Biden Bits: “Helping Build the Future”…

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Monday…

President Biden’s public schedule for 01/29/2024:

10:00 AMIn-Town Pool Call Time
The White HouseIn-Town Pool
11:00 AM
Presidential Daily Brief
The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval OfficeClosed Press
1:30 PM
Press Briefing
Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and John Kirby @1:30 p.m. D.C., time:


Blatnik Bridge Tweets

From Friday…

From Saturday…

The video is 1 minute 28 seconds long. It talks about the Blatnik Bridge

From the White House…

01/25/2024:


Mayors Are Still Cool Tweet

From Friday…

The video clip is 1 minute and 57 seconds long.

It’s part of a series of tweets featuring other Mayors…

01/24/2024:

01/25/2024:

The videos were filmed during the Mayors Winter Meeting hosted at the White House…

01/19/2024:


Gun Reform Tweet

From Friday…

From The Daily Tar Heel…

01/26/2024:

Op-ed: We will not wait for the next school shooting

Editor’s Note: The following op-ed was signed by more than 140 student leaders and published simultaneously by more than 50 student newspapers at public and private universities across the country.

Students are taught to love a country that values guns over our lives.

Many of us hear the sound of gunfire when we watch fireworks on the Fourth of July. All of us have heard the siren of an active shooting scenario and asked ourselves: Again?

By painful necessity, we have grown to become much more than students learning in a classroom — we have shed every last remnant of our childhood innocence. Our hearts bleed from this uniquely American brand of gun violence, and yet we remind ourselves that we love our country so much that we expect better from it. 

We believe that our country has the capacity to love us back. There are bullet shaped holes in our hearts, but our spirits are unbreakable.

[snip]

So as students and young people alike, we should know our words don’t end on this page — we will channel them into change. 

We invite you to join this generation’s community of organizers, all of us united in demanding a future free of gun violence. With our prose and protest, we protect not only our lives, but our way of life itself. 

Politicians will not have the shallow privilege of reading another front-cover op-ed by students on their knees, begging them to do their jobs. They will instead contend with the reality that by uniting with each other and among parents, educators and communities, our demands become undeniable. Our movement is not just moving away from the unbearable pain of our yesterday, we move toward an unrelenting hope for our tomorrow.

Our generation dares politicians to look us in the eye and tell us they’re too afraid to try.

Daily Tar Heel.com.

The article is not pay-walled, but I did have to turn off my ad blocker to read it.


Climate Action Tweets

From Friday…

The video clip is 17 seconds long.

President Biden: Look, we have to fight for clean air in our communities and to lower costs for American families, including energy costs. Today’s pause on new natural gas export approvals recognizes the climate crisis for what is it: the existential threat of our time. It’s a threat, a serious threat.

From Sunday…

From the White House…

07/20/2022:

Remarks by President Biden on Actions to Tackle the Climate Crisis:

I come here today with a message: As President, I have a responsibility to act with urgency and resolve when our nation faces clear and present danger.  And that’s what climate change is about.  It is literally, not figuratively, a clear and present danger.

White House.gov. 07/20/2022.

From the White House…

01/26/2024:

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Temporary Pause on Pending Approvals of Liquefied Natural Gas Exports:

President Biden has been clear that climate change is the existential threat of our time – and we must act with the urgency it demands to protect the future for generations to come. That’s why, since Day One, President Biden has led and delivered on the most ambitious climate agenda in history, which is lowering energy costs for hardworking Americans, creating millions of good-paying jobs, safeguarding the health of our communities, and ensuring America leads the clean energy future.
 
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing a temporary pause on pending decisions on exports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to non-FTA countries until the Department of Energy can update the underlying analyses for authorizations. The current economic and environmental analyses DOE uses to underpin its LNG export authorizations are roughly five years old and no longer adequately account for considerations like potential energy cost increases for American consumers and manufacturers beyond current authorizations or the latest assessment of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. Today, we have an evolving understanding of the market need for LNG, the long-term supply of LNG, and the perilous impacts of methane on our planet. We also must adequately guard against risks to the health of our communities, especially frontline communities in the United States who disproportionately shoulder the burden of pollution from new export facilities. The pause, which is subject to exception for unanticipated and immediate national security emergencies, will provide the time to integrate these critical considerations.
 
