Biden Bits: Is Cracking Down…

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

President Biden’s public schedule for Tuesday 03/14/2023

11:30 AM The President receives the President’s Daily Briefing
Closed Press
12:00 PM Out-of-Town Pool Call Time
Out-of-Town Pool
2:00 PM The President departs San Diego, California en route to Los Angeles, California
Out-of-Town Pool
2:40 PM The President arrives in Los Angeles, California
Open Press
2:50 PM The President departs Los Angeles, California en route to El Monte, California
Open Press
3:05 PM The President arrives in El Monte, California
Out-of-Town Pool
3:45 PM RemarksThe President discusses his efforts to reduce gun violence
Pooled for TV and Pre-Credentialed Media
7:10 PM The President departs El Monte, California en route to Los Angeles, California
Out-of-Town Pool
7:35 PM The President departs Los Angeles, California en route to Las Vegas, Nevada
Out-of-Town Pool
8:40 PM The President arrives in Las Vegas, Nevada
Open Press
10:00 PM The President participates in a reception for the Democratic National Committee
Restricted Out-of-Town Pool

This morning the White House posted the following fact-sheet; President Biden Announces New Actions to Reduce Gun Violence and Make Our Communities Safer

Today, in Monterey Park, California, President Biden will announce an Executive Order with the goal of increasing the number of background checks conducted before firearm sales, moving the U.S. as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation. The Executive Order will also keep more guns out of dangerous hands by increasing the effective use of “red flag” laws, strengthen efforts to hold the gun industry accountable, and accelerate law enforcement efforts to identify and apprehend the shooters menacing our communities. President Biden is also encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to issue a public report analyzing how gun manufacturers market firearms to minors.

President Biden is traveling to Monterey Park to grieve with the families and community impacted by the mass shooting that claimed 11 lives and injured nine others in January. Monterey Park is part of a growing list of communities all across the country that are forever changed due to gun violence—not only mass shootings, but also daily acts of gun violence that may not make national headlines.

Last year, President Biden signed into the law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant gun violence reduction legislation enacted in nearly 30 years. When celebrating the Act’s passage, he called on Congress to seize the bipartisan momentum and advance additional commonsense steps to reduce gun violence. Again and again, he has called for Congress to act, including by banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requiring background checks for all gun sales, requiring safe storage of firearms, closing the dating violence restraining order loophole, and repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability.

As he continues to call on Congress to act, President Biden will do everything he can to reduce gun violence and save lives. That is why, over the past two years, President Biden has taken more executive action to reduce gun violence than any other president at this point in their presidency.

The President’s new Executive Order to reduce gun violence includes the following additional actions, all of which fall within existing executive authority and outside of the right protected by the Second Amendment:

White House.gov. 03/14/2023.

Holding the gun industry accountable

The Executive Order directs the President’s Cabinet to:

  • Provide the public and policymakers with more information regarding federally licensed firearms dealers who are violating the law. Gun dealers violating federal law put us all at risk by increasing the likelihood that firearms will fall into dangerous hands. The President is directing the Attorney General to publicly release, to the fullest extent permissible by law, ATF records from the inspection of firearms dealers cited for violation of federal firearm laws. This information will empower the public and policymakers to better understand the problem, and then improve our laws to hold rogue gun dealers accountable.
  • Use the Department of Defense’s acquisition of firearms to further firearm and public safety practices. The Department of Defense buys a large number of firearms and other weapons to protect and serve our country. The President is directing the Secretary of Defense to develop and implement principles to further firearm and public safety practices through Department of Defense acquisition of firearms, consistent with applicable law.

President Biden is also encouraging the independent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue a public report analyzing how gun manufacturers market firearms to minors and how such manufacturers market firearms to all civilians, including through the use of military imagery.

White House.gov. 03/14/2023.

Additional steps to make our communities safer and support communities impacted by gun violence

The Executive Order will direct the President’s Cabinet to:

  • Help catch shooters by accelerating federal law enforcement’s reporting of ballistics data. The National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) allows federal, state, and local law enforcement to match fired cartridge casings to the guns from which they were fired, making it easier for law enforcement to connect multiple crime scenes and catch shooters. In order to maximize NIBIN’s effectiveness, federal, state, and local law enforcement all have an important role to play in ensuring timely submission of ballistics data to NIBIN. Today, the President is directing all federal law enforcement agencies to issue rigorous requirements regarding NIBIN data submission and use of this tool.
  • Accelerate and intensify implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA). BSCA is the most significant gun safety legislative accomplishment in nearly 30 years, and the Biden-Harris Administration is treating it as such by making the most of every opportunity it provides to reduce gun violence. President Biden is directing each agency responsible for the law’s implementation to send a report to him, within 60 days, on progress toward full implementation of BSCA and additional steps they will take to maximize the benefits of the law, including by increasing public awareness and use of the resources made available by BSCA.
  • Improve federal support for gun violence survivors, victims and survivors’ families, first responders to gun violence, and communities affected by gun violence. When a hurricane overwhelms a community, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinates federal, state, local, and non-profit organizations in order to assess and meet community needs. However, when a mass shooting overwhelms a community, no coordinated U.S. government mechanism exists to meet short- and long-term needs, such as mental health care for grief and trauma, financial assistance (for example, when a family loses the sole breadwinner or when a small business is shut down due to a lengthy shooting investigation), and food (for example, when the Buffalo shooting closed down the only grocery store in the neighborhood). The President is directing members of his Cabinet to develop a proposal for how the federal government can better support communities after a mass shooting, and identify what additional resources or authorities the executive branch would need from Congress to implement this proposal.
  • Advance congressional efforts to prevent the proliferation of firearms undetectable by metal detectors. In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of technology that allows guns to be made with polymers and other materials that are increasingly capable of avoiding detection by metal detectors. President Biden is directing the Attorney General to help Congress modernize and make permanent the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988, which is currently set to expire in December 2023.

