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 89th day in office.

For day 89–President Biden will receive his daily brief. This afternoon he will hold a bipartisan meeting with Member of Congress to discuss the American Jobs Plan.

When last we met on Friday President Biden had not tweeted. By the end of Friday President Biden tweeted 5 times and retweeted 0 times. 4 of his 5 tweets focused on his meeting with Japan Prime Minister H.E. Suga Yoshihide. The bilateral meeting between President Biden and PM Suga was the first in-person bilateral meeting of President Biden’s Presidency.

1:21 p.m. D.C., time he says he looks forward to welcoming Prime Minister Suga.

5:03 p.m. D.C., time he shares a live feed to the joint press conference.

The video stream is 31 minutes and 56 seconds long. President Biden open the press conference at the 1 minute and 39 second mark. The White House published their full remarks @ White House.gov., their time-stamp has the press conference starting at 5:05 p.m. D.C., time and ending at 5:33 p.m. D.C., time.

7:11 p.m. D.C., time he quote tweets PM Suga, who thanked President Biden for hosting him at the White House.

9:21 p.m. D.C., time he shares two photos from the meeting.

The pair of world leaders issued a joint-statement following the meeting which can be found @ White House.gov.

Snips from the statement:

Today, the United States and Japan renew an Alliance that has become a cornerstone of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world. An ocean separates our countries, but commitments to universal values and common principles, including freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, international law, multilateralism, and a free and fair economic order, unite us. Together we pledge to demonstrate that free and democratic nations, working together, are able to address the global threats from COVID-19 and climate change while resisting challenges to the free and open rules-based international order. Through this new era of friendship between the United States and Japan, each of our democracies will grow stronger still.

THE ALLIANCE: FORGING A FREE AND OPEN INDO-PACIFIC

President Biden and Prime Minister Suga committed to further strengthening the U.S.-Japan Alliance to expand on this vision, and fully endorsed the March 2021 Joint Statement of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee. Japan resolved to bolster its own national defense capabilities to further strengthen the Alliance and regional security. The United States restated its unwavering support for Japan’s defense under the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, using its full range of capabilities, including nuclear. It also reaffirmed the fact that Article V of the Treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands.

AN ALLIANCE FOR A NEW ERA

Recognizing that our shared security and prosperity requires new forms of 21st century cooperation, President Biden and Prime Minister Suga have launched a new Competitiveness and Resilience (CoRe) Partnership. Our partnership will ensure that we lead a sustainable, inclusive, healthy, green global economic recovery. It will also generate economic growth guided by open and democratic principles, supported by transparent trade rules and regulations and high labor and environmental standards, and aligned with a low-carbon future. To achieve these goals, the partnership will focus on i) competitiveness and innovation, ii) COVID-19 response, global health, and health security, and iii) climate change, clean energy, and green growth and recovery.

LOOKING FORWARD

The charges we take up today are considerable, but we face them with resolve and unity. Together, we will ensure that our security relationship is steadfast, despite challenges to our regional vision; that our partnership fuels a sustainable global economic recovery, after a year of global grief and hardship; and that we cooperate with like-minded partners around the world to lead a rules-based international order, despite challenges to its freedom and openness. People-to-people ties form the bedrock of our friendship and it is through initiatives such as the Mansfield Fellowship Program that we will continue to build bridges between our two societies that will sustain our Alliance into the future. President Biden supports Prime Minister Suga’s efforts to hold a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. Both leaders expressed their pride in the U.S. and Japanese athletes who have trained for these Games and will be competing in the best traditions of the Olympic spirit. Our governments will continue to meet at all levels, including to coordinate and implement our policies toward realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific. Above all, we renew our investment in the very idea of steadfast alliances – knowing that our partnership will make security and prosperity possible for both our peoples for decades to come.

White House.gov. 04/16/2021.

The White House posted a fact-sheet regarding the U.S.-Japan Competitiveness and Resilience (CoRe) Partnership.

