Psaki brief: Climate, EV, Capital Gain Tax, American Family Plan 4/22/2021
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April 22, 2021

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On 4/22/2021, during the news briefing, a reporter asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki, “You just mentioned and Secretary Kerry mentioned the fact that the market is already heading towards electric vehicles. There’s no turning back from that; it’s an unstoppable force. If that’s the case, why should taxpayers pay for 500,000 electronic — electric vehicle charging stations? Isn’t that something that will get taken care of by the market?

Psaki: You know, I think there’s a role for government to play. Our view, the President’s view is there’s a role for government to play to incentivize, to ensure that there is continued movement in this direction, but there’s also a great deal — a lot of the investment that’s in the American Jobs Plan is about ensuring that there are industries and jobs that are created in sectors in the future to help the next generation survive and prosper.

Question: I want to go back to taxes for a moment because the Dow is down about 350 points on reports that the Biden administration is going to propose doubling, essentially, the capital gains rate for high-income Americans. Can you tell us any more about that plan? And do you have any concerns that that would discourage long-term investing?

Psaki: Well, we’re still finalizing what the payfors look like. But I will say that the President’s calculation is that there’s a need to modernize our infrastructure. There’s a need to invest in childcare. There’s a need to invest in early childhood education and making our kids and the workers of the next generation more competitive. And he should propose a way to pay for it. His view is that that should be on the backs — that can be on the backs of the wealthiest Americans who can afford it, and corporations and businesses who can afford it. And his view and the view of our economic team is that that won’t have a negative impact.

Question: when you’re giving money to developing nations, raising that amount of money, what kind of strategy does the White House have for dealing with maybe some opposition in Congress there and also changing within the government? Like is the administration planning to spend less on fossil fuels, relying more on green energy? What’s your strategy for reaching Republicans in Congress?

Psaki: Well, some of this commitment — I think, as you’re alluding to — of the climate finance announcement is asking Congress to appropriate the $1.25 billion. Is that what you’re talking about? For the Green Climate Fund. And we’re obviously going to have to work with Congress on that.

I — you know, I think our collective view here is that it is not — the United States is a major emitter in the world. We’re not the only emitter. And that, in order to address the climate crisis, we need to work with developing countries to ensure they have the resources to help meet those obligations. That’s certainly the proposal and the pitch we would be making. We’re not saying it’s going to be easy, but that would be the pitch we’d be making around that financing.
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Full Transcript
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room 4/22/2021 1:44 P.M. EDT

Psaki: Okay. See how it was so great to work for him several times over? Okay, a couple — I think I just have one or two more items for you at the top. Just one more.

As you saw this morning, the latest unemployment insurance claims came out. They provide a welcome sign that our economy is slowly healing and also provide a reminder of the importance of both the pandemic programs, expend- — extended by the American Rescue Plan, and the 200 million shots we’ve gotten into the arms of Americans in less than 100 days.

While these weekly numbers can be volatile, we are encouraged by the fact that the four-week average is also down. It demonstrates that the administration’s combined efforts are building confidence in our economy and that the President’s approach can both create good-paying jobs and address the climate crisis.

With that, why don’t we go over to you.

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Question: Thank you. New York Times is reporting that the next phase of the American Family Plan will include tax increases on the wealthy to help pay for human infrastructure, like education. Could you confirm any of the details that tax increases are in the offing?

Psaki: Well, first, let me just reiterate: The President remains committed to his campaign commitment of not raising taxes for anyone making less than $400,000 a year, and that will certainly be reflected in his proposal he makes next week.

Let me also say that you can expect that he’ll outline the details of the American Families Plan in his Joint Session Address to Congress next Wednesday, April 28th.

But I will also say that he’s continuing to meet — despite how busy it is around here with the Climate Summit — with his policy team, and will be, over the coming days, to finalize the details of the package, including the investments in areas like child care, education, and other areas that are big priorities to him that we’ve talked about, as well as the payfors.

So I can’t get ahead. I’m not going to get ahead of him making final decisions, but the package will be laid out in the speech next week. It will focus on the areas that we’ve outlined: child care, education — historic investments in those. And as he ha- — did with the American Jobs Plan, he will also propose a way to pay for it.

