Today marks President Biden’s 20th day in office.
The daily press briefing is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. D.C., time, just 15 minutes before the former Impeached Loser’s Senate trial is set to begin. As always live feeds will be provided at the conclusion of the article.
In Defense Department News.
On Friday, the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued a memo “directing commanding officers and supervisors at all levels to select a date within the next 60 days to conduct a one-day “stand-down” to discuss extremism in the ranks with their personnel.”
On Monday, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby offered some more details surrounding the memo during a press briefing. Kirby later took to Twitter to highlight key points from his earlier press briefing.
A few notes from today’s @DeptofDefense press conference on the stand down to address extremism that I think bear repeating:— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) February 9, 2021
1) Military leaders have discretion to tailor discussions w/ personnel as appropriate to each command. Discussions should include importance of the oath of office that service members take, impermissible behaviors & procedures for reporting suspected or actual extremist behaviors— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) February 9, 2021
2) This is an opportunity for leadership to listen to the men and women they lead and to their concerns, to their experiences, and maybe even to their possible solutions for how to tackle this problem— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) February 9, 2021
3) We understand that a one-day stand-down across the force isn't going to solve everything, but it might bring to light concerns and experiences— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) February 9, 2021
4) We’ve already seen some good ideas trickle in, including how to better educate the force at the beginning of basic training and near the end of one’s service.— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) February 9, 2021
In semi-related news the Senate on Monday confirmed Denis McDonough to be Secretary of Veteran Affairs. The vote was 87-7.
Speaking of confirmation news…
White House Budget Director Nominee Neera Tanden’s confirmation hearing is happening now or possibly just concluded.
Punchbowl News co-founder John Bresnahan tweeted that Tanden apologized for previous tweets saying that she explained how she deleted tweets over many months because she regretted her tone.
/2 @robportman – who served as OMB director – says "the tone, content and aggressive partisanship" of her social media posts make it tough for her to serve. "How do you plan to mend fences and relationships with members of Congress you have attacked in your social media posts?"— John Bresnahan (@bresreports) February 9, 2021
/3 Tanden says she "deleted tweets because I regretted my tone." "I deleted tweets over many months because I regretted the tone of my tweets," Tanden restates when pressed by Portman.— John Bresnahan (@bresreports) February 9, 2021
Retiring Republican Senator Rob Portman explained that Tanden tweeted; Senator Susan Collins is “the worst”, that Senator Tom Cotton was “a fraud,” and that “vampires have more heart than,” Senator Ted Cruz. She also called former Majority Senate Leader Mitch McConnell “Moscow Mitch,” and compared him to Lord Voldemort, the villain from Harry Potter, any case anyone didn’t know that.
Here’s my hot take, listening to Republicans dis someone for their insulting tweets, after four years of “I didn’t see,” Trump’s insulting tweets, just makes my teeth itch. No, it doesn’t excuse her behavior, and she should be held accountable for that, but if a “mean tweet” prevents her from holding a Cabinet Post, shouldn’t IDK, Trump’s inciting violence tweets matter to them, in the same way?
And with that we hop back into our way-back machine and review the tweets posted so far by President Biden.
January 22nd, 2021.
For January 22nd, 2021, President Biden tweeted 9 times and retweeted 0 times.
8:45 a.m. D.C., time.
1. Posts a 33 second clip from his Inaugural Address.
President Biden: With unity we can do great things. Important things. We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome this deadly virus. We can reward work, rebuild the middle class, and make health care secure for all. We can deliver racial justice. We can make America, once again, the leading force for good in the world.
1:04 p.m. D.C., time.
2. Said he was grateful that the Senate confirmed Lloyd Austin as Defense Secretary.
1:30 p.m. D.C., time.
3. Marks the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
The White House statement:
Today marks the 48th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade.
In the past four years, reproductive health, including the right to choose, has been under relentless and extreme attack. We are deeply committed to making sure everyone has access to care – including reproductive health care – regardless of income, race, zip code, health insurance status, or immigration status.
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to codifying Roe v. Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe. We are also committed to ensuring that we work to eliminate maternal and infant health disparities, increase access to contraception, and support families economically so that all parents can raise their families with dignity. This commitment extends to our critical work on health outcomes around the world.
As the Biden-Harris Administration begins in this critical moment, now is the time to rededicate ourselves to ensuring that all individuals have access to the health care they need.White House.gov. 01/22/2021.
2:05 p.m. D.C., time.
4. Shares an image of himself signing Austin’s waiver that allows him to serve as Defense Secretary.
On January 21st, 2021, Defense News.com reported that “The House first voted on a bipartisan basis, 326-78 to waive the seven-year cooling-off period for Austin, who retired in 2016, to serve in the top Pentagon job. The Senate, where the waiver needed 60 votes to pass, approved it soon after with a bipartisan tally of 69-27.”