President Biden’s remarks are scheduled for 3:45 p.m. D.C., time.


President Biden has tweeted…

He’s posted 3 tweets so far for Tuesday; His first and third tweet are being placed down thread.

Tuesday’s 2nd Tweet:

On 03/08/2023 the White House posted; Readout of White House State Legislative Convening on Combating Junk Fees

Today, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Ambassador Susan Rice, Assistant to the President and Domestic Policy Advisor, and Lael Brainard, Assistant to the President and National Economic Council Director, convened hundreds of state legislative leaders on state efforts to address junk fees. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra also delivered remarks.
 
Last year, President Biden announced his commitment to take on “junk fees” – unfair, hidden fees that take real money out of the pockets of American families. During the State of the Union, the President called on Congress to pass the Junk Fee Prevention Act and crack down on some of the most frustrating fees consumers face, including ticket service, early termination, family seating, and resort fees. To date, federal agencies have taken a range of steps to crack down on harmful and deceptive fees, which have spurred additional private sector action, including:

White House.gov. 03/08/2023.
  • This week, after the President called upon Congress to ban family seating fees, the Department of Transportation (DOT) published a dashboard of airline policies on family seating, and several major airlines have now already changed their policies. DOT previously published a dashboard on when flights are delayed or cancelled due to issues under the airlines’ control, resulting in up to ten airlines adopting more generous reimbursement policies.
  • In February 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a proposed rule to cut most credit card late fees to no more than $8, which would save consumers an estimated $9 billion a year.
  • In November 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finalized a rule to require cable and internet providers to list fees and services up front with an easy-to-read consumer friendly label.
  • In September 2022, the Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed a rule to require airlines and online booking services to show the full price of a plane ticket up front, including baggage and other fees.
  • In December 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released reports on the banking industry’s excessive and unfair reliance on banking junk fees. Since then, fifteen of the twenty largest banks have ended fees for bounced checks, and today they issued a new Supervisory Highlights finding that banks the CFPB has examined thus far will refund roughly $30 million to about 170,000 account holders who were assessed surprise overdraft fees.

While President Biden will continue to do everything he can to eliminate junk fees, he knows that state leaders also play a critical role in advancing this effort. To support state leaders, today the White House released a new resource, a “Guide for States: Cracking Down on Junk Fees to Lower Costs for Consumers.” Also today, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge released an open letter to housing providers and state and local governments to encourage them to adopt policies that promote greater fairness and transparency of fees specifically faced by renters.

As part of the convening, state legislators shared steps they are taking to combat junk fees. New York has enacted legislation that requires live event ticket retailers to display “all-in” ticket prices, and legislation has been introduced in the Vermont legislature to prohibit hotels from charging undisclosed resort fees and ensure that accurate and fair descriptions of fees are included prominently up front. Just this week, California legislators introduced a slate of six bills tackling junk fees, including on resort fees, rental housing fees, ticketing fees, and more. White House officials thanked the state leaders for their work and ongoing partnership on behalf of American families.

The White House State Legislative Convening on Combatting Junk Fees can be viewed here.

The following state legislators delivered remarks as part of the convening:

White House.gov. 03/08/2023.
  • Vermont Senate Minority Leader Randy Brock (R)
  • New York Senator James Skoufis (D)
  • California Senator Caroline Menjivar (D)

When I posted the post for Monday, President Biden had tweeted 8 times. He added 9 tweets giving him a Monday Tweeting Total of 17 tweets and 0 retweets.

On Sunday the Secretary of Treasury, the Federal Reserve Board Chairman, and the FDIC Chairman announced that after receiving; a recommendation from the boards of the FDIC and the Federal Reserve, and consulting with the President, Secretary Yellen approved actions enabling the FDIC to complete its resolution of Silicon Valley Bank, Santa Clara, California, in a manner that fully protects all depositors. Depositors will have access to all of their money starting Monday, March 13. No losses associated with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank will be borne by the taxpayer. We are also announcing a similar systemic risk exception for Signature Bank, New York, New York, which was closed today by its state chartering authority. All depositors of this institution will be made whole. As with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank, no losses will be borne by the taxpayer.