Question: And if I could just — very quickly: Some Republican lawmakers put out a slimmer infrastructure plan. It includes roads, water, some broadband — some things that the President wants in his plan, but smaller. Any reaction to the plan? And is it — do you guys see it as a legitimate starting point for a conversation?

Psaki: We do. The President has said from the beginning that he would welcome any good-faith effort to find common ground, because the only unacceptable step would be inaction.

We’ve seen some topline proposals or topline details, as you all have reported on. We’re looking forward to reviewing the details of the proposal. We would expect the next steps would be a full briefing and conversations on a staff level that will continue over the coming days, and an exchange of ideas from there.

And then we’d also expect — or I would expect that — you should all expect the President to invite members to the White House after — soon after the Joint Session Address.

But we certainly welcome any good-faith effort, and certainly see this as that. But there are a lot of details to discuss and a lot of exchanges of ideas to happen over the coming days.

Go ahead.

Question: Is President Biden going to extend his call for Americans to wear masks beyond 100 days?

Psaki: You know, Peter, he is working and in discussions with our health and medical experts about what we need to do to get the pandemic under control, including providing clear guidance to the American public about what the benefits of — are of being vaccinated, including getting it to communities and meeting people where they are. So I don’t have any update on that at this point in time.

Question: And so then, I guess maybe this is the same but a little bit different: Should the CDC change its guidance right now that says that vaccinated Americans should be wearing masks when they’re outdoors — when they’re outside in public?

Psaki: We’re going to leave that to them to determine and to announce. And obviously, we would follow and abide by their guidance, and certainly would recommend that the American people do as well.

Question: May I have a quick last one then on —

Psaki: Sure.

Question: — on Armenian genocide. Should we expect President Biden, in the course of the next several days, perhaps this weekend, to make any formal announcements recognizing the Armenian genocide?

Psaki: I certainly understand the question and there’s a great deal of interest in this particular topic, but I don’t — I’m not going to get ahead of the President and I also don’t have anything else to provide from the podium today.

Go ahead.

Question: Back on trying to reach this 50 to 52 percent reduction goal, many of the measures that you’ve pointed to are ones that are included in this broader infrastructure plan. If you can’t get this plan passed though, can you still reach that target?

Psaki: Well, our view is that there are multiple pathways for each economic sector of the economy to — that produces greenhouse gases — including electricity, transportation, buildings, industry, and lands — to make adjustments and changes, some through executive action, some through passing legislation, some through the steps — as Gina and our envoy alluded to — the private sector is taking steps on their own.

So, you know, just to give you a couple of examples: You know, we, of course, have set a goal to reach 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035, which can be achieved through multiple cost-effective pathways, each resulting in meaningful emissions reductions in this decade. That’s a step that is already underway.

We can create good-paying jobs and cut emissions and energy costs for families by supporting efficiency upgrades; that’s another area where it would have an impact.

We can reduce emissions from the transportation sector by reducing tailpipe emissions and boosting the efficiency of cars and trucks — something the President has talked about that he’s committed to do. And we can also invest, as you alluded to, in a wide array of transportation infrastructure.

But one of the arguments that we will be making — and continue to make, I should say, around the American Jobs Plan is that these industries are — we are moving in the direction of these industries. These are the industries of the future.

The big question is whether we are going to lead that effort or not — or is China going to lead that effort. And the last — the meetings today and tomorrow are just a reminder that the world is moving in this direction. So we either get on board and lead or we don’t, and there may be a disagreement about that.

Question: You talked a lot, obviously, about job creation and the potential for that with this plan.

Psaki: Yeah.

Question: But can you put this into further perspective for Americans? How does this new reduction target impact their everyday lives? What kind of changes can Americans really expect to see.

Psaki: Well, look, I think, as we’ve talked about a little bit — or as I just alluded to a little bit, but let me try to get more directly at your question: There are steps that are already underway. Right? There are steps that industries are already taking: investing in the future of electric vehicles, investing in the future of electric cars. That is something that if you talk to many automakers, they’re already moving toward that.

