had 100 million shots in people’s arms. And so that’s what we’ve done, and we’re going to be ordering more vaccines as well.

Q: did you get your morning cup of coffee today?
President Biden: Yes. I work out in the morning, then I go downstairs into the kitchen where we serve ourselves, and I make a cup of coffee, usually have some yogurt and or some Raisin Bran, and then I head off to work.

On Saturday he tweeted 3 times.

10:17 a.m. D.C., time, he shares a video of him calling NASA to congratulate them on landing the Perseverance Rover on Mars.

The video is 1 minute and 24 seconds long.

The video opens with a snip from the Thursday landing, it then cuts to an all cap title which reads “President Biden Calls NASA”.
President Biden: Hello?
Steve Jurczyk [acting NASA Administrator]: Hello, Mr. President!
President Biden: Hey Steve. Congratulations, man.
Steve Jurczyk: Hey, thank you so much, sir.
President Biden: I’m so proud of you guys. And tell all your folks down there, I watched it with bated breath like millions of other people around the world.

It cuts away to a female voice-over at the 32 second mark: NASA hopes that the Perseverance can find evidence of ancient life on Mars. It’s the 9th successful landing on Mars, since the 1970s, all completed by the United States.

It switches back to his phone with Steve Jurczyk at the 42 second mark. President Biden: There ain’t nothing we can’t do with folks like you, nothing.
Steve Jurczyk: I agree sir, it was an amazing team and another amazing accomplishment. Thank you so much for your support and your congratulations. I absolutely will pass it on to the team.
President Biden: Well please do, and tell them I am so, so, so, impressed.
Steve Jurczyk: A lot of what we do is show the United States and the world, the country and the world, what is possible–[President Biden cuts in and says “that’s right.”] and we did that again today.
President Biden: You sure did. Well I look forward to coming down there sometime. Thanks pal, keep it going. Proud of you. [Steve Jurczyk says “thank you, sir.] Alright, bye, bye. [Steve Jurczyk says “bye, bye.”]

3:17 p.m. D.C., time, he shared a news article from the Austin American Statesman, that explains how we can help Texas and how those suffering from the historic freeze can get help.

At 7:30 p.m. D.C., time, he shares an image of himself marking his first month completed in office.

Given the time crunch, created by my distraction watching the confirmation hearing of Merrick Garland as our next Attorney General. We are skipping pasted Sunday and Monday, until tomorrow and that also means, no trip in the way back machine, you’re welcome.

Live feed to President Biden’s small business aid announcement.

The White House.

The daily Press Briefing is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. D.C., time.

Live Feed.

The White House.

At 3:00 p.m. D.C., time, the White House COVID-19 response team will offer an update on the on-going pandemic.

Live Feed.

The White House.

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Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.