Biden Bits: “A Place to Call Home”…

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Thursday…

President Biden’s public schedule for 03/28/2024:

10:00 AM
Presidential Daily Brief
The President receives the President’s Daily Brief
The White House Closed Press
10:30 AMOut-of-Town Pool Call Time
Joint Base Andrews Overhang Out-of-Town Pool
11:10 AM
Left the White House
The President departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews
South Grounds In-Town Travel Pool
11:40 AM
Left Joint Base Andrews
The President departs Joint Base Andrews en route John F. Kennedy International Airport
Joint Base Andrews Out-of-Town Pool
12:00 PM
Press Gaggle
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will gaggle aboard Air Force One en route Queens, New York
Joint Base Andrews Out-of-Town Pool
12:35 PM
Arrives at JFK International Airport
The President arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport Open Press
12:45 PM
Leaves JFK International Airport
The President departs John F. Kennedy International Airport en route the Wall Street Landing Zone
John F. Kennedy International Airport Out-of-Town Pool
1:00 PM
Arrives at Wall Street Landing Zone
The President arrives at the Wall Street Landing Zone
Downtown Manhattan Heliport, NY Out-of-Town Pool
8:05 PM
Campaign Event
The President and The First Lady participate in a campaign reception
Radio City Music Hall, New York Out-of-Town Pool

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Gaggle Aboard Air Force One En Route Queens, NY @noon D.C., time:


A Place to Call Home Tweet

From Wednesday…

The video clip is 1 minute and 31 seconds long.

Latreca and her daughter Ikina met President Biden on 03/19/2024, before or after President Biden offered remarks on Lowering Housing Costs for American Families in Las Vegas, Nevada. The YouTube is 29 minutes and 8 seconds long.

I will not be transcribing the video; the gist is that Latreca was able to use funds from the American Rescue Plan (03/11/2021), to help her purchase her first home. Her daughter, Ikina talks about finally having a window where she can place the plant that President Biden gifted her when they met.


Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse

From Wednesday…

Remarks by President Biden on the Collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge; the YouTube is 5 minutes and 42 seconds long.

This is going to take some time.  And the people of Baltimore can count on us, though, to stick with them at every step of the way until the port is reopened and the bridge is rebuilt. 
 
You know, we’re not leaving until this job gets done — not leaving until then.

Remarks by President Biden on the Collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. 03/26/2024.

From the White House…

03/27/2024:

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, and Deputy Commandant for Operations for the U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Gautier; the YouTube is 1 hour and 8 minutes long:

I will just be posting Secretary Buttigieg and Vice Admiral Gautier’s opening statements…

SECRETARY BUTTITGIEG:

Thank you very much, Karine. I want to start by thanking the Vice Admiral and the whole Coast Guard for their extraordinary partnership and recognizing the leadership of President Biden, who from the very beginning has been acting to make sure that we have a whole-of-government response to support the people of Baltimore.

Yesterday, America awoke to shocking images of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsing after it was struck by a neopanamax container vessel. And by the time most Americans saw those images, first responders and rescuers had already been at work for hours to save lives. That quick work unquestionably made an enormous difference, and they have our gratitude.

In fact, if not for several factors, including those responders’ efforts, the mayday call, the maintenance closure that was already underway, and the time of day of this impact, the loss of life might have been in the dozens.

But tragically, six people did lose their lives and the seventh was badly injured. These were workers who went out to work on a night shift repairing the road surface while most of us slept.

Work is undergoing to recover their remains. And our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones, whose lives are never going to be the same.

Even as those families come to terms with this grief and even as those recovery operations continue, work is underway to investigate what happened and to restore the key transportation resources that were impacted.

When it comes to the investigative work led by the NTSB and supported by the Coast Guard, I will respect their independence and not comment on that work. But I do appreciate being able to engage with NTSB, Coast Guard, and other personnel yesterday at the site.

I also spent time with Governor Moore, and I want to express my appreciation for his leadership. The governor has responded to this unthinkable event with focus and compassion. And we’re going to be working closely with him and with his state’s DOT to support Maryland in their work to rebuild the bridge and reopen the port.