I think the question here — maybe it’s less for Americans. It is for Americans in the sense of: What is your government going to do to help ensure we are on the path to create — to make this a job-creating opportunity for the American people? You know, how are we going to prepare and invest in industries now so that your children and your grandchildren have opportunities in these industries that are growing?

But this is already where the private sector is going. This is already where the jobs are in the future. So what we’re really questioning now is how we can incentivize and how we can prepare the economy and opportunities for the next generation.

Go ahead.

Question: Thanks, Jen. You just mentioned and Secretary Kerry mentioned the fact that the market is already heading towards electric vehicles. There’s no turning back from that; it’s an unstoppable force.

If that’s the case, why should taxpayers pay for 500,000 electronic — electric vehicle charging stations? Isn’t that something that will get taken care of by the market?

Psaki: You know, I think there’s a role for government to play. Our view, the President’s view is there’s a role for government to play to incentivize, to ensure that there is continued movement in this direction, but there’s also a great deal — a lot of the investment that’s in the American Jobs Plan is about ensuring that there are industries and jobs that are created in sectors in the future to help the next generation survive and prosper.

So, yes, there is a private-sector partnership here. There’s a role of the private sector. But our view is there’s also a role of the public sector, and that this is a — these are industries that are also going to create jobs, and that’s part of the role we can play.

You know, and I don’t think — I know there’s been criticism out — there are questions about how this is going to impact job creation, today — right? — and job creation in our economy today — or some criticism, I should say, from some — some Republicans in Congress that I’ve read, this morning — seen on the Twit- — on Twitter.

But, you know, the President is somebody who has created — will be the first in history to create a million jobs in his first 100 days in office. He’s on track for that, in our view.

And a lot of these critics are the same people who advocated for the policies of the last administration and the last President who oversaw an economy that lost more jobs than any President since Hubert Herver [sic] — Hoo- — Herbert Hoover. It’s quite a — quite a name.

So join us on the journey. We feel clean jobs can be — good jobs can be — create millions of jobs in the future. And that’s, I think, what we’re conveying to the American public.

Question: I want to go back to taxes for a moment because the Dow is down about 350 points on reports that the Biden administration is going to propose doubling, essentially, the capital gains rate for high-income Americans. Can you tell us any more about that plan? And do you have any concerns that that would discourage long-term investing?

Psaki: Well, we’re still finalizing what the payfors look like. But I will say that the President’s calculation is that there’s a need to modernize our infrastructure. There’s a need to invest in childcare. There’s a need to invest in early childhood education and making our kids and the workers of the next generation more competitive. And he should propose a way to pay for it.

His view is that that should be on the backs — that can be on the backs of the wealthiest Americans who can afford it, and corporations and businesses who can afford it. And his view and the view of our economic team is that that won’t have a negative impact.

There are alternative views — or there are proposals that don’t exist yet on how to pay for it. That will be a part of the discussion.

But he stays firm to his commitment to not raise taxes on Americans making under $400,000 a year, and he’ll have a range of proposals on how to pay for his plans to invest in education and child care.

Question: Got it. And then finally, can you tell us anything about these reports that the Pentagon has been investigating suspected directed attempt — energy attacks, likely by the Russians, against U.S. troops?

Psaki: Well, I believe the head of — one of — a very high-level member of the military spoke to this and denied those accusations or allegations and said there were no — he did not have any evidence of those reports. And that’s in some of the stories now.

So, go ahead.

Question: Thanks, Jen. There’s been a lot of talk about innovation in the private sector, but going back to the public sector: Today, putting out the international climate finance plan — kind of piggybacking on another question — when you’re giving money to developing nations, raising that amount of money, what kind of strategy does the White House have for dealing with maybe some opposition in Congress there and also changing within the government? Like is the administration planning to spend less on fossil fuels, relying more on green energy? What’s your strategy for reaching Republicans in Congress?

Psaki: For com- — oh, about the importance of doing this?

Question: About how to, you know, get them to raise the amount of money that are going to developing nations and the importance of — of doing it. But also, I mean the wheels of government sometimes turn slowly, and you’re talking about — a lot about the industry innovation, but getting the government on board — the federal government — Congress on board with the plan.

