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tv   White House Press Secretary Holds Briefing  CSPAN  October 4, 2021 9:29pm-10:01pm EDT

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senate floor and key congressional hearings. to white house events and supreme court oral arguments. even our interactive program, washington journal, where we hear your voices every day. c-span now has you covered. download the app for free today. >> next, the white house press secretary took questions about president biden's legislative priorities. topics include raising the debt ceiling and ongoing negotiations with congress. >> increasingly aggressive under this administration and start trade talks back with them. there was concern when president biden took office, dealing with china. -- a chinese firm december ties to the chinese central bank. as of april, he had not yet done
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that. you're going to get back to us on that. do you have an update? >> i would point to his representatives on that, he doesn't work in the administration. i would say, and i think you are referring to the announcement of the speech about phase one, and what i think is important to note is this approach definitely differs from the approach of the prior administration in our view. their approach would select sectors of the american economy and was not targeted to address strategic problems we have. these initial steps we have taken will realign trade policies toward our priorities could that is the objective of this president. it's just the first stage of the process. the ambassador gave an extensive speech today. >> the president had said during the campaign none of his family will have is this relationships with anyone related to a foreign corporation or country. wouldn't it be reassuring to the american country if they let
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people know if hunter has -- >> i convey to you and i will have to move on that you should talk to his representatives. there is no reason to yell, i am not yelling. you should talk to his presented of's, that remains is policy. he has been working to wind that down. beyond that, talk to his representatives. >> dr. fauci has indicated in the time of covid, people should be willing to give up personal choice or civil liberties for the greater good. we are also seeing disturbing images out of australia. first, i want to know, does the president agree with that statement by dr. fauci? secondly, doesn't present biden support what the us trillion government is doing in their country and would he consider similar measures in the united states if case count goes up? >> the president has been pursuing our own policies in the united states, which has led to nearly 80% of the american
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public with at least one shot. and bringing the cases of covid down dramatically over the past several months. we will continue to abide by and conduct our own policies. >> the president acknowledged today that the reconciliation bill will -- has he started considering what for him would be a priority keeping the bill versus not? and is he sharing the view in the conversations with moderates and liberal lawmakers on the hill? >> is a conversation. the president's red lines continue to be he will not raise taxes for anyone making less than $400,000 a year and he wants to give the middle class in this country some breathing room. what he wants to do is have a conversation, hear from everybody on what their top lines are and what their priorities are. these were his initial proposals, so really the
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conversation to move the ball forward. that's part of the conversation i will -- he will have with other members later this week. >> the trip to michigan and why he decided to do that? >> tomorrow he will be traveling to michigan, it is a state that would benefit greatly from the bipartisan ever structure package and the build back better agenda, to give you a couple of examples. michiganders spent an extra 67% of their time commuting because of the need for updating infrastructure. this is something that impacts people across the state every day. almost 10% of people in michigan don't have broadband access. that is something that will help level the playing field for people, whether in urban or rural communities. 44% of people in michigan live in childcare deserts. these are issues addressed by both of these packages. there are more details and we are happy to provide more into tomorrow, but this is a state
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that could benefit greatly from the president's agenda. he wants to talk about the components and the pieces of these bills that will make lives better, even as we are having important conversations about the legislative logistics. >> thank you. for international visitors, the administration looking at the cdc as to which vaccines will be accepted. right now, the cdc says -- but also the guidance can be applied to those listed by the world health organization. will there be any change to this guidance in, for example, the russian vaccine? >> i would point to the cdc. we will have an update on our international travel guidelines closer to november. early november remains the timeline we are focused on but i will leave it to health experts to outline more specifics.
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>> after a couple of weeks ago, the last update on the guidelines, canadians can fly from vancouver to seattle but cannot drive across the border for a non-essential trip. that has had a big impact on border communities across the country, including washington. many senators have asked for change or to ask lena. >> it is determined by public health officials and we want to return to overland travel just like we are returning to other travel. i don't have anything more on this. >> earlier the president said reconciliation is a risky way to get through.