In response to the announcement President Biden offered short remarks on Monday before he traveled to California.

We covered those remarks in full in yesterday’s Biden Bits


The 35 second video snip was taken from remarks he gave after the release of his budget. The YouTube is 55 minutes and 12 seconds long. His full remarks can be found here.

President Biden: Let’s be clear about another key point of my budget.  I guarantee you I will protect Social Security and Medicare without any change.  Guaranteed.  (Applause.)  I won’t allow it to be gutted or eliminated, as MAGA Republicans have threatened to do. MAGA Republicans’ proposal is not an answer on Social Security.  And my budget will not cut benefits.  And it will — definitely won’t sunset programs, like some of my MAGA Republican friends want to do. It will secure Medicare through 2050 and beyond, ensuring that the vital program keeps going strong for a generation without cutting a single penny in benefits.  (Applause.)


The YouTube is 28 minutes and 02 seconds long. Their full remarks can be found here.

Tuesday’s 1st and 3rd Tweet(s):

The White House posted the background press call by Senior Administration Officials on the AUKUS Announcement:

Senior Admin Official 1:

 Thanks, [moderator].  And good morning, everyone.  Thank you for joining us.  And again, sorry for the little bit of delay.  So, we’ll just go quickly through some highlights, and then we’re obviously welcome and hopeful to be able to answer some of your questions. 

On Monday, at our naval base in San Diego, the President will host the prime ministers of Australia and Great Britain for our next phase in our AUKUS engagement.  And the President will share that just 18 months after our original AUKUS announcement, and that’s two days before the timeline we promised that we would report back, back in September 2021. 

We will announce we’ve identified the optimal pathway to provide Australia with a conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarine.  It’s a multi-phased approach that will deliver to Australia that capability far more quickly than even we thought possible when we originally and initially launched this partnership.  And it will result in all three nations lifting their game in their respective submarine industrial bases.  And it will involve a level of sensitive, sophisticated technological cooperation that is almost without precedent.  It’s only happened once with the United States and Great Britain, and that was 65 years ago. 

A year and a half ago, we announced AUKUS with two of our closest allies to take on the threats of the 21st century, just as we did together in the 20th century.  AUKUS’s primary objective is to uphold peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and to deter and defend against rapidly evolving threats to the international order and system there. 

But frankly, it’s far more than simply a defense program.  It is arguably the most prominent example of President Biden’s commitment to invest in and modernize our alliances.  AUKUS builds upon the UK’s relatively recent strategic engagement in the Indo-Pacific and ensures it will be a lasting presence going forward and brings another European partner into our engagement in Asia.  It makes Australia a major contributor to Indo-Pacific security and stability, and it binds the three of us together in ways almost unimaginable for the foreseeable future. 

AUKUS, in many ways, headlines early achievement of President Biden’s Indo-Pacific strategy for connecting allies in the Pacific and the Atlantic to build collective capacity that leaves us all stronger and more stable. 

The United States, Australia, and the UK have briefed our allies and partners around the world, from Europe to Asia to the Pacific, on tomorrow’s announcement, and we will carry forward AUKUS openly and transparently. 

And, [senior administration official], over to you for some of the specific details along, with [senior administration official] as well.  Thank you, [senior administration official]. 

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.

Senior Admin Official 2:

Thank you, [senior administration official].  Before going through the optimal pathway, I want to emphasize that President Biden has a long history of commitment to non-proliferation, going back to his days as a senator.  And since day one of this effort or consultation period, we have prioritized non-proliferation.  We’ve kept the IAEA informed.  And, in fact, IAEA Director General Grossi has complimented us publicly on our approach and our transparency.  And AUKUS will adhere to the highest non-proliferation standards. 

Now, on the optimal pathway, there are three phases in Australia’s undersea capabilities.  And our combined deterrence posture to promote security in the Indo-Pacific will increase with each phase. 

Here’s how it will work.  Phase one is already underway with accelerating moves in the next few years.  U.S. and UK submarines will visit ports in Australia and that will increase, starting this year.  In fact, the USS Asheville is in Perth, Australia now for combined training exercises.  Australian sailors will increasingly embed in U.S. and UK submarine forces and nuclear power schools.  This has already started.  And in the coming months, there’ll be Australian workers in our shipyards.  And starting this year, Australia will be building up its facilities and infrastructure to house Australia as well as U.S. and UK submarines. 

Once Australia is ready, as early as 2027, we will establish a rotational force of U.S. and UK submarines in Australia — what we’re calling Submarine Rotational Forces West.  This rotational force will help build Australia’s stewardship.  It will also bolster deterrence with more U.S. and UK submarines forward in the Indo-Pacific. 

