tv President Biden Delivers Remarks to State Department CSPAN February 4, 2021 2:42pm-3:07pm EST
and we're trying to help people get through this. and to suggest somehow that people -- especially people who are lower income who are needing this the most, facing eviction, not having food on the table, this is something that you do when you are a civilization. so i don't buy the argument at all that somehow there's no upper limit to this, but i don't think at all a $2,000 check is outrageous especially given -- today i get to say something that brings me tremendous happiness. president biden, vice president harris, welcome to the state department. for more than 2 decades i've had the privilege of watching president biden at work. i've seen his commitment to the american people, his expertise in foreign policy, his steadfast belief in diplomacy, and his rock solid support for our
diplomats and development experts. i've seen him on the hill, in the oval office, in distant world capitals from baghdad to bogdam, paris to prioria. visiting our troops, all the men and women representing this country. and i can say without fear of contradiction that in the history of the presidency no one has brought as much foreign policy experience to the job as joe biden. wherever he goes he's been a champion for american leadership and a defender of american values. and in kamala harris he has a vice president, we have a vice president with a long track record of standing up for the security of the american people. and an abiding commitment to using diplomacy to advance our interests and defend our values around the world. at this moment of unprecedented
global challenge it's more important than ever that the united states show up and lead because the world simply doesn't organize itself to solve big problems. and well-being of the american people hangs in the balance. we need diplomacy to get the pandemic under control worldwide, to save american lives and livelihoods. we need diplomacy to address the climate crisis, to protect communities across our country. we need diplomacy to check the rise of authoritarianism to prevent the spread of dangerous weapons, to shore up democracy, to defend human rights, all of which makes the world more stable and free, and all of which protects the security and prosperity of the american people. foreign policy is domestic policy. and because our strength at home determines our strength in the world, domestic policy is foreign policy, too. president biden and vice president harris know this better than anyone. that's why they believe so strongly in the work that we do
at the state department. and they've made it clear that the first question we must ask ourselves here at state is how will this benefit our fellow americans? how will this policy answer their needs? how will this outreach reflect their values? how will this initiative make their lives just a little bit better? we're going to hold ourselves to that standard every step of the way. president biden and vice president harris have come here today at the very start of their administration to make sure that we know that we have their support, and that means a great deal to all of the men and women of the state department. we will do our best, mr. president, madam vice president, to make you proud. and with that it is my pleasure to introduce the president of the united states, joe biden.
mr. secretary, it's great to be here with you. and i've been looking forward a long time to be able to call you mr. secretary. good afternoon, everyone. it's an honor to be back in the state department under the eyes of the first diplomat benjamin franklin. i was the benjamin franklin professor of politics at penn. and i thought they did that because i was as old as he was, but all kidding aside it's great to be here and stand along side our most recent senior diplomat secretary tony blinken. mr. secretary, thank you for welcoming us today, and we've
worked together for over 20 years. your diplomatic skills are respected equally by our friends and competitors around the world. and they know when you speak, you speak for me. and so is the message i want the world to hear today. america is back. america is back. diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy. as i said in our inaugural address, we will repair our alliances engage would the world once again not to meet with yesterday's challenges but today and tomorrow's. american leadership must meet this new moment of advancing authoritarianism including the growing ambitions of china to rival the united states and the determination of russia to damage and disrupt our democracy. we must meet the new moment accelerating global challenges. from the pandemic to the climate crisis to nuclear proliferation,
challenging the will only to be solved by nations working together and in common. we can't do it alone. we must start with diplomacy rooted in america's most cherished democratic values, defending freedom, championing opportunity, upholding universal rights, respecting the rule of law and treating every person with dignity. that's the grounding wire of our global policy, our global power. that's our inexhaustible source of strength. that's america's abiding advantage. though many of these values have come under intense pressure in recent years, even pushed to the brink in the last few weeks the american people are going to emerge from this moment stronger, more determined and better equip today to unite the
world in defending democracy because we have fought for it ourselves. over the past few days we've been in close cooperation with our allies and partners to bring together the international community to address the military coup in burma. i've also been in touch with leader mcconnell to discuss our shared concerns about the situation in burma, and we are united in our resolve. there can be no doubt in a democracy force should never seek to overrule the will of the people or attempt to erase the outcome of a credible election. the burmese military should relinquish power they have seized, release the advocates and activists and officials they have detained, lift the restrictions on telecommunications and refrain from violence. as i said earlier this week we will work with our partners to
support restoration of democracy and rule of law and impose consequences on those responsible. over the past two weeks i've spoken with the leaders of many of our closest friends -- canada, mexico, the uk, germany, france, nato, japan, south korea, australia, to be re-forming the habits of cooperation and rebuilding the muscle of democratic alliances that have atrophied over the past few years of neglect and i would argue abuse. american alliances are our greatest asset, and leading with diplomacy means standing shoulder to shoulder with our allies and key partners once again. by leading with diplomacy, we must engage our adversaries and our competitors diplomatically.
