It’s Thursday aka President Biden’s First Formal Press Conference Day.
President Biden’s First Formal Press Conference Day falls on President Biden’s 64th day in office.
For day 64, President Biden will receive his daily brief (even though it’s not on Daniel Dale’s screen shot it is listed at fact.ba.se.), he will then hold his formal press conference, and finally he will virtually meet with the European Council during its summit.
President Biden added 9 tweets to the 1 tweet covered in Wednesday’s Open Thread for Wednesday giving him a total of 10 tweets and 0 retweets.
1:50 p.m. D.C., time he shares a photo of himself signing into law the SAVE LIVES Act.
The White House issued a statement:
On Wednesday, March 24, 2021, the President signed into law:White House.gov. 03/24/2021.
H.R. 1276, the “Strengthening and Amplifying Vaccination Efforts to Locally Immunize All Veterans and Every Spouse Act or the SAVE LIVES Act,” which expands VA’s authority to provide COVID-19 vaccinations.
H. R. 1276 aka “Strengthening and Amplifying Vaccination Efforts to Locally Immunize All Veterans and Every Spouse Act” or for space purposes it can also be called the “SAVE LIVES Act,” passed the House without objection on March 9th, 2021. The bill passed the Senate by Voice Vote. The Senate passage included an amendment to which the House agreed without objection on March 17th, 2021. The SAVE LIVES Act was presented to the President for signature on March 23rd, 2021 and signed into law on March 24th, 2021.
According to Military.com “The Save Lives Act will allow the VA to vaccinate all veterans, veteran spouses, caregivers and Civilian Health and Medical Program recipients, regardless of their VA eligibility.”
The article notes that patients enrolled in VA care will get priority over those not enrolled. As of Wednesday Military.com reports that the VA has fully vaccinated more than 1.5 million people. That figure includes both veterans and employees.
Montana Senator and Chairman of the Senate House Veterans Affairs Committee, Jon Tester (D), posted the following statement after the President signed the bipartisan bill into law:
This new law expands options for where veterans and their families can receive the COVID-19 vaccine, ensuring that every veteran, spouse, and caregiver will have access to the protection they need from VA. This bipartisan bill follows through on our shared goal of getting more shots into the arms of as many veterans as possible, and *I thank Senators Moran, Boozman, Blumenthal, and our House colleagues for helping me in our push to put this pandemic behind us and move our country forward.veterans.senate.gov. 03/24/2021.
*Where he thanks Senators is not included in the Twitter tweeted video statement.*
Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA), Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee offered the following Twitter Statement:
In the shared statement posted by veterans.senate.gov., Chairman Takano said:
Today, President Biden signed our vital legislation into law, ensuring that VA has the authority to provide COVID-19 vaccines to all veterans, caregivers, and veteran spouses who walk through its doors. VA has proven itself as one of our country’s most effective vaccinators, but it’s clear VA needed additional authority to continue leading the effort to get as many shots into arms as possible. I’m grateful that Chairman Tester, Ranking Member Bost, and Ranking Member Moran joined me in quickly passing legislation to make sure that as vaccine supply increases, VA will be able to ramp up its vaccination efforts even more. No veteran should be turned away from getting a vaccine at VA—after today, that doesn’t need to be a concern. I know this is a heavy lift, but the strength of VA’s internal healthcare delivery system and the Department’s successful role in national vaccination efforts make this expansion possible. I look forward to working with VA to implement the SAVE LIVES Act successfully when vaccine supply increases.veterans.senate.gov. 03/24/2021.
3:21 p.m. D.C., time he praises Ambassador Bill Burns the new Director of the CIA.
March 18th, 2021, Reuters reported that the Senate voted by unanimous consent, without objection, to approve Burns as the new Central Intelligence Agency Director.
In a separate tweet posted at 5:42 p.m. D.C., time he says that he knows the new Secretary of the Labor Marty Walsh will “fight every single day for the hardworking Americans who make our country run.”
Walsh was confirmed on March 22, 2021; senate.gov records the vote as 68 yea’s, 29 nay’s, with 3 Senators not voting.
At 6:55 p.m. and 7:02 p.m. D.C., time he tweets regarding the American Rescue Plan.
The video snip is 33 seconds long taken from remarks by President Biden on Friday from Emory College in Atlanta, Georgia.
And here’s one final thing the American Rescue Plan does: For the first time in a long time, it puts the working families, the middle class — people who built this country — first, not last.