Now phase two will start in the early 2030s.  Once the Australians are trained and ready, Australia will buy from the United States three Virginia-class conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines with an option to buy two more if needed.  This will help systematically grow Australians’ capabilities and stewardship for nuclear-powered submarines and it will help ensure that Australia does not experience any capability gap when its current Collins-class diesel electric subs are retired in the 2030s.  This means that Australia will have a potent nuclear-powered submarine force in 2030s much earlier than many had expected. 

And now, phase three starts in the late 2030s, with work to facilitate it starting in the near term in the industrial base that [senior administration official] will talk about. 

Australia’s long term submarine will be a state-of-the-art platform that uses the best of U.S., UK, and Australian technologies.  It will be known as SSN AUKUS. 

SSN AUKUS will be based on the United Kingdom design for its next-generation nuclear-powered attack submarine, and it will incorporate critical cutting-edge Virginia-class technologies from the United States. 

SSN AUKUS will be built and deployed by both Australia and the UK.  The United Kingdom intends to deliver its first SSN AUKUS domestically in the late 2030s.  Australia intends to deliver the first SSN AUKUS built in Australia to the Royal Australian Navy in the early 2040s. 

This is going to require significant improvements in industrial bases in all three countries that [senior administration official] will talk about.  We briefed Congress on this plan and see strong bipartisan support. 

And now let me turn to [senior administration official] for some additional comments. 

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.

Senior Admin Official 3:

Great.  Thank you.  Good afternoon, everyone.  As you all know, this is particularly exciting insofar as our allies and our undersea capabilities are two unique advantages of the United States.  And this is an extraordinary way to bring those together to ensure Indo-Pacific security and stability and to deliver deterrence. 

I would underscore that there has been unprecedented interagency cooperation throughout these 18 months of dialogue, and Secretary Austin has personally had his hand on the tiller in making this all come together. 

As [senior administration official] briefly noted, across the U.S. government, we’ve also seen enthusiasm on the whole from our Congress as well.  And a lot of appreciation for the strategic benefit of this part of AUKUS. 

And then, finally, on the submarine industrial base, as you all know, the Biden administration made a substantial investment in that submarine industrial base last year with, of course, the hardy support of Congress.  You will see, as will be announced tomorrow, $4.6 billion being advanced for production and for maintenance over the next five years in our submarine industrial base.  And that would, of course, be from the United States. 

I’d like to briefly turn to what Australia will do, because Australia will also be contributing to our submarine industrial base, which is another manifestation of just how serious and critical this effort is that has been decided based on the principles of proportionality, fairness, and transparency.  And I just want to underscore they will be making a substantial contribution to the U.S. submarine industrial base. 

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.

The White House posted the following fact-sheet; Trilateral Australia-UK-US Partnership on Nuclear-Powered Submarines

On March 13, 2023, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom, and President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. of the United States announced an arrangement for Australia to acquire a conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarine (SSN) capability through the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) enhanced security partnership.

On September 15, 2021, our three nations embarked on an 18-month consultation period to identify the optimal pathway for Australia to acquire this capability, while setting the highest nuclear non-proliferation standard. The plan announced today will deliver on that commitment. Further, this plan will lift all three nations’ submarine industrial bases and undersea capabilities, enhancing deterrence and promoting stability in the Indo-Pacific.

Australia’s future SSN – which we are calling “SSN-AUKUS” – will be a state-of-the-art platform designed to leverage the best of submarine technology from all three nations. SSN-AUKUS will be based upon the United Kingdom’s next-generation SSN design while incorporating cutting edge U.S. submarine technologies, and will be built and deployed by both Australia and the United Kingdom.

AUKUS demonstrates our shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and an international system that respects the rule of law, sovereignty, human rights, and the peaceful resolution of disputes free from coercion. AUKUS partners operating highly capable conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines will provide an assured undersea capability that contributes to stability, peace, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.

A Phased Approach to Build Stewardship and Sustain Australia’s Undersea Capability

Our nations have outlined an ambitious approach that will provide Australia with a conventionally-armed, nuclear powered submarine capability at the earliest possible date while ensuring Australia’s capacity to safely operate, maintain and regulate this technology, and setting the highest standards for nuclear non-proliferation. Our phased approach includes the following elements, each underwritten by the mutual commitments of each nation:

