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

Pardon Our Mess. Photo by Marty Mankins.

It’s Wednesday aka the end of March 2021.

The end of March 2021 marks President Biden’s 70th day in office. That’s right we are 30 days away from President Biden’s first 100 days in office.

To mark the end of March, I’m going to change formatting and patterns. All will become clear (I hope) by the end of the article.

Today we will review the President’s Tuesday tweets of which there are 4 and no retweets first before we move on to Wednesday’s Presidential business.

12:17 p.m. D.C., time he urges Americans not to be silent in the rise of violence against Asian Americans.

From the fact-sheet posted by White House.gov.:

  • Reinstating and reinvigorating the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, with initial focus on anti-Asian bias and violence:

The President will re-establish and expand the initiative’s initial mandate to coordinate across federal agencies to combat anti-Asian bias and violence, especially anti-Asian violence at the intersection of gender-based violence. The initiative will have an expanded mandate to promote inclusion, belonging, and opportunity for all Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. Over the coming weeks, the Administration will meet with Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander leaders and organizations to hear their recommendations for the initiative’s mission, structure, and community engagement. And, the President will appoint a permanent Director to lead the Initiative in the coordination of policies across the federal government impacting Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.

White House.gov. 03/30/2021.
  • Funding for AAPI survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault: 

The Department of Health and Human Services is allocating $49.5 million from the American Rescue Plan to a new grant program for community based, culturally specific services and programs for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault who face additional barriers to services and safety, such as language access barriers. This program will expand services to domestic violence survivors from Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.

White House.gov. 03/30/2021.
  • Establishing a COVID-19 Equity Task Force committee on addressing and ending xenophobia against Asian Americans:

President Biden established a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force through his Executive Order on Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery on January 21, 2021. The Task Force is charged with making recommendations to the President to eliminate health and social disparities that result in disproportionately higher rates of exposure, illness, hospitalization and death related to COVID-19, and for preventing such inequities in the future. 

To carry out this work, today HHS is announcing that the Task Force has established a subcommittee on Structural Drivers of Health Inequity and Xenophobia. This subcommittee will provide recommendations to ensure the Federal Government’s response to COVID-19 mitigates anti-Asian xenophobia and bias, as established by the Presidential Memorandum Condemning and Combatting Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

White House.gov. 03/30/2021.
  • Establishment of a Department of Justice cross-agency initiative to address anti-Asian violence:

To implement the President’s week-one Memorandum combatting AAPI xenophobia, DOJ has established a whole agency initiative to respond to anti-Asian violence.

[Here there are 5 sub categories listed of actions taken so far]:

Leadership and coordination: The Department of Justice Civil Rights Division re-convened the Department’s Hate Crimes Enforcement and Prevention Initiative and is focused on the rise of hate crimes against the AAPI community.

Data and transparency: To ensure transparency in the nation’s hate crimes data, and to support community-led efforts to shine a spotlight on acts of anti-Asian violence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will publish a new interactive hate crime page on its Crime Data Explorer website, which will spotlight reports of anti-Asian hate crimes.

Removing language access barriers to hate crimes information: DOJ has updated its hate crimes website, which provides a centralized portal of hate crime-related resources for law enforcement, researchers, victims, and advocacy groups. 

Community resources and outreach: DOJ is partnering with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) on a panel discussion for its 50,000 members focused on improving efforts to combat anti-Asian hate incidents.

Law enforcement training: The FBI will begin holding nationwide civil rights training events to promote state and local law enforcement reporting of hate crimes.

White House.gov. 03/30/2021.
  • Launching a new virtual bookshelf of federally-funded projects that explore and celebrate Asian Americans’ contributions to the United States:

The National Endowment for the Humanities is launching a virtual library including resources for educators, civic leaders, arts and humanities institutions, and families to explore Asian American history, and address the history and ongoing challenge of anti-Asian discrimination and racism in the United States.

White House.gov. 03/30/2021.
  • Funding critical research to prevent and address bias and xenophobia against Asian American communities.