The U.S. is already the number one exporter of LNG worldwide – with U.S. LNG exports expected to double by the end of this decade. At the same time, the U.S. remains unwavering in our commitment to supporting our allies around the world. Today’s announcement will not impact our ability to continue supplying LNG to our allies in the near-term. Last year, roughly half of U.S. LNG exports went to Europe, and the U.S. has worked with the E.U. to successfully economize consumption and manage its storage to ensure that unprovoked acts of aggression cannot threaten its supply. Furthermore, in 2022, the E.U and U.S. pledged to work toward the goal of ensuring additional LNG volumes for the E.U. market – with the U.S. exceeding our annual delivery targets to the E.U. in each of the past two years. Through existing LNG production and export infrastructure, the U.S. has – and will continue – to deliver for our allies.
 
As Republicans in Congress continue to deny the very existence of climate change while attempting to strip their constituents of the economic, environmental and health benefits of the President’s historic climate investments, the Biden-Harris Administration will continue to lead the way in ambitious climate action while ensuring the American economy remains the envy of the world.

White House.gov. 01/26/2024.

Biden-Harris Administration’s Top Climate Accomplishments:

  1. Signed into law the largest climate investment in history, the Inflation Reduction Actwhich has already created 210,000 new jobs across nearly every state and attracted more than $200 billion in private clean energy investments ($365 billion since President Biden took office), while putting the U.S. on a path to meet our climate goals and reach 80% clean energy by 2030 – in addition to securing the American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and CHIPS and Science Act
  2. Established a whole-of-government strategy to tackle methane emissions – from plugging wells and leaks in the oil and gas sector, to reclaiming abandoned coal mines, to reducing food waste and agricultural emissions, and finalized a historic rule to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations by nearly 80%, delivering billions of dollars in health and economic benefits
  3. Launched the American Climate Corps to mobilize a new, diverse generation of Americans – putting them to work conserving and restoring our lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, deploying clean energy, implementing energy efficient technologies, and advancing environmental justice, all while creating pathways to high-quality, good-paying jobs 
  4. Advancing the most ambitious environmental justice agenda in history, including by signing a historic Executive Order that calls on the federal government to bring clean energy and healthy environments to all and mitigate harm to those who have suffered from toxic pollution and other environmental burdens like climate change; delivering on the Justice40 initiative, which is ensuring that the benefits of President Biden’s historic investments in America – from clean energy projects to floodwater protections – reach communities that need them most; replacing lead pipes and taking action to protect communities from PFAS pollution; accelerating Superfund cleanups; tightening air quality enforcement near pollution facilities; and more
  5. Protected 26 million acres of lands and waters – on track to conserve more lands and waters than any President in history – including five new national monuments that include protections for lands in Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and most recently, the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument in Arizona; initiating new national marine sanctuaries as part of the President’s goal of conserving 30% of lands and waters by 2030, delivering billions of dollars to accelerate land, water, and wildlife conservation efforts in all 50 states, territories, the District of Columbia, and Tribal nations; and more
  6. Canceled remaining oil and gas leases issued by the previous administration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, proposed protections for more than 13 million acres in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, and withdrew approximately 2.8 million acres of the Beaufort Sea, ensuring the entire United States Arctic Ocean is off limits to new oil and gas leasing
  7. Signed an Executive Order that sets an ambitious target to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions, while proposing strongest-ever limits on tail pipe emissions and issuing fuel economy standards, giving Americans more choices about the cars they drive, and saving Americans hundreds of dollars at the pump
  8. Proposed carbon pollution standards for coal and gas-fired power plant emissions that would avoid hundreds of millions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions and protect people’s health
  9. Accelerated permitting of clean energy projects, including 47 projects on public lands that total 11.2 megawatts of wind, solar and geothermal energy on public lands – enough to power more than 3.5 million homes, and broke ground on 10 major transmission projects, which are slated to connect 19.5 gigawatts of new generation to the grid
  10. Rallied world leaders to raise global climate ambition, including by securing commitments from more than 155 countries to reduce methane emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030, joining leaders at COP28 to commit, for the first time, to transition away from fossil fuels, end new unabated coal capacity globally, and agree to triple renewable energy globally by 2030
  11. Invoked the Defense Production Act using emergency authority on the basis of climate change to increase domestic production of key clean energy technologies, such as solar, transformers and electric grid components, and heat pumps 