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.
  • Embedded Personnel and Port Visits. Beginning in 2023, Australian military and civilian personnel will embed with the United States Navy, the United Kingdom Royal Navy and, subject to any necessary arrangements, within the United States and United Kingdom submarine industrial bases.  This will accelerate the training and development of Australian personnel to ensure our ability to work together and for Australians to take on the responsibilities associated with these programs. The United States plans to increase SSN port visits to Australia beginning in 2023, with Australian sailors joining U.S. crews for training and development; the United Kingdom will increase visits to Australia beginning in 2026.
  • Submarine Rotational Forces. As early as 2027, the United Kingdom and the United States plan to establish a rotational presence of one UK Astute class submarine and up to four U.S. Virginia class submarines at HMAS Stirling near Perth, Western Australia – this initiative will be known as ‘Submarine Rotational Force-West’ (SRF-West). This rotational presence will comply fully with Australia’s longstanding position of no foreign bases on its territory. It will put our nations shoulder to shoulder as Australia builds the necessary operational capabilities and skills to steward and operate its own fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. Australia is launching an ambitious national effort to grow its defense and industrial workforce to support this plan.
  • Sale of U.S. Virginia Class Submarines. Beginning in the early 2030s, pending approval from the U.S. Congress, the United States intends to sell Australia three Virginia class submarines, with the potential to sell up to two more if needed. This action is critical to continue growing Australia’s ability to own and operate a fleet of SSNs, and to provide Australia with a sovereign capability at the earliest possible date. It also ensures Australia sustains its undersea capabilities until SSN-AUKUS is ready, given the planned retirement of Australia’s current fleet of submarines.
  • SSN-AUKUS. The combination of United Kingdom submarine design and advanced United States technology is intended to deliver a best-in-class submarine that meets Australia’s long-term defense needs while bolstering trilateral industrial cooperation. SSN-AUKUS will be the future attack submarine for both Australia and the United Kingdom. Australia and the United Kingdom intend to start building SSN-AUKUS in their domestic shipyards before the end of this decade. The United Kingdom intends to deliver its first SSN-AUKUS to the UK Royal Navy in the late 2030s. Australia plans to deliver the first Australian-built SSN-AUKUS to the Royal Australian Navy in the early 2040s.

The implementation of this approach will be consistent with the trilateral partners’ respective international obligations and domestic law and underpinned by future legal and enabling arrangements for sharing sensitive information, equipment and technology.

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.

Responsible Stewardship of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Technology

All three nations appreciate the enormity of this endeavor and are committed to the principles that have upheld the United Kingdom and United States naval nuclear propulsion programs’ unmatched safety records. For over 60 years, the United Kingdom and United States have operated more than 500 naval nuclear reactors that have collectively travelled more than 150 million miles – the equivalent of over 300 trips to the moon and back – without incident or adverse effect on human health or the quality of the environment. Australia is committed to upholding these same standards to safely steward naval nuclear propulsion technology.

As part of this commitment to nuclear stewardship, Australia has committed to managing all radioactive waste generated through its nuclear-powered submarine program, including spent nuclear fuel, in Australia. The United Kingdom and the United States will assist Australia in developing this capability, leveraging Australia’s decades of safely and securely managing radioactive waste domestically. Australia will manage these materials in accordance with its nuclear non-proliferation and other international obligations and commitments.

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.

Strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime

When the AUKUS leaders announced this initiative in September 2021, they committed to meeting our countries’ respective nuclear non-proliferation obligations, setting the highest non-proliferation standard, and strengthening the non-proliferation regime while protecting classified and controlled information.

Our nations have made clear commitments to meet these objectives, including that:

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.
  • As a non-nuclear-weapon state, Australia does not – and will not – seek to acquire nuclear weapons;
  • Australia will not enrich uranium or reprocess spent fuel as part of this program;
  • Australia will not produce its own nuclear fuel for its SSNs;
  • The United Kingdom and United States intend to provide Australia with nuclear material in complete, welded power units that will not require refueling during their lifetime;
  • The nuclear fuel that Australia receives cannot be used in nuclear weapons without further chemical processing, which would require facilities that Australia does not have and will not seek; and
  • This initiative will occur within the framework of Australia’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) and Additional Protocol (AP) with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Our nations have consulted regularly with the IAEA over the past year, in support of the IAEA’s mandate to uphold the integrity of the global nuclear safeguards regime. The Director General of the IAEA has reported to IAEA Member States that he believes the AUKUS partners “are committed to ensuring the highest non-proliferation and safeguards standards are met,” and noted his “satisfaction with the engagement and transparency shown by the three countries thus far.” The international community can be confident that our nations will continue to work transparently with the IAEA towards an approach that will strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime and set the strongest non-proliferation precedent.

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.

Upgrading Infrastructure and Industrial Capacity

AUKUS submarine cooperation will result in significant benefits to infrastructure and industrial capacity in all three nations.

