Biden Bits: Happy Valentine’s Day…

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

President Biden’s public schedule for Wednesday 02/15/2023:

10:15 AM The President and The Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office Closed Press
10:30 AM In-Town Pool Call Time
In-Town Pool
1:25 PM The President departs the White House
South Grounds In-Town Travel Pool
2:30 PM The President delivers remarks on the progress we are making building an economy from the bottom up and the middle out, and about his vision to grow the economy, lower costs, and reward work, not wealth – while reducing the deficit
Pooled for TV and Pre-Credentialed Media
3:40 PM The President arrives at the White House

The White House posted the following excerpt from; Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by President Biden on His Plan to Reduce the Deficit While Investing in America, Bringing Down Costs for Families, and Protecting and Strengthening Social Security and Medicare

Let’s be crystal clear about what’s happening.

If you add up all the proposals that  my Republican friends in Congress have offered so far, they would add another $3 trillion to the debt over 10 years. 

When I introduce my budget in a few weeks, you’ll see that people making less than $400,000 a year will not see a single penny increase in taxes, nor have they for the past 2 years.

You’ll see that my budget will invest in America, lower costs and protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, while cutting the deficit by $2 Trillion over 10 years.

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President Biden’s remarks from Lanham, Maryland, are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. D.C., time.

President Biden has tweeted…

He’s got 1 tweet so far for Wednesday.

This morning the White House posted the following fact-sheet; The Congressional Republican Agenda to Increase the Debt by Over $3 Trillion

Congressional Republican leaders insist that the national debt is among our nation’s greatest challenges, and reducing it is among their highest priorities. In fact, they claim that reducing the debt is so urgent it warrants endangering the entire U.S. economy through debt limit brinksmanship. But their legislative agenda to date points in a very different direction—with proposals that would increase the debt by over $3 trillion.

  • The first bill passed by the new Republican House majority increased the debt by $114 billion by allowing wealthy people and corporations to continue to cheat on their taxes.
  • Congressional Republicans proposed repealing—and are even running ads attacking—reforms President Biden signed to lower prescription drug costs. Repealing these policies would increase the amount of money Medicare pays Big Pharma, raise costs for seniors, and add $159 billion to the debt.
  • House Republicans have advocated and proposed repealing tax increases on large corporations that President Biden has signed into law, adding $296 billionto the debt.
  • House Republican leaders have also committed to extend the expiring Trump tax cuts, a $2.7 trillion debt increase that would give the top 0.1% (with incomes over $4 million per year) a $175,000 annual tax cut, over 2.5 times a typical family’s annual income.

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, exposed the political logic of Congressional Republicans’ fiscal hypocrisy. He told Republicans their focus should be “not the deficit” after all: it’s to shift public discussion to cutting spending, paving the way for more tax cuts for the wealthy.

That trickle-down economic theory has never worked. President Trump and President Bush’s tax cuts added trillions to the debt and failed to deliver their promised benefits for the economy or American workers. And taking revenues—and even savings from cutting corporate subsidies—off the table means Congressional Republicans consistently propose deep cuts to programs seniors and middle-class and working families count on.

That’s why the American people deserve to see Congressional Republicans’ full and detailed budget plan and compare it with the President’s Budget plan to invest in America, bring down costs for families, protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and reduce the deficit, which he will release March 9.

Congressional Republicans’ Commitment to Debt Increases

The fiscal consequences of the debt increases Congressional Republicans have put at the top of their agenda are stark. After a decade, these policies, if enacted, would add over $3 trillion to the debt (accounting for debt service costs), increasing debt as a share of the economy by almost 10 percentage points.
Congressional Republicans’ debt increases include:

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  • The Tax Cheats Protection Act: House Republicans’ first billin the new Congress would add $114 billion to the Federal debt by repealing President Biden’s legislation that cracks down on wealthy tax cheats. While working people pay 99% of taxes on their income from wages and salaries, the top 1% hides about 20% of their income from tax, including by funneling it through offshore accounts and tax havens that do not report earnings. President Biden passed a law to make our tax system fairer by cracking down on wealthy tax cheats, while protecting middle-class taxpayers and small businesses and improving taxpayer service. But 221 House Republicans voted to enable tax fraud by wealthy Americans and large corporations.
  • Increase Spending With a Handout to Big Pharma: House Republicans have introduced a bill to repeal the entire Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), including the reforms President Biden signed into law to lower prescription drug costs. Congressional Republicans and Big Pharma have launched a concerted attack on the IRA’s prescription drug reforms, advocating to increase both Federal spending and seniors’ costs to increase Big Pharma’s profits. Thanks to the new prescription drug law, Medicare will finally be able to negotiate drug prices, and drug companies will pay rebates to Medicare if they try to hike their prices faster than the rate of inflation. Congressional Republicans want to repeal these policies, giving a $159 billion handout to Big Pharma, raising costs for seniors, and driving up the Federal debt.
  • Enrich Multi-Billion Dollar Corporations: In 2020, 55 of the largest, most profitable corporations paid $0 in taxes. The President signed into law legislation to level the playing field for companies and small businesses that are already paying their fair share in taxes. Under his corporate minimum tax, the largest, most profitable corporations—those with over $1 billion in profits—have to pay a 15% minimum tax on the profits they report to their shareholders. But House Republicans—through their Inflation Reduction Act repeal bill and other statements—have made clear that they want to enrich large corporations that don’t pay their fair share. That would add $222 billion to the debt.
  • Increase the Tax Subsidy for Stock Buybacks: President Biden signed into law a surcharge on corporate stock buybacks, which reduces the differential tax treatment between buybacks and dividends and encourages businesses to invest in their growth and productivity as opposed to paying out corporate executives or funneling tax-preferred profits to foreign shareholdersThe President in his State of the Union address proposed quadrupling the stock buybacks tax to 4% to address the continued tax advantage for buybacks and encourage long-term investment over giveaways to executives. House Republicans instead want to repeal the stock buybacks tax and let corporations continue to funnel tax-preferred profits to shareholders instead of investing in productivity and the broader economy. That would add $74 billion to the Federal debt.
  • Extend President Trump’s Unpaid-for Tax Giveaway to the Wealthy and Large Corporations: President Trump and Congressional Republicans deliberately sunset portions of their tax giveaway to the wealthy and large corporations. They did this to conceal how much their plan added to the debt as well as how large the tax breaks were for multi-millionaires and large corporations. Now, House Republican Leadership has made clear that extending President Trump’s tax giveaway to the wealthy and large corporations is one of their top priorities. An analysis by the Tax Policy Center found that doing so would mean an average tax cut of $175,000 for the top 0.1%—Americans making more than $4 million per year. That average tax cut is more than 2.5 times a typical family’s annual income. Meanwhile, extending the expiring Trump tax cuts would add $2.7 trillion to the Federal debt over 10 years.

The President supports a fiscally responsible approach to continuing current tax policies for people making less than $400,000 per year, and opposes any tax increase for this group. Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans—including the more than three quarters of them who are signatories to Grover Norquist’s tax pledge—have made clear they will oppose paying for middle-class tax cuts by raising taxes on the wealthy and large corporations.

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Even Without a Budget, Congressional Republicans Are Already Showing Who Will Pay the Price

The proposals Congressional Republicans have put forward show that, even as they commit to massive tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, they are more than ready to raise taxes on middle-class and working families. The House Republican IRA repeal bill would cut premium tax credits that are helping an estimated 14.5 million people pay for health insurance. And the House Budget Committee last week doubled down on eliminating Affordable Care Act premium tax credits for middle-income people with high health insurance premiums: a tax increase of $7,600 per year for a typical 62-year old earning $55,000.

In addition, some Congressional Republicans continue to push a national retail sales tax bill that would repeal most existing taxes and impose a new 30% sales tax on American families. The legislation would increase debt by trillions—and cut taxes for a couple making a million dollars a year by more than $200,000—and at the same time would raise taxes by at least $7,000 for a retired couple with $60,000 in Social Security income and at least $6,000 for a single mom making $38,000, a recent analysis found.

The bottom line is: having committed to over $3 trillion in debt increases and also insisted they are committed to reducing the debt, Congressional Republicans owe the American public a complete and transparent accounting of who will foot the bill. Will it be middle-class and working families, seniors, students, or all of the above?

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I was gonna be super ambitious and explain all the links; my regular ass annoying cold not covid that I have been gifted from my husband has kicked ambitions ass. I can tell you there are over 27 links shared by the White House; some links are just repeats. Other links take you to one page charts. And some take you to news articles.

When the post was posted for Tuesday, President Biden had tweeted 5 times. He added 9 tweets giving him a Tuesday Tweeting Total of 14 tweets and 0 retweets.

The YouTube is 29 minutes and 50 seconds long. His full remarks can be found here.

