tv White House Press Secretary Holds News Conference CSPAN February 2, 2023 5:07pm-6:16pm EST
president biden: the state of the union is strong because you, the american people, are strong. >> president biden delivers the annual state of the union address outlining his priorities to congress on tuesday. his first state of the union speech since republicans took control of the house. we'll also hear the republican response and take your phone calls, texts and tweets. watch live coverage of the state of the union beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span now, our free mobile video app, our online at c-span.org. >> c-span is your unfilted view of government. we're funded by these television companies and more, including cox. >> homework can be hard but squatting in a diner for internet work is even harder. that's why we're providing lower income students access to affordable internet so homework can just be homework. cox, connect to compete. >> cox supports c-span as a
public service along with these other television providers giving you a front-row seat to democracy. >> the white house gender policy council director jen jen high -- jenn klein highlights the family and medical leave act. and white house press secretary karine jean-pierre takes questions from reporters. this is just over an hour. karine: hey, hey. steve, that was so nice. ok. so today as you can see we have jenn klein here to discuss today's event marking the 30th
anniversary of the family and medical leave act. as well as how the administration is fighting for women and their access to health care amid extreme attacks from republican officials just across the country. so she has a -- you have to get out of here because she does have to meet with the president in the oval office in a few minutes. but she wanted to speak with all of you and take some questions. and jenn. [laughter] jenn: good morning. later today, president biden is having an event in honor of the 30th anniversary of the family and medical leave act. he will be joined by vice president harris and several members of his cabinet and will welcome president bill clinton back to the white house to celebrate the first bill that president clinton signed in office. the family and medical leave act came about after years of work by advocate groups, including support by president biden as a senator and from a historic
number of women trailblazers in congress, some of whom will join the president at the white house today. this is a moment to recognize the difference that the family and medical leave act has made for americans. but it's also a moment to recognize the work that needs to be done to support workers, including the need to pass a national paid family and medical leave law. the president will discuss recent actions the administration has taken to support women in the workplace, including through the year-end omnibus, which included the pass ang of the preg -- passage of the pregnant workers fairness act and the pump for mothers act, as well as significant investments in childcare. to give you an idea what these wins mean for women, the pregnant workers fairness act requires employers to offer reasonable accommodations to pregnant women and new moms. basic along overdue productions like bathroom breaks and a stool to sit on. this is good for maternal health, infant health, and it's also good for the economic
security for women and their families, ensuring they're not pushed out of a job and instead can stay in the workforce and continue supporting their families. it also allows workers to take time off to recover from childbirth, including many women who don't have access to parental leave. the president is also committed to continuing to support women's economic security, which is why today he issued a presidential memorandum to support federal employees access to leave when they need to care for themselves or loved ones, including during their first year of employment and for reasons related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. fighting for women's economic security is a top priority, of course, but i will also like to touch on another priority, protecting access to reproductive care for women across the country amid a wave of extreme legislation at the state and national level. the supreme court's decision, dobbs v. jackson women's health,
more than 26 million women in the united states currently live in a state that has banned abortion. and while the president and the vice president stand with the majority of americans in believing that the right to choose is fundamental, we continue to -- by republican officials on women's access to reproductive care. i'll just outline briefly the focus of our fight right now. first, we're fighting anti-choice legislation in congress. since house republicans took office, they have proposed three separate national abortion bans and an additional number of bills to restrict access to reproductive care. the president and the senate democrats will be a firewall against this extreme legislation while continuing to call on congress to restore the protections of roe vs. wade as federal law. that leads me to my other focus to defending reproductive rights. know the president has already issued two executive orders to safeguard access to reproductive
health care and what would have been the 50th anniversary of roe, the president issued a presidential memorandum to further support access to safe abortion medicine. this is especially critical -- republican officials denying the science, threatening pharmacies, and fighting access to safe f.d.a.-approved medication. and i'll remind you that medication abortion accounts for more than half of all abortions in the united states. we're also working closely with state leaders who are fighting to defend reproductive rights. those on the front lines of addressing the more than 100 anti-choice bills that have already been filed for the 2023 legislative session. and we're supporting state leaders and taking proactive action again, as well, to protect access to abortion. this week minnesota governor kim walz signed the pro act, making minnesota the first state in 2023 to pass legislation codifying the protections of
roe. so there's a lot of work to be done to ensure women everywhere in this country are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. the president remains committed to fighting for gender equality and gender equity. and i really look forward to taking your questions. [indiscernible] reporter: you were talking about abortion medication. [indiscernible] what will you or the white house do to help counter this? i know it touches on expanding access to abortion drugs. [indiscernible] on the abortion pill preempt state law? jenn: thanks, courtney. i am not going to comment on pending litigation and, of course, i direct you to the department of justice to talk more about that.