Sixty-six percent of the tax breaks in this plan go to folks making $90,000 or less a year. And how much for the top 1 percent — *[where 83 percent of all of the tax cut — it was the last President’s tax cut?] Zero. The top 1 percent get zero.
*the sniped video cuts that line*
As it happens there are few fact checks regarding the dollars and cents and percentages specifically cited in tweet form, however, I did find this colorful chart posted by the Tax Foundation.
From the article above the colorful chart:
While several of the provisions in the American Rescue Plan are targeted toward the pandemic, like the extended unemployment insurance benefits, other aspects, like the expanded Child Tax Credit, are unrelated and not well targeted toward the pandemic. Overall, about $850 billion is directed to individuals while about $65 billion is directed to businesses.Tax Foundation.org. 03/12/2021.
In some trickery we are traveling back in time for Wednesday’s tweets. It’s not really magic or time-travel, I simply skipped a tweet in order to group like with like.
4:56 p.m. D.C., time, he shares a live feed to event for Equal Pay Day, hosted by himself and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.
At 8:26 p.m. D.C., time, he shared an image from the Oval Office.
At 9:35 p.m. D.C., time he shared another photo.
At 10:41 p.m. D.C., time he shared a GIF like video snip.
The live feed video from his first Equal Pay Day tweet is 28 minutes and 9 seconds long. President Biden begins speaking at the 12 minute and 26 second mark.
His full remarks can be found @ White House.gov.
And the reason we’re here today is because it’s Equal Pay Day, which has been around for 25 years. It was declared 25 years ago — Equal Pay Day — though not enough people know about that and — and they — as they should.
The reality though is that in nearly every job — more than 90 percent of the occupations — women still earn less than men: 82 cents on the dollar on average. For AAPI women, it’s 87 cents for every dollar a white man earns. For Black women, it’s 63 cents. For Native American women, it’s 60 cents. For Hispanic women, it’s 55 cents.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an electrician, an accountant, or part of the best damn soccer team in the world, the pay gap is real. And this team is living proof that you can be the very best at what you do and still have to fight for equal pay.
[It was impossible to have him mention the American Rescue Plan].
In the American Rescue Plan you’ve heard so much about that we just passed, it was designed to address this core challenge. It puts money directly into the pockets of people who need it the most: $1,400 checks for 85 percent of American households. The hundredth million check has been deposited as of today, and many more are on the way.
It also expanded the Child Care Tax Credit. And here’s what that means, for those who don’t know: Right now, if you file for federal income tax, you get up to a $2,000 credit for each child. But if you need help the most, if you’re making a minimum wage job and you don’t have to — you don’t make enough to pay federal income tax, then you don’t get this credit.
But because of the American Rescue Plan we passed, if you have two children under the age of six, for example, and you’re making $7.25 an hour — which is the minimum wage that so many people are making — you’ll get a check for $3,600 per child or $7,200. Roughly, you get $500 a month mailed to you by the federal government. That’s life-changing.
[There’s more on the Rescue Plan but I’m skipping that to turn back toward Equal Pay].
My administration is going to fight for equal pay — for it to become a reality for all women. It’s about justice. It’s about fairness. It’s about living up to our values and who we are as a nation. Equal pay makes all of us stronger.
It’s not just women who care about this. I’ve been around the country. I’ve gone right into union halls and asked the men in the room, “How many of you — how would you feel if your wife or your sister didn’t earn the same amount of money as the man doing the same job next to you?” And you hear them say — you hear them respond they don’t like it. Why? When your spouse or your sister is making the same amount of money the man she’s standing next is making, it means that when the hot water heater breaks, you can replace it. You can get four new tires on the car. It means everybody’s life is made better in that family.White House.gov. 03/24/2021.
President Biden has not tweeted so far for Thursday (the account will most likely post a live feed to his formal press conference.)…
We now come to the Press Conference portion of today’s Open Thread.
I don’t really have much to say about this event, we all can guess that some of the questions will be pathetic attempts at “gotcha,” some will be on the former dipshit in charge of nothing really, and some might actually be probing insightful questions, that give us more information into issues people care about. I have a feeling the actual insightful questions will be few and far between.
But in fairness, it’s probably not going to be a shitshow, President Biden will gaffe, it happens, to him especially, but otherwise, it will be boring. Just as it should be.
Live Feed: The White House.