The National Science Foundation is taking a comprehensive approach to investing in research to understand, address, and end bias, discrimination and xenophobia, including against AAPI communities. NSF is currently supporting more than 100 grants across the country totaling more than $33 million dollars of investment. 

White House.gov. 03/30/2021.

2:35 p.m. D.C., time he shares a 21 second video clip of himself speaking.

The 21 second video snip is taken from remarks President Biden gave on Monday regarding his admin’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

President Biden: my fellow Americans, look at what we have done the past 10 weeks. No other country has come close:  100 million shots in less than 60 days, and now we’re moving on to the next 100 million shots in just 40 days. 

4:09 p.m. D.C., time he announces that he already announced 11 nominees to be Judges.

As seen in Tuesday’s Open Thread, President Biden early Tuesday released the names of those 11 nominees. To view their bio’s @ White House.gov.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 

Tiffany Cunningham: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. 

Candace Jackson-Akiwumi: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. 

Judge Deborah Boardman: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. 

Judge Lydia Griggsby: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. 

Julien Neals: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. 

Judge Florence Y. Pan: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. 

Judge Zahid N. Quraishi: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. 

Regina Rodriguez: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. 

Margaret Strickland: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. 

Judge Rupa Ranga Puttagunta: Nominee for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

the News Blender. 03/30/2021.

For his final tweet sent at 8:44 p.m. D.C., time he shares an image of himself signing into law the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act.

His remarks posted by White House.gov:

Hello, everyone.  How are you?  I want to thank Administrator Guzman, who’s running the show for us.  And we’re really starting to move here. 

And the Vice President, thank you — for your focus on small business. 
We’re pushing lenders to raise their game and provide more help to small — many small businesses.  As you know, particularly Hispanic, as well as African American small businesses are just out of business because they got bypassed the first time around.

Today, I’m proud to sign the extension, which I’m going to do in a second, of the Paycheck Protection Program.  It is a bipartisan accomplishment. 
Nearly 90,000 business owners are still in line, and there’s money left.  Without somebody signing this bill today, there are hundreds of thousands of people who could lose their jobs, and small and family businesses that might close forever.  And, as you know, small business is the backbone of our economy, representing almost 50 percent of all the employees in America.

And I want to thank Senators Cardin, Shaheen, Rubio, and Collins for their work in the Senate — it was a bipartisan effort — and Young Kim and Velazquez, as well as Luetkemeyer for their work in the House to make sure this happened.

And in the last two months, we’ve approved forgivable loans for three thousand — excuse me, three million six hundred [sic] small businesses — -six hundred thousand small businesses.  And three million three hundred [thousand] of those small businesses were less than — higher — had fewer than 20 employees, which is the backbone of most of the communities.

So with that, I’m going to sign this.  And thank you all for coming. 

White House.gov. 03/30/2021.

With that we move on to Wednesday’s Presidential business…

That’s right we’ve reached “Infrastructure Week!!!!”

Today President Biden after he receives his daily brief will detail his American Jobs Plan…

He will unveil his plan from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 4:20 p.m. D.C., time.

According to the fact-sheet posted by the White House this plan will include:

  • Fix highways, rebuild bridges, upgrade ports, airports and transit systems.

It includes; 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main-streets, fix 10 bridges plus 10,000 smaller bridges, aims to replace thousands of buses and rail cars, repair hundreds of stations, renews airports, and hopes to expand transit and rail into new communities.

A Senior Administration Official on Tuesday during a background call with reporters explained the above as follows: The fact that we are ranked 13th in the world in infrastructure has real, tangible economic costs every day.  Those delays cost our economy and they cost families. This plan would make a historic investment in our transportation infrastructure: modernize 20,000 miles of roads, focus on economically significant bridges and also bridges around the country, double federal funding for public transit. 

  • Deliver clean drinking water, a renewed electric grid, and high-speed broadband to all Americans.

President Biden’s plan will eliminate all lead pipes and service lines in our drinking water systems, improving the health of our country’s children and communities of color. It will put hundreds of thousands of people to work laying thousands of miles of transmission lines and capping hundreds of thousands of orphan oil and gas wells and abandoned mines. And, it will bring affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband to every American, including the more than 35 percent of rural Americans who lack access to broadband at minimally acceptable speeds.