Highlights from the fact-sheet:

Competitiveness and Innovation

Together, the United States and Japan will:

  • Advance secure and open 5G networks, including Open Radio Access Networks (“Open-RAN”), by fostering innovation and by promoting trustworthy vendors and diverse markets.
  • Strengthen competitiveness in the digital field by investing in research, development, testing, and deployment of secure networks and advanced ICT including 5G and next-generation mobile networks (“6G” or “Beyond 5G”). The United States has committed $2.5 billion to this effort, and Japan has committed $2 billion. 
  • Build on successful U.S.-Japan cooperation in third-countries and launch a Global Digital Connectivity Partnership to promote secure connectivity and a vibrant digital economy while building the cybersecurity capacity of our partners to address shared threats. 
  • Strengthen collaboration and information exchange between U.S. and Japanese ICT experts in global standards development.
  • Cooperate on sensitive supply chains, including semi-conductors, and on the promotion and protection of critical technologies.
  • Advance biotechnology for the global good by focusing on genome sequencing and the principles of openness, transparency, collaboration, and research integrity.
  • Reinforce collaboration and partnerships between research institutions on quantum information science and technology through joint research and exchange of researchers.

COVID-19 Response, Global Health, and Health Security

Together, the United States and Japan will:

  • Enhance our support to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, including the COVAX facility, and encourage others to do the same thereby collectively filling the financial needs to ensure equitable access to safe, effective, and affordable vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics particularly in developing countries.
  • Coordinate closely, through the Quad Vaccine Partnership, to facilitate production, procurement, and delivery of safe, effective, and affordable vaccines in the Indo-Pacific, including by expanding manufacturing capacity of COVID-19 vaccines in India.
  • In a new partnership, coordinate health security financing, regional surge capacity, and triggers for rapid response.
  • Establish regional pandemic response surge capacity, working with partners to promote manufacturing of personal protective equipment and medical countermeasures.
  • Work together and with others toward World Health Organization reform, including through the creation of swift triggers to respond to future biological threats, an independent oversight mechanism, and accountability for pandemic response.
  • Support a transparent and independent evaluation and analysis, free from interference and undue influence, of the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak, and for investigating outbreaks of unknown origin in the future.
  • Support the Global Health Security Agenda, as steering group members, to improve global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats.
  • Exchange data and practical knowledge, including simulation data on virus transmission from supercomputers such as Japan’s Fugaku and the United States’ Summit to develop innovative and more effective methods and techniques for infection prevention measures.
  • Reinforce collaboration between research institutions such as the National Institutes of Health and Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development and cooperation for resilient medical supply chains to improve preparedness for future crises.

Climate Change, Clean Energy, and Green Growth and Recovery

  • Cooperate on Paris Agreement implementation, with a focus on achieving our respective 2030 targets/nationally determined contributions and 2050 greenhouse gas emissions net-zero goals.
  • Collaborate and support innovation, development, and deployment of such clean-energy technologies as renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, grid modernization, energy storage (including batteries and long-duration storage technologies), smart grid, hydrogen, Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage/Carbon Recycling, industrial decarbonization and advanced nuclear power.
  • Promote development and use of adaptive climate- and environment-friendly infrastructure related to grid optimization, demand response, smart grids, and renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • Cooperate on other areas that contribute to climate change mitigation, clean energy and green growth and recovery, including ICT technology (such as smart cities, power saving ICT infrastructure, and digital solutions to infrastructure management), carbon neutral ports as well as sustainable and climate-smart agriculture.
  • Support developing countries, including those in the Indo-Pacific region, to rapidly deploy renewable energy, drive the decarbonization of our their economies, and accelerate diverse, ambitious, and realistic transition paths in the region, toward the realization of net-zero emissions globally no later than 2050, including through the newly established Japan-U.S. Clean Energy Partnership (“JUCEP”) and other country-level climate and clean energy collaborative activities. 

His one non-Japan meeting tweet was posted at 3:02 p.m. D.C., time where he says that he and Vice President Harris had be briefed on the mass shooting in Indianapolis.

CNN reported that on late Thursday night a former employee shot and killed 8 people, wounded others at a FedEx Ground Facility located in Indianapolis. The shooter was later identified as 19-year-old Brandon Hole. Hole was found dead at the scene from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.

For Saturday President Biden tweeted 3 times and retweeted 0 times. 2 tweets focus on his American Jobs Plan. While his last tweet for Saturday focuses on the coronavirus.

10:00 a.m. D.C., time he posts a 2 minute and 6 second video snip from his on the line weekly conversation series. This time he spoke with caregiver Susie from Texas.

President Biden: Hey Susie, can you hear me?

Susie: Yes, sir I can hear you.

President Biden: How’d you first get involved in home care?

Susie: Caregiving for me is a calling. I started caring in nursing homes then transitioned to in-home caregiving. I say to folks “I’m not giving up on you. I’m here for the long haul. I’ll be here for you where you’re sick.” When the pandemic hit my hours were cut. So was my pay. Caregivers do not have the luxury or privilege of working remotely. I feel people undervalue caregivers in our society. That’s why I’m glad President Biden is talking about caregiving and talking about caregivers like me.

President Biden: You know, Susie, I kind of understand that. My mom got sick, got hospice, and help. What that made me realize was, how about those people who don’t have family? What are the biggest problems you face?

Susie: Caregiving is a 24/7 job. You have to work holidays, you have to work weekends, you have to work Mother’s Day, Father’s Day. It takes a lot out of you, and I think so many folks work so many hours because they’re not getting the pay they deserve. We need to get people to want to do this kind of work and by them not having any benefits, who wants to do a job like that? The pay, the medical, sick leave–we need to take care of ourselves, because as caregivers we tend to neglect ourselves because we’re doing so much care because we’re caring for others.

President Biden: That’s why we’re going to make sure that in this caregiver legislation I have you’ll be in a position to get wages and benefits for the job you do. I appreciate what you’ve done. People like you should be rewarded adequately for what you do. You’re an essential part of whether or not people can live full lives. So thank you so much. Stay healthy.

Susie: It’s an honor, sir. It was an honor.

President Biden: I wish I could see you in person and give you a hug. And tell your wife I said hello. I hope I’m not slowing up dinner.

Susie: It was an honor, sir.

From the American Jobs Plan fact-sheet published by the White House on March 31st, 2021.

The past year has led to job losses and threatened economic security, eroding more than 30 years of progress in women’s labor force participation. It has unmasked the fragility of our caregiving infrastructure.

Solidify the infrastructure of our care economy by creating jobs and raising wages and benefits for essential home care workers. These workers – the majority of whom are women of color – have been underpaid and undervalued for too long. The President’s plan makes substantial investments in the infrastructure of our care economy, starting by creating new and better jobs for caregiving workers. His plan will provide home and community-based care for individuals who otherwise would need to wait as many as five years to get the services they badly need.

SOLIDIFY THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF OUR CARE ECONOMY BY CREATING JOBS AND RAISING WAGES AND BENEFITS FOR ESSENTIAL HOME CARE WORKERS
Even before COVID-19, our country was in the midst of a caregiving crisis. In addition to caring for children, families feel the financial burden of caring for aging relatives and family members with disabilities, and there is a financial strain for people with disabilities living independently to ensure that they are getting care in their homes. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of people who need better care are unable to access it, even though they qualify under Medicaid. In fact, it can take years for these individuals to get the services they badly need. Aging relatives and people with disabilities deserve better. They deserve high-quality services and support that meet their unique needs and personal choices.
Caregivers – who are disproportionally women of color – have been underpaid and undervalued for far too long. Wages for essential home care workers are approximately $12 per hour, putting them among the lowest paid workers in our economy. In fact, one in six workers in this sector live in poverty. President Biden is calling on Congress to make substantial investments in the infrastructure of care in our country. Specifically, he is calling on Congress to put $400 billion toward expanding access to quality, affordable home- or community-based care for aging relatives and people with disabilities. These investments will help hundreds of thousands of Americans finally obtain the long-term services and support they need, while creating new jobs and offering caregiving workers a long-overdue raise, stronger benefits, and an opportunity to organize or join a union and collectively bargain. Research shows that increasing the pay of direct care workers greatly enhances workers’ financial security, improves productivity, and increases the quality of care offered. Another study showed that increased pay for care workers prevented deaths, reduced the number of health violations, and lowered the cost of preventative care. 

Put in place an infrastructure to create good middle-class jobs with a free and fair choice to join a union. The HCBS expansion under Medicaid can support well-paying caregiving jobs that include benefits and the ability to collectively bargain, building state infrastructure to improve the quality of services and to support workers. This will improve wages and quality of life for essential home health workers and yield significant economic benefits for low-income communities and communities of color.

Pair job creation efforts with next generation training programs. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest in evidence-based approaches to supporting workers. This includes wraparound services, income supports, counseling, and case management, paired with high-quality training and effective partnerships between educational institutions, unions, and employers. Specifically, he is calling for a $40 billion investment in a new Dislocated Workers Program and sector-based training. This funding will ensure comprehensive services for workers, who have lost jobs through no fault of their own, to gain new skills and to get career services they need with in-demand jobs. Sector-based training programs will be focused on growing, high demand sectors such as clean energy, manufacturing, and caregiving, helping workers of all kinds to find good-quality jobs in an ever-changing economy.

White House.gov. 03/31/2021.

2:15 p.m. D.C., time he says we can build a “new American economy.”

From White House.gov/AmericanJobsPaln.

This is no time to build back to the way things were. This is a moment to reimagine and rebuild a new economy.

The American Jobs Plan is a historic investment that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China.

It will invest in America in a way we have not invested since we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race—positioning the United States to lead in infrastructure and innovation once again.

White House.gov/americanjobsplan.

6:45 p.m. D.C., time he reminds everyone to continue to wear masks, social distance, wash hands, and get vaccinated.

He is not wrong. As more of us get vaccinated, we must continue to protect ourselves and others from the deadly coronavirus. I know it’s a year-old now, I understand that as weather gets hotter masks become more uncomfortable, but we are not out of the woods yet, vaccines do not equal cures.

For Sunday President Biden tweeted 2 times both push his American Jobs Plan. Infrastructure week will never die…

9:48 a.m. D.C., time he shares a 1 minute and 7 second video.

President Biden: For too long America has been falling back. The rest of the world is closing in, and closing in on us fast. I’m asking you not just to support the bill in Congress or a government program. I’m asking you to imagine. Imagine a world where you and your family could travel coast-to-coast without a single tank of gas, or on board a high-speed train. Imagine being able to connect to high-speed, affordable, reliable internet, wherever you live. Imagine a future where we lead the world and tackle the looming threat of climate crisis and with American jobs and ingenuity.  This isn’t a hypothetical proposition. This is a plan. It can happen. It’s my American Jobs Plan, and you can check it out on my website. This moment in the economy calls for America–not just the private sector, but the public sector–all of us to do our part. This can be the moment that America wins the future. But it’s going to take every American to get there. So let’s do big things–think big. There’s nothing beyond our capacity.

The above video is snipped from a 3 minute and 3 second video that was tweeted on April 13th, 2021 and the full text of that video can be found @ the News Blender.

2:30 p.m. D.C., time he says that “Every American has the right to clean drinking water.”