Psaki: Well, some of this commitment — I think, as you’re alluding to — of the climate finance announcement is asking Congress to appropriate the $1.25 billion. Is that what you’re talking about? The —

Question: To get the —

Psaki: For the Green Climate Fund. And we’re obviously going to have to work with Congress on that.

I — you know, I think our collective view here is that it is not — the United States is a major emitter in the world. We’re not the only emitter. And that, in order to address the climate crisis, we need to work with developing countries to ensure they have the resources to help meet those obligations. That’s certainly the proposal and the pitch we would be making. We’re not saying it’s going to be easy, but that would be the pitch we’d be making around that financing.

Question: Jen, do you know when you might make a pitch like that — when that might be coming up?

Psaki: Well, with members or with —

Question: With members, yes.

Psaki: Well, certainly we just announced it today, and I’d expect we’d have conversations soon with members about the importance of moving this forward.

Question: And one more question from a colleague.

Psaki: Yeah.

Question: I’m looking for a reaction to the apparent pullback of Russian troops along the border of Ukraine. Do you know if the President is going to speak with President Putin about this reported plan to move troops away from that border by May 1st?

Psaki: Well, the President, of course, has expressed — he had a call with President Putin just last week — if I’m remembering the date, the timing correctly — and we’ve expressed our concerns over the course of the last few weeks about the buildup of troops and what we had perceived as aggression on the border, and conveyed our clear push, in coordination with the global community, to — for troops to move back and to reduce that aggression. We obviously want to deescalate tensions not only in the relationship, but certainly at the border.

I don’t have any predictions of a call with President Putin to make. Obviously, he participated in the summit this morning, and they spoke just last week. Our National Security Advisor spoke with his counterpart earlier this week. So I would expect the conversations will happen at that level for the time being.

Go ahead.

Question: I just want to circle back on Russia again. So, Navalny’s health is continuing to deteriorate, and I know that you had said, along with the National Security Advisor, that you’ve made clear to Russia that there will be consequences if he dies. But I’m wondering if there’s anything you can say about what the administration is willing to do now or communicate to the Russians now about the need to get him out before he does die.

Psaki: Well, to be clear, Jake Sullivan, our National Security Advisor, had a conversation with his counterpart, just a few days ago, where this was certainly a part of the discussion and conveying not just the consequences, but certainly our call for and our push for him to be treated with humanity and also to be released. And that continues to be a message that we are conveying clearly.

I will say that we have found in diplomacy that sometimes those conversations — and the contents of them, and the level of them, and the number of them — need to happen privately, and that is a more constructive way to reach our outcome. So, we are conducting our strategy through that prism.

Question: Is the administration considering any additional sanctions on perhaps the oligarchs that Navalny had listed prior to his arrest in January — saying that these are the people that, if sanctioned, it would really, kind of, change Putin’s behavior definitely?

Psaki: Well, as you know, because I know you cover this closely, we issued, just earlier in May — in March, I should say — in coordination with Europeans, a number of sanctions. We obviously reserve the right to issue additional sanctions in the future. The executive order the President signed just last week gives us authority to do that on individuals or industries. But, obviously, our objective here and our focus and our hope is that — that Mr. Navalny will be treated with humanity and kept safe and, of course, ultimately, be released.

Question: And my last one: Is there anything you can say about additional Nord Stream 2 sanctions or what the administration is planning on designating additional entities?

Psaki: I don’t have anything to predict for you. We continue to believe that is a bad deal, and we continue to convey that not just directly — with a range of counterparts, including the Europeans.

Go ahead, Jeff.

Question: Jen, can you — you mentioned that the President will lay out his plans for the American Jobs Plan.

Psaki: American Families Plan.

Question: Sorry. Thank you —

Psaki: It’s a lot to keep track of.

Question: — for that correction.

Psaki: I know they sound similar.

Question: On next week, can you give us a sense of what else he plans to unveil at his Joint Address?

Psaki: Well, he is currently thinking through which — what priorities he wants to focus on in the Joint Address. He certainly recognizes this is an opportunity to speak directly with the American people — one of the highest-profile opportunities that any President has in their first year in office.

