Biden Bits: “Each of Us Has the Power to Bring Light to the World”…

Biden Tweets Christmas Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Friday…

President Biden’s public schedule for 12/01/2023:

Since it’s the first of the month, the public schedule site is screwy.

There is nothing posted on the White House YouTube, so currently it appears President Biden’s public schedule is wide open…


Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Tweet

From Thursday…

Campaign tweets are the hardest to offer context too, but I’m gonna offer this readout from 11/01/2023; it’s the most recent thing regarding reproductive health care posted by the White House…

Today, Jennifer Klein, Assistant to the President and Director of the Gender Policy Council, and Tom Perez, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, convened more than 30 legislative leaders from 16 states to discuss their efforts to advance proactive legislation to further safeguard reproductive rights in the upcoming 2024 legislative session.  
 
This convening builds on more than two dozen White House-led working meetings with state legislators in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, including an in-person convening of more than 80 state legislators from 41 states in June 2023. While Republican elected officials continue to advance extreme abortion bans in states and at the national level, legislators across the country are fighting back to protect access to reproductive health care.
 
White House senior officials thanked the legislators for their leadership and reaffirmed the importance of state partners in responding to attacks on reproductive freedom – including through the passage of proactive legislation to strengthen access to reproductive health care, including contraception; to protect patient privacy; and to ensure health care providers have access to the training they need to care for patients. 

White House.gov. 11/01/2023.

“Bidenomics” Tweets

From Thursday…

Remarks by President Biden on How Bidenomics is Mobilizing Investments in Clean Energy Manufacturing and Creating Good-Paying Jobs in Communities Around the Country | Pueblo, CO; the YouTube is 26 minutes and 37 seconds long:

She, along with every single Republican colleague, voted against the law that made these investments and jobs possible.  And that’s not hyperbole; that’s a fact.  And then she voted to repeal key parts of this law.  And she called this law a “massive failure.” 

You all know you’re part of a massive failure?  (Laughter.)

Tell that to the 850 Coloradans who get new jobs in Pueblo at CS Wind thanks to this law.  Tell that to the local economy that’s going to benefit from these investments.  Tell that to anyone who wants to listen.  Tell — with thanks to Congresswoman — I think she — what she calls a “massive failure,” a solar power company that’s investing $400 million here in Colorado, creating fi- — for 56,000 homes, create 250 good-paying jobs.  

White House.gov. 11/29/2023.

From Friday…

The video clip is 25 seconds long.

President Biden: Some members of Congress voted against my historic investment in America, and the entire agenda. But that’s okay; whether you’re in a blue state or red state, I promised I’d represent every American–every part of America. I’m keeping my promise. We’re going to change America for the better, creating thousands and thousands of good-paying jobs and once again leading the world in science and technology.


Israel/Hamas/Gaza Tweet

From Thursday…

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Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby; the YouTube is 35 minutes and 19 seconds long.


Clean Drinking Water Tweet

From Thursday…

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Action to Protect Communities from Lead Exposure:

Building on the Biden-Harris Administration’s Historic Commitment to Protect Children and Families from Lead Poisoning, EPA Proposes Rule to Remove Lead Pipes Across the United States

The Biden-Harris Administration is working to ensure a future where every child and family can live safely in their communities without the fear and harmful effects of lead exposure. Today, as part of President Biden and Vice President Harris’s vision for a lead-free future, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to strengthen its Lead and Copper Rule that would require water systems to replace lead service lines within 10 years, helping secure safe drinking water for communities across the country. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests over $50 billion for the largest upgrade to the nation’s water infrastructure in history, and today’s action builds on these historic levels of funding from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, to replace lead service lines across the nation.

More than 9.2 million American households connect to water through lead pipes and lead service lines. Due to decades of inequitable infrastructure development and underinvestment, lead exposure disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color. There is no safe level of exposure to lead, particularly for children, and eliminating lead exposure from the air, water, and homes is a crucial component of the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic commitment to advancing environmental justice.

In addition to taking action towards achieving 100 percent replacement of lead service lines, EPA’s proposed Lead and Copper Rule Improvements increase tap water sampling requirements, require water systems to complete comprehensive and publicly available lead service line inventories, and strengthen and streamline requirements for water systems to take additional actions to reduce lead health risks to communities. This proposal advances the Biden-Harris Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan, a whole-of-government approach to reduce all sources of lead exposure.

Since the latest progress update in January 2023, the Administration has taken the following actions to tackle lead exposure from water, air, food, lead paint, and other sources which pose risks to human health:

Reducing Exposure to Lead from Water – Lead can enter drinking water when plumbing materials that contain lead corrode, especially where the water has high acidity or low mineral content that corrodes pipes and fixtures. The most common sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipes, faucets, and fixtures. The Administration is taking several actions to reduce this exposure.