i do want to step back and look at the facts. the medication has been on the market for 20 years. the f.d.a. determined it is safe and effective and it's used all around world. as i just said, it accounts for the majority of abortions here in the united states. our extreme measures that have been announced by state officials, including threats to the litigation you just referred to, threats to pharmacies are about coming after the right to access care and f.d.a.-approved medication. and that's why we are going to remain committed to protecting access to medication abortion within the limits of the law and that's why the president has already taken several steps to do that and reaffirm this in his most recent presidential memorandum on medication abortion. reporter: talking about supporting state level leaders and -- legislation that restricts abortion. can you be more specific what that means, how you're
supporting them? jenn: we've met regularly and the vice president has met with hundreds of state legislators over the course of the last months, really, since the dobbs decision came down, to help bring -- how to pass proactive legislation to fight against the extreme legislation they're seeing in states. and so you've already seen the number of states pass helpful legislation and, you know, as i just mentioned, the fight goes on because 100 bills already filed in the 2023 legislative session that are anti-choice. and so we will continue to work with state legislators, governors, mayors to end state attorneys general to help them in that fight.
reporter: [indiscernible] in the upcoming budget. can you sort of talk about that? jenn: i can't talk about what's in the president's budget but i can note he included a family and medical leave proposal in both his f.y. 2022 and f.y. 2023 budgets and he has been quite clear and talked about this in the campaign and prior to that about his support for paid family and medical leave. reporter: thank you. as you just noted, the president has pushed for this before. other administrations have been through this before. why do you think now is different, now is the time to renew this push, especially when this has fallen short before? jenn: i think we've seen, and i just noted a few really pretty major legislative wins with bipartisan support. the pregnant workers fairness act, been introduced for 10 years and finally passed with a strong bipartisan support. and i think the lesson there is
that you keep fighting for the things that are good for families, working families, and, by the way, good for the economy, which is very much true of paid family leave and the president's entire -- which also includes, of course, childcare and elder care. reporter: i'm wondering what the supreme court's investigation -- over the leaking of the dobbs decision, there's been some criticism that michael chertoff advised it and the justices -- [laughter] karine: i'll come back to that. anybody else? reporter: jenn, i wonder, have you seen any movement before moderate republicans on reproductive rights? mentioning there has been bipartisan support for some of these other pieces of legislation. i wonder on the issue of reproductive right, where are
you on trying to move more moderate republicans? jenn: the president has been clear that the only way to replace fundamental constitutional right that has been taken away, which is what the supreme court did in the dobbs decision is to pass federal legislation codifying the protections that existed under roe. and he will and we will and the vice president will continue to work to do that with anybody who is willing to work with us on that. i will note that, you know, we have heard and seen, you know, quite publicly republicans trying to moderate their view but i think it's really important to look at their voting record. many who are talking about protecting women's access to health care are actually voting quite differently. they voted for bills that ban or severely restrict abortion. they've actually co-sponsored legislation to ban abortion. and you know, a number of them did not vote for the right to contraception act, which would
both protect and expand the right to contraception. karine: the last question. reporter: i was wondering, the h.h.s. secretary brought up the prospect of an emergency abortion earlier this week. [indiscernible] do you have any impact on that from the white house? jenn: yes. i mean, we have said it before and i will continue to say that no option is off the table that will expand access to reproductive health care. but at this point, we don't believe that declaring a public health emergency will provide meaningful new resources in this fight. karine: thank you so much, jenn. appreciate it. all right. i have a couple things at the top and then we'll get to it. ok. so as you know last week, president biden told tyree nichols' family that he would continue to push congress to send the george floyd justice in
policing act to his desk. the president will host some members of the congressional black caucus at the white house later today to discuss shared priorities, including the path forward to police reform in congress and the vice president will also be in attendance. this is an issue that's deeply important to the president and one that he has long partnered with members of the congressional black caucus on, members of the congressional black caucus were critical partners in advancing the george floyd justice in policing act last session. and when senate republicans blocked the legislation from reaching the president's desk, the president worked with members of the congressional black caucus to take sweeping executive action to set the gold standard for effective, accountable policing at the federal level. today's oval office meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss the important reforms that have already been implemented because -- acted when congress could not.