So, the core of that will be him laying out the specifics of the American Families Plan, his commitment to childcare, to education, and to delivering on those priorities and — middle-class priorities — and ensuring that there’s an investment in economic security from the federal government.

I also expect — or on his mind are issues like police reform, health and his commitment to expanding access to healthcare. So, I’d expect he’d talk about a range of issues.

I will say — because I’ve been through a few journeys with these speeches before — that it is a very important speech — a very high-profile speech — but it is happening around the 100th day of his presidency, and it won’t represent or touch on the totality of every issue that’s a priority. So, it’s — we are working through what the tot- — the end content will have. Unless you want to sit through a seven-hour speech, which I don’t think you do. (Laughter.)

Question: Just one other quick topic, Jen.

Psaki: Yes, go ahead.

Question: The House today passed a bill to make Washington, D.C., the 51st state. It obviously faces some tough odds in the Senate. What’s the White House’s take on that? And to what extent is President Biden involved in that going forward?

Psaki: Well, President Biden strongly supports D.C. statehood, and he doesn’t — and we will all — our administration will work with Congress to get it passed. We put out a statement of administration policy in strong support of H.R. 51 just this morning. His view is that we are — the denial of voting representation in Congress and local self-government to 712,000 residents of our nation’s capital violates two of our nation’s founding principles: no taxation without representation and consent of the governed. And he will continue to advocate for this passing.

I will also note an interesting detail I didn’t know until this morning is that there are a number of members, of course, of the — of the armed forces, retired military, who, of course, live in the District of Columbia and are denied, as a result of having the lack of statehood, the rights that many others around the country have. So, there are a number of issues why this is absolutely the right step, and the President will continue to advocate for it.

Go ahead, in the back.

Question: I wanted to follow up on the questions about the climate and the NDC.

Psaki: Sure.

Question: Secretary Kerry and you talked about how important Glasgow will be in November —

Psaki: Yeah.

Question: — when all of the countries come together to meet to ratify their NDCs. And given the importance of that meeting and the importance, I think, for the United States to demonstrate its commitment to action prior to that — how essential is it that Congress passes the administration’s infrastructure plans with the green energy investments in it, given that you’re also up here saying the market will, kind of, take care of this?

Psaki: I certainly am not trying to imply that. The market is part of it, and the private sector is part of it. And I think that’s an important component of the very good question of, you know: How will we ensure that these changes are engrained in the future? But there is absolutely a role for government to play — some through executive action; some through legislation.

The President wants to sign the American Jobs Plan into law this summer. So that gives us ample time — ample room between that timeline and when Glasgow will happen. But we also believe that there are a number of pathways to meeting our goals and meeting our objectives, and we certainly hope to move forward on a number of them in advance of that meeting in November.

Question: So it sounds like you’re saying that’s not the only way that the U.S. can demonstrate its commitment to action prior to November.

Psaki: Correct. There are a number of pathways that include steps that can be taken within each sector, or steps that can be taken by the government or local governments in partnership with a range of sectors. So, we see a range of pathways to get to that — to keep moving forward toward that goal.

Question: Just one other question about your response to the initial overtures from Republicans on the infrastructure package.

Psaki: Mm-hmm.

Question: You said you do see that as a good-faith effort. It’s roughly a quarter of the size — topline number that the administration is proposing. Back during the COVID-relief talks, when Republicans proposed a number that was roughly a third of what the administration wanted, you dismissed them pretty quickly. What’s different about this situation and this policy proposal compared to the relief package where you seem willing to take Republicans where they are and maybe allow more time for debate?

Psaki: Well, I think, one, it’s the beginning of a discussion. Right? And the next steps will be conversations at the staff level, conversations between senior members of our administration, members of Congress, appropriate committee staff through the course of next week. And then, as I noted, the President will invite members down to the White House. But there are a lot of details to be discussed.

