Biden Bits: “Can and Must Do Better”…

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

President Biden’s public schedule for 06/29/2023:

10:00 AMIn-Town Pool Call Time
In-Town Pool
11:00 AM
Presidential Daily Brief
The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office Closed Press
3:15 PM
Press Briefing
Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
4:00 PM
Leaves White House
The President departs the White House en route to Fort Lesley J. McNair
South Grounds In-Town Travel Pool
4:20 PM
Leaves Fort Lesley McNair
The President departs Fort Lesley J. McNair en route to Camp David
In-Town Travel Pool
???He’ll arrive at Camp David…

Press Briefing:

Supreme Court Ruling(s) Tweets

From Thursday…

The YouTube is 9 minutes and 6 seconds long.

The video snip is 31 seconds long.

The White House posted the following fact-sheet; President Biden Announces Actions to Promote Educational Opportunity and Diversity in Colleges and Universities (06/29/2023):

Today, the Supreme Court upended decades of precedent that enabled America’s colleges and universities to build vibrant diverse environments where students are prepared to lead and learn from one another. Although the Court’s decision threatens to move the country backwards, the Biden-Harris Administration will fight to preserve the hard-earned progress we have made to advance racial equity and civil rights and expand educational opportunity for all Americans.

As our nation’s colleges and universities consider their admissions processes in the wake of the Court’s decision, President Biden is calling on them to seize the opportunity to expand access to educational opportunity for all. Our nation is stronger when our colleges and universities reflect the vast and rich diversity of our people. But while talent, creativity, and hard work are everywhere across this country, equal opportunity is not.

Specifically, the President is calling on colleges and universities, when selecting among qualified applicants, to give serious consideration to the adversities students have overcome, including:

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  • the financial means of a student or their family;
  • where a student grew up and went to high school; and
  • personal experiences of hardship or discrimination, including racial discrimination, that a student may have faced.

In doing so, colleges and universities can fully value aspiring students who demonstrate resilience and determination in the face of deep challenges.

The Biden-Harris Administration is taking swift action to support our Nation’s colleges and universities so they can continue building pathways to upward mobility and success for all students to thrive in the American workforce and our Nation’s military. Specifically, the Biden-Harris Administration is:

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  • Providing colleges and universities with clarity on what admissions practices and additional programs to support students remain lawful. The Department of Education and Department of Justice will provide resources to colleges and universities addressing lawful admissions practices within the next 45 days, as colleges prepare for the next application cycle. The Department of Education will also provide assistance to colleges and universities in administering programs to support students from underserved communities. 
  • Convening a National Summit on Educational Opportunity. The Department of Education will host a national summit on equal opportunity in postsecondary education next month with advocates, student leaders, college and university administrators, researchers, and state, local, and Tribal leaders to share lessons learned and innovative strategies, and develop additional resources for colleges and students to expand access to educational opportunity.
  • Releasing a report on strategies for increasing diversity and educational opportunity, including meaningful consideration of adversity. Following the Summit, the Department of Education will produce a report by this September, elevating promising admissions practices to build inclusive, diverse student bodies, including by using measures of adversity. The report will address topics including the impact of current admissions practices that may negatively affect the admissions chances of students from underserved communities; strategies to integrate measures of adversity in admissions; outreach and recruitment programs to create diverse applicant pools; strategies for retention and degree completion; and financial and other support programs to make college attainable.
  • Increasing transparency in college admissions and enrollment practices. The Administration is committed to providing transparent data with respect to admissions and enrollment. The Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics will consider ways to collect and publish more information related to college application and enrollment trends. This includes ways that information might be validly disaggregated by race and ethnicity, first-generation status, legacy status, and other measures. Information in these areas could help higher education leaders, academics and the general public address potential barriers to college recruitment, admissions, and enrollment.
  • Supporting states in analyzing data to increase access to educational opportunity for underserved communities. The Department of Education will assist states and Tribal nations in marshaling their data to improve college recruitment, admissions, and financial aid practices and devise strategies for increasing access to educational opportunity, such as partnerships to appropriately share and use education data, and direct admissions programs that proactively admit students based on factors such as academic performance and students’ geographic location – without requiring them to apply or pay an application fee. 