White House.gov. 03/31/2021.

For his first tweet on Wednesday he tweeted about clean drinking water at 8:42 a.m. D.C., time.

The video has no sound (I confirmed the lack of sound via the Twitter app on my iPhone) and is 15 seconds long.

Text from the silent video: As many as 10 million homes still receive drinking water through lead pipes. It’s time to invest in our country again.

According to the same Senior Administration Official regarding “water” he/she said the following; With respect to water, the President is setting both a bold but a very practical goal, which is every American should have access to clean water, which requires replacing all lead service lines and pipes in America.  Today, 400,000 schools and childcare centers are serviced by lead pipes, even as our health experts say that there is no safe amount of lead in drinking water.  This is a national project which is urgent; it’s economically efficient and will create jobs.  And it would help improve health and the health of our families.

Back to the fact-sheet:

  • Build, preserve, and retrofit more than two million homes and commercial buildings, modernize our nation’s schools and child care facilities, and upgrade veterans’ hospitals and federal buildings.

President Biden’s plan will create good jobs building, rehabilitating, and retrofitting affordable, accessible, energy efficient, and resilient housing, commercial buildings, schools, and child care facilities all over the country, while also vastly improving our nation’s federal facilities, especially those that serve veterans.

White House.gov. 03/31/2021.

We switch back to the Senior Admin Official offering this context to the above: This plan would do a generational investment in upgrading and reorienting our power infrastructure in this country for the carbon-free electric future that we are — we’re headed toward, investing in transmission, in storage, in grid resilience.  And it would invest in building, renovating, and retrofitting more than 2 million homes and housing units, which would put people to work in construction jobs all over the country and also address the issue of housing, access to housing, and people being able to move to jobs and afford housing as well. In addition, significant investment in repairs of schools, community colleges, childcare facilities, federal buildings, and also our veteran hospital system.  I would note that the average VA hospital is 56 years old.  There is a backlog of high- efficiency projects that would help increase the health security of our veterans, put people back to work, and achieve an important national project.

There are three more bullet points;

  • Solidify the infrastructure of our care economy by creating jobs and raising wages and benefits for essential home care workers
  • Revitalize manufacturing, secure U.S. supply chains, invest in R&D, and train Americans for the jobs of the future.
  • Create good-quality jobs that pay prevailing wages in safe and healthy workplaces while ensuring workers have a free and fair choice to organize, join a union, and bargain collectively with their employers

The rest of the fact-check goes on to detail the above bullets points while encouraging Congress to act.

Nestled toward the end of the fact-sheet is also the “The Made In America Tax Plan.”

The intro of the plan:

Alongside the American Jobs Plan, the President is proposing to fix the corporate tax code so that it incentivizes job creation and investment here in the United States, stops unfair and wasteful profit shifting to tax havens, and ensures that large corporations are paying their fair share.

White House.gov. 03/31/2021.

The section that says the 2017 Trump Tax Plan was a horrible idea:

The 2017 tax law only made an unfair system worse. A recent independent study found that 91 Fortune 500 companies paid $0 in federal corporate taxes on U.S. income in 2018. In fact, according to recent analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation, the 2017 tax bill cut the average rate that corporations paid in half from 16 percent to less than 8 percent in 2018. A number of the provisions in the 2017 law also created new incentives to shift profits and jobs overseas. President Biden’s reform will reverse this damage and fundamentally reform the way the tax code treats the largest corporations.

White House.gov. 03/31/2021.

The shiny part that says President Biden’s plan would raise over $2 trillion over the next 15 years and “more than pay for the mostly one-time investments in the American Jobs Plan.”