  • Australia: The pathway to Australia acquiring SSN-AUKUS will be a whole-of-nation undertaking. HMAS Stirling in Western Australia will be expanded to support the scale of infrastructure required for nuclear-powered submarines – both for visiting and rotational submarines and for Australia’s own nuclear-powered submarines. Australia’s SSN-AUKUS submarines will be built at Australia’s future Submarine Construction Yard in Adelaide, South Australia – employing thousands of workers onsite at peak. Overall, this enterprise will almost double the previously forecasted demand for personnel in Australia’s submarine shipyard, and will be supported by significant investment in Australia’s domestic industrial capacity and infrastructure. Australia will establish additional training, skilling and educational programs to achieve this growth for Australia’s local submarine and shipbuilding industry.
  • United Kingdom: The United Kingdom intends to build on the recent investment it has been making in its submarine delivery, such as the £2.0 billion in BAE Systems, Barrow and Rolls Royce, Derby announced last year. This will deliver thousands of jobs in the United Kingdom, including in the supply chain. Australia has committed to a proportionate financial investment in the United Kingdom submarine industrial base to accelerate production of SSN-AUKUS.
  • United States: The United States is investing an additional U.S. $2.4 billion over fiscal years 2023-2027 in the submarine industrial base to increase construction capacity – above and beyond its annual investment in undersea platforms – to meet U.S. national needs. The United States also added $2.2 billion to its submarine maintenance budget over fiscal years 2024-2028 to improve Virginia class SSN maintenance. The U.S. is examining what additional investments are required to accelerate submarine production and maintenance to support both U.S. and AUKUS needs. These investments will support thousands of high-skill jobs in the United States. Australia has committed to a proportionate financial investment in the U.S. submarine industrial base to accelerate delivery of Virginia class submarines.

Increasingly Integrated Submarine Forces

Incorporating proven, advanced U.S. technologies into SSN-AUKUS will optimize the capability, commonality and interoperability of all three nations’ SSN platforms. Trilaterally sharing sophisticated submarine technology is emblematic of the broader integration of our submarine enterprises. For example:

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.
  • Australian submariner training in United States and United Kingdom schools: In 2022, the United States accepted its first Royal Australian Navy personnel into nuclear propulsion training programs, with additional personnel slated to join upcoming cohorts. The United States Congress, as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, passed a bipartisan provision that establishes the ability for Royal Australian submarine officers to train at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command and eventually serve on operational U.S. submarines. The United Kingdom has also welcomed Australian submariners into the Royal Navy’s nuclear courses.
  • Australian personnel on board United States and United Kingdom submarines. Australian submariners already train aboard U.S. and UK submarines. We will increase their numbers and levels of seniority over time as we grow Australia’s capacity to operate, maintain and regulate its own sovereign nuclear-powered submarines.
  • Training Australia’s industrial and technical workforce. Australia intends to send hundreds of workers to United States and United Kingdom shipyards, and scientists and engineers to United States and United Kingdom technical facilities, for specialized skills training and to gain the experience required to build and sustain nuclear-powered submarines.
  • Interoperable Infrastructure. As Australia upgrades its infrastructure to support the arrival of SSNs, it will build maintenance and repair capabilities that United States and United Kingdom submarines may also use, increasing our capacity to enhance our forces in peacetime and meet operational needs in times of crisis.

Conclusion

The optimal pathway announced today will enhance the capabilities of AUKUS partners to contribute to security and stability in the Indo-Pacific. It will:

  • Increase the number of partner-nation SSNs in the Indo-Pacific, increasing our combined capacity in the undersea domain;
  • Create additional production capacity, enabling AUKUS partners to grow the size of our combined submarine forces;
  • Strengthen and make more resilient trilateral supply chains, enhancing the industrial bases in all three nations; and
  • Enhance the ability of our three nations to deter aggression and contribute to stability in the Indo-Pacific, and globally.

We are committed to open and transparent engagement with partners within and beyond the region as we implement this plan. The initiatives announced today will strengthen deterrence and bolster stability in the Indo-Pacific and beyond for decades to come.  

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.

The White House posted the following joint-leaders statement:

In September 2021, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States announced AUKUS – a new security partnership that will promote a free and open Indo-Pacific that is secure and stable.

The first major initiative of AUKUS was our historic trilateral decision to support Australia acquiring conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines (SSNs). Today, we announce our pathway to achieve this critical capability.

Together we will deliver SSN-AUKUS – a trilaterally-developed submarine based on the United Kingdom’s next-generation design that incorporates technology from all three nations, including cutting edge U.S. submarine technologies. Australia and the United Kingdom will operate SSN-AUKUS as their submarine of the future. Australia and the United Kingdom will begin work to build SSN-AUKUS in their domestic shipyards within this decade.

In order to deliver conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines to Australia at the earliest possible date, we intend to pursue the following phased approach, moving through each phase based on mutual commitments from each nation:

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.
  • Beginning in 2023, Australian military and civilian personnel will embed with the U.S. Navy, the Royal Navy, and in the United States and United Kingdom submarine industrial bases to accelerate the training of Australian personnel. The United States plans to increase SSN port visits to Australia beginning in 2023, with Australian sailors joining U.S. crews for training and development; the United Kingdom will increase visits to Australia beginning in 2026.
  • As early as 2027, the United States and United Kingdom plan to begin forward rotations of SSNs to Australia to accelerate the development of the Australian naval personnel, workforce, infrastructure and regulatory system necessary to establish a sovereign SSN capability.
  • Starting in the early 2030s, pending Congressional approval, the United States intends to sell Australia three Virginia class submarines, with the potential to sell up to two more if needed. This step will systematically grow Australia’s sovereign SSN capability and support capacity. 
  • In the late 2030s, the United Kingdom will deliver its first SSN-AUKUS to the Royal Navy. Australia will deliver the first SSN-AUKUS built in Australia to the Royal Australian Navy in the early 2040s. 