I also want to thank Mayor Scott, County Executive Olszewski for their work and their team’s work ensuring all resources are brought to bear in that response.

While the investigation and the response continue, President Biden has made clear that this whole administration will be providing support in every respect for the recovery and the rebuilding process.

From a Department of Transportation perspective, that really comes down to four major focus areas: reopen the port, deal with the supply chain implications until the port does reopen, rebuild the bridge, and deal with the surface transportation implications until the bridge is rebuilt.

Each of those is a distinct line of effort, and we’re already taking steps toward each goal.

With regard to the port, again, the Coast Guard, in coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers, will lead on the channel cleanup and the reopening so that that port can get back to full operation.

We are concerned about the local economic impact, with some 8,000 jobs directly associated with port activities. And we’re concerned about implications that will ripple out beyond the immediate region because of the roles — excuse me — because of the port’s role in our supply chains.

This is an important port for both imports and exports, and it’s America’s largest vehicle-handling port, which is important not only for car imports and exports, but also for farm equipment.

No matter how quickly the channels can be reopened, we know that it can’t happen overnight. And so, we’re going to have to manage the impacts in the meantime. We’re working to mitigate some of those impacts, including using tools that didn’t exist just a few years ago.

Following the disruptions to supply chains from the COVID pandemic, President Biden’s infrastructure package included the establishment of a new freight office within our department to help coordinate goods movement in ways that were not possible before.

To be clear, ocean shipping is not centrally controlled the way you might expect with, for example, air traffic control. So, having these tools allows us to create coordination that just didn’t exist before.

It’s helped us to smooth out supply chains after COVID. It’s helped us to manage the Red Sea crisis. And we’re using it now to help the hundreds of different private supply chain actors get better coordinated to keep goods moving.

Tomorrow, I will be convening shippers and other supply chain partners to understand their needs and to promote a coordinated approach as they adapt to the temporary disruptions while we plan mitigations.

That said, the Port of Baltimore is an important port. So, for our supply chains and for all the workers who depend on it for their income, we’re going to help to get it open as soon as safely possible.

Now, for the bridge, we are going to be working with NTSB as they lead their independent investigation. It’s too early to speculate, of course, what NTSB will find, but if they discover or determine anything that should be considered in the regulation, inspection, design, or funding of bridges in the future, we will be ready to apply those findings.

What we do know is a bridge like this one completed in the 1970s was simply not made to withstand a direct impact on a critical support pier from a vessel that weighs about 200 million pounds, orders of magnitude bigger than cargo ships that were in service in that region at the time that the bridge was first built.

We also know that this is yet another demonstration of the importance of our roads and bridges, which is one of many reasons why the Biden-Harris administration worked so hard to get the infrastructure package passed and why roads and bridges are the single biggest category in that package.

We are committed to delivering every federal resource that’s needed — every federal resource needed to help Maryland get back to normal, and we’re going to work with them every step of the way to rebuild this bridge.

It is not going to be simple. When we helped Pennsylvania and California swiftly reopen I-95 and I-10, respectively, there was terrific done work there, but that was addressing comparatively short spans of bridges over land, relative to this span over water. And, of course, in the Baltimore case, we still don’t fully know the condition of the portions of the bridge that are still standing or of infrastructure that is below the surface of the water. So, rebuilding will not be quick or easy or cheap, but we will get it done.

As I mentioned, we’re all — we’re working with city, county, and state. And I also want to add that we’ve been closely engaged with the Maryland congressional delegation, many of whom were on hand yesterday and who are doing a tremendous job advocating for their state. They made it clear that they will work with us to push for any help that we need from Congress.

Bottom line, as President Biden has made clear, the federal government will provide all of the support that Maryland and Baltimore need for as long as it takes, and we will work with Congress to deliver on that.

I’ll end with this. For the families of those presumed lost, for the people of Baltimore who are going to be feeling this closure in day-to-day life, and for everyone affected by the port closure and its supply chain impacts: The President and the whole of government will be here with you until everything is rebuilt stronger than ever.