reforms like banning chokeholds, significantly restricting no-knock warrants and requiring the use of body cams at the federal level and immediate changes like prohibiting the transfer of military-grade firearms, grenade launchers and other military equipment to law enforcement agencies. but as the president has repeatedly said, no executive action can stub constitute federal -- substitute federal action. it will require congress to act. it will require republicans in congress to stop getting in the way of ensuring our justice department lives up -- system lives up to its name. the president will continue to do everything in his fire to fight for police reform in congress and he looks forward to meeting with members of the congressional black caucus today on the path forward. today, as well, we're also marking the one-year anniversary of the president and the first lady's reigniting the cancer moon shot with the ambitious goal of cutting cancer deaths in
half over the next 25 years. and improving the experience of americans living with and surviving cancer. in the past year, the cancer moon shot has announced over 25 new programs, policy and resources to help the creeping gap, support -- screening gap, advance cutting edge research and so much more. and today, the moon shot announced new actions that will build on the strong foundation, including a first of its kind program to connect kids fighting cancer and their am if a lease with the -- families with the patient navigation -- that they need. this issue is deeply personal for so many americans, including the president and the first lady. the first lady has been a tireless champion of the cancer moon shot, traveling the country and the world to hear from cancer patients and their families as well as those who support them. focusing on the important early detection and improving the
patients, families and caregivers. in fact, she will be in san diego tomorrow to visit a community health center that's receiving moon shot funding to increase cancer screenings in underserved communities. thanks to the work of the moon shot, the federal government has never been more committed to ending cancer as we know it. finally, i wanted to say a few words about an incredible colleague that i have had the pleasure of working with who will soon be leaving the white house. for over two years, brian has served as the director of the national economic council and is one of the president's most trusted advisors. brian has helped shape and pass the most economic agenda in generations. the american rescue plan, which brought our economy back from the brink, the bipartisan infrastructure law, the most significant investment in our nation's infrastructure in generations. the chip and science act, which ensures we make more high-end
technology here at home so we can outcompete the world. and the inflation reduction act, which is giving millions of families a little bit of breathing room, investing in clean energy, manufacturing, and addressing the climate crisis. brian has helped steer the president's economic vision into reality by helping families get back to work, businesses reopened, and bring prices under control. he has been an effective leader in president biden's efforts to rebuild our economy so no one is left behind. part of brian's success has been the incredible team that he built at n.h.c. his strong team is the most diverse in history. 60% women and 50% people of color. he has a way of translating very complex economic information, as you all know, he's been in this briefing room many times in front of you taking your questions and he's been able to translate that into language all of us can understand. one of -- i would say, we will
miss brian very much. we will miss his kindness, his intelligence, and just, again, just being an amazing colleague. but i know how excited his family is to have more of his time, and we wish brian the absolute, the absolute best in his next chapter. with that, colleen. reporter: thank you. on the -- wonder if you had confirmation on what island the base will be stationed on? karine: no, no. go ahead. finish your question. reporter: and is there a concern that expanded military presence could further provoke china? karine: so n the specifics of -- so on specifics of the location, i'd refer you to the department of defense and my colleagues there. i see this as an important alliance with the people of the philippines when you ask about china. that's the way we perceive this
and how we're moving forward. reporter: and on the meeting with mccarthy yesterday, can you elaborate on what continuing the conversation looks like? he specifically mentioned to reporters outside there was a follow-up call scheduled with the white house. i wondered if that's happening or happened? karine: as you heard from the speaker and also from the president, it was a good discussion. it was an honest discussion. our senior staff has followed up and communicated our appreciation to the speaker's team. and we will continue to stay in touch as we have been for the past several months. i don't have any calls to preview or to speak to. but, again, i mean, you heard directly from the speaker. i believe he spoke for about 30 minutes yesterday. taking your questions as well. and he said it was productive and, again, as i said, a very good discussion and we appreciated his time. reporter: on that same topic, there was a fair amount of optimism on both sides coming out of that meeting yesterday.
but the speaker has now said to reporters again there will be no clean debt ceiling hike. so why the -- karine: well, look, the calls for optimism is because you heard it from the speaker himself. it was a good discussion. it was going to be a continuing conversation that they're going to have. and there are really -- really discussions to continue as it relates to the -- to the american people. when you look at the deficit more broadly and how we need to lower -- continue to lower the deficit and what the president has done the last two years, you heard me talk about that many times from the podium. and we have said, we have said very loud and clear to the speaker, if he has any ideas on how to work together on that, we're willing to listen and work in good faith. but look, as it relates -- as i've always said, when it comes to lifting the debt ceiling, that is a completely separate issue. and that has not changed. you saw that from our readout yesterday. you heard it from me. you heard it from the president.