Reproductive Rights Tweet

From Friday….

The video clip is 1 minute and 30 seconds long. It’s snips of different remarks they made on protecting women’s reproductive rights. I will not be transcribing the video. Cause I’m already late with the post.

Vice President Harris Participates “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” Tour Moderated Conversation @3:20 p.m. D.C., time:


Border Deal Tweet

From Friday…

Statement from President Joe Biden On the Bipartisan Senate Border Security Negotiations:

For too long, we all know the border’s been broken.
 
It’s long past time to fix it.
 
That’s why two months ago, I instructed my team to begin negotiations with a bipartisan group of Senators to seriously, and finally, address the border crisis. For weeks now that’s what they’ve done. Working around the clock, through the holidays, and over weekends.
 
Let’s be clear.
 
What’s been negotiated would – if passed into law – be the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country. 
 
It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed.  And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law.
 
Further, Congress needs to finally provide the funding I requested in October to secure the border.  This includes an additional 1,300 border patrol agents, 375 immigration judges, 1,600 asylum officers, and over 100 cutting-edge inspection machines to help detect and stop fentanyl at our southwest border. 
 
Securing the border through these negotiations is a win for America.
 
For everyone who is demanding tougher border control, this is the way to do it.
 
If you’re serious about the border crisis, pass a bipartisan bill and I will sign it.

White House.gov. 01/26/2024.

The Usual House Republican Suspects have vowed that the deal is “DOA” in the House…

Cause as you all know, the crisis isn’t really a crisis, it’s simply a political football…


International Holocaust Remembrance Day Tweet

From Saturday…

The video clip is 21 seconds long.

Remarks by President Biden at a Hanukkah Holiday Reception (12/11/2023):

Look, folks, we just met with Holocaust survivors downstairs, including the widow of a dear friend — of the late Elie Wiesel, who taught us about the perils of indifference

[snip]

It’s been clear that our administration stands with them arm in arm in arm.  We’re not going to walk away.  We’re agress- — (applause) — we’re aggressively — we’re addressing and implementing the first-ever national strategy to combat antisemitism, prosecuting hate crimes — (applause) — prosecuting hate crimes, addressing antisemitism in schools, increasing security around Jewish centers of life, and more.

[snip]

Silence is complicity.  Silence is complicity

White House.gov. 12/11/2023.

SAVE Plan Tweet

From Saturday…

From the Department of Education…

01/11/2024:

Biden-Harris Administration to Shorten Path to Debt Cancellation for Some SAVE Borrowers:

New data show 6.9 million borrowers are enrolled in the Administration’s most affordable repayment plan 

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced that next month it will start providing forgiveness after as few as 10 years of payments for borrowers on the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan who originally took out $12,000 or less for college. Borrowers enrolled in SAVE who are eligible for early forgiveness will have their debts cancelled immediately starting next month, with no action on their part. To help as many borrowers as possible benefit from this action, the (Department) is kicking off an outreach and email campaign to encourage borrowers who are not currently enrolled in SAVE to sign up because they may benefit from this shortened repayment period. The Administration is also announcing today that there are now 6.9 million borrowers enrolled in the SAVE Plan as of early January, more than double the enrollment on the Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) plan it replaced in August.