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-- impact the reconciliation bill anyway and democrats control the summit -- the senate and you have the majority. while i totally think it would be cleaner, identify what the risks are and especially republicans you don't want to go down this path rather than a pause that would be a set time limits and reconciliation would force you to put a similar on -- a similar amount on the debt ceiling. >> the reason is it would be a separate reconciliation bill, not the same as the reconciliation package we have been debating and talking about, which by the way we have been working on for months now. the reconciliation process would mean essentially starting from scratch and the point is why
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wouldn't it be the preference for everybody involved? we have a bill that we could vote up or down to raise the debt limit. it is a less risky process. democrats are in control of the senate but republicans can still bring up a range of amendment s about a range of issues. extending the process. they can be unlimited. that is how the process works. to us, that does not make sense as a preference. we are not ruling out options, but a clear, clean, fastest option is crystal clear to us. reporter: i wanted to talk about what we touched on earlier. you spoke about efforts to shore up energy in u.s., but there are a couple points.
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we have the supply chain that is broad. in europe, some of our closest allies are in line for fuel. so i wanted to know what we are doing to deal with this crisis internationally. you mentioned there was a conversation with opec. in the past week, you had to circle back on what message we would convey. we asked them to accelerate the owned -- and beyond a few months ago, sort of a gradual increase in production. sec. psaki: one of the questions i was asked of -- was about our national security advisor. in those meetings, the saudi arabia meeting was focused on yemen, but he and his team reiterated the imperative of creating conditions to support global economic recovery.
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included in that is the price of oil. around the world. we are in regular touch with opec. i did not mean to say that we were in touch months ago. we are in regular touch with opec members, since we are not a member. that has been ongoing. reporter: you have said in this room you believe -- is the only way to raise the debt ceiling. the white house has determined minting a trillion dollar coin or invoking the 13th amendment would not solve the problem. sec. psaki: as was reported, none of the options were viable. either they would not be accepted by the federal reserve, the guidance of our treasury secretary, or legal restrictions. we know the only path forward is through congress acting. there is a simple process that
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could be done. in the next few days, before friday. to reduce uncertainty to make sure that the american people do not have to worry about their bank accounts. all republicans need to do is let democrats be adults in the room and just vote. >> last night on 60 minutes, there was an exploration about the situation military members have been in. nine out of 10 of them have had their forgiveness rejected when they have applied. an advocate said the president has the power under a law to resolve this problem. will he use that law and is there anything else the administration can do? sec. psaki: you are referring to the public loans forgiveness program. professionals who served their communities and do hard work is central to our country's
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success. in the coming weeks, the department of education plans to announce a major overhaul of the program that will restore the promise of the program. it will include an opportunity for public service many not-for-profit professionals to get any prior payments made regardless of the loan program on which the payments were made. there will be upcoming rulemaking. the department of education will have more. this is something we want to make better for the people who have something to benefit from it. >> the president said he cannot guarantee the debt ceiling will not be reached. is the white house taking preparation in the event of that
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happening? you have outlined it would be catastrophic. is the white house making plans and preparations for the work? sec. psaki: the next sentence was i can't imagine that would happen, which i think is important context. it requires congress acting. that is the one path forward. that is why he gave remarks today. >> is the white house preparing for the worst? sec. psaki: there isn't another option. it has to pass legislatively. >> can you comment on the outage of facebook, instagram? sec. psaki: we are aware, but i don't have any other updates. i would point you to the companies. >> has the president considered asking democrats to use reconciliation earlier this year to lift the debt limit?
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if this is such an economic risk , why give mcconnell any say at all? sec. psaki: why let mcconnell off the hook for republicans off the hook? this is their debt that they chalked up themselves. this is a period of time when we could easily solve this in the next two days, and easily do that through allowing democrats to be the adults in the room, despite the fact that republicans spent like drunken sailors over the last four years before president biden took office. we did not need to start a long procedural process. that is what that would be. we are not ruling out options. we have to get this done. we have to get it done to ensure people don't worry about their retirement savings, about their college savings for their kids, but it is easy to get it done and we don't think republicans should be let off the hook.