The American Rescue Plan — but we do see them differently. The American Rescue Plan was an emergency package. We were trying to deal with what we saw — continues to be a emergency fight against a global pandemic, a situation where 10 million — more than 10 million people were out of work. Obviously, we’ve seen some progress. There’s still more work to be done. And it — the President felt it was imperative that the size of that package, the scope of that package met the moment and that it happened quickly.

We have a little bit more time here, and we are very open to hearing a range of mechanisms, a range of options for moving this package forward. There could be smaller packages that pass. There could be different mechanisms for moving things forward, and we think it can be done on a bipartisan basis. And so we’re looking for the opportunity to do that.

Go ahead, Jen.

Question: You mentioned this $400,000 a year level for — you know, nobody’s taxes will be raised above that. But there’s been some — some confusion or lack of clarity around whether that’s individuals or couples or families. So what is the actual $400,000 definition?

Psaki: Individuals.

Question: Okay, so — okay.

Psaki: But I understand the question, and there’ll be more specifics about any of these tax proposals when we lay out the plan.

Question: Thank you.

Psaki: Go ahead.

Question: Thank you. So, it’s a question related to the President’s upcoming speech on Wednesday. I’m wondering if you could talk a little bit about why it was important for the President to actually deliver the speech at the Capitol Building versus, you know, remotely here from the White House, given everything that happened on January 6th and given the concerns about, you know, the coronavirus. Why is it important for him to, you know, physically be there?

Psaki: Well, first, you know, the President was in the Senate for 36 years, and he is a person who has not just a long history, but a great deal of respect for the institution of government that is Congress.

And he also recognized — as — recognizes, as we all do, that it’s an opportunity to speak to the people who you will work with in partnership to get business done for the American public, but also to speak directly to the American people, as this will be a primetime, timed address, as it always has been throughout history. And so, it is an opportunity that he’s been eager to take advantage of.

Obviously, we’ve been working in partnership — or in cooperation with the Speaker’s office for the last several months. And as you touched on, certainly there were unique factors this year. You know, obviously we always take into account security. But — and doing this in a way that is COVID safe is something that the Speaker’s office and leaders in Congress are very cognizant of.

Go ahead.

Question: Hi. Two questions. First, from someone who can’t be here due to —

Psaki: Okay.

Question: — coronavirus restrictions. The New York Times is reporting neither drug pricing nor health coverage will be part of the American Families Plan proposal. Is that accurate? And is the President still committed to getting those done and discussing them in his speech next week?

Psaki: Well, I expect the President, as I noted, to talk about the American Families Plan in his Joint Address, as well as a number of other issues — as you know I answered in response to Jeff’s question — important him, including healthcare, the need to put in place police reforms.

He’s made clear his commitment to expanding access to healthcare. It’s why he opened a special enrollment period during this pandemic. We’re excited by the progress we’ve made. More than 500,000 Americans have signed up for coverage since the President was inaugurated. It’s why he put into the American Rescue Plan subsidies to make it more cost effective for many Americans.

And, of course, the President’s number one priority has been tackling the greatest health crisis our country has faced in generations. And just a reminder, again, this is a speech; it will — it is an important moment, it is an opportunity to lay out his agenda, but it will not represent the totality of every proposal he wants to achieve during the course of his presidency.

It is also still being finalized. And the President will do some thinking work himself on it over the coming days.

Question: On a very different note: Obviously, the President played golf over the weekend. Is there anything else you can tell us about how he spends his evenings and weekends? Is he — is he reading books? Is he listening to music? Is he — is he watching movies? What does he do?

Psaki: (Laughs.) Look, one, the President is very close with his family — not just Dr. Biden, of course, but his grandchildren. And he has the opportunity to see them, at times, over the weekend and also see his kids. And that’s important to him and an important way of how he spends time. Like many Americans, of course, he enjoys movies. And he has two dogs he loves.

And, you know, I would say, you know, I think he likes to spend time with family and loved ones, and take a moment to take a breath — just like most people across the country do — when he has the limited amount of free time you have as leader of the free world.

Go ahead, George.

Question: Yeah. Thanks, Jen. Has everyone on the White House staff now been vaccinated, especially those who come in contact with the President?