White House.gov. 11/30/2023.
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $15 billion in funding specifically dedicated for replacing lead service lines, along with an additional $11.7 billion in general-purpose funding through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which can also be used for lead pipe replacement. To date, EPA has awarded over $3.5 billion of this lead service line funding to replace hundreds of thousands of lead service lines in homes, buildings, and schools. To advance President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, EPA has committed to deploying at least 49 percent of its State Revolving Funds to disadvantaged communities. In total during this administration, EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs have provided over $796 million to help systems that serve disadvantaged communities begin removal of lead service lines across the country, protecting the health of over 9.8 million people.
     
  • Funding from the American Rescue Plan’s $350 billion State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund can be used by states and communities to replace lead service lines and remediate lead paint. To date, well over $20 billion nationwide has been invested in water infrastructure projects, including significant clean water investments.
     
  • This month, EPA launched the Get the Lead Out (GLO) Initiative, which sets out a partnership with 200 underserved communities nationwide to provide the technical assistance they need to access funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and remove lead service lines from their communities. This initiative builds on EPA and the Department of Labor’s partnership with 40 underserved communities to support lead pipe replacement.
     
  • In February 2023, EPA announced a $340 million financing commitment to the City of Philadelphia for lead pipe replacement through the WIFIA program. The initial loan of nearly $20 million will modernize critical drinking water infrastructure by replacing approximately 160 lead service lines and 15 miles of watermains throughout the city.
     
  • In November 2023, EPA announced a $336 million loan to the City of Chicago for lead pipe replacement through the WIFIA program. This financing will help Chicago, which has one of the highest concentrations of lead pipes in the nation, to replace up to 30,000 lead service lines while creating an estimated 2,700 jobs.
     
  • In August 2023, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $78 million in new awards to remediate lead pipes. These funds will help ensure that rural communities have the funds they need to access clean and safe drinking water.
     
  • In March 2023, EPA and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a joint letter to governors to encourage state and local governments to use federal funding to reduce and remove lead in drinking water in early care and education settings, like elementary schools and daycare facilities.
     
  • In July 2023, EPA announced $58 million in grant funding from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to protect children from lead in drinking water at schools and childcare facilities across the country. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, activities like these to remove lead from drinking water are now eligible to receive funding through the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN). WIFIA and WIIN are also Justice40 covered programs.

Reducing Exposure to Lead from Paint and Dust in the Home – Lead in household dust originates from indoor sources such as deteriorating, old lead-based paint on surfaces, home repair activities, tracking lead-contaminated soil from the outdoors into the indoor environment, or even from lead dust on clothing worn at a job site. The Administration is working to help tackle and eliminate these exposures in several ways.

White House.gov. 11/30/2023.
  • In July 2023, EPA announced a proposal to strengthen requirements for the removal of lead-based paint hazards in old buildings and child care facilities to better protect children and communities from exposure to dust generated from lead paint. The proposed rule would strengthen EPA’s regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by revising the dust-lead hazard standards which identify hazardous lead in dust on floors and window sills, and the dust-lead clearance levels of the amount of lead that can remain in dust on floors, window sills and window troughs after lead removal activities. If finalized, this rule will reduce the potential lead exposures of approximately 250,000 to 500,000 children under age six per year.
     
  • On November 1 and 2, 2023, the EPA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) held a virtual public workshop to receive stakeholder input on the detection, measurement, and characterization of lead-based paint to support efforts to reduce lead exposure. EPA and HUD will use information received during the workshop to inform their joint effort to revisit the federal definition of lead-based paint and propose and finalize a revised definition, if necessary. EPA uses the definition in its Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) program and Lead-Based Paint Activities (LBPA) program and HUD in its Lead-Safe Housing Rule (LSHR) program and Lead Hazard Reduction (LHR) grant program. Both agencies use the definition in their jointly issued and enforced Lead Disclosure Rule.
     
  • Over the past year, HUD executed over $307 million in grants to make homes of low-income families safe from lead-based paint hazards, further advancing President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative. The Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes executed $140 million since August 2023 in grants to state and local governments to control these hazards in privately owned homes (mainly rental units) of low-income families, where the homes do not receive HUD housing assistance.  In addition, the Office of Public and Indian Housing executed over $42 million in grants to public housing agencies to control these hazards in public housing units where low-income families reside.  Research has shown that children residing in housing made free of lead-based paint hazards under the Department’s grants have lower blood lead levels as a result of these efforts.

Reducing Exposure to Lead from Air – Major sources of lead in the air include emissions from manufacturing, waste and metals processing, and aircraft operating on leaded aviation fuel. To tackle these emissions, the Administration has taken the following actions.

White House.gov. 11/30/2023.
  • In March 2023, EPA released a draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Lead for independent peer review and public comment. This draft ISA synthesizes the most policy-relevant science and will ultimately provide the scientific bases for EPA’s decisions regarding whether the current Clean Air Act standards for lead sufficiently protect public health and the environment and whether to retain or revise these standards.
  • In July 2023, EPA issued proposed amendments to the NESHAP for Integrated Iron and Steel Manufacturing Facilities. The proposed amendments would reduce emissions of toxic metals, including lead, by nearly 80 tons per year.
  • In October 2023, EPA released a final determination that emissions of lead from aircraft that operate on leaded fuel cause or contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA reviews information on air pollutants and sources of air pollution to determine whether they threaten human health or welfare. This is referred to as an “endangerment finding” – a first step in using EPA’s authority to address this source of lead pollution.

Reducing Exposure to Lead from Soil – Lead contamination at Superfund sites from past industrial operations like lead mining and smelting can accumulate in soil and poses a threat to human health and the environment. Reducing lead in soils can help to reduce exposure risks.

White House.gov. 11/30/2023.
  • During fiscal year 2023, EPA completed 49 Superfund cleanup projects that addressed lead contamination where it posed risks to people’s health. Lead is the environmental contaminant most commonly reported by EPA Brownfields cleanup grant recipients. In fiscal year 2023, Brownfields grant recipients completed 62 cleanups that addressed lead contamination.
     
  • HUD is piloting its program of community-led strategies or action plans for environmental justice around HUD housing located near Superfund sites, including addressing soil-lead contamination in the homes of low-income families.

Reducing Exposure to Lead from Food – Lead may be present in food because it is in the environment where foods are grown, raised, or processed. To reduce the risk to the children of ingesting lead with food, the Administration is working on new guidance for processed foods.

In January 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced draft guidance for industry on action levels for lead in processed foods that are intended for babies and children under two years of age, to help reduce potential health effects in this vulnerable population from dietary exposure to lead. The proposed action levels would result in significant reductions in exposures to lead from food while ensuring availability of nutritious foods. This action is part of Closer to Zero, which sets forth the FDA’s science-based approach to continually reducing exposure to lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury to the lowest levels possible in foods eaten by babies and young children.

Protecting People from Lead Exposure in the Workplace – Workers can be exposed to lead as a result of the production, use, maintenance, recycling, and disposal of lead material and products. 

White House.gov. 11/30/2023.
  • In September 2023, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a new resource to help employers and workers reduce hazards associated with lead pipe removal and replacement. Recommendations for employers to reduce lead exposure include developing a written lead monitoring and control program which may include a testing protocol, hazard control program, and job hazard assessment for tasks that may expose workers to lead. Recommendations for workers include improved work practices, such as cleaning surfaces, avoiding bringing personal items into contaminated areas, and using personal protective equipment to help reduce their lead exposure.

Establishing Domestic and International Partnerships to Reduce All Lead Exposure – The Administration is working in a number of ways to reduce community exposure to lead, both in the United States and around the world.

White House.gov. 11/30/2023.
  • In May 2023, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health’s Lead Poisoning Prevention and Surveillance Branch announced a new Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), Supporting Communities to Reduce Lead Poisoning. Funded recipients will help families avoid the dangers of lead in their homes through community engagement, prevention education, and family support.
  • A new international lead exposure working group, led by EPA’s Office of International Affairs, has been established under the Lead Subcommittee of the President’s Task Force (PTF) on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children.
  • EPA continues to engage through the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint with helping to review and enforce lead paint laws to promote the phase-out of the use of lead in paint.
  • In April 2023, EPA released a new online resource guide for the public on federal, state, and local materials to prevent lead and other heavy metal exposures in cultural products, including cosmetics, spices, religious powders, cookware, and traditional medicines. The resource is made available in multiple languages.
  • To address the detrimental effects of lead poisoning in low and middle-income countries, USAID is aligning with other U.S. government efforts to improve child development, health, and education, including in India and South Africa. This work is happening through initiatives including the Global Child Thrive Act, Advancing Protection and Care for Children in Adversity, and the U.S. Government Strategy on International Basic Education. Through its Missions and Health Offices around the world, USAID is shining a light on the impact of lead exposure on health and development, as well as engaging with government officials on sources, policies, and regulations to prevent further poisoning.

Accelerating Innovations to Improve Blood Lead Testing – Testing blood is the best way to determine if a person has had lead exposure, as there are often no immediate symptoms when someone is exposed to lead. Based on blood lead test results, healthcare providers can recommend follow-up actions and care.