Our country put its arms around Florida when the Sunshine Skyway Bridge collapsed in 1980. America rallied around Minnesota after the bridge there collapsed in 2007. This will be a long and difficult path. But we will come together around Baltimore, and we will rebuild together.

Admiral.

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, and Deputy Commandant for Operations for the U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Gautier. 03/27/2024.

VICE ADMIRAL GAUTIER:

Thank you, Mr. Secretary and Karine. So, let me just add to what the Secretary has already briefed you on here.

So, yesterday evening, I think as you know, after an intense and thorough multi-agency search on the water and from the air, the Coast Guard Incident Commander, Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath, suspended the search for the individuals missing from the bridge collapse. He did this after consulting Governor Moore and many of the other agencies that were involved.

The Coast Guard and the response community is deeply saddened that the — that the missing individuals have not survived. And the Coast Guard appreciates the state of Maryland’s leadership and humanity in supporting the family members of the missing.

I’d like to personally thank the state and local responders for their heroic search-and-rescue efforts. While we didn’t achieve the outcome that we had hoped for, it was a tremendous team effort in the treacherous operational conditions.

As this aspect of the response shifts to recovery operations and consistent with the President’s direction to get the port up and running as soon as possible, the Coast Guard highest priority now is restoring the waterway for shipping, stabilizing the motor vessel Dali and removing it from the site, and coordinating a maritime casualty investigation under the leadership of the National Transportation and Safety Board.

So, just a couple of words on each one of those. Some — in terms of assessing, restoring the waterway, the Coast Guard is very tightly connected to the Army Corps of Engineers as they lead in that role as the lead federal agency for that effort.

As we were in the Oval Office, the President called General Spellmon, the Chief of the Army Corps of Engineers, who’s on site. General Spellmon and I had a number of conversations yesterday in terms of the coordinated approach moving forward. And they are moving very aggressively in putting resources and mobilizing the necessary equipment, conducting the analysis and the underwater surveys to do that.

In terms of continuing to stabilize the vessel, mitigating any pollution threat, and removing the vessel from the area, the vessel is stable, but it still has over 1.5 million gallons of fuel oil and lube oil onboard. And it does have 4,700 cargo containers on board; 56 of those contain hazardous materials and 2 are missing overboard. The ones that are in the water do not contain hazardous — hazardous materials. And then, thir- — around 13 or so on the bow of the ship were damaged as the bridge collapsed and it impacted the front of that ship.

So, the Coast Guard has moved aggressively to board the vessel, and we have teams on board. The responsible party, the ship operator, has mobilized, activated their marine salvage plan, in addition to their marine pollution response plan — both things that are required by the United States Coast Guard. That salvor is Resolve Marine Incorporated, and they have begun mobilizing resources to take the next steps appropriate to refloat the vessel and remove it from that area.

The real critical thing here is that, as you know, a portion of the bridge remains on the bow of that ship, and we will be coordinating very closely with the Army Corps of Engineers and their contractors to first effect the removal of that debris before the vessel can then be removed. The vessel bow is sitting on the bottom because of the weight of the — of that bridge debris on there.

And there are underwater surveys that are happening by remotely operated vehicle; divers will be in the water today to complete that underwater survey. There is no indication that there’s any flooding or any damage underneath the waterline to that vessel. And that effort will continue. We’ll keep you informed of that.

And then, lastly, in terms of the — the casualty investigation, as the Secretary has said, this is led by the National Transportation Safety Board. I have had a couple of conversations with Chair Homendy on this account, and basically what we’ve done is we’ve activated a memorandum of understanding between the Coast Guard and NTSB.

And because the multimodal and complex nature of this investigation, we will be providing Coast Guard investigators for what we call a marine board of investigation, which is our highest level of investigation in the Coast Guard that will fold in and coordinate with the NTSB investigation as that moves forward.