you heard it from brian and others in the administration that we need to do that without conditions. the debt ceiling needs to be lifted without conditions. and so we still stand by that. that has not changed. we believe -- we truly believe it's a constitutional duty of congress, republican, democrat, inned, to get -- independent, to get that done as we've seen it done 78 times before since 1960. reporter: given the optimism -- [indiscernible] should we take that there were potential areas of agreement that were identified here? karine: i wouldn't -- look, i am not going to speak for speaker. i'm certainly not his spokesperson. but president biden has made it very clear that it is up to congress to live out their congressional duty to avoid an economic catastrophe as it relates to a default. we've been very clear on that. and he even said, the speaker, as you just mentioned, mary, i think you were eluding to that, we won't negotiate anything in
public related to fiscal responsibility. and what it is that they want to move forward with, the house, the house republicans. what is it their plan is going to be? what the president has said, he's been clear on the debt ceiling. it should be done without conditions. he's willing and ready to discuss how we can lower costs when it comes to the deficit. and he has said as well, he's going to have his budget show what he believes is his fiscal priorities are, would show how we need to be fiscally responsible as we talk about the american people. he'll have it [indiscernible] and he asked the speaker to do the same. reporter: i was wondering how you can give us a sense where the president is in the speech writing process? karine: it's a good question. as you know, the president has been working on his speech for some time. he sees this as an opportunity -- i've spoken to this before -- not just to address congress and members of
congress, clearly, but also as an opportunity to speak correctly to the american people. he's done it at least twice before. this will be his third time. so he takes this very seriously. these speeches continue to evolve, sometimes until the final moments before being delivered. as you can imagine. and -- but you can expect the president to hit on many of the issues that you hear him speak about every day. the significant economic progress we're seeing under his leadership. his economic vision that's building our economy from the bottom up and middle out. the historic pieces ever legislation passed into law over the last two years. creating good-paying middle-class jobs and delivering real results for people by fixing our roads, bridges, tunnels, lowering everyday costs on everyday goods. those are a few you will hear from the president. it may have you said, mary, the optimism you see from this president. this is something you heard from him over and over again. especially in the last two years of how he's optimistic about the
future of this country. and you'll hear some of that as well. and the possibilities, i said this before. you hear that from the president as well. the possibilities that we have as a country. especially as we look at our economy, as we look at things moving forward. reporter: the speaker mentioned that the debate could go on for five months. is that what you're expecting as well? is that ok with you? karine: look, what we have -- what we have been very clear about, and i ale say it again -- and i'll say it again, when it comes to the debt ceiling, it's something that should be done. it's something that's a constitutional duty of -- of congress, more broadly. and look, we're not talking about new spending. we're talking about spending that congress has racked up over the last couple of years. you know, if you think about where the debt is currently, 90% of that debt happened before the president even walked into office. so it is -- it is something that they should get done and be
voted on when it comes to lifting the debt ceiling three times during the last administration. so we don't see any negotiation here. we don't see anything that needs to be discussed. we see this as a duty that they have to get this done. again, when it comes to lowering the deficit, when it comes to actually coming up with real policies to do that and you've seen the president do that the last two years, $1.7 trillion in lowering the deficit. and you see that even with the inflation reduction act, which is going to lower the deficit by $200 billion. so this is something that the president takes very seriously and those are the conversations, that's the conversation that he's willing to have and he wants to see what their plan is going to look like. reporter: separately, secretary blinken is leaving soon. is he going to meet with president xi? karine: i believe the state department has yet to announce that. i am not going to get ahead of the state department from here.
so i would refer you to them. reporter: on police reform, the president hosting that meeting with members of the c.b.c. today. he said justice is long overdue relating to justice for tyree nichols. [indiscernible] police reform, specifically, in that speech and what kind of -- karine: that's a good question. i am not going to get ahead of the president's speech. i want to be very careful on doing that, as i just mentioned, it's constantly being reworked and it will be until the -- until the very last moment. but as i said from the top, it is a deeply important issue for this president. again, when congress could not act or would not act because republicans got in the way of getting a really important critical piece of legislation, the george floyd justice in policing act, he stepped in. what he put forward in the executive actions, clearly on the federal level, federal agencies, was something that has never been done by other
president. that shows his commitment. him toda he's sitting down and having a conversation with the congressional black caucus in continuing efforts on how we deal with this issue, how we really truly get to a transformational change. it also shows his commitment. and so that's going to occur later today, as you know, there will be a full spray at the top and you guys will experience the president coming together with the congressional black caucus, members of the congressional black caucus to have that conversation. but certainly i am not going to get ahead of what he -- what specifics will be in the -- again, i am not going to get ahead of the president on what he's going to specifically talk about. i laid out the economic -- his economic -- you know, what he has laid out for his economic policy in the last two years and he will certainly talk about that. i talked about the optimism that he has for this country. i won't go into details about any specific pieces of legislation that he'll discuss or issues that he'll discuss.
reporter: on ukraine, officials have been warning about the increase in offensive they're seeing from russia. one saying that russia is ready for maximum -- is that the assessment? how soon might we see more -- karine: so, look, as it relates to security assistance, as you know we have been very consistent in providing the assistance that the people of ukraine need to defend the aggression that they're seeing from russia, which is almost -- almost to a year of that. and the president has shown his commitment throughout this year. he's shown his commitment, as you've seen, when president zelenskyy was here most recently and many times before and bringing together nato, bringing together the west, to really have that strong partnership with our partners and allies to really help ukraine in every way that we can. look, we're seeing what's happening. you all are reporting on it very
courageously in what's happening in ukraine. and we are going to continue to help ukraine in any way that we can. they are assessing what's going on in the battlefields, clearly, and we are talking to them on a regular basis to see what else we can do to help. as far as security assistance, i don't have anything further to read out. and, again, we are going to stand by the ukrainian people for as long as it takes. reporter: thank you. following up on the police executive order, one part of that was building a law enforcement accountability database, 240 days after the signing of that executive order. we're past that deadline now. what's the status of that database as an example of the reform effort? karine: so i would have to go back to the team to get the numbers to see exactly where we are with that database.