The shorter time to forgiveness benefit will particularly help borrowers who attended community colleges; these students typically borrow smaller amounts. Overall, the Department estimates that the SAVE Plan will make 85% of future community college borrowers debt free within 10 years. The SAVE Plan will also help borrowers who are more likely to struggle with their loans, as most borrowers in default originally borrowed $12,000 or less.

“Beyond being the most affordable student loan repayment plan ever available, the Biden-Harris Administration designed the SAVE Plan to put community college students and other low-balance borrowers on a faster track to debt forgiveness than ever before,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Our ability to deliver this relief to borrowers months ahead of schedule is a testament to the Biden Administration’s commitment to delivering relief to as many borrowers as possible, as quickly as possible. Today’s announcement gives borrowers an even greater reason to check out the SAVE plan and find out if they may qualify for earlier debt relief. With lower monthly payments, protection from runaway interest, and faster timelines to debt forgiveness, President Biden’s SAVE plan is not only benefitting millions of current borrowers but also providing the students of today and tomorrow with a more affordable pathway to college degrees and credentials.”

The Department is accelerating this benefit months ahead of the date previously laid out in the Biden-Harris Administration’s final regulations for implementing the SAVE plan, which is July 1, 2024. Borrowers enrolled in SAVE who have made at least 10 years of monthly payments and originally took out $12,000 or less for undergraduate or graduate postsecondary studies are eligible for forgiveness. For every $1,000 borrowed above $12,000, a borrower can receive forgiveness after an additional year of payments. That means a borrower who originally borrowed less than $21,000 will be eligible for forgiveness faster than the 20-year timeline for undergraduate borrowers on SAVE. The benefit is based upon the original principal balance of all federal loans borrowed to attend school, not what a borrower currently owes or the amount of an individual loan. Periods that count toward the forgiveness benefits include months during the payment pause and time in repayment as determined through the payment count adjustment.

“Today’s announcement will help struggling borrowers who have been making loan payments for years, including many who never graduated from college,” said Under Secretary James Kvaal. “Giving borrowers with smaller loans a faster path to being debt free will help many borrowers avoid financial distress and have peace of mind.”

The Biden-Harris Administration is also kicking off a wave of outreach to encourage more borrowers to enroll in SAVE, particularly those who may be able eligible for immediate forgiveness. Today, the Department will begin emailing borrowers whose balances and time in repayment indicates they may benefit from the shortened time to forgiveness provision. The Department will also work with the SAVE on Student Debt coalition and other supportive organizations to conduct further outreach in the coming months. 

In February, the Department will start notifying borrowers on SAVE who are eligible for forgiveness that their loans are being discharged automatically with no action needed on the borrower’s part. The Department will also email borrowers not on SAVE who can receive forgiveness as soon as they sign up for the plan. Moving forward, the Department will continue to identify and discharge the loans of eligible borrowers on a regular basis. The Department strongly encourages all eligible borrowers who originally borrowed $12,000 or less to apply for SAVE as soon as possible. 

For student borrowers, the SAVE Plan remains the most affordable repayment option in most cases. Under the SAVE Plan, single borrowers who earn less than $32,800 per year or those in a family of four making less than $67,500 have a $0 payment. The SAVE Plan also ensures that a borrower’s balance will never grow due to unpaid interest as long as they are making their monthly payments. The improved application allows borrowers to have their income securely accessed through the Internal Revenue Service so they do not need to re-certify their income or reapply for plans like SAVE each year. Savings for borrowers will increase again when the Department implements further payment reductions for borrowers with undergraduate loans in July 2024. 

Continued Increases in SAVE Enrollment

The Biden-Harris Administration also announced today that there are now 6.9 million borrowers enrolled in the SAVE plan. This includes 2.8 million borrowers on SAVE who are new to an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan and approximately 700,000 who have switched from another income-driven repayment plan. Overall, borrowers are repaying $374 billion in federal student loans on the plan, about 30% of all Direct Loans dollars in repayment, deferment, or forbearance.