Together these corporate tax changes will raise over $2 trillion over the next 15 years and more than pay for the mostly one-time investments in the American Jobs Plan and then reduce deficits on a permanent basis:

White House.gov. 03/31/2021.
  • Set the Corporate Tax Rate at 28 percent. The President’s tax plan will ensure that corporations pay their fair share of taxes by increasing the corporate tax rate to 28 percent.
  • Discourage Offshoring by Strengthening the Global Minimum Tax for U.S. Multinational Corporations. Right now, the tax code rewards U.S. multinational corporations that shift profits and jobs overseas with a tax exemption for the first ten percent return on foreign assets, and the rest is taxed at half the domestic tax rate.
  • End the Race to the Bottom Around the World. The United States can lead the world to end the race to the bottom on corporate tax rates. A minimum tax on U.S. corporations alone is insufficient. That can still allow foreign corporations to strip profits out of the United States, and U.S. corporations can potentially escape U.S. tax by inverting and switching their headquarters to foreign countries. This practice must end. President Biden is also proposing to encourage other countries to adopt strong minimum taxes on corporations, just like the United States, so that foreign corporations aren’t advantaged and foreign countries can’t try to get a competitive edge by serving as tax havens.
  • Prevent U.S. Corporations from inverting or claiming tax havens as their residence. Under current law, U.S. corporations can acquire or merge with a foreign company to avoid U.S. taxes by claiming to be a foreign company, even though their place of management and operations are in the United States.
  • Deny Companies Expense Deductions for Offshoring Jobs and Credit Expenses for Onshoring. President Biden’s reform proposal will also make sure that companies can no longer write off expenses that come from offshoring jobs. This is a matter of fairness. U.S. taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize companies shipping jobs abroad. Instead, President Biden is also proposing to provide a tax credit to support onshoring jobs.
  • Eliminate a Loophole for Intellectual Property that Encourages Offshoring Jobs and Invest in Effective R&D Incentives. The President’s ambitious reform of the tax code also includes reforming the way it promotes research and development. This starts with a complete elimination of the tax incentives in the Trump tax law for “Foreign Derived Intangible Income” (FDII), which gave corporations a tax break for shifting assets abroad and is ineffective at encouraging corporations to invest in R&D. All of the revenue from repealing the FDII deduction will be used to expand more effective R&D investment incentives.
  • Enact A Minimum Tax on Large Corporations’ Book Income. The President’s tax reform will also ensure that large, profitable corporations cannot exploit loopholes in the tax code to get by without paying U.S. corporate taxes. A 15 percent minimum tax on the income corporations use to report their profits to investors—known as “book income”—will backstop the tax plan’s other ambitious reforms and apply only to the very largest corporations.
  • Eliminate Tax Preferences for Fossil Fuels and Make Sure Polluting Industries Pay for Environmental Clean Up. The current tax code includes billions of dollars in subsidies, loopholes, and special foreign tax credits for the fossil fuel industry. As part of the President’s commitment to put the country on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050, his tax reform proposal will eliminate all these special preferences.
  • Ramping Up Enforcement Against Corporations. All of these measures will make it much harder for the largest corporations to avoid or evade taxes by eliminating parts of the tax code that are too easily abused. This will be paired with an investment in enforcement to make sure corporations pay their fair share.

On Monday Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN’s Jake Tapper that no mileage tax ( a tax that charges people money based on how many miles they drive) was included in the plan. Tapper also asked if there was a possibility of an increase on the “gas tax,” in the plan to which Buttigieg said “no.”

The exchange regarding both the mileage tax and gas tax increase start at the 3 minute and 59 second mark of the 7 minute and 23 second long video clip.

We will hear a lot about this spending plan in the coming days with more price tags and details released after President Biden speaks this afternoon.

Reporter Chris Megerian with the L.A. Times, asked on the background call on Tuesday about the legislative strategy.

Q: Hi, everybody.  I was wanting to talk a little bit more about the legislative strategy here.  Do you plan to have one bill with both the taxes and the infrastructure spending in there?  And also, do you hope to use the reconciliation package to push this through Capitol Hill? 