don't have that number in front of me. i would say, in putting together that executive order, the president worked with and spoke with -- had months and months of engagement with many folks in the community. you think of the civil rights organizations, the families that lost an individual loved one to the hands of police, and also law enforcement also came in and gave us advice and thoughts on what should be put in the executive order. and if you go back, i'm sure you have, you'll see quotes from many of those different groups who said how important this executive order was to move things forward. remember, this is a record historic executive order that we have not seen from any president ever before. i can go back and talk to the team. reporter: is it you don't know how far we are? karine: what i'm saying to you, i just have to go back to the
team to answer this in a way that answers any questions you may have on the database. i just -- i don't have that information in front of me. reporter: i'm wondering, also, just in terms of the meeting with speaker mccarthy as well, he said that they are not touching medicare or social security. did he clarify what programs he would like to see spending cuts to? karine: so look, they need to put forward a plan and we have not seen a plan yet. what we have seen and heard, and you all, again, have reported on this. i have gone through this many times before from here is what his republican house conference has been saying. they want to cut medicare. they want to cut social security. they have been very clear on that. we've seen stories after stories and we heard directly from many members of the house conference. republican conference, to be more specific there. that's what we heard. i know speaker pelosi has said that on tv most recently. again, what we are asking for is what's their plan?
what is their plan that they're going to put forward? the president is going to put forward his fiscal plan, his budget on march 9 that's going to lay out for the american people how he sees the fiscal year 2024. and how he sees it delivered to the american people. so we want to see what they're going to put forward. reporter: thank you, -- thank you, karine. [indiscernible] release of guantanamo -- karine: so on that piece i can let you know and confirm that today we transferred mr. kahn to belize after he finished serving his constituents at guantanamo bay detention center. he entered into a plea agreement in 2012 in which he pledged to cooperate with the u.s. government and since that time has honored his cooperation commitment.
i can say more broadly as it relates to guantanamo bay and the president peace position on that, he remains dedicated, a process on reducing the detainee population at guantanamo bay and ultimately closing it. that is still where we stand. the department of state is seeking to identify suitable transfer countries and negotiate transfer arrangements, including appropriate security and humane treatment, assurances for the remaining eligible detainees. i don't have -- i know there's been reports on more detainees being transferred -- transported. i just don't have anything to share there. reporter: this weekend, the democratic national committee is voting a calendar for the 2024 primary and caucuses. south carolina first. followed if they have their way with nevada and michigan. georgia. and i know you can't specifically discuss policies because of the hatch act. i'm curious if the president
himself will ever speak publicly about his call in the letter he sends to the d.n.c.? karine: so i will say this, it's not what i say. it's the rule of law. i want to be clear. you kind of just threw it out there as if this is a personal decision here. it is the rule of law. we believe in the rule of law here. you know, i have not had that conversation with the president. going to be very honest with you. i have not talked to him about 2024. it's not something we can do from here. and i am sure you'll hear a lot more from the president, you know, moving forward. but i just -- reporter: part of what -- tomorrow -- karine: so tomorrow, look, tomorrow is an important moment for the president to be in philadelphia, as you know. the vice president will be there with him as well. and he -- we'll send out a note, obviously, this afternoon with additional information. as we normally do when it comes to events and when he travels
certainly outside of d.c. and you know, what i can say now is that tomorrow the president will highlight progress on water infrastructure because there's that official xoeent and replacing lead pipes last to bipartisan infrastructure law and this trip is a continuation of our emphasis on implementation and this week alone we did, as you know, went to baltimore, went to new york city and talked about the funding to replace a civil war era bridge. in new york we announced the funding to kick-start the early phase of the hudson tunnel project. i'll stay there on the official pieces on anything that's related to the d.n.c. xoeent -- component, i'd refer you to the d.n.c. reporter: thank you. son policing, karen bass and val demings were two of the lead house advocates for the george floyd bill. they are both no longer in the house. so who does the white house see as your best partners in the
house on that legislation? and also, are there republicans who the white house has reached out to or otherwise see as potential partners in the house to make the numbers work? karine: as you know, there were some republicans in the senate that were incredibly helpful or tried to be helpful in the last session as it relates to george floyd justice in policing act. i'd refer you to them and see where they are this time around. as far as it relates to the republicans, i can tell you for this meeting, i can give you the list of attendees who will be here. and so they are certainly involved in this process. this next state of legislation process. representative horsford. obviously, the chair will be here. representative clyburn. representative neguse. representative jackson lee. we have senator booker who played a very big role. and as you know -- i think you guys heard the vice president yesterday in the early stages of the bill, she was involved and
