Friday marks President Biden’s 79th day in office.
For day 79–The President will receive his daily brief. This afternoon the President and Vice President will receive their weekly economic brief.
When last we checked in with the President’s Twitter feed, he had tweeted 1 time for Thursday. He added another 7 tweets giving him a Thursday total of 8 tweets and 0 retweets.
6 out of the 7 Thursday tweets focused on what he and his administration were doing to combat gun violence.
The non-gun violence tweet was posted at 4:36 p.m. D.C., time.
On April 4th, 2021, the White House published the following proclamation on the “Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust, 2021.”
On Yom HaShoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day — we stand in solidarity with the Jewish people in America, Israel, and around the world to remember and reflect on the horrors of the Holocaust. An estimated six million Jews perished alongside millions of other innocent victims — Roma and Sinti, Slavs, disabled persons, LGBTQ+ individuals, and others — systematically murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators in one of the cruelest and most heinous campaigns in human history.
We honor the memories of precious lives lost, contemplate the incomprehensible wound to our humanity, mourn for the communities broken and scattered, and embrace those who survived the Holocaust — some of whom are still with us today, continuing to embody extraordinary resilience after all these years. Having borne witness to the depths of evil, these survivors remind us of the vital refrain: “never again.” The history of the Holocaust is forever seared into the history of humankind, and it is the shared responsibility of all people to ensure that the horrors of the Shoah can never be erased from our collective memory.
It is painful to remember. It is human nature to want to leave the past behind. But in order to prevent a tragedy like the Holocaust from happening again, we must share the truth of this dark period with each new generation. All of us must understand the depravity that is possible when governments back policies fueled by hatred, when we dehumanize groups of people, and when ordinary people decide that it is easier to look away or go along than to speak out. Our children and grandchildren must learn where those roads lead, so that the commitment of “never again” lives strongly in their hearts.
I remember learning about the horrors of the Holocaust from my father when I was growing up, and I have sought to impart that history to my own children and grandchildren in turn. I have taken them on separate visits to Dachau, so that they could see for themselves what happened there, and to impress on them the urgency to speak out whenever they witness anti-Semitism or any form of ethnic and religious hatred, racism, homophobia, or xenophobia. The legacy of the Holocaust must always remind us that silence in the face of such bigotry is complicity — remembering, as Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, that there are moments when “indifference to evil is worse than evil itself.”
Those who survived the Holocaust are an inspiration to every single one of us. Yet they continue to live with the unique mental and physical scars from the unconscionable trauma of the Holocaust, with many survivors in the United States living in poverty. When I served as Vice President, I helped secure Federal funding for grants to support Holocaust survivors — but we must do more to pursue justice and dignity for survivors and their heirs. We have a moral imperative to recognize the pain survivors carry, support them, and ensure that their memories and experiences of the Holocaust are neither denied nor distorted, and that the lessons for all humanity are never forgotten.
Holocaust survivors and their descendants — and each child, grandchild, and great-grandchild of those who lost their lives — are living proof that love and hope will always triumph over murder and destruction. Every child and grandchild of a survivor is a testament to resilience, and a living rebuke to those who sought to extinguish the future of the Jewish people and others who were targeted.
Yom HaShoah reminds us not only of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, but also reinforces our ongoing duty to counter all forms of dehumanizing bigotry directed against the LGBTQ+, disability, and other marginalized communities. While hate may never be permanently defeated, it must always be confronted and condemned. When we recognize the fundamental human dignity of all people, we help to build a more just and peaceful world. In the memory of all those who were lost, and in honor of all those who survived, we must continue to work toward a better, freer, and more just future for all humankind.
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 April 4 through April 11, 2021, as a week of observance of the Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust, and call upon the people of the United States to observe this week and pause to remember victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of April, two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.White House.gov. 04/04/2021.
In Thursday’s press briefing White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki offered the following statement:
As President Biden noted in a proclamation issued on Sunday, we are marking Holocaust Remembrance Day this week. Today, we rededicate ourselves to standing in solidarity with the Jewish people in America, Israel, and around the world, and to remembering the horrors of the Holocaust. An estimated 6 million Jews perished alongside millions of other innocent victims around the world.White House.gov. 04/08/2021.
We honor the memories of precious lives lost, reflect on the incomprehensible wounds to our humanity and the lessons learned, and mourn for the communities broken and scattered. And we embrace Holocaust survivors, some of whom are still with us. They deserve our continued support to live in dignity.
The video is cued to her remarks.
On-ward to the gun violence admin action tweets…
11:55 a.m. D.C., time he shares a live feed to his remarks regarding his admins actions regarding gun violence.
3:15 p.m. D.C., time he shares bullet points from a fact-sheet regarding the actions taken to combat gun-violence.
3:40 p.m. D.C., time he says the Senate should pass the three House-passed bills to “close loopholes in the gun background check system.”
6:47 p.m. D.C., time he shares a 35 second video clip that appears to have been filmed in the Oval Office.