This plan is designed to support Australia’s development of the infrastructure, technical capabilities, industry and human capital necessary to produce, maintain, operate, and steward a sovereign fleet of conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines. Australia is fully committed to responsible stewardship of naval nuclear propulsion technology.
 
When we announced the AUKUS partnership in September 2021, we committed to set the highest nuclear non-proliferation standard. The plan we announce today delivers on this commitment and reflects our longstanding leadership in, and respect for, the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. We continue to consult with the International Atomic Energy Agency to develop a non-proliferation approach that sets the strongest precedent for the acquisition of a nuclear-powered submarine capability.
 
Our plan elevates all three nations’ industrial capacity to produce and sustain interoperable nuclear-powered submarines for decades to come, expands our individual and collective undersea presence in the Indo-Pacific, and contributes to global security and stability. In these outcomes, AUKUS reflects the principle that shared action, taken in partnership, can benefit all.
 
Implementing AUKUS will also require robust, novel information sharing and technology cooperation. Our nations are committed to further trilateral collaboration that will strengthen our joint capabilities, enhance our information and technology sharing, and integrate our industrial bases and supply chains while strengthening the security regimes of each nation.
 
For more than a century, our three nations have stood shoulder to shoulder, along with other allies and partners, to help sustain peace, stability, and prosperity around the world, including in the Indo-Pacific. We believe in a world that protects freedom and respects human rights, the rule of law, the independence of sovereign states, and the rules-based international order. The steps we are announcing today will help us to advance these mutually beneficial objectives in the decades to come.

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.

The White House posted the following remarks by President Biden and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom Before Bilateral Meeting

President Biden:

I got a brief statement to talk about my friend here for a second. 
 
First of all, I want to welcome him back to California.  He’s a Stanford man, and he still has a home here in California.  That’s why I’m being very nice to him, maybe he’ll invite me to his home here in California. 
 
But all kidding aside, I think it’s a historic day for our country.  And I think this is going to be a — I think it’s not us but I think the circumstances is going to go down in history as one of those moments that we put together an organization of three nations that is going to help sustain the peace and security in the Indo-Pacific.  And I really believe that.
 
And, you know, there’s no issue of global consequence where the United States and Great Britain aren’t in concert. 
 
We’re going to talk about a lot of things today, including our joint commitment to dealing with the situation in — Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. 
 
And so, we talked about our common vision and values, and try to figure out where we can cooperate even more together.
 
And so, I yield to you, Mr. Prime Minister.

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.

Prime Minister Sunak:

Well, thanks, Mr. President.  It’s great to be back in California, so thank you for having me.  But particularly, to announce, as you described rightly, probably the most consequential multilateral defense partnership since the one that our two countries did some generations ago. 
 
And as we both talked about earlier, never has been — there been a more important time for allies like ours to come together.  You know, we share the same values.  It’s right that we work together, given the security picture around the world.  And that’s what we’ve always done. 
 
We sit next to each other on the Security Council.  We’re two of the biggest spenders in NATO.  And there’s no — no problem that the world has seen that isn’t one that the two of us, working together, have not been able to try and address.
 
So, it’s a great pleasure to be here.  And I look forward to our conversations and also, importantly, to invite you to Northern Ireland, which I — hopefully, you will be able to do and — so we can commemorate the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.  I know it’s something that’s very special and personal to you.  We’d love to have you over.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  It is, but it’s worrisome — 25 years.  It seems like yesterday.  Seems like yesterday.

But anyway, thank you.

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.

The White House posted the following meeting readout with UK PM Rishi Sunak:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. met today with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom in San Diego, California. The leaders underscored their shared commitment to promote regional security through the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) trilateral partnership and continued close defense cooperation. The leaders exchanged views on a range of global issues, including the challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China and our shared commitment to supporting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. They also underscored their continued support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression, including the provision of security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine as well as the imposition of economic measures to counter Moscow’s ability to wage war. In addition, they reaffirmed their shared and steadfast commitment to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, and welcomed the Windsor Framework as an important step in preserving the peace and progress in Northern Ireland brought by the Agreement.
 
The President and Prime Minister discussed the importance of continuing to deepen the strong, enduring economic relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. President Biden invited Prime Minister Sunak to visit Washington in June to continue this conversation. The United States and United Kingdom will work and invest together to drive the clean energy transition, foster the industries of the future, and bolster our economies’ resilience to a range of shocks. The two countries will explore ways to deepen our trade and investment relationship and confront the shared economic and national security challenges we face. The leaders directed their economic teams to work intensively to advance this agenda, making progress ahead of the G7 Summit. As part of these efforts, the United States and United Kingdom will work within the G7, with other international partners, and bilaterally to strengthen and diversify critical supply chains, including for critical minerals.