White House.gov. 11/30/2023.
  • CDC is working to increase blood lead testing among children enrolled in Medicaid as part of CDC’s CORE Health Equity Strategy. The CORE strategy involves collaborating with multi-sectoral partners to incorporate health equity as a foundational component. To identify promising practices in this area, CDC formed the CORE Community of Practice (CoP) in August 2023 with nine Childhood Lead Poisoning Program (CLPPP) recipients. The CORE CoP will meet quarterly to discuss lessons learned from implementing blood lead testing strategies for children enrolled in Medicaid. Promising practices from this initiative will be disseminated to all 62 CLPPP recipients at the end of the project period.
     
  • In November 2023, CDC announced a Lead Detect Prize on challenge.gov with a $1 million prize pool to accelerate the development of next-generation point-of-care blood lead testing technology. NASA and the FDA support the challenge, and it spotlights the urgent need to identify and foster new or existing breakthrough solutions and products for optimal lead testing in children. The first phase of the multiphase challenge calls upon researchers and innovators across disciplines to submit concepts and Lead Detect Prize development plans for advanced point-of-care blood lead tests that could detect very low blood lead levels with reduced risk of blood sample contamination from the environment. Each Phase 1 winner will receive an equal share of the $150,000 Phase 1 prize pool and receive an exclusive invitation to participate and compete for $850,000 in total prizes during Phase 2.

National Christmas Tree Lighting Tweets

From Thursday…

The YouTube is 3 minutes and 25 seconds long.

His full remarks:

 Five, four, three, two, one!  (Applause.)
 
(The President and First Lady light the National Christmas Tree.)
 
All right.  They’ve got it.
 
Merry Christmas, everybody!  (Applause.)
 
Jill and I are honored to welcome you.  (Inaudible.)
 
(“Deck the Halls” is played.)
 
All right.  Again, Merry Christmas, everyone.  Have a seat, if you’d like. 
 
Jill and I are honored to welcome you to the National Christmas Tree Lighting.
 
Thanks to the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and the National Park Service Foundation.  (Applause.)  They’re the one doing this.
 
And a special thanks to tonight’s host, Mickey, and all those incredible performers we have here tonight.
 
This is a great tradition — one, as has been pointed out already, we’ve honored over 100 years, where presidents and the people come together to usher in the holiday season.
 
Earlier this week, Jill and I announced the theme — Jill announced the theme of this year’s holiday at the White House: “Magic, Wonder, and Joy.”
 
Three words that capture the essence of Christmas and the holidays to rediscover for ourselves the simple joys of the season, from familiar songs to favorite recipes; to open the hearts with simple acts of kindness, especially to those — those going through hard times; and to strengthen the bonds with family and friends, as well as with our faith and our community; to remember we’re a great nation because we’re a good people.
 
That’s what I see all across America, including tonight.
 
Joining us are 43 members of Team USA who represented our nation at the Invictus Games this past September.  (Applause.)  Give them a hand. 
 
Jill and Prince Harry went to the first Invictus Games in ’14.  And Invictus Games in Ontario, I was there in ’16, in Toronto.  Anyways, there’s been great, great, great effort that we’ve seen. 
 
And, you know, these athletes were incredible: wounded warriors from service branches — every service branch — in the essence of who we are as Americans.
 
We look to one another, and we look out for one another.  We leave no one behind.  And for our best, we are united at our best.
 
We are the United States of America.
 
We begin another holiday season.  Let’s remember how blessed we are as Americans for the gift that is our nation.
 
So, Merry Christmas, America.
 
May God bless you all.  And may God protect our troops.
 
Merry, merry Christmas.  (Applause.)

White House.gov. 11/30/2023.

Bilateral Tweet

From Thursday…

From the White House…

11/30/2023:


Inflation Tweet

From Thursday…

Bea.gov said on Thursday…

[Snip]

Personal income increased $57.1 billion (0.2 percent at a monthly rate) in October, according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (tables 2 and 3). Disposable personal income (DPI), personal income less personal current taxes, increased $63.4 billion (0.3 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $41.2 billion (0.2 percent).

The PCE price index increased less than 0.1 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.2 percent (table 5). Real DPI increased 0.3 percent in October and real PCE increased 0.2 percent; goods increased 0.1 percent and services increased 0.2 percent (tables 3 and 4).

BEA.gov. 11/30/2023.

New York Time reporter Ben Casselman shared his thoughts on Threads.net

Post by @ben.casselman
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President Biden’s full statement:

Today, we learned that annual inflation fell to its lowest level since March 2021 and monthly inflation was zero. Alongside yesterday’s news that our economy grew by more than 5% last quarter, this flat inflation is helping deliver the breathing room families need right now, especially around the holidays. Our actions have mended supply chains and helped bring inflation down to its lowest level in two years. But we still have more work to do: prices are still too high for too many families. That’s why I’m fighting every single day and calling on corporations to lower costs for middle-class families, even as Republicans in Congress focus on lowering taxes for the wealthy and largest corporations.

White House.gov. 11/30/2023.

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.