His full statement:

As a former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, strengthening the federal judiciary with extraordinarily qualified judges who are devoted to our Constitution and the rule of law has been among my proudest work in office.
I’m especially proud that the nominees I have put forward—and the Senate has confirmed—represent the diversity that is one of our best assets as a nation, and that our shared work has broken so many barriers in just 2 years. 
Yesterday, for example, the Senate confirmed Cindy Chung to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; in addition to previously serving as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, she will be the first AA and NHPI judge to serve on this circuit court.  Today, the Senate confirmed Judge Gina Mendez-Miro, who currently serves on the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals, to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico; she will be the first openly LGBTQI+ judge to serve on that court.
We have made important progress in ensuring that the federal judiciary not only looks more like the nation as a whole, but also includes judges from professional backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented on the bench. To that end, I have appointed more federal circuit judges with experience as public defenders than all prior presidents combined.  Seventy-six percent of the Article III judges confirmed during my Administration have been women, and 68% have been people of color.  I was proud to nominate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, and I am also proud to have confirmed 12 Black women to serve on federal circuit courts—more than all other Presidents combined.
Since long before the inauguration, I directed my team to make judicial confirmations a leading priority of this administration, and they acted quickly to begin consultations with Senators from both parties about how we could be as productive as possible. And we certainly have been productive.
This is a profound moment, and I want to thank Leader Schumer, Chair Durbin, and Senators on both sides of the aisle for working in good faith to reach this milestone for our country.

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From Nomination Description: Gina R. Mendez-Miro, of Puerto Rico, to be United States District Judge for the District of Puerto Rico Vote Counts: YEAs 54 NAYs 45 Not Voting 1.

His full statement:

Jill and I are praying for the three students killed and the five students fighting for their lives after last night’s shooting at Michigan State University. Our hearts are with these young victims and their families, the broader East Lansing and Lansing communities, and all Americans across the country grieving as the result of gun violence.

Last night, I spoke to Governor Whitmer and directed the deployment of all necessary federal law enforcement to support local and state response efforts. I assured her that we would continue to provide the resources and support needed in the weeks ahead.

Too many American communities have been devastated by gun violence. I have taken action to combat this epidemic in America, including a historic number of executive actions and the first significant gun safety law in nearly 30 years, but we must do more.

The fact that this shooting took place the night before this country marks five years since the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, should cause every American to exclaim “enough” and demand that Congress take action.

As I said in my State of the Union address last week, Congress must do something and enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, closing loopholes in our background check system, requiring safe storage of guns, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets. Action is what we owe to those grieving today in Michigan and across America.

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On Monday night a gunman open fire on the Michigan State University campus. Three people were killed while another five were seriously injured. The gunman later identified as 43-year-old Anthony Dwayne McRae, who NBC News says has no affiliation with MSU, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

MSU Police issued the following statement on Tuesday:

The Michigan State University Department of Police and Public Safety (MSU DPPS) is saddened to share information regarding the tragedy that occurred on campus Monday evening. We cannot begin to fathom the immeasurable amount of pain that our campus community is feeling. We want to ensure our community that our department as well as our law enforcement partners will conduct a comprehensive and thorough investigation regarding this tragic incident. Five victims remain in the hospital in critical condition. The deceased victims have been identified as the following:

Police.MSU.EDU. 02/14/2023.
  • Arielle Anderson, Junior, Grosse Pointe
  • Brian Fraser, Sophomore, Grosse Pointe
  • Alexandria Verner, Junior, Clawson

We sincerely ask the media and community members to respect the families’ privacy.

The first call reporting an active shooter took place at 8:18 p.m. at Berkey Hall. A shelter-in-place was immediately put into place for campus and the surrounding community. The MSU Alert system and MSU Emergency Operations Center were both immediately activated. Officers from all across the state responded to campus and began to complete a comprehensive search in attempt to locate the suspect.

The suspect was captured on campus security cameras at approximately 11:00 p.m. The suspect photos were disseminated across MSU DPPS social media channels and through our media partners at 11:18 p.m. Because of the quick release of photos, a caller’s tip was able to lead officers to the suspect at approximately 11:35 p.m., only 17 minutes after the release of the photos.

We sincerely want to thank our community for their active efforts in helping us locate the suspect. This is a prime example of how ‘See Something, Say Something’ is effective and works to help keep our community safe. The suspect has been identified as 43-year-old Anthony Dwayne McRae and died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

We know this news may be difficult for those within our campus community and beyond. It’s important to remember that the grief some individuals may be experiencing is normal and there are a number of ways in which individuals can seek support, including talking with friends, family and colleagues to process this. Resources are listed below and are also available at the Hannah Community Center on Abbot Road in East Lansing.

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Effective immediately, Michigan State University is now operating under modified operations/services for today, Feb. 14 and Wednesday, Feb. 15. We will resume normal operations on Thursday, Feb. 16th. All campus activities including athletics, classes (in person and remote), and all campus-related activities remain suspended. Functions designated as essential under a department’s Business Continuity Plan (BCP) will continue and critical employees with essential functions must report to work.

We will stand together as a community and support one another during this difficult time.

Police.MSU.EDU. 02/14/2023.