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>> you said the president has not yet talked to mcconnell. when was the last time the two spoke on debt limit? sec. psaki: i don't have any read out of any recent call from them. >> [indiscernible] sec. psaki: we leave it to them on how they want to reach out and engage with members. >> are you intentionally going to a congressional district that trump won? sec. psaki: we are going to a state and a part of the state that could benefit from all these packages, because they are hugely popular. people don't think of their roads as partisan, for good reason, nor do they think of their childcare as partisan. that is why the president wants to make the case in michigan. >> [indiscernible] they have been forthcoming about
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where they are in negotiations. when you say the president wants to play a constructive role in moving this forward, does that also include in rebuilding trust within the democratic party? how would you do that? sec. psaki: i think the way the president sees this is that we are in the midst of a legislative process and this is how the process works. let's about trustor or not trust. there are going to be arguments. there are going to be disagreements. we have seen it work this way,
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bumps in the road. look at the affordable care act, look at dodd frank, look at the american rescue plan. these were not smooth legislative processes, they rarely are. >> why now to go out on the road and do an event like this? sec. psaki: i think the president felt and we all felt that the last week or two what was important was for him to be available. he is obviously still doing that. it is also important to remind people, as the sausage making has been the dominant storyline the last few weeks, what this is all about. why there are important debates and discussions about what is in these important packages, that is what he will do in michigan. >> two questions on the oil spill. is there a national emergency declaration being prepared?
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sec. psaki: it would be asked by the governor and granted by fema. we are in close touch with the governor and his team, but i would point you to fema if there is an update. >> [indiscernible] the judge blocked the stoppage of that. how does this underscore that effort [indiscernible] sec. psaki: i think one of the reasons that there are also existing oil leases -- not that it was your question -- that are still ongoing. that has not changed. you referenced ongoing litigation. i think the president has identified addressing the climate crisis is a core priority for him and this administration and taking every step possible to do that remains a priority. i would not say this changes that. that has been the case before this and will be the case even as we work to ensure recovery is
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complete. go ahead, andrew. >> last week, chairman thompson said that his committee would be making referrals for criminal contempt in the event trump administration witnesses failed to honor the subpoenas that have been served. in past administrations, these sorts of referrals have not been acted on by the justice department. i know the president has said that the doj will act independently of the white house, but will the biden administration break with recent precedent and actually follow the law in this case? sec. psaki: these witnesses have not failed to appear, so we are not quite there in the process. we would point to the department of justice. since you asked about january 6, broadly, where we did not exert executive privilege, for
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example, in the matter of doj officials who have been called to testify before congress, but obviously issues that are of the purview of the department of justice will remain there and we are not quite at the point where anyone has failed to appear. >> past administrations have not followed the law and acted on these sorts of referrals. whether or not one will happen in the future -- sec. psaki: i understand your question, of course we are going to follow the law, but i'm not going to get into hypotheticals that are relevant to this current state of play. i would point to the department of justice, but i also wanted to note where we have broken with some recent past president and how we have approached just to give you an example. >> any update [indiscernible]
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hoping that it would take a few weeks. wondering if there was a holdup and what the holdup is. sec. psaki: i would say that obviously lowering the cost of college or relieving student debt is a priority. if congress wants to send us a bill that would relieve $10,000 in student debt, the president would be happy to sign that. there has not been action on that today. part of his proposals have been lowering the cost of college, giving more people access to college she would not otherwise have had it, which shows his commitment to the issue. >> [indiscernible] i want to get this right. [indiscernible]
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especially migrants fleeing from haiti. [indiscernible] can i get your reaction to that memo and [indiscernible] sec. psaki: i haven't seen his memo at this point. i'm not sure when it came out. please do. we don't see title 42 as an immigration policy. it is a public health authority because we are still in the middle of a pandemic and it is determined by the cdc. it is also true that there are several exceptions for title 42, including those who are fleeing persecution, to express a concern of fear. those who have health issues. those are individuals who go through our immigration proceedings and process, so it remains in place because we are in the middle of a pandemic, but i think the short handing of that is not an accurate depiction of what our policy actually is even if it relates