7:30 p.m. D.C., time he says “we need to ban assault weapons.”
8:38 p.m. D.C., time he shares a video snip from his Rose Garden remarks.
Unlike in the past live feeds shared by President Biden’s Twitter account this one starts almost 1 minute after posting. Vice President Kamala Harris opens the Rose Garden event. The stream is 39 minutes and 27 seconds long. President Biden’s remarks start at the 4 minute and 58 second mark. He concludes his remarks at the 27 minute and 51 second mark. Attorney General Merrick Garland offers remarks to close the event.
His full remarks can be found @ White House.gov. They have also posted separately the Vice President’s remarks.
As covered in Thursday’s Open Thread the White House posted a fact-sheet regarding the actions President Biden and his admin were taking to address gun violence.
The bullet points as tweeted:
- The Justice Department, within 30 days, will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns.”
- The Justice Department, within 60 days, will issue a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act.
- The Justice Department, within 60 days, will publish model “red flag” legislation for states.
- The Administration is investing in evidence-based community violence interventions.
As to the last bullet point, the White House published a separate fact-sheet regarding Community Violence Intervention.
Today, as part of a package of initial actions to reduce gun violence, the Biden-Harris Administration announces historic investments in community violence intervention to combat the gun violence epidemic.
American Jobs Plan: President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, unveiled last week, calls on Congress to invest $5 billion over eight years to support evidence-based community violence intervention programs that train at-risk individuals for jobs and provide other wraparound services to prevent violence and assist victims. These strategies will help rebuild economies in the hardest hit areas.
Medicaid Funding: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is organizing a webinar and toolkit to educate states on how they can use Medicaid to reimburse certain community violence intervention programs, like Hospital-Based Violence Interventions.
Leveraging Existing Grant Programs: Five agencies are making changes to existing federal funding streams across 26 programs to direct vital support to CVI programs as quickly as possible. For example:
The Department of Justice will give priority to applicants proposing CVI strategies in its Comprehensive Youth Violence Prevention and Reductions Programs, a $11 million competitive grant that provides funding for programs that prevent and reduce youth violence. The solicitation will post by the end of April 2021 and awards will be made by September 30, 2021.
The National Institutes of Health will prioritize community-based intervention research for its Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention Research grant awards. These programs will provide $12.5 million to improve understanding of the determinants of firearm injury, those most at risk (including both victims and perpetrators), and strategies to prevent firearm injury and mortality. Applications are due April 30, 2021, with awards expected in September 2021.White House.gov. 04/08/2021.
From his Rose Garden remarks:
[11:38] first, I want to rein in the proliferation of so-called “ghost guns.” These are guns that are homemade, built from a kit that include the directions on how to finish the firearm. You can go buy the kit. They have no serial numbers, so when they show up at a crime scene, they can’t be traced.
[13:25] We want to treat pistols modified with stabilizing braces with the seriousness they deserve. A stabilizing brace — you’re going to (inaudible) — essentially, it makes that pistol a hell of a lot more accurate and a mini-rifle. As a result, it’s more lethal, effectively turning into a short-barreled rifle. That’s what the alleged shooter in Boulder appears to have done.
I want to be clear that these modifications to firearms that make them more lethal should be subject to the National Firearms Act. The National Firearms Act requires that a potential owner pay a $200 fee and submit their name and other identifying information to the Justice Department, just as they would if they went out and purchased a silencer for a gun.
[16:06] I want to see a national red flag law and legislation to incentivize states to enact their own red flag laws. Today, I asked the Justice Department to publish a model red flag legislation so states can start crafting their own laws right now. Just like with background checks, the vast majority of Americans support these extreme risk protection order laws, and it’s time to put these laws on the books and protect even more people. The Attorney General will have more to say about this in a moment.White House.gov. 04/08/2021.
From his Rose Garden remarks:
[19:48] I believe the Senate should immediately pass three House-passed bills to close loopholes that allow gun purchases — purchasers to bypass the background checks. The vast majority of the American people, including gun owners, believe there should be background checks before you purchase a gun.White House.gov. 04/08/2021.
On March 11th, 2021, USA TODAY reported that the House passed two bills that would expand background checks for gun sales.
H.R. 8 would expand background checks on individuals seeking to purchase or transfer firearms, and the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 would close the “Charleston loophole,” a gap in federal law that lets gun sales proceed without a completed background check if three businesses days have passed. That bill, titled the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, passed 227-203. It received eight Republican votes, and one Democrat voted against it. In 2019, the bill was passed with eight votes from Republicans, five of whom cosponsored the package.
The other bill passed Thursday, H.R. 1446, is linked to a shooting in 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina, where a white supremacist used the loophole to obtain firearms he used to kill nine Black people during a Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church.
The bill would extend the initial background check review period from three to 10 days.USA TODAY. 03/11/2021.
The bill, which was passed 219-210, with two Democrats opposed and two Republicans in support, was written by House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C.