3:05 p.m. D.C., time.
5. Shares a video link to his address prior to signing EO’s and EA’s, regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
The actions taken by President Biden relating to COVID-19 can be found here.
The video is 19 minutes and 36 seconds long. The White House posted a transcript.
Today, I’m signing an executive order that directs the whole-of-government — a whole-of-government effort to help millions of Americans who are badly hurting. It requires all federal agencies to do what they can do to provide relief to families, small businesses, and communities. And in the days ahead, I expect agencies to act.
Let me touch on two ways these actions can help change Americans lives. We need to tackle the growing hunger crisis in America. One in seven households in America — one in seven — more than one in five black and Latino households in America report they do not have enough food to eat. That includes nearly 30 million adults and as many as 12 million children. And again, they’re in a spec- — in this situation through no fault of their own. It’s unconscionable.White House.gov. 01/22/2021.
4:21 p.m. D.C., time.
6. It’s a propaganda video.
The video is 1 minute and 40 seconds long, with both cheesy music and a voice-over.
Voice-over: Over 400,000 Americans have lost their lives during this pandemic and millions more have lost their livelihoods. We are facing an economic crisis, brought on by a public health crisis and today the Biden administration took bold action to provide relief to those who are struggling most. Here are 5 actions that this administration took to help Americans today:
- We are extending moratorium on evictions and foreclosures of Americans who are at risk of losing their home. During a global pandemic, we can not let anyone get evicted.
- We are increasing support for small businesses. We will ensure that existing relief dollars get to businesses that have been hit the hardest, not just the well-conducted ones.
- We will expand food security benefits like SNAP, for the lowest income Americans. President Biden’s action increases food support benefits for families struggling during this pandemic, because no one should go hungry.
- We are pausing student loan payments. The last thing Americans need to worry about is student loan debt, while the job market it suffering.
- We will increase food money for kids missing meals due to school closures. So many children rely on school lunches for meals, and just because schools are shut down doesn’t mean we can let them go without.
Voice-over con’t: And this is just the beginning of our work to build back the American economy better than it was before. We will keep working for you to face this economic crisis head on. That’s our commitment.
6:00 p.m. D.C., time.
7. Says he took action “to provide relief to those who are struggling across the country.”
See all the above that links the actions taken by President Biden.
8:15 p.m. D.C., time.
8. Talks about action he took to “improve wages, benefits, and bargaining right of federal workers and contractors.”
I believe he’s referring to the “Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce.”
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. Career civil servants are the backbone of the Federal workforce, providing the expertise and experience necessary for the critical functioning of the Federal Government. It is the policy of the United States to protect, empower, and rebuild the career Federal workforce. It is also the policy of the United States to encourage union organizing and collective bargaining. The Federal Government should serve as a model employer.White House.gov. 01/22/2021.
10:48 p.m. D.C., time.
9. Remarks on the passing of baseball legend Hank Aaron.
The White House posted a full statement:
When I watched Henry Aaron play baseball, I knew I was watching someone special. It wasn’t just about watching a gifted athlete master his craft on the way to a Hall of Fame career as one of the greatest to ever play the game. It was that each time Henry Aaron rounded the bases, he wasn’t just chasing a record, he was helping us chase a better version of ourselves.
With courage and dignity, he eclipsed the most hallowed record in sports while absorbing vengeance that would have broken most people. But he was unbreakable. He stemmed the vicious force of white supremacy, in death threats, hate mail, and in hardened hearts. What I deeply admired and respected about him is that each time he rounded those bases — an astonishing 755 trips home — he melted away more and more of the ice of bigotry to show that we can be better as a people and as a nation.
Henry Aaron became, in the words of President Carter, “the first Black man for whom white fans in the South cheered.” It was not only his bat, but his character that won over those hearts and minds. For generations of athletes and civil rights advocates who followed, he showed how to be proud and be unafraid to stand up for what is right and just.
Jill and I count ourselves among the many millions of Americans who are grateful for the memories he gave us and our families. As a nation, we will still chase the better version of ourselves that he set for us. As we do, we mourn his passing and send our prayers to his beloved Billye, their children and grandchildren, and the entire Aaron family.White House.gov. 01/22/2021.
God bless, Henry “Hank” Aaron, an American hero.
Henry “Hank” Aaron was 86 years old. AP News reported Aaron’s death, writing that the Atlanta Braves, said that he died in his sleep. No cause was given.
On what would have been Aaron’s 87th birthday, February 5th, 2021, the MLB posted a small video tribute.
And with that we leave our way-back machine…until tomorrow.
Tuesday’s Press Briefing Live Feeds.
The White House.