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to exemptions. >> question on climate change. during his west coast trip, the president called for bold action on climate change in the response to wildfires and other extreme events. but it is also a major sticking point in the reconciliation process between senator manchin and the progressive faction. what is the president telling fellow democrats about climate policy and is this an area where he is willing to make concessions? sec. psaki: it remains a priority, otherwise he would not have proposed it. there is also very broad support within congress for climate provisions that are in both the reconciliation package, as well as the infrastructure package. that includes historic investments in electric vehicles, electric vehicle charging stations, the replacing of lead pipes. as you know in the reconciliation package, it helps create a climate core, helps make sure there is a climate standard, for key pieces for
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there to be pivotal addressing of the climate crisis. the president would not have proposed it if he did not think it was a priority. go ahead in the middle. >> [indiscernible] do you know if he wants to be president? does he want to play the role of president? [indiscernible] [indiscernible] sec. psaki: we don't see it that way. we are in the middle of a process. this is democracy, it is not dysfunction, so we are going to keep at it. >> thank you. if i could go back to that
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question on inflation, you said it will help inflation over the long-term. the new york federal reserve president said he sees elevated inflation for at least another year. what is the timeline you are looking at for the long-term, especially since this reconciliation package could go into effect over the course of 10 years? how long should americans be expected to wait for those prices to come down? sec. psaki: the federal reserve and the oecd and others have said inflation is six acted to come down. they continue to say it is transitory. it is a tenure package, but what is important about the package is that several economists have conveyed it would help address inflation over the long-term, which is something i think is in the interest of the american people, the public, and future governments. >> in the last 24 hours, north korea's press agency say they have reopened the hotline to south korea. what concerns do you have about
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the proposed -- i don't know if this is real -- the alleged missile? sec. psaki: we of course support and continue to support inter-korean dialogue and engagement and cooperation and we will continue to work with our r.o.k. partners to that end. as it relates to our engagement -- let me another missile launches -- so i don't miss that , we of course condemn any illicit missile launches. we are consulting closely with our allies as we assess the recent event and determine next steps. as it relates to our own engagement, which i think you were asking about, our goal remains complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula. we are prepared to meet without preconditions.
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we have made specific proposals. we hope they will respond positively to our outreach, but at this point we have not had a response. >> it has been reported china sent 52 aircraft into taiwanese airspace. both strong statements from the state department and you don't appear to be listened to in beijing. what next? sec. psaki: we are also in touch privately, conveying clear messages through diplomatic channels, and that is probably the appropriate place for those -- no, the president has not. we have high-level officials who are in touch with a range of officials there. go ahead. >> on the pandora papers. [indiscernible] for instance, a month ago, president biden was discussing issues with the president of the ukraine. now he is reportedly involved [indiscernible]
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does this undermine trust between washington and kia have? -- kiev? sec. psaki: let me reiterate, the president's commitment is to bringing additional transparency to the u.s. and international financial systems. it is something he has pressed for in his domestic agenda, but also something that in international forums he has focused on elevating is important to level the playing field, reduce corruption, ensure that we are doing that as a coordinated international body. i would not say it changes. maybe it makes it even more important to be on the international agenda. go ahead in the middle. last one. >> in relation to taiwan, i'm wondering can you say which u.s. officials have been raising concerns privately? sec. psaki: i would point to the state department, the department of defense to give you more
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detail. >> is there an update on a potential meeting between president biden and president xi? sec. psaki: no, i just heard my voice, which was a little bit of an out of body experience. [laughter] obviously, there was a significant speech that was given today. part of our objective and our engagement as it relates to our china strategy is to maintain high-level dialogue. i don't have anything to preview for you at this point in terms of a meeting our next conversation, but certainly maintaining high-level dialogue at that level is a priority to this administration. thank you, we will do this again tomorrow. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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