she will be in the room as well. and we will also have reverend warnock who will be in the meeting as well. so i would figure those folks will be very involved in this process as well. reporter: and on the investigations, can you say how many people the white house counsel's office added to prepare for the house investigation? karine: i would refer you to the white house counsel's office on any staffing or any specifics on how they're moving forward with dealing with that. go ahead, nadia. reporter: thank you. two questions on foreign policy. the president just met with the king of jordan. what role does the white house hopes that jordan can play in de-escalation of violence between israelis and palestinians? karine: well, it's a very good. as you know -- as you just mentioned, he met with king abdullah ii and his royal highness crown prince hussein of jordan and they had lunch together. they will reaffirm the close,
enduring nature of the friendship between the united states and jordan. and the president will thank his majesty for the close partnership and the role he and jordan play as a force for stability in the -- in the region, in the middle eefd. they'll also discuss their vision for the region and that highlights the importance of cooperation and integration as well as capitalizing on opportunities for economic pros parities and -- prosperity and also stability. the president will thank them for their critical role in defusing tensions in injury use aluminum and will underscore the -- jerusalem and will underscore the need to preserve the historic status quo at the haram al-sharif/temple mount. and they will also address the global impact on russia's brutal war on ukraine as well. [indiscernible] karine: so we have said many times before, we are always
supportive of all efforts to broaden israelis' integration throughout the region, including with sudan, right? this thick meeting. so i would refer you to the governments of israel and sudan for more information about their discussion. but certainly when it comes to the efforts of integration in that region, we support that. reporter: thank you. just a quick follow-up on nadia's question and then an immigration policy. sorry. karine: no, it's ok. reporter: just on the meeting with king abdullah, can you speak more specifically about how the president responded to the king's concern that the israeli government is not respecting the status quo at al-aqsa mosque? and whether the president shared the concern of jordanians and the new israeli right-wing government is escalating tensions with palestinians? karine: so, look, we've been very clear about this. i know we've gotten many questions about the israeli government. you know, we've gotten
assurances from the prime minister that when it comes to specific policies, when it comes to, you know, how -- what is decided, the policy of the government, that he has repeatedly emphasized that he will set the policy for his government. right? this is -- this is something that he's been very clear on. and i do want to also add, as you know, secretary blinken was just in the region. he met with the israeli and palestinian leaders. this is clearly something we take very seriously of what's occurring in the region. we mentioned that the president spoke with the prime minister on friday. and jake sullivan, the national security advisor, also spoke to his counterparts on that day. and we had the vice president speak with the president of israel. and so this is -- you know, this is something that we have been very involved and very engaged and we'll continue to do so. reporter: just really quickly on the meeting.
is there any reason why it was completely closed to press, there was no spray? and can you speak about why the crown prince was also invited? karine: so, look, i will say this. i just laid out why we think the -- what was going to be in the conversation, how we saw the conversation moving forward. look, the -- it's a private lunch between two leaders, which we've done before. it's not unusual. and you know, sometimes some of the meeting are -- will have a compress component. some of them won't. and this one happens to be a private meeting between the two. i would leave it to the king and the -- and the crown prince to speak to why they came to -- to the u.s. reporter: just one question on immigration. can we get your reaction to texas? the texas governor is appointing a special advisor on border matters because of what he says is the administration's refusal to secure the border. karine: well, look, i'm not going to -- look, he's going to take whatever action he's going to take. we are -- we're not about political stunts.
we're about dealing with a real issue and taking action. and that's what you've seen from this president the last two years. that's what you've seen from the president most recently. announcing border measures that's actually has made a difference, that has had an impact, as you look at the parolee program. that's what we're going to do. the president walked in on day one, put forth an immigration reform, and you know, asking republicans instead of doing political stunts to help him deal with an issue. in lieu of that, he's taking actions and we're seeing the impact. you're about to jump out of your seat there. [laughter] you're making me nervous. let me call on peter. reporter: republicans just voted to oust congresswoman ilhan omar from the foreign affairs committee over past anti-semitic comments. what is the white house and the president's response on that? karine: it has just occurred so
i haven't seen that. what we believe is that congresswoman omar is highly respected member of congress. she has apologized for her comment she made in the past. i think she was most recently -- did an extensive interview about this on sunday, i believe on cnn, and has been vocal about condemning anti-semitism as well as affirming our strong alliance and important partnership with israel. the way we see this, it's a political stunt, much like house republicans unjust removal of other leading democrats from key committees in recent weeks, and it's a disservice to the american people. reporter: i got to ask you about the c.b.c. meeting that's happening this afternoon, as well. we heard during the tyre nichols service yesterday from the vice president who said of the george floyd justice in policing act that it was, quote, nonnegotiable. yesterday in our exchange, you said the white house was open to supporting something as long as it was done in a bipartisan fashion.