On the 8th of February the White House posted the following fact-sheet; White House Highlights Infrastructure Progress in Every Corner of the Country, Updates State-by-State Fact Sheets

Over one year ago, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness. While “infrastructure week” was a punchline under his predecessor, President Biden is delivering an “infrastructure decade” that is producing real results to change people’s lives for the better, creating good-paying jobs, and boosting American manufacturing.

In his first State of the Union Address in 2022, President Biden highlighted how our historic federal investments in infrastructure would create a visible impact in the lives of American families by committing to start repair on 65,000 miles of roads and 1,500 bridges. The President also committed to making rapid progress across every facet of the law. 

Since the last State of the Union, the Administration has surpassed those ambitious goals. This includes launching over 3,700 bridge repair and replacement projects across the country, beginning repair of over 69,000 miles of roadway, awarding funds for over 3,000 new clean transit and school buses, increasing enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program to over 16 million households, and approving state plans for water funding, EV charging networks and high-speed internet deployment.

Overall, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law represents historic progress, as the largest and most significant investment in:

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  • Rebuilding our roads and bridges since President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System;
  • Public transit in American history and an historic investment to make public transportation accessible;
  • Passenger rail since Amtrak’s inception, 50 years ago;
  • Clean water infrastructure;
  • Affordable, high-speed internet;
  • Tackling legacy pollution and advancing environmental justice;
  • Upgrading the power grid to transmit more clean energy and withstand extreme weather;
  • Increasing our infrastructure’s resilience against the impacts of climate change, extreme weather events, and cyber-attacks;
  • Replacing dirty diesel buses with clean, electric buses across school bus and transit fleets; and,
  • A national network of EV chargers in the United States and largest investment in domestic manufacturing of batteries and the critical minerals that power them.

These once-in-a-generation investments are positioning the United States to win the 21st century. That is why the Biden-Harris Administration has been laser-focused on implementing the law.

  • To date, the Administration has announced nearly $200 billion in funding and over 20,000 projects or awards, which are highlighted in a new map showcasing all projects and funding awards in all 50 states and territories. These awards and projects touch over 4,500 communities
  • In recent weeks, the President has announced awards for regionally or nationally-significant projects including over $2 billion to upgrade some our nation’s most economically significant bridges and over $1.2 billion in Mega grants. These infrastructure investments will create good-paying jobs – including union jobs and jobs that do not require a college degree. The projects will grow the economy, strengthen supply chains, improve mobility for residents, and make our transportation systems safer for all users.  To highlight that progress, the White House unveiled an illustrative map of signature projects on 
  • The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to making the funding opportunities from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law both accessible and transparent, so communities across America know what to apply for, who to contact, and how to get ready to rebuild. Our goal is to help state, local, Tribal and territorial governments navigate, access, and deploy infrastructure resources that will build a better America. As such, the White House today released an updated calendar of notices of funding opportunity expected throughout the year.
  • Today, the White House Infrastructure Implementation Team also released new state-by-state fact sheets which outline the progress in all 50 states, DC and the territories as of January 13, 2023.

American Samoa
District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Northern Mariana Islands
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tribal Fact Sheet
US Virgin Islands
West Virginia

State of the Union 02/07/2023…

President Biden: Second, let’s do more on mental health, especially for our children.  When millions of young people are struggling with bullying, violence, trauma, we owe them greater access to mental health care at their schools. We must finally hold social media companies accountable for experimenting they’re doing — running [on] children for profit.  (Applause.) And it’s time to pass bipartisan legislation to stop Big Tech from collecting personal data on kids and teenagers online, ban targeted advertising to children, and impose stricter limits on the personal data that companies collect on all of us.

National of Counties Keynote Address 02/14/2023…

President Biden: I’m really optimistic for the year ahead as we lim- — implement the laws we’ve already passed.  If we didn’t pass another single thing, the things that are going to take place by implementing just the laws we passed last year are going to deliver real benefits to people that they’re going to feel in their everyday lives.

The 40 video snip was taken from is NACo remarks 02/14/2023…

President Biden: Before I begin, I want to take a moment to say our — our hearts are with the students and the families at Michigan State University. Last night, I spoke with Governor Whitmer.  And the FBI and additional federal law enforcement are on the ground assisting the state and local folks.  And three lives have been lost and five seriously injured. And it’s a family’s worst nightmare, and it’s happening far too often in this country.  Far too often. While we gather more information, there’s one thing we do know to be true: We have to do something to stop the gun violence ripping apart our communities.  Ripping apart.  (Applause.) And today marks five years — five years to the day that 14 students and 3 educators lost their lives in Parkland, Florida.  I met every one of those families, spent time with them all. 

President Biden: We took a big step toward passing the most significant bipartisan gun legislation in 30 years — ghost guns and other things, background checks.  But there’s a lot more work to do.  And I’m committing to getting it done with all of you.

This is an Open Thread.

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