From the American Jobs Plan fact-sheet:

Ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities:

  • Replace 100 percent of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines.  According to the CDC, there is no safe level of lead exposure for children. Lead can slow development and cause learning, behavior, and hearing problems in children, as well as lasting kidney and brain damage. President Biden believes that no American family should still be receiving drinking water through lead pipes and service lines. To eliminate all lead pipes and service lines in the country, he is calling on Congress to invest $45 billion in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and in Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN) grants. In addition to reducing lead exposure in homes, this investment also will reduce lead exposure in 400,000 schools and childcare facilities.
  • Upgrade and modernize America’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, tackle new contaminants, and support clean water infrastructure across rural America. Aging water systems threaten public health in thousands of communities nationwide. President Biden will modernize these systems by scaling up existing, successful programs, including by providing $56 billion in grants and low-cost flexible loans to states, Tribes, territories, and disadvantaged communities across the country. President Biden’s plan also provides $10 billion in funding to monitor and remediate PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in drinking water and to invest in rural small water systems and household well and wastewater systems, including drainage fields.

For Monday President Biden has tweeted 2 times and retweeted 0 times so far.

9:26 a.m. D.C., time he shares a 19 second video regarding the coronavirus vaccine.

President Biden: Folks, I have good news. Everybody is eligible, as of today, to get the vaccine. We have enough of it, you need to be protected, and you need, in turn, to protect your neighbors and your family. So please, get the vaccine.

11:18 a.m. D.C., time he shares a 2 minute and 39 second video. The title of this video…Secretary Pete Buttigieg vs. THE CLOCK.

Buttigieg: I’m Pete Buttigieg. I’m the Secretary of Transportation and we’re here to find out how much of the American Jobs Plan I can explain in less than 15 second at a time.

Q: Define infrastructure.

Buttigieg: Infrastructure is the foundation that makes it possible for us to live a life of our choosing. It’s everything from roads and bridges and pipes to the digital infrastructure that connect us to the rest of the world. [He had 4 seconds left out of the 15 seconds allowed].

Q: What is the American Jobs Plan?

Buttigieg: American Jobs Plan is the most comprehensive and ambitious investment in U.S., jobs since World War II. And I’m excited about it as Transportation Secretary because it’s full of investments in our transportation infrastructure. [He had 3 second left out of the 15 seconds allowed].

After that question there is an exchange between the PR people who thought this was a good idea and Secretary Pete, where the PR team jokes, maybe we should have done 10 seconds to answer and he says; Ten? Jeez, moving the goalpost. All right.

They really did change the time to 10 seconds…

Q: Why is there urgency to update our nations infrastructure?

Buttigieg: There’s urgency to update our nation’s infrastructure because we’re falling behind. We’ve fallen to 13th place. Strategic competitors like China are investing hugely in their infrastructure. We got to not just keep up or catch up, but we got to lead. [But we got to lead was said after the 10 seconds was up].

Q: What would you say to people who say infrastructure is just roads, bridges, and highways?

Buttigieg: Well infrastructure includes roads, bridges, and highways but there’s a lot more to it than that. Our national airspace is part of infrastructure, having good airports, and of course digital broadband infrastructure–pipes. You need water to live so that’s clearly part of infrastructure. [He went 2 seconds over the 10 seconds they moved the goal posts too].

Q: Is high-speed internet really infrastructure?

Buttigieg: Absolutely! Look, it used to be that thing you needed to be connected to the rest of the world was a road. Now, that’s still true, you need a read, but that’s not enough. It’s as important to have a digital connection as it is a physical one. [He used the 10 seconds allowed].

Q: How will the American Jobs Plan transform our transportation infrastructure? [He is asked to try to answer this question in 5 seconds].

Buttigieg: You want full micro machines? [That’s asked before the clock starts]. 20,000 miles of roads and highways improved or renovated, to 10,000 of the most important bridges around the country as well as 10 major economically significant ones. Ports, airports, rail, transit, infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure. [He doesn’t make the answer in 5 seconds].

Q: What would you say to those that feel this plan is too ambitious?

Buttigieg: Since when does America think small? If we want to be the leading country in the world and not just another country out there, then we got to think big and we got to invest big too.

I should note, that I left out some of the cross-talk paling around bits.


Here is the replay of Monday’s daily presser.

This is an Open Thread.

About the opinions in this article…

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