so is it nonnegotiable that it must be the justice in policing act as it exists? or is the white house open to something that's different than that -- karine: yeah, i any -- i think what you saw very passionately from the vice president -- and i heard that part. i watched her as well. what she was trying to say, we need to get something done. enough is enough. we need to get this done. we need to get a policy -- a police reform that's transformational, that's all tee going to bring forth real change and the george floyd justice in policing act is part of that. it is one step in getting to a place where it is the law of the land. that's why the president has said, many times before, we need to take legislative action. we need congress to act so that we can see change in states and in cities. right now, as you know -- i just laid this out, i laid it out yesterday, i laid it out just now -- the president took executive action. but that's on the federal level. and when you think about law enforcement in the federal level. and so look what we heard from
the vice president was passion. what we heard from the vice president yesterday was meeting the moment and being there for a family that is grieving, a family that had to watch a video of their child being, you know, being brutalized. and so she was there comforting and being passionate about an issue that's incredibly important to the president and clearly to her. reporter: i just want to let others go -- but just to be very clear. is it negotiable that there is something that achieves police reform if it does not come in the form of the justice in policing act? karine: the president supported the act last session. he supports it now, again. he was very clear when he spoke to tyre nichols' family, his mother and his stepdad. he said that he was going to do
everything that he can to encourage and ask congress to act. and still that stays the same. now he's meeting with the congressional black caucus to see what we can do. we know how congress works. right? sometimes it's going to look different. and so that is ok, if it's going to look different. what we know is that has been introduced in the past that's clearly available to us is the george floyd justice in policing act. so of course we're going to continue call for that. there's going to be conversations. and we'll see where those conversations go. reporter: thank you. a follow-up to peter's question. given the reality of the republican-controlled house, is the president open to a proposal on police reform that would not include qualified immunity that's to go -- get something done? karine: i am not going to sit here and say what's red line -- or stand here, clear, and say
what's a red line and what we won't or won't do. i want to be very careful here. but what i'm saying is that the president is committed -- committed to, you know, to working with congress, for congress to act so it can become the law of the land. and we don't have to continue to see communities, especially, as we know, disproportionately, sadly, brown and black communities across the country from being affected on this issue. again, that's why the president took executive action when, to be very frank, when republicans refused to act the last session. reporter: i believe you said yesterday you would check with the n.s.c. on the question of whether athletes from russia and belarus should be allowed to compete at the olympic games in paris. this is, of course, drawing a lot of attention at this time. do you have plans to -- karine: i do. i checked in with n.s.c. and i do have a robust update for you. so as you know, the united
states has rallied the world to support the people of ukraine, as i just laid out moments ago, and we have worked to hold russia accountable for the brutal and barbaric war their forces are waging against ukraine. so as part of those efforts, the united states has supported suspending russia and belarus -- belarus' sport national governing bodies from international sports federation, removing individuals closely aligned to the russian and belarusan states, including government officials, from positions of influence on international sport federations, such as boards and organizing committees. encouraging national and international sports organizations to suspend and broadcasting of sports competition in -- into russia and belarus. in cases where sports organizations and event organizers, such as the international olympic committee, choose to permit athletes from russia and belarus to participate in supporting events, it should be absolutely clear that they are not representing the russian or
belarusan -- belarusian states. and so that's the stance that we are providing. and the use of official state russian-belarusian flags, emblems and an them should be prohibited as well. reporter: thank you. back on budget talks. mccarthy said that what he would like to see ultimately if there is -- can be an agreement is a two-year budget framework. what's the president's thinking on that? karine: what i will say is that the president is going to put forth his budget on march 9. he's going to be very clear with the american people. he's going to lay out what he believes his fiscal responsibilities or priorities are for the american people. and we asked the speaker to do the same. reporter: almost 250 years ago, as senator, joe biden voted for a framework -- the president
proposing a budget first and then congress disposing of that budget. why is it the argument here that the republicans should put forward their budget first? karine: actually, that's not what we said. we'll put out our budget on march 9 and we're asking republicans to do the same. here's the thing, steve. what we keep hearing from prps is that they want to cut social security -- republicans is that they want to cut social security, right, which is something that taxpayers pay into. and we believe that the president -- the president has said he will continue to fight for social security. we keep hearing that they want to cut medicare. which is also a problem because it's going to hurt taxpayers who pay into that. we're talking about seniors. we're talking about veterans. and so we oppose that. we are against that. but that's what they keep saying and many of you all have reported, but we haven't -- where's the plan? like, what is it that they're going to lay out to show us exactly -- not just to us -- but to the american people? now, i want to be very clear. the conversation that the
president and the speaker had yesterday was productive. we appreciated the time that the speaker gave to the president to have a conversation. and our teams, again, have been in touch. and we'll see where we go from here. reporter: the law says that the president's budget is due the first monday in february. joe biden is not the first president to be late, but he is going to be late. it's now five weeks from today that you've said the budget will come out. can you explain why it is delayed? i think you were asked this week and there was a suggestion that it might have something to do with the omnibus. karine: i basically said the omnibus happened so late, as you know, in the last session which caused us to be a little bit later with the want approximate's budget. -- with the president's budget. there is a definite correlation there. the president has made a promise that he will have his budget on march 9. that's what he's going to show to the american people. and we want to see what the house republicans are going to put forward.