This work builds upon the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic efforts to ensure all students have the opportunity to access higher education by:

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  • Securing a historic increase in the Pell Grants: The President championed the largest increase to Pell Grants in the last decade – a combined increase of $900 to the maximum award over the past two years to benefit low – and middle-income students.
  • Prioritizing college completion: The Biden-Harris Administration has championed efforts to improve postsecondary outcomes, particularly for students who face the greatest barriers to accessing and completing college. In response to the President’s budget, Congress established a new Postsecondary Student Success Grant program to provide direct support to institutions to engage in evidence-based activities that support college re-enrollment, retention, and completion among individuals who are close to graduation.
  • Supporting America’s Minority-Serving Institutions: President Biden has secured historic investments in institutions that enroll and graduate disproportionate shares of low-income students and students of color, including tens of billions of dollars in funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority Serving Institutions, including Hispanic Serving Institutions through the Department of Education.
  • Fixing the broken student loan system: The Biden-Harris Administration has taken action to make the student loan system more manageable for current and future borrowers and reduce the burden of student debt, including by:
    • Cutting monthly payments in half for undergraduate loans. The Department of Education is proposing an income-driven repayment plan that protects more low-income borrowers from making any payments and caps monthly payments for undergraduate loans at 5% of a borrower’s discretionary income – half of the rate that borrowers must pay now under existing plans. The average annual student loan payment will be lowered by more than $1,000 for both current and future student borrowers who owe payments.
    • Fixing the broken Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program by ensuring that borrowers who have worked at a qualifying nonprofit organization, in the military, or in federal, state, Tribal, or local government, receive appropriate credit towards loan forgiveness. These regulatory changes build on temporary changes the Department of Education made to PSLF, under which roughly 616,000 public servants received more than $42 billion in loan forgiveness.
    • Ensuring targeted student loan forgiveness programs work. Including its reforms to PSLF, the Department of Education has approved a total of more than $66 billion in relief to over 2.2 million student loan borrowers, including many who were defrauded by their college, enrolled in a college that abruptly closed, or are permanently disabled and unable to work.

President Biden’s full remarks from Thursday…

Good afternoon, folks. Sorry to keep you waiting a few minutes.

Forty-five years — for forty-five years, the United States Supreme Court has recognized a college’s freedom to decide how — how to build diverse student bodies and to meet their responsibility of opening doors of opportunity for every single American.

In case after case, including recently, just as a few years ago in 2016, the Court has affirmed and reaffirmed this view: that colleges could use race not as a determinative factor for admission, but as one of the factors among many in deciding who to admit from a quali- — from a qualified — already qualified pool of applicants.

Today, the Court once again walked away from decades of precedent and make — as the dissent has made clear.

The dissent states that today’s decision, quote, “rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress.” End of quote.

I agree with that statement from the dissents — from the dissent.

The Court has effectively ended affirmative action in college admissions. And I strongly — strongly disagree with the Court’s decision.

Because affirmative action is so misunderstood, I want to be clear — make sure everybody is clear about what the law has been and what it has not been, until today.

Many people wrongly believe that affirmative action allows unqualified students — unqualified students — to be admitted ahead of qualified students. This is not — this is not how college admissions work.

Rather, colleges set out standards for admission, and every student — every student has to meet those standards.

Then, and only then, after first meeting the qualifications required by the school, do colleges look at other factors in addition to their grades, such as race.

The way it works in practice is this: Colleges first establish a qualified pool of candidates based on meeting certain grade, test scores, and other criteria.

Then, and only then — then, and only then, and it’s from this pool of applicants — all of whom have already met the school’s standards –- that the class is chosen, after weighing a wide range of factors, among them being race.

You know, I’ve always believed that one of the greatest strengths of America — and you’re tired of hearing me say it — is our diversity, but I believe that.

If you have any doubt about this, just look at the United States military, the finest fighting force in the history of the world. It’s been a model of diversity. And it’s not only been our — made our nation better, stronger, but safer.

And I believe the same is true for our schools. I’ve always believed that the promise of America is big enough for everyone to succeed and that every generation of Americans, we have benefitted by opening the doors of opportunity just a little bit wider to include those who have been left behind.

I believe our colleges are stronger when they are racially diverse. Our nation is stronger because we use what we — because we are tapping into the full range of talent in this nation.

I also believe that while talent, creativity, and hard work are everywhere across this country, not equal opportunity. It is not everywhere across this country.

We cannot let this decision be the last word. I want to emphasize: We cannot let this decision be the last word.

While the Court can render a decision, it cannot change what America stands for.