I think the Secretary closed with some topline messages. And for us, I can tell you that our Unified Command — which is essentially a term that we use in the United States for how we mobilize against crises with all the appropriate federal, state, local agencies and other stakeholders — we have a tremendous amount of talent on there and a lot of resourcing. And given the magnitude and importance of this response, it’s going to be very, very aggressive moving forward, and we’ll keep you informed of that.

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, and Deputy Commandant for Operations for the U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Gautier. 03/27/2024.

03/28/2024:

Readout of Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force Meeting:

Yesterday, the National Economic Council convened a meeting of the Biden-Harris Administration Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to discuss potential impacts on regional and national supply chains from the collapse of the Frederick Scott Key Bridge and partial closure of the Port of Baltimore.

The Task Force, launched in 2021 to monitor and address near-term supply chain challenges, consists of supply chain experts across the Administration who bring the full capacity of the federal government to assess potential supply constraints and bottlenecks, engage stakeholders, and prepare response and mitigation efforts.

The Port of Baltimore is one of the nation’s largest shipping hubs and the Francis Scott Key Bridge is critical to travel in the Northeast Corridor. Since the collapse of the Frederick Scott Key Bridge, the White House and Federal agencies have engaged extensively with industry, ocean carriers, ports and labor unions to minimize disruptions as shipments are rerouted while the Port of Baltimore is closed to ship traffic. Members of the Task Force shared real-time analysis of sectors with significant activity through the Port of Baltimore, including automobiles, farm machinery, and agricultural products. Members of the Task Force also provided an assessment of the impact on workers and the community. The Task Force received a situational briefing of operations on the ground and will continue to monitor any new supply chain developments as the unified command under the U.S. Coast Guard supports the recovery and rebuild efforts and normal operations resume at the Port of Baltimore.

The Task Force will coordinate Federal outreach and efforts to assist impacted industries and will continue to monitor shipping activity at alternative ports as shipments are diverted. The Task Force is also monitoring the impact of the closure on the workers directly associated with activities at the Port of Baltimore and will work with the Department of Labor, the state of Maryland, and impacted employers and unions to minimize impacts. 

Participating agencies included:

Readout of Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force Meeting. 03/28/2024.
  • The White House
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Homeland Security

ABC News reported yesterday, that two bodies had been recovered from a red pickup truck found submerged in “approximately 25 feet of water”.

The victims were identified by police “as Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35, a native of Mexico who lived in Baltimore, and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26, a native of Guatemala who lived in Dundalk. They were both construction workers.”

Authorities are still searching for the remains of four construction workers.

One survivor of the tragic bridge collapse was released from the hospital early Wednesday.


Direct File is Free Tweet

From Wednesday…

Direct File.IRS.gov says this is a pilot program that’s starting small; During this pilot, Direct File only supports a limited set of tax situations. That means this pilot may not support your tax needs.

I checked out the option in February when I filed my taxes…

I decided to pay Turbo Tax once more when I read; you’ll need to manually enter your tax information. We’ll walk you through filing your taxes step by step.

Reminder tax day is 04/15/2024; it’s a Monday, it’s not a holiday or a weekend, so taxes are due by midnight…


Executive Order Tweet

From Wednesday…

From the White House…

03/27/2024:

Executive Order on Recognizing and Honoring Women’s History:

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

     Section 1.  Policy.  Women and girls of all backgrounds have shaped our country’s history, from the ongoing fight for justice and equality to cutting-edge scientific advancements and artistic achievements.  Yet these contributions have often been overlooked.  We must do more to recognize the role of women and girls in America’s story, including through the Federal Government’s recognition and interpretation of historic and cultural sites.

     It is the policy of my Administration to recognize and honor the diverse trailblazers — including women and girls — who have contributed to the fabric of our Nation.  One of the National Park Service’s important functions is serving as the Nation’s storyteller by managing a constellation of sites on behalf of the American public that, together, help preserve and honor different chapters in our Nation’s history.  The National Park Service honors trailblazing women and their contributions to the Nation, from Harriet Tubman and Eleanor Roosevelt, to Rosie the Riveter and Mamie Till-Mobley.  Still, women’s history is vastly underrepresented in our National Park System, creating an important opportunity to strengthen our Nation’s recognition of the role of women in shaping this country.