ok. i'll go to the back. go ahead, garrett. reporter: republicans who have expressed resistance to passing the george floyd bill have argued that there is no law that would have prevented the deadly beating of tyre nichols. does the white house agree with that? karine: look, i'll say this. when it comes to this issue, the police -- police reform and dealing with an issue that's certainly affecting many communities, the brown and black communities, specifically, and asking -- would -- would the george floyd in justice in policing act have changed anything? we believe it would have strengthened accountability measures which we think is important for federal it would give the department of justice expanded powers to go after departments that have patterns or practices of excessive force by its policing
and other unconstitutional practices. it would require the department of justice to establish accreditation standards for law enforcement agencies. it would require officers to complete training on racial profiling and implicit bias and the duty to intervene when an officer uses excessive force. the president has asked to pass the george floyd act and organizations supported the reforms as well. and when they would not act, the president put forth an executive action and it was supported by families who have been affected and lost loved wops to police brutality and it was supported by law enforcement. it was from civil rights organizations as well. this is the first step. i was explaining that to peter, george floyd policing and
justice act, it will start the process and deal with a systemic issue and problem, it is one of the ways we can start dealing with that. reporter: the issues of traffic stop as an area of policy focus. does the white house see that it could be bipartisan support -- [indiscernible] karine: i don't want to get into any piece or provision or policy that would be in the legislation. i'm going to allow the president to have his conversation with the congressional plaque caucus and see how that goes and continue to talk to congress about acting and making sure we deal with this issue. james in the back. reporter: one about documents and the tyre nichols' funeral. on the documents case one of the public narrative that has
already taken root is the reporting that statements from this podium at different points later proved to be inaccurate. and without going into the details, i know if you could assure us that you challenge that narrative and you are satisfied with the accuracy and -- [indiscernible] karine: i will follow the guidance from the white house counsel's office. we have been clear about ongoing investigations that is led by the department of justice and making sure they have their independence. this is what the president has talked about the last two years. i have been consistent. when i made statements on this investigation, it was at the guidance of the counsel's office and consistent with what they have said and wanted to communicate at the time, right?
i have said this, the white house counsel's office has said this. one of the reasons we try not to comment on that, it is changing. it is currently under investigation. and when you have a legal matter, as i know you understand this, things change and move quickly. i have continued to provide information. i have at the time and i will continue to do it. reporter: on the tyre nichols' funeral -- [indiscernible] you localing delivered by the vice president, which tragedies merit high-level attention from the president and vice president. at the funeral we saw the called
damar ham lynn. i checked the white house and i don't see the chief executive that the president who was the police chief shot to death in the line of duty, father of four, why not? karine: if you look at this president who has been a senator for 36 years and vice president for eight years and who has been clearly finished up -- finishing up his two years in the presidency thus far, he. >> if you know joe biden, you know he feels the pain of many families who have lost loved ones because he knows what that means. you named one family in particular and i understand, but there have been many things that he has called to offer up his
condolences and his help and assistance in any way. we do not read out all of those conversations. if you know joe biden and been around joe biden, this is something that the president does in a way that many politicians that i have worked for are not capable of doing. and the president will always be committed and always be open to talking to families who are hurting, who are going through a tough time especially with a lost loved one. we are very public. there were two incredibly public situations that -- where the president was able to reach out in a way that people knew about, right? that people were able to see how the president uses what he does
so well, his understanding and compassion for others. and so, i would not -- you named one family. the president has been clearly in the world of politics for a long time and he has had many, many conversations with families who have lost loved ones. [indiscernible] he said more details to follow. is there a new program in the works to be announced in days or weeks? karine: great question. i don't have anything to share with you at this time. and commit what we are trying to do and planning for a smooth transition when it comes to the
public health and full transition for in may. it does not mean we are done fighting covid and how we are going to move forward. we are working around the clock with hospitals and local public health departments and leaders and they are a part of the smooth transition and because of the work we have done to fight covid from the moment the president walked in this administration, we are in a better place and that is because of the work this administration has done and we will continue to do that and still fighting covid and we'll have more to share and want to be very clear it's a transition and will take some time and will have the appropriate conversations.
[indiscernible question] karine: we are going to continue to ask -- i'm not going to get into hypotheticals what actions can be done down the road and what we are going to ask the speaker in our letter as we have stated, we want to see what their plan is. we have heard from the house republican congress but get a sense of what you are going to do. are you going to cut medicare and social security and keep that hostage to hold it so that they don't do their constitutional duty which is lift the debt ceiling. let's see what the house republican conference is going to do, what the house is going to do more broadly, republicans in particular. the president and the speaker had a productive discussion and
karine: as it relates to the agencies that you were asking me. this is the president and believes in the independence of the department of justice or any enforcement investigations and has been very clear and believes it should not be politicized as it has in the past couple of years and started in the campaign and believes that any investigation should be independent. i would refer you to the specific agency that's involved here and i'm not going to comment. reporter: can you -- has he organized that investigation? karine: i'm not going to act to the supreme court and the dobbs decision. and i will reiterate the day that the dobbs decision occurred back in june. it was a constitutional right for almost 50 years and it was
taken away. and we are talking about women's rights to choose and we think that action was wrong. not just us. if you look at the midterms and what the american people said, they believe we should be continuing to fight for americans' rights. and that's what we will continue to do. you heard from jen kline who runs our gender policy council and done a phenomenal job speaking to groups trying to figure out ways to protect a woman's right to choose and mentioned the vice president as well and the president has spoken to this many times before. i'll leave it there and not speak to legal actions or investigations that were taken by the supreme court. i promised him a question.
reporter: state of the union day, should we anticipate that the president will be offering a preview of his remarks and thinking to the network television anchors at lunch as has been the tradition? karine: we will share as we get closer to the day. thanks everybody. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2023] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org. >> the state of the union is strong because you, the american people are strong. >> president biden delivers the
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