Borrowers are continuing to see significant financial benefits from being on SAVE compared to the previous REPAYE Plan. Of SAVE enrollees, 3.9 million have a $0 payment, while borrowers who owe a payment are saving an estimated $117 a month (just over $1,400 a year). These savings don’t include the interest that borrowers avoid each month after they satisfy their repayment obligation. Department data show that SAVE enrollment continues to be well targeted, as 75% of SAVE borrowers also received Pell Grants, which are awarded to low-income college students.

The SAVE Plan builds on the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to reduce the burden of student debt on America’s families. The Biden-Harris Administration has already approved nearly $132 billion in targeted relief for more than 3.6 million borrowers. Just last month, the Department announced the approval of an additional $4.8 billion in student loan debt relief for 80,300 borrowers. The Biden-Harris Administration has now approved:

ED.gov. 01/11/2024.
  • Almost $44 billion in IDR relief for nearly 901,000 borrowers;
  • $53.5 billion for almost 750,000 borrowers through fixes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness that began in October 2021. By contrast, only about 7,000 borrowers had received forgiveness through these programs at the start of the Biden-Harris Administration.

The Biden-Harris Administration is currently in the process of writing proposed regulations that would make more borrowers eligible for debt relief. It also recently finalized regulations that help create the most effective accountability system ever for colleges that leave students with unaffordable debts and will continue to take action to reduce the cost of college and improve the value of postsecondary education.

Borrowers can view more resources and tools that help them find the right repayment plan for their current circumstances at StudentAid.gov/restart. More information about SAVE is available at StudentAid.gov/save

ED.gov. 01/11/2024.

Economy Tweet

From Sunday…

AP News 01/25/2024:

Washington Post 01/25/2024:

A gift link to the above article…

AXIOS 01/25/2024:


Remembrance Tweet

From Sunday…

Show more =’s despicable and wholly unjust attack. Have no doubt: We will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing.

U.S. Central Command said:

On Jan. 28, three U.S. service members were killed, and multiple personnel were injured from a one-way attack UAS that impacted on a base in northeast Jordan, near the Syrian border. As an update to the earlier announcement, the number of U.S. personnel with injuries has increased to at least 34 service members, but we expect this number to fluctuate as service members continue to seek follow-on care. Eight personnel that received injuries required evacuation from Jordan to higher level care, but they are in stable condition. All other service members are being fully evaluated for follow-on care.

The attack occurred at the logistics support base located at Tower 22 of the Jordanian Defense Network. There are approximately 350 U.S. Army and Air Force personnel deployed to the base, conducting a number of key support functions, including support to the coalition for the lasting defeat of ISIS.

As a matter of respect for the families and in accordance with DoD policy, the identities of the service members will be withheld until 24 hours after their next of kin have been notified. U.S. Central Command will continue to provide updates as they become available.

CentCom.Mil. 01/28/2024.

Defense.gov offered the following statement:

I am outraged and deeply saddened by the deaths of three of our U.S. service members and the wounding of other American troops in an attack last night against U.S. and Coalition forces, who were deployed to a site in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border to work for the lasting defeat of ISIS. These brave Americans and their families are in my prayers, and the entire Department of Defense mourns their loss.  
 
Iran-backed militias are responsible for these continued attacks on U.S. forces, and we will respond at a time and place of our choosing.
 
The President and I will not tolerate attacks on American forces, and we will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our troops, and our interests.

Defense.gov. 01/28/2024.

President Biden’s full statement:

Today, America’s heart is heavy. Last night, three U.S. service members were killed—and many wounded—during an unmanned aerial drone attack on our forces stationed in northeast Jordan near the Syria border.  While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.

Jill and I join the families and friends of our fallen—and Americans across the country—in grieving the loss of these warriors in this despicable and wholly unjust attack. These service members embodied the very best of our nation: Unwavering in their bravery. Unflinching in their duty. Unbending in their commitment to our country— risking their own safety for the safety of their fellow Americans, and our allies and partners with whom we stand in the fight against terrorism.  It is a fight we will not cease. 