At this time I can only find two bills that passed the House. That’s most likely my own fault, and not an indication that the 3rd bill doesn’t exist.
From his Rose Garden Remarks:
[19:20] They’ve offered plenty of thoughts and prayers — members of Congress — but they’ve passed not a single new federal law to reduce gun violence. Enough prayers. Time for some action.White House.gov. 04/08/2021.
President Biden via the posted video clip: Everyday in America 316 people are shot, and 106 of them die–every day in America. Enough. Enough. It’s got to stop. Enough “thoughts and prayers” from Congress. Pass the legislation closing these gun show loopholes. Pass the legislation requiring extensive background checks. Pass the legislation. It’s sitting there, let’s move.
From his Rose Garden remarks:
[23:11] Now, I know this has been a hobbyhorse of mine for a long time — got it done once. We should also ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country.
For that 10 years we had it done, the number of mass shootings actually went down. Even law enforcement officials have told me and told other champions of this legislation they sometimes feel outgunned by assault weapons with large-capacity magazines.
There’s no reason someone needs a weapon of war with 100 rounds, 100 bullets that can be fired from that weapon. Nobody needs that. Nobody needs that.White House.gov. 04/08/2021.
From the fact-sheet:
President Biden is reiterating his call for Congress to pass legislation to reduce gun violence. Last month, a bipartisan coalition in the House passed two bills to close loopholes in the gun background check system. Congress should close those loopholes and go further, including by closing “boyfriend” and stalking loopholes that currently allow people found by the courts to be abusers to possess firearms, banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and investing in evidence-based community violence interventions. Congress should also pass an appropriate national “red flag” law, as well as legislation incentivizing states to pass “red flag” laws of their own.White House.gov. 04/08/2021.
From his Rose Garden remarks:
[25:26–the video clip is 1 minute and 20 seconds long this is the full quote] I know that the conversation about guns in this country can be a difficult one. But even here, there’s much more common ground than we — anyone would believe. There’s much more common ground.White House.gov. 04/08/2021.
Everything that’s being proposed today is totally consistent with the Second Amendment. And there’s a wide consensus behind the need to take action.
I know that when overwhelming majorities of Americans want to see something change that will affect their lives and it still doesn’t change, it can be demoralizing to our fellow citizens. It can feel like our entire political process is broken.
I know it’s painful and frustrating that we haven’t made the progress that we’d hoped for. But it took five years to get the Brady bill passed, and it took even more years to work to pass the assault weapons ban. And it saved lives.
No matter how long it takes, we’re going to get these passed. We’re not going to give up. We have an opportunity to fulfill the first responsibility of government: to keep our people safe. And in the process, we can show the world and show ourselves that democracy works, that we can come together and get big things done.
For Friday he has tweeted 1 time so far.
11:33 a.m. D.C., time he offers his thoughts on the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Phillip was 99 years old.
The White House also published a statement on the passing of Prince Phillip.
On behalf of all the people of the United States, we send our deepest condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the entire Royal Family, and all the people of the United Kingdom on the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Over the course of his 99-year life, he saw our world change dramatically and repeatedly. From his service during World War II, to his 73 years alongside the Queen, and his entire life in the public eye — Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK, the Commonwealth, and to his family. The impact of his decades of devoted public service is evident in the worthy causes he lifted up as patron, in the environmental efforts he championed, in the members of the Armed Forces that he supported, in the young people he inspired, and so much more. His legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavors he shaped.
Jill and I are keeping the Queen and Prince Philip’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in our hearts during this timeWhite House.gov. 04/09/2021.
The White House press briefing is scheduled to start at 12:00 p.m. D.C., time. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki welcomes former Mayor Pete now Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to the briefing room.
Psaki will likely announce the already announced Executive Order that President Biden will sign establishing the “Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States.”
President Biden will today issue an executive order forming the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States, comprised of a bipartisan group of experts on the Court and the Court reform debate. In addition to legal and other scholars, the Commissioners includes former federal judges and practitioners who have appeared before the Court, as well as advocates for the reform of democratic institutions and of the administration of justice. The expertise represented on the Commission includes constitutional law, history and political science.
[the goals of the commission]: The topics it will examine include the genesis of the reform debate; the Court’s role in the Constitutional system; the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court; the membership and size of the Court; and the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices.
The Executive Order directs that the Commission complete its report within 180 days of its first public meeting. This action is part of the Administration’s commitment to closely study measures to improve the federal judiciary, including those that would expand access the court system.
The two co-chairs of this Commission are Bob Bauer, Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at New York University School of Law and a former White House Counsel, as well as Yale Law School Professor Cristina Rodriguez, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice.White House.gov. 04/09/2021.
According to the statement regarding the announced intent to establish the Commission the Commission will hold public meetings to hear views “of other experts.”
Live Feed: The White House.
This is an Open Thread.
Happy Weekend (almost) Everyone! I’ll see you on the other side…