where it's in our interest and advanced the security of the american people. that's why yesterday the united states and russia agreed to extend the new start treaty for five years to preserve the only remaining treaty between our countries safeguarding nuclear stability. at the same time, i made it clear to president putin in a manner very different from my predecessor that the days of the united states rolling over in the face of russia's aggressive actions, interfering with our election, cyber attacks, poisoning its citizens, are over. we will not hesitate to raise the cost on russia and defend our vital interests and our people. and we will be more effective in dealing with russia when we work in coalition and coordination with other like-minded partners. the politically motivated
jailing of alexei navalny and the russian efforts to suppress freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are a matter of deep concern to us and the international community. mr. navalny, like all russian citizens, is entitled to his rights under the russian constitution. he's been targeted, targeted for exposing corruption. he should be released immediately and without condition. we'll also take on directly the challenges posed by our prosperity, security, and democratic values by our most serious competitor, china. we'll confront china's economic abuses, counter its aggressive coercive action that pushed back on china's attack on human rights, intellectual property, and global governance, but we are ready to work with beijing when it's in america's interests to do so. we'll compete from a position of strength by building back better
at home, working with our allies and partners, renewing our role in international institutions, and reclaiming our credibility and moral authority, much of which has been lost. that's why we moved quickly to begin restoring american engagement internationally and earn back our leadership position. to cat lies global action on shared challenges. on day one, i signed the paperwork to rejoin the paris climate agreement. we're taking steps led by example of integrating climate objectives across all of our diplomacy and raise the ambition of our climate targets. that way we can challenge other nations, other major emmetters to up the ante on their own commitments. i'll be hosting climate leaders, a climate leaders summit to address the climate crisis on earth day of this year. america must lead in the face of
this existential threat. and just as with the pandemic, it requires global cooperation. we've also reengaged with the world health organization. that way we can build better global preparedness to counter covid-19, as well as detect and prevent future pandemics because there will be more. we've elevated the status of cyber issues within our government, including deploying the first deputy national security adviser for cyber and emering technology. we're launching an urgent initiative to improve our capability, readiness, and resilience in cyber space. today i'm announcing additional steps to course correct our foreign policy and better unite our democratic values with our diplomatic leadership. to begin, defense secretary
austin will be leading a global posture review of our forces so that our military footprint is appropriately aligned with our foreign policy and national security priorities. it will be coordinated across all elements of our national security with secretary austin and secretary blinken working in close cooperation. and while this review is taking place, we'll be stopping any planned troop withdrawal from germany. we're also stepping up our diplomacy to end the war in yemen, a war which has created humanitarian and strategic catastrophe. i've asked my middle east team to ensure our support for the united nations' led initiative to impose a cease-fire, open humanitarian challenges, and restore long-dormant peace talks. this morning, secretary blinken appointed tim lenderking, a career foreign policy officer,
as our special envoy to the yemen conflict, and i appreciate his doing this. tim has lifelong experience in the region and will push for a diplomatic resolution. and tim's diplomacy will be bolstered by u.s. aid working to ensure that humanitarian aid is reaching the yemeni people who are suffering an unendurable devastation. this war has to end, and to underscore our commitment, we're ending all american support for offensive operations in the war in yemen, including relevant arms sales. the same time, saudi arabia faces missile attacks, uav strikes, and other threats from iranian supplied forces in multiple countries. we're going to continue to support and help saudi arabia defend its sovereignty and its
territorial integrity and its people. we also face a crisis of more than 80 million displaced people suffering all around the world. the united states' moral leadership on refugee issues was a point of bipartisan consensus for so many decades when i first got here. we shined the light of lamp on liberty, of oppressed people. we offered safe havens for those fleeing violence or persecution, and our example pushed other nations to open wide their doors, as well. so today i'm approving an executive order to begin the hard work of restoring our refugee admissions program to help meet the unprecedented global need. it's going to take time to rebuild what has been so badly damaged, but that's precisely what we're going to do. this executive order will position us to be able to recognize the refugee admissions back up to 125,000 persons for
