James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
2:47 P.M. EST
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Good afternoon, everybody.
Q Good afternoon.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Today, the Vice President is in Memphis, Tennessee, to attend the celebration of life service for Tyre Nichols. White House officials, including Senior Advisor for Public Engagement Keisha Lance Bottoms and Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu, are also in attendance on behalf of the administration.
As you know, the President and the Vice President spoke to Mr. Nichols’s mother and stepfather on the phone earlier to express their condolences and support.
The President told Mr. Nichols’s family that he would continue pushing Congress to send the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to his desk.
Last year, when — when Senate Republicans blocked that legislation from coming to his desk, President Biden took executive action. But as the President has said, there is no substitute to federal legislation.
That’s why, tomorrow, the President is hosting Representative Hors- — Horsford and a small group of CBC members here at the White House for a conversation about the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and other shared policies. And it’s why he’s continuing to call on Republicans in Congress to join with Democrats and ensure our justice system lives up to its name.
I know you all just came back from the President’s Competition Council meeting, so I wanted to highlight a few — a few items that — that has showed some progress we’ve made on the President’s competition agenda.
Today’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — CFPB — rule would save consumers as much as $9 billion a year in excessive credit card late fees.
The NTIA report today provides recommendations to give consumers more control over their devices.
And the President is calling on Congress to pass a Junk Fee Prevention Act, which would crack down on excessive concert and entertainment ticket fees; ban airline fees for families to sit with young children; eliminate exorbitant early termination fees for TV, phone, and Internet service; ban surprise resort and destination fees at hotels.
And also, more broadly, we are making progress limiting junk fees, which can cost hundreds of dollars a month.
CFPB is targeting overdraft and bounce-back fees, reducing those fees by more than $1 billion a year.
And the Transportation Department led more airlines to guarantee coverage of hotels and meals when flights are delayed or canