Biden Bits: Let’s Go

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Monday.

For Monday, July, 26th, 2021, President Biden has received his daily brief. At 11:10 a.m. D.C., time, President Biden and Vice President Harris will offer remarks from the Rose Garden to mark the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This afternoon President Biden has a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

The White House posted a fact-sheet remarking on the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The gist of the fact-sheet is to highlight what the Biden-Harris Administration has done to “achieve a more inclusive, accessible, and equitable country for people with disabilities, including people with disabilities that experience multiple forms of discrimination and bias on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation and other factors.”

The fact-sheet also includes information from President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda on how it will help disabled Americans.

To open Friday’s White House daily press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki outlined the Administrations week ahead.

On Monday, the President will host an event in the Rose Garden to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which the President proudly cosponsored as a senator.  While we have much work to do to realize the full aspiration of the ADA, our country has made progress toward its goals of equality of opportunity, full participation, self-sufficiency, and respect for the 61 million Americans with disabilities.

[Iraq PM’s visit]

Also Monday, the President will welcome Prime Min- — the Prime Minister of Iraq to the White House.  The Prime Minister’s visit will highlight the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq, and advance bilateral cooperation under a Strategic — the Strategic Framework Agreement. 

The visit will also focus on key areas of shared interest, including through education, health, cultural, economic, energy, and climate initiatives.  President Biden looks forward to strengthening bilateral cooperation with Iraq on political, economic, and security issues, including joint efforts to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS.

White 07/23/2021.

This morning prior to the bilateral meeting with the PM of Iraq, the White House posted a background press call with a Senior White House Official.

In terms of just the — some of the — “deliverables” is a word we use for these trips — but the deliverables that we’ve been working on with the Iraqi government over the last four to five months that have — some of which have been announced and some of which will be.  So let me just kind of roll them up so you get a sense of the breadth of what we’re talking about. 

First, given that we’re all dealing with the COVID crisis, and particularly Iraq has been hard-hit by COVID, we are delivering 500,000 Pfizer vaccines through COVAX to Iraq.  In addition, $155 million in humanitarian assistance to support over 1 million IDPs in Iraq, announced by the State Department.

Iraq has an election coming up in October, and there was a call by a number of very senior Iraqi leaders and also Grand Ayatollah Sistani, interestingly, also called for a significant U.N. role to help observe the election that’s coming up in October.  And the United States led an effort in the U.N. Security Council and secured a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution a few months ago to establish that mission.  And we’re announcing today a $5.2 million contribution for that electoral monitoring mission.  And again, that election is taking place in October.

We’re also contributing about $9.7 million for technical electoral assistance to Iraq’s independent High Electoral Commission through the U.N. mission in Iraq; about $1.2 million also from the State Department to restore Iraqi universities up in Ninewa Province, which are devastated by the campaign — in the occupation by ISIS and in the campaign to liberate Mosul from ISIS.  This is part of an ongoing initiative.  It’s been going on for a couple of years.

Similar to the — in the COVID bucket, about $800,000 towards facilitating high-consequence pathogen track-and-trace methodology.

In the climate agenda, we have a huge climate agenda with the Iraqis which I want to highlight.  USAID funded technical assistance for renewable energy and climate adaptation with a figure — monetary figure I just can’t announce yet.  But that is also something very much on the agenda.  And I’ll get to a couple other energy-related initiatives fairly soon.

Centers for Disease Control signing a new arrangement to work with Iraq’s public health sector to help improve their public health capacity is particularly important because Iraq has suffered from just a couple horrific hospital fires over the past few months that have just been devastating.  And we want to help them as best we can through our expertise and technical advice to get a handle on that problem. 

The Development Finance Corporation plans to invest about a billion dollars in Iraq to boost private-sector activity, create jobs, provide opportunities for Iraqis.

Some on the energy — on the energy front.  King Abdullah, of course, was here this week.  And we are in the process of finalizing arrangements for connecting the Jordanian electricity grid with the Iraqi electricity grid.  This is a project that USAID is helping to fund on the Jordanian side and General Electric is helping to fund on the Iraqi side.  It’ll help bring power to about a million Iraqis in southern Iraq and also some revenues to Jordan.  So it’s a really major win-win initiative.

Also on the energy and climate side, if you follow these issues, Iraq flares gas from its oil exploration in southern Iraq.  And they will be breaking ground later this fall on a — a really historic project that has been many years under discussion, and we were finally able to get it over the line.  And it’ll be a gas capture project.  Baker Hughes is a part of this project.  But it’ll capture about 5.2 million cubic meters of flared gas every day. 

And just why that’s so important not only for Iraq’s own energy needs, which are critical, but also these — this flared gas in southern Iraq contributes about 10 percent of flared emissions of greenhouse gases worldwide.  So, it’s a critical not only energy initiative, but also on the on the climate side, which is obviously central to our agenda here in the Biden administration.

So, that’s just, like, a peek of what is under discussion.  It is truly an enormous agenda.

White 07/26/2021.

The Washington Post reported this morning that President Biden and the Prime Minister of Iraq are expected to announce “that U.S. combat forces will leave that country within months.”

The Senior White House Official told the press on the background call the following regarding troop withdrawal from Iraq:

Of course, there have been talks, yesterday, at the Pentagon on the security side and military side.  We are in Iraq at their invitation to help Iraq’s capacity Security Forces and Peshmerga in the campaign against ISIS.

We’ve — are completing the fourth Strategic Dialogue.  There were two last year in 2020.  And two — there was one in April.  This will be the final one.  And we’ll talk about — still under discussion, but we’re talking about shifting to a new phase in the campaign in which we very much complete the combat mission against ISIS and shift to an advisory and training mission by the end of the year.

So, I know that has been in the news.  That’s something that is a part of the visit, but just one piece of this — of this, overall, just massive agenda between our two countries.

Of course, all of this will be discussed between the two leaders on Monday, and we’re very much looking forward to the meeting.  And I am happy to answer any of your questions.

White 07/26/2021.

As I’m sure you guessed the Senior Admin Official was asked questions about the ending of combat troops presence in Iraq.

Q: And then, you just mentioned, a moment ago, the discussion at the Pentagon and the larger discussions that have been taking place before that toward ending the combat mission.  Do you anticipate that the President will be able to announce — you know, put a period on the end of that sentence, basically, on Monday, and say, “We are ending combat operations this year…” on a certain day?  You know, something like that.  What would that look like?

Senior Admin Official says: Yes, I’m confident of that.  There will be a communiqué issued, probably at the end of the day on Monday.  It will be a broad communiqué, kind of wrapping up many of these initiatives that I discussed, and similar to prior Strategic Dialogue communiqués.  There have been four [three] of them, so you can go see those. So, I think something similar to that, and I think it will make very clear that this has been an evolution.  So when the Strategic Dialogues began, I think there were about 9,000 U.S. forces in the country.  Each Strategic Dialogue has resulted in an a — in a communiqué and an arrangement agreement about consolidation, redeployment of forces, and there has been a consolidation. So, I defer to DOD, but I think we’re down (inaudible) 2,500 troops or so in the country doing a variety of things, really helping the Iraqis continue to build their capacity. Iraq has also reached out to NATO — NATO training mission and other coalition partners to train and support Iraqi forces.  And again, I think those are very important initiatives. So, to put a period on your question about whether we’ll have a period on it: Yes, a statement, a communiqué will come out on Monday.  And so, we’re excited about that.  And that will wrap up, I think, the entire breadth of what I, kind of, conveyed up top.  And there will be a security component in the communiqué as well.

Q: Hey, sorry about that.  So — and to put a period at the end of that.  Is that period that the combat mission will end at the end of 2021? And secondly, just, I guess, more broadly, it seems like Iraqis want to be able to say there’ll be no combat troops, but the combat mission seems to have been done, for all intents and purposes, for some time now. So is this really more of something about semantics than actually a really great shift in what’s happening on the ground?

Senior Admin Official says: Well, no, I wouldn’t say that.  I think if you, you know, look at the four [three] Strategic Dialogues and a significant evolution from our Presidents at the height of that until now, and then between now and the end of the year, I think you can anticipate additional adjustments. But what the communiqué will also make clear and what the Iraqis have made clear and Prime Minister Kadhimi himself, I think, in an interview with The Washington Post has made clear is that, as this evolution continues, and as we formally end the combat mission and make clear that there are no American forces with a combat role in the country, Iraq has requested, and we very much agree, that they need continued training; support with logistics, intelligence, advisory capacity building — all of which will continue. So, it’s far more than semantics.  And if you look at what’s happened over the last four [three] Strategic Dialogues from where we were at that point to where we are now, and then between now and the end of the year — I don’t want to get into numbers or anything like that, and I think in none of the Strategic Dialogues were those types of details put out. But no, it’s — you know, it’s a significant evolution and I think it’s something that we feel good about, just given the fact that we’ve trained about 250,000 Iraqi Security Forces and Peshmerga.  They are, you know, battle-tested.  They have proven very capable in protecting their country. At the same time, ISIS remains a threat.  And we saw a bombing in Baghdad just this week — the first one in some time, which, I think, just, kind of — just reinforces the need that we both understand and recognize that Iraq continues to need support in this kind of advisory training/capacity-building sense.  And that’s something that will continue.

Q: Can you talk about — first, can you say: Will any U.S. troops be leaving?  And can you define what you mean by “combat troops” and “combat forces”?

Senior Admin Official says: So, again, I am not going to get into details of what capabilities are there, what capabilities we intend to have in the training/advisory role, for reasons I think you can understand. Again, between now and the end of the year, I think a number of things will be happening — changes of command — you know, I think a number of things over the next five months.  And I think it’s fair to anticipate adjustments as we shift to this new role.  But I’m just not, from here, going to get into details on numbers or capabilities or anything. But it is a significant evolution in the mission.  I think, if you look to where we were when we had Apache helicopters in combat, when we had U.S. Special Forces doing regular operations.  I mean, I remember those days.  It’s a significant evolution.  And just — so, by the end of the year, we think we’ll be in a good place to really formally move into an advisory and capacity-building role.

There are a few more questions, but those seemed to be the most relevant.

President Biden has tweeted 3 times so far for Monday.

Because I wasn’t fast enough and they actually almost started on-time, he added a live stream to his and Vice President Harris’ remarks on the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

When Friday’s Biden Bits was posted the President had only retweeted 1 time. He added 4 tweets giving him a Friday Tweeting Total of 4 tweets and 1 retweet.

Saturday President Biden tweeted 5 times and retweeted 0 times.
Sunday President Biden tweeted 4 times and retweeted 0 times.

I’m mixing them in with Friday’s, where they say the same thing.

Build Back Better:




The Build Back Better agenda can be found here.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework can be found here.
The American Jobs Plan/Made in America Tax Plan can be found here.
The American Families Plan can be found here.

For some highlights you can find those @ the News Blender, here, here, and here.




For some other highlights @ the News Blender.

CBS News posted an hour ago the Olympic Medal Count so far.

CBS News. 07/26/2021.

They have the full chart, I just snipped the top 3 countries.

Coronavirus Vaccine.



The other day scrolling through TikTok when I was a bit down about how so many dummies won’t get vaccinated, I saw this TikTok.


##greenscreen ##brave ##pfizer ##covid ##antivax ##antivaxxersshutup ##science ##delta

♬ original sound – CrawfordCrew

She said on the 16th, of July, that she was finally getting a vaccine. Her decision she says was made in order to protect her kids, as they aren’t old enough to get the vaccine. In a follow-up video she announced that after seeing her video that some of her family members had decided to also get vaccinated to protect her children.

This is not a mind blowing stance, but it gave me a spark of hope and I think we need the sparks where ever we can find them.

Admin/Cabinet Shoutout



The Lone-Wolf Tweet.

The video is 3 minutes and 46 seconds long. I’ll provide the question/statement, who answers, and their answer. That’s as close as we get to a transcript of the video.

Chief of Staff Ron Klain says:

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says:

Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Public Engagement Cedric Richmond says:

I had to skip an answer, because the user has their account protected.


The gist was how about the crumbling bridges to which White House Communication’s Director Kate Bedingfield said that’s how come President Biden has the Infrastructure plan to fix roads and bridges.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says:

Kate is not very good at this takeover of the White House twitter account.

This is what appears in the video.

In very fine small print it says replying to Ella Brockway

This is Ella’s tweet, I guess, don’t know 100 percent but yeah…

Kate replies that he couldn’t pick just one. But her reply isn’t visible. *shrug*.

Chief of Staff Ron Klain says:

Obviously, this is a replay of their remarks. Cause they went early and I am late. Their remarks start around the 37 minute and 07 second mark.

The daily press briefing is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. D.C., time.

This is an Open Thread.


About the opinions in this article…

Any opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website or of the other authors/contributors who write for it.

About Tiff 2194 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.