Senior Admin Official: Sure.  Thanks, Chris.  So, you know, this is — this is the beginning of a process.  The President is going to lay out this plan tomorrow.  He is going to describe to the nation the — and make the case for the urgency of the moment.  And we will — we will begin and already have begun to do extensive outreach to our counterparts in Congress — Republicans and Democrats — to build on the plan, to listen, to solicit input, and to identify how we can move forward most effectively here.  So I think that we’ll get through tomorrow, and we’ll focus on engaging with our congressional counterparts. But our hope is that the issues — I mean, the elements of this plan are — elements of this investment package are places where we have seen a lot of enthusiasm in the past to make progress.  They’re issues that are — that have broad support among the American people.  And there has been a lot of eagerness to move in Congress on them as well. And so we thought it’s an important initiative to start the process with the President being very clear that he’s got a plan and that he’s open to hearing what others think.  But what he is uncompromising about is the urgency of the moment and the need to really deliver for the American people and make good on building back better in this moment.

As you can see there isn’t really a yes or no answer to Megerian’s question. CBS News on Tuesday reported that top aides for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have asked “the parliamentarian about using Section 304 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to allow for a second reconciliation process this fiscal year. The parliamentarian is an expert on the obscure procedures of the Senate, and can determine whether certain actions are permitted under Senate rules. Schumer aides argue that Section 304 would allow for a second reconciliation process to be used this fiscal year, because it says “the two Houses may adopt a concurrent resolution on the budget which revises or reaffirms the concurrent resolution on the budget for such fiscal year most recently agreed to.””

President Biden issued another tweet on Wednesday morning @ 9:45 a.m. D.C., time unrelated to his tax plan or jobs plan.

The White House posted the following Proclamation regarding Transgender Day of Visibility, 2021:

Today, we honor and celebrate the achievements and resiliency of transgender individuals and communities.  Transgender Day of Visibility recognizes the generations of struggle, activism, and courage that have brought our country closer to full equality for transgender and gender non-binary people in the United States and around the world.  Their trailblazing work has given countless transgender individuals the bravery to live openly and authentically.  This hard-fought progress is also shaping an increasingly accepting world in which peers at school, teammates and coaches on the playing field, colleagues at work, and allies in every corner of society are standing in support and solidarity with the transgender community.

In spite of our progress in advancing civil rights for LGBTQ+ Americans, too many transgender people — adults and youth alike — still face systemic barriers to freedom and equality.  Transgender Americans of all ages face high rates of violence, harassment, and discrimination.  Nearly one in three transgender Americans have experienced homelessness at some point in life.  Transgender Americans continue to face discrimination in employment, housing, health care, and public accommodations.  The crisis of violence against transgender women, especially transgender women of color, is a stain on our Nation’s conscience.

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to fulfilling the promise of America for all Americans by stamping out discrimination and delivering freedom and equality for all.

To ensure that the Federal Government protects the civil rights of transgender Americans, I signed, on my first day in office, an Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.  Today, we are proud to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility alongside barrier-breaking public servants, including the first openly transgender American to be confirmed by the United States Senate, and alongside patriotic transgender service members, who are once again able to proudly and openly serve their country.  We also celebrate together with transgender Americans across the country who will benefit from our efforts to stop discrimination and advance inclusion for transgender Americans in housing, in credit and lending services, in the care we provide for our veterans, and more.

To more fully protect the civil rights of transgender Americans, we must pass the Equality Act and provide long overdue Federal civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  The Equality Act will deliver legal protections for LGBTQ+ Americans in our housing, education, public services, and lending systems.  It will serve as a lasting legacy to the bravery and fortitude of the LGBTQ+ movement.

Vice President Harris and I affirm that transgender Americans make our Nation more prosperous, vibrant, and strong.  I urge my fellow Americans to join us in uplifting the worth and dignity of every transgender person.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2021, as Transgender Day of Visibility.  I call upon all Americans to join in the fight for full equality for all transgender people.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

White House.gov. 03/31/2021.

Since the President is traveling the daily briefing will be in the form of an Air Force One press gaggle the audio/transcript will be posted later today.

President Biden’s remarks are scheduled to start at 4:20 p.m. D.C., time.

Live Feed: The White House.

This is an Open Thread.

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