the first full fiscal year of the biden/harris administration. and i'm directing the state department to consult with congress about making a down payment on that commitment as soon as possible. and to further repair our moral leadership, i'm also issuing a presidential memo to agencies to reinvigorate our leadership on the lgbtqi issues and do it internationally. you know, we'll ensure diplomacy and foreign assistance are working to promote the rights of those individuals included by combating criminalization and protecting lgbtq and asylum seekers. finally, to successfully reassert our diplomacy and keep americans safe, prosperous and free, we must restore the health and morale of our foreign policy institutions. i want the people who work in this building and our embassies
and consuls around the world know i value your expertise and respect you, and i will have your back. this administration is going to empower you to do your jobs, not target or politicize you. we want a rigorous debate that brings all perspectives and makes room for dissent. that's how we'll get the best possible policy outcomes. so with your help, the united states will again lead, not just by the example of our power but the power of our example. that's why my administration has already taken the important step to live our domestic values at home, our democratic values at home. within hours of taking office, signed an executive order overturning the hateful discriminatory muslim ban, reversed the ban on transgender individuals serving in our
military, as part of our commitment to truth, transparency, and accountability. we stated on day one we started on day one with daily briefings in the press from the white house. we've reinstituted regular briefings here at state and at the pentagon. we believe a free press isn't an adversary, rather it's essential, a free press is essential to the health of a democracy. we've restored our commitment to science and to create policies grounded in facts and evidence. i suspect ben franklin would approve. we've taken steps to acknowledge and address systemic racism and the scourge of white supremacy in our own country. racial equity will not just be an issue for one department in our administration, it has to be the business of the whole of government and all our federal
policies and institutions. all this matters to foreign policy because when we host the summit of democracies early in my administration to rally the nations of the world to defend democracy globally, to push back the authoritarianism that's advanced, we'll be much more credible partner because of these efforts to shore up our own foundations. there's no longer a bright line between foreign and domestic policy. every action we take and our conduct abroad, we must take with american working families in mind. advancing a foreign policy for the middle class demands urgent focus on our domestic economic renewal. and that's why i immediately put forth the american rescue plan to pull us out of this economic crisis. that's why i signed an executive order strengthening our buy american policies last week. that's also why i worked with
congress to make far-reaching investments in research and development of transformable technologies. these investments are going to create jobs, maintain america's competitive edge globally and citizen sure all americans share in the dividends. if we invest in our ourselves and our people, if we fight to show that american businesses are positioned to compete and win on a global stage, if the rules of international trade aren't stacked against us, if our workers and intellectual property are protected, then there's no country on earth, not china or any other country on earth that can match us. investing in our diplomacy isn't something we do just because it's the right thing to do for the world. we do it in order to live in peace, security, and prosperity. we do it because it's in our own naked self-interest.
we strengthen our alliances, we amplify our power, as well as our ability to disrupt threats before they can reach our shores. when we invest in economic development of countries, we create new markets for our products and reduce the likelihood of instability, violence, and mass my congratulations. when we strengthen health systems in far reaches of the world, we reduce the risk of future pandemics that could threaten our people and our economy. when we defend equal rights of people the world over, of women and girls, lgbtq individuals, indigenous communities, and people with disabilities, the people of every ethnic background and religion, we also ensure that those rights are protected for our own children here in america. america cannot afford to be absent any longer on the world stage. i come today to the state department, an agency as old and as storied as the nation itself,
because diplomacy has always been essential to how america writes its own destiny. for the diplomacy of ben franklin helped assure the success of our revolution, the vision of the marshall plan, to help prevent the world from foundering on the wreckage of war and the passions of eleanor roosevelt that declared the audacious idea of universal rights that belong to all. the leadership of diplomats of every stripe doing the daily work of engagement, created the very idea of a free and interconnected world. we are a country that does big things. american diplomacy makes it happen. and our administration is ready to take up the mantel and lead once again. thank you all, my god bless you and protect our troops, our diplomat, and our development
experts, and all americans serving in harm's way. ghg going this way. thank you all. >> weeknights this month we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span3. the national history center hosts events for congressional members and staff to learn the historical background behind contemporary issues. to kick off tonight's programs from the national history center, lawyer and historian julia rose kraut talks about "threat of descent" which examines immigration law, the first amendment, and use of deportation to suppress political speech. watch tonight beginning at 8:00 eastern and enjoy "american history tv" every weekend on c-span3.
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