The three American service members we lost were patriots in the highest sense. And their ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten by our nation. Together, we will keep the sacred obligation we bear to their families. We will strive to be worthy of their honor and valor. We will carry on their commitment to fight terrorism. And have no doubt — we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing. 

White House.gov. 01/28/2024.

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Tweet

From Monday…

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Advance Pay Equity on the 15th Anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act:

New Biden-Harris Administration actions will help close wage gaps and improve pay transparency for workers.

President Biden and Vice President Harris have long championed equal pay as a cornerstone of their commitment to ensuring opportunity and fairness for all workers. Closing gender and racial wage gaps is essential to ensuring that women and people of color can fully participate in the labor force. This past year, the gender pay gap was the lowest on record. Despite the progress we have made, the fight for equal pay continues. Today, women workers are still paid on average 84 cents for every dollar paid to men, and the disparities are even greater for many women of color. These inequities can add up to millions of dollars lost over the course of a lifetime.

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to making the federal government a model employer and closing persistent wage gaps to help grow and strengthen our economy. That’s why the President has issued two Executive Orders aimed at advancing pay equity for both the federal workforce and employees of federal contractors. Today, to implement those Executive Orders, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions to:

White House.gov. 01/29/2024.
  • Advance pay equity for federal workers. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing a final rule ensuring that more than 80 federal agencies will no longer consider an individual’s current or past pay when determining the salaries of federal employees. Ending the use of salary history in pay-setting decisions is a proven way to help curb pay discrimination that can follow workers from job to job and ensure that salaries are based on applicants’ skills, experience, and expertise.
  • Promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in federal contracting by advancing pay equity and pay transparency. The Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council is issuing a proposal to prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from seeking and considering information about job applicants’ compensation history when hiring or setting pay for personnel working on or in connection with a government contract. In addition, the proposal would require federal contractors and subcontractors to disclose expected salary ranges in job postings, a policy that has been shown to reduce pay secrecy, help workers negotiate, and reduce pay gaps. These proposed policies would help federal contractors recruit, diversify, and retain talent; improve job satisfaction and performance; and reduce turnover—all factors associated with promoting the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the federal contractor workforce.
  • Affirm equal pay obligations for federal contractors. The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is issuing guidance clarifying existing protections against discrimination in hiring or pay decisions. The new guidance will help federal contractors and current and prospective contractor employees understand when reliance on an individual’s compensation history for hiring or pay decisions may result in unlawful discrimination.

Today’s announcements build on previous actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to close wage gaps and strengthen women’s economic security, which has led to the lowest unemployment rate among women since 1953. These actions include:

White House.gov. 01/29/2024.
  • Ensuring women have access to good-paying jobs being created by the President’s Investing in America agenda. Biden-Harris Administration investments through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) have increased access to good-paying jobs, including for women, people of color, and members of other communities currently underrepresented in the sectors where these jobs are being created, such as clean energy, construction, and manufacturing. These include:
    • Launching the Good Jobs Initiative. DOL’s Good Jobs Initiative provides critical information to workers, employers, and government to improve job quality, empower workers, and ensure workers, especially those from underserved communities, can access good union jobs free from discrimination and harassment. The Initiative is dedicated to advancing the Departments of Labor and Commerce’s Good Jobs Principles, which address recruitment and hiring, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and pay. The Departments of Transportation, Energy, Commerce, and Interior, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and General Services Administration, have signed memoranda of understanding with DOL to support the Good Jobs Initiative, promote equitable workforce development, and ensure workers have what they need to deliver on the once-in-a-generation Investing in America agenda.
    • Expanding access to good-paying construction jobs. To ensure women can access the almost 200,000 new construction jobs expected from the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments, the Department of Commerce launched the Million Women in Construction initiative, which calls on chip manufacturers, construction companies and unions to bring one million women into the construction industry over the next decade, roughly doubling women’s representation in the industry. DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs also launched the Mega Construction Project (Megaproject) Program, which fosters equal opportunity on designated BIL- and CHIPS-funded construction projects through intensive on-the-ground assistance to remove hiring barriers and promote consideration of a diverse pool of qualified workers, including women, people of color, veterans, and people with disabilities.
    • Improving access to child care for the semiconductor workforce through CHIPS and Science Act implementation requirements. The Department of Commerce’s implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act included a historic requirement that applicants requesting over $150 million in direct funding submit plans to provide accessible, affordable, high-quality child care.
  • Increasing access to affordable care and supporting caregivers. Access to affordable, high-quality care is essential to ensuring parents, especially moms, can participate fully in the workforce. From day one, the Biden-Harris Administration has focused on ways to lower child care costs for hardworking families and improve wages for child care workers. The ARP Child Care Stabilization program delivered historic support to over 225,000 child care programs serving as many as 10 million children across the country. Over 90% of the child care programs that have received assistance are women-owned. The Council of Economic Advisors found that this stabilization funding supported savings for families with young children, raised the real wages of child care workers, and helped hundreds of thousands of women with young children enter or re-enter the workforce.