Psaki: It’s been a priority, George. I’ll have to get back to you on the specific numbers — and we’ve tried to be quite transparent about that, and I’m happy to do that. It’s been a priority, of course, to ensure that the White House staff, especially those who have close contact with the President, are vaccinated.

But every member of the White House staff — as you well know from covering this place — I don’t think that would be accurate at this point in time, but we’ll check on the numbers. I will just reiterate or restate that we also take a number of precautions, including, of course, wearing N95 masks when we are in meetings. We have very limited meetings. There’s a very limited footprint in the White House. We have, also, a number of staff who are working from home still who would normally be working on the complex.

So — but we’re working to vaccinate staff. I’ll see if we can get an updated number to you and others who are interested.

Question: Acknowledging that the White House is not a normal workspace —

Psaki: Yeah.

Question: — what are you looking for that would allow you to make the decision that the President doesn’t have to wear a mask when he’s around people who have been tested and vaccinated?

Psaki: I expect, just like all of you and like many Americans across the country, we’re going to wait for the health and medical experts to provide guidance on when it is safe to do exactly that.

Go ahead, in the back.

Question: Thank you, Jen. Two Climate Summit questions.

Psaki: Sure.

Question: Secretary Kerry, yesterday, said, “Without China at the table, there is simply no way to resolve the climate crisis.” How will the U.S. work with China in the field of climate?

Psaki: Well, Secretary Kerry has already had discussions, and I expect we’ll have — I was talking to him right before we came out here — we’ll have follow-up questions after President Xi’s remarks this morning — or follow-up conversations.

And there’s no question that China has an important role to play in working with the global community to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address our climate crisis. That was the case when the Paris Climate Agreement was signed five years ago and continues to be the case today.

Question: And also, the credibility issue: Market matters, but government matters too. Can you guarantee the United States can follow through its commitment until 2030?

Psaki: That’s absolutely what our commitment is: is to not just lay out goals, but to take steps to achieve it, and we have a number of pathways to get there.

The President has identified the climate as one of the four crises facing his presidency, and the fact that we are hosting a global climate summit under 100 days of his presidency certainly speaks to how important it is.

Go ahead, in the —

Question: administration in office in 2030, the U.S. will carry out its commitment?

Psaki: Well, again, I think as my colleagues here allu- — spoke to, this is where the private sector is going. This is where government is going. This is — these are industries that are going to create jobs in the future. And we certainly have every expectation and hope that future administrations will deliver on the groundwork we do over the next several years.

Go ahead, in the back.

Question: Thank you, Jen. I have a couple of questions, if I may. One on — today is the first anniversary of the murder/disappearance of the soldier, Vanessa Guillén, of Fort Hood, Texas. That family is still asking — they held a press conference today, asking this Biden administration for justice. They want to meet with the President. Is the President aware of the case, and would he be willing to meet with the family?

Psaki: He’s certainly aware of the case, as we all are, and know the — the family has been heartbroken. I didn’t see the press conference this morning but have certainly followed the case myself. I don’t have any planned meetings or commitments to read out from here.

Question: And then, on Tuesday, when the Hispanic Caucus was here, they said that the President committed to putting together sort of a task force on an emergency basis to send to the border when there are surges of migrants coming in. Is this something that the President would work on right away? Could we see such a task force go to the border in the next few months?

Psaki: I’d have to check on what the specifics of that are. I mean, we have already sent DART teams to some of these countries in the region to help address and provide additional humanitarian assistance. I don’t know if there was a reference to that.

We’ve also worked with a number of countries in Central America to help increase personnel and resources at the border, to reduce the influx or movement of migrants to our own border. But I’d have to check on what the specifics of that actually are.

Question: And the last one on the Climate —

Psaki: Sure.

Question: — Summit today. Do you have any idea why the Mexican young lady who spoke, Xiye Bastida, came in before she was supposed to — why she was moved up on the agenda today?

Psaki: I’d have to check on her schedule. I don’t — I don’t know why things — sometimes things move in the schedule. As you saw this morning, there was an enormous herculean, technological effort underway here, and sometimes there are movements in schedule because of that. But we’re happy to check on that for you too.

Great. Thanks, everyone. 2:53 P.M. EDT

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