     This order directs actions that will strengthen the Federal Government’s recognition of women’s history and the achievements of women and girls from all backgrounds.  It builds on steps I have taken to advance equity and equality across the Federal Government and to help tell a more complete story of our Nation’s history, including through Executive Order 14020 of March 8, 2021 (Establishment of the White House Gender Policy Council), Executive Order 13985 of January 20, 2021 (Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government), and Executive Order 14091 of February 16, 2023 (Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government).  By honoring the women leaders of the past, we tell a more complete story of America and help build a more equal and equitable present and future.

     Sec. 2.  Definitions.  For purposes of this order:

(a)  The term “sites of national importance” includes National Park “System units” as defined in 54 U.S.C. 100102 (by reference to 54 U.S.C. 100501), national monuments designated by the Congress or by the President pursuant to 54 U.S.C. 320301, and National Historic Landmarks designated under 36 C.F.R. part 65.

(b)  The term “theme studies” means studies conducted by the National Park Service pursuant to 36 C.F.R. 65.5(a) to identify historic properties in the United States that are nationally significant to a specific area of American history.

     Sec. 3.  Recognizing and Honoring Women’s History.  

(a)  Within 180 days of the date of this order, to strengthen the Federal Government’s recognition of women’s history, the Secretary of the Interior shall submit a report to the President that:

(i)   includes an assessment of existing sites of national importance that are directly related to women’s history, whether managed by the Department of Defense, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, or any other executive branch entity; and

(ii)  identifies opportunities within sites of national importance to highlight important figures and chapters in women’s history.

(b)  To strengthen the Federal Government’s recognition of women’s history:

(i)    The Secretary of the Interior shall conduct an overview theme study specific to women’s history that identifies major topics in women’s history to be addressed by a series of subsequent theme studies.  The overview theme study and plan for additional studies shall address prominent women and girls in key periods of United States history, such as pre-European contact, Colonial America, the American Revolution, the abolition and suffrage movements, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, the Great Depression and New Deal, World War II and post-war, the civil rights and women’s rights movements, and contemporary America, among other topics.  It also shall highlight women and girl leaders in advocacy and social movements, defense, diplomacy, education, law, medicine, the sciences, conservation and environmental protection, sports, the arts, or other professions and disciplines, as appropriate.  

(ii)   The Secretary of the Interior shall review previously completed theme studies and issue a report to help ensure representation of women’s history in sites of national importance.  This review of completed theme studies should include, among others, sites of national importance focused on or linked with the histories of Latino Americans; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; African Americans; people of Indigenous descent; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex Americans; as well as American civil rights and labor histories.  The report shall adopt an intersectional approach by including women from different backgrounds and communities and shall reflect diversity in factors such as gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, Tribal affiliation, disability, age, geography, income, and socioeconomic status. 

(iii)  To inform relevant actions the Department of the Interior will take over the next 10 years, the Secretary of the Interior shall request recommendations from the National Park System Advisory Board on ways to improve the recognition of women’s history across Federal parks, lands, and programs, including through historic designations and national monument designations.  The Secretary of the Interior shall request that the National Park System Advisory Board produce interim recommendations to the Secretary within 270 days of the date of this order and produce final recommendations within 1 year of the date of this order.

(c)  The Secretary of the Interior shall make available the findings from the overview theme study and series of subsequent theme studies conducted pursuant to subsection (b)(i) of this section to the Director of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum and the corresponding council established in 20 U.S.C. 80t-2, for consideration, as appropriate, in developing their own exhibits.

Sec. 4.  Implementation.  The Secretary of the Interior shall consult with the Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Gender Policy Council, the Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality in implementing this order.

     Sec. 5.  General Provisions. 

(a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Executive Order on Recognizing and Honoring Women’s History. 03/27/2024.

“New” from the White House…

03/27/2024:

03/28/2024:

About the opinions in this article…

Any opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website or of the other authors/contributors who write for it.

About Tiff 2551 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.