In addition, in April 2023, President Biden signed an Executive Order with more than 50 directives to nearly every cabinet-level agency to increase access to affordable, high-quality care and boost job quality for early educators and long-term care workers, who are disproportionately women of color. Among the many actions agencies have taken, the Department of Health and Human Services has proposed key changes to federal child care assistance to reduce child care payments for nearly 80,000 working families.

White House.gov. 01/29/2024.
  • Increasing the minimum wage. The President issued Executive Orders directing the Administration to work toward ensuring that employees working on federal contracts and federal employees earned a $15 per hour minimum wage. Those directives went into effect in January 2022, raising the wages of about 370,000 federal employees and employees of federal contractors. In addition to helping the government do its work more efficiently, these directives take a step towards narrowing racial and gender disparities in income, as many low-wage workers are women and people of color. The order also eliminates the subminimum wage for workers with disabilities on federal contracts. The President has called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, so that American workers can have a job that delivers dignity and to make greater strides towards pay equity.
  • Supporting women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Small Business Administration-backed loans to women-owned small businesses are up more than 60 percent, totaling $5.1 billion in lending to women-owned businesses in FY23.And a new report out this month found that from 2019 to 2023, women’s small business formation surged, substantially outpacing overall formation. This Administration has invested nearly $70 million in the Women Business Centers (WBC) network, expanding it for the first time into all 50 states and tripling the number of WBCs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and other minority-serving institutions. President Biden also invested $10 billion through the ARP State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to help States, territories, and Tribal governments leverage tens of billions more in matching public and private dollars to support small businesses across the United States, with a particular focus on historically underserved entrepreneurs, including women business owners. The ARP Restaurant Revitalization Fund helped over 40,000 women-owned restaurants and bars—thanks in part to steps taken by the Administration to ensure that women-owned and socially and economically disadvantaged businesses were able to access assistance.

Statement from President Joe Biden on the 15th Anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act:

Fifteen years ago today, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act became the law of the land, in a landmark victory in the fight for equal pay. Lilly worked hard, with dignity and pride, only to find that for years she had been paid less than her male coworkers. This needed to change. This law, the first bill signed during the Obama-Biden Administration, expanded important protections against pay discrimination, and was named after her in recognition of her long fight for equal pay.

Despite this progress, the fight for equal pay continues. Women workers are still paid on average 84 cents for every dollar paid to men, and the disparities are even greater for many women of color. Today, my Administration is taking new actions to advance pay equity for the federal workforce and employees of federal contractors. These new actions adopt commonsense policies that will help pay millions of workers fairly, close gender and racial wage gaps, and yield tangible benefits for the federal government and federal contractors. These policies are good for workers, our economy, and for families.

In addition, my Administration will continue to call on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, to increase pay transparency and strengthen our tools to fight sex-based pay discrimination. Today and every day, Vice President Harris and I remain committed to building on the promise of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and strengthening the economic security of women across the country.

White House.gov. 01/29/2024.

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About Tiff 2546 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.