Weekday White House: Never losing focus

Press Briefing Room - West Wing

This week, Donald Trump's second impeachment trial is likely to dominate the domestic news cycle. But the Biden White House is staying laser-focused on controlling the pandemic and delivering financial relief to American families. Jen Psaki showed that with impressive message discipline at the podium at the press room in the White House today.

FOCUS: RELIEF

  • The President is staying focused on delivering COVID relief with a big package moving through Congress.
  • House Committees will be marking up (writing and amending) the American Rescue Plan this week as the Senate tries Trump.
  • POTUS has made 300 calls to legislators, including 40 with Republicans and bipartisan groups.
  • The White House is also engaging national and local media, with administration officials doing hundreds of national and local TV, radio, and newspaper interviews, appearances on podcasts, and more.
  • The Administration is also continuing to engage the business community, mayors, and governors from all parts of the political spectrum both to listen to them and to ask them to convey to their members of Congress the urgency of relief.
  • Congress will write final legislation.
  • POTUS is committed to a $15 minimum wage, but the White House considers the Senate Parliamentarian the non-partisan and proper arbiter about what can be included in reconciliation, and the President will not ask Vice President Kamala Harris to ignore or overrule the parliamentarian.
  • Psaki pointed out that 16 of the last 21 reconciliation bills received bipartisan support. The process itself is not a barrier for Republicans who want to work together to do so.
  • News outlets are noting that FOMO and the White House making COVID relief an election issue in 2022 may be driving some Republicans.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • The President will soon announce a jobs plan that includes helping energy sector workers transition from fossil fuel to clean energy.
  • US policy on Burma is under review.
  • To Press Secretary Psaki's knowledge, Donald Trump has not requested any intelligence briefings since leaving office.
  • POTUS is working on filling vacancies at the Board of Governors of the US Postal Service.
  • The White House will not comment on the impeachment trial, because that's not the president's job.
  • Superbowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers will be invited to the White House once it is COVID-safe to to do so.

Let's do this again tomorrow.