America is an idea — an idea unique in the world. An idea of hope and opportunity, of possibilities, of giving everyone a fair shot, of leaving no one behind. We have never fully lived up to it, but we’ve never walked away from it either. We will not walk away from it now.

We should never allow the country to walk away from the dream upon which it was founded: that opportunity is for everyone, not just a few.

We need a new path forward — a path consistent with a law that protects diversity and expands opportunity.

So, today I want to offer some guidance to our nation’s colleges as they review their admissions systems after today’s decision — guidance that is consistent with today’s decision.

They should not abandon — let me say this again: They should not abandon their commitment to ensure student bodies of diverse backgrounds and experience that reflect all of America.

What I propose for consideration is a new standard, where colleges take into account the adversity a student has overcome when selecting among qualified applicants.

Let’s be clear: Under this new standard, just as was true under the earlier standard, students first have to be qualified applicants. They need the GPA and test scores to meet the school’s standards.

Once that test is met, then adversity should be considered, including — including its lack — a student’s lack of financial means, because we know too few students of low-income families, whether in big cities or rural communities, are getting an opportunity to go to college.

When the poor kid — when a poor kid — may be the first in their family to go to college — gets the same grades and test scores as a wealthy kid whose whole family has gone to the most elite colleges in the country and whose path has been a lot easier, well, the kid who faced tougher challenges has demonstrated more grit, more determination. And that should be a factor that colleges should take into account in admissions. And many still do.

It also means examining where the student grew up and went to high school.

It means understanding the particular hardships that each individual student has faced in life, including racial discrimination that individuals have faced in their own lives.

The Court says, quote, “[N]othing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an application’s [applicant’s] discussion of how race [has] affected his or her life,” but it’s — it’s through — but “be it through discrimination [or] inspiration or otherwise.”

Because the truth is — we all know it: Discrimination still exists in America. Discrimination still exists in America. Discrimination still exists in America.

Today’s decision does not change that. It’s a simple fact.

If a student has — has overcome — had to overcome adversity on their path to education, a college should recognize and value that.

Our nation’s colleges and universities should be engines of expanding opportunity through upward mobility. But today, too often that’s not the case.

The statistics — one statistic: Students from the top 1 percent of family incomes in America are 77 times more likely to get into an elite college than one from the bottom 20 percent of family incomes. Seventy-seven ti- — percent great- — greater opportunity.

Today, for too many schools, the only people who benefit from the system are the wealthy and the well-connected. The odds have been stacked against working people for much too long.

We need a higher education system that works for everyone, from App- — from Appalachia to Atlanta and to far beyond.

We can and must do better, and we will.

Today, I’m directing the Department of Education to analyze what practices help build a more inclusive and diverse student bodies and what practices hold that back, practices like legacy admissions and other systems that expand privilege instead of opportunity.

Colleges and universities should continue their commitment to support, retain, and graduate diverse students and classes.

You know, and companies — companies who are already realizing the value in diversity should not use this decision as an excuse to turn away from diversity either.

We can’t go backwards.

You know, I know today’s Court decision is a severe disappointment to so many people, including me, but we cannot let the decision be a permanent setback for the country.

We need to keep an open door of opportunities. We need to remember that diversity is our strength. We have to find a way forward.

We need to remember that the promise of America is big enough for everyone to succeed.

You know, that’s the work of my administration, and I’m always going to fight for that.

And I want to thank you all.

And I know you’ve been told I have a helicopter out there waiting to go up to do an interview in New York. I’ll be talking to more about this in a live interview.

But thank you very much. And we’re going to have plenty of time to talk about this. But we’re not going to let this break us.

Thank you.

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Q President Biden, the Congressional Black Caucus said the Supreme Court has “thrown into question its own legitimacy.” Is this a rogue Court?

THE PRESIDENT: This is not a normal Court.

Q Should there be term limits for the justices, sir?

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As you probably already heard the Supreme Court blocked President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.

Sources are saying…

As of 8:55 a.m., my time; nothing has been updated on his public schedule, the White House Press Secretary has not issued an announcement via Twitter, the White House has not added a live-feed on YouTube, there has been no statement posted by the White House, and President Biden hasn’t tweeted any thoughts on the ruling…

I gotta assume they had a back-up plan or plans…prior to today’s ruling. I’m assuming even more that legal is huddled together trying to make sure the back-up plan or plans, pass muster before President Biden addresses the ruling.

“Bidenomics” Tweet

From Friday…

This is an Open Thread.

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About Tiff 2493 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.

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