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.

The White House posted the following remarks by President Biden and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia Before Bilateral Meeting

President Biden:

Well, Mr. Prime Minister, welcome to San Diego. 

And through both war and peace, we’ve been together in every — every endeavor we’ve had — joint security efforts, and it’s been across the board.  And that’s exactly what we’re doing now.  I think this is a really consequential agreement we just made, and I think it’s going to make a big difference in terms of our — and represents our vision and our values of what needs to be done. 

And I think that, you know, we’re investing in the manufacturing base in both our countries as well, in addition to the impact on our military capacity.  And I think that it’s going to be a gamechanger, in my view. 

And I think that that, coupled with the Quad, which we’re both a part of — including Japan and India — that we — we have a — an ability to expand the maritime domain of democracies and peace, stability, and some security.  I think that’s important. 

And together, we’re working on climate change and regional stability, including economic coercion that’s taking place in your part of the world — not by you, but by others. 

And we’re going to step up to — for the people of Ukraine.  We’ve stuck together on that. 

I just had a very good meeting with our colleague from Great Britain on that issue. 

And today, we’re going to discuss the deepening U.S.-Australia commitment to one another. 

And I really do think we have an opportunity to — I don’t view what we’re doing as — as a challenge to anybody.  I view it as a — as a means by which we’re bringing stability into the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean.  And I think it’s — it’s going to be greeted — when they realize our purpose — by everyone as maintaining stability and security.  And — and we can continue the basic rules of the road. 

Thank you.  And I look forward to — remember, you invited me down to Australia.  I’m coming.

PRIME MINISTER ALBANESE:  Any day.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  I’m coming.  No way out for you. 

But thank you.

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.

Prime Minister Albanese:

Well, thank you very much, Mr.  President.  We look forward to welcoming you down in Australia for the Quad meeting in May.  I’m sure it will be a very successful visit.  And this is our — our fourth meeting in — I haven’t yet been Prime Minister for a year, so we’ve been in very regular contact and developed a personal friendship and relationship of trust as well, which is something that should be there between our two great nations. 

And today, what we’ve really done is just to demonstrate a next chapter in our history together.  We — John Curtin, one of my great Labor Prime Minister predecessors, during World War Two, said famously, “We turn to America.  We look to America in our time of need.”  And ever since then, we have stood side by side.

And today, I think it is very important, very significant that you have agreed for just the second time in history to share this technology.  And I think it will make a difference in advancing security and stability in the region. 

But also, we, of course, share a common interest in rebuilding manufacturing in our respective countries.  And we see this as very much an economic plan, not just a defense and security plan.  This high-tech manufacturing capacity that we’re building will be really important going forward. 

And when we talk about national security, we have shared your — your language about climate change being a national security issue as well, which is, of course, the entry ticket into credibility in the Pacific, in particular.  And we have spent our first year in office really rebuilding relationships in the region based upon our action on climate change. 

Your Inflation Reduction Act is the most significant piece of legislation ever on climate, and we are trying to also deal with the challenge which is there. 

We so much look forward to welcoming you and Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Kishida down to — down to Australia in just a couple of months now. 

And then, I’ll look forward to being at APEC as well when you’re — you’re hosting that later this year.  So, we’re going to have to see a lot of each other on an ongoing basis.  But that’s —

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  As far as I’m concerned, that’s good.

PRIME MINISTER ALBANESE:  That is a very good thing.

And in Australia, I have no doubt that this agreement will be very welcomed in Australia.  And it’s a long-term plan, but it’s been a lot of work to get it right.  So, thank you to your administration for the leadership which you’ve shown.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Well, I think everything you said about it is accurate. 

I’d like to point out one other thing.  I want the world to understand — which you — you and I fully understand, as does the — the Prime Minister of Great Britain — that we’re talking about nuclear power, not nuclear weapons.  It is critical that the world understands that and that we’ve worked with the IAEA. 

PRIME MINISTER ALBANESE:  Yes.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  They sign off on what we’re doing.  And I think it’s really very, very important that they will continue to deal with non-proliferation states law.

So, I look forward to coming down.  So, thank you.

PRIME MINISTER ALBANESE:  It’s going to be fun, too. 

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.

The White House posted the following meeting readout with Australia PM Anthony Albanese:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. met Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia today in San Diego, California. President Biden reaffirmed the strong bilateral relationship and security alliance between the United States and Australia. The leaders underscored their shared commitment to promote regional security through the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) trilateral partnership and continued close defense cooperation.  They also discussed enhancing cooperation through the Quad; support for a strong Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and opportunities to coordinate through Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP); reaffirmed their shared commitment to ASEAN centrality; resolved to confront climate change and tackle challenges to regional stability, including economic coercion; and underscored their commitment to continue supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against Russia’s brutal aggression. They also discussed the challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China. The leaders committed to continue deepening the bilateral partnership to advance their shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, including through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity.

White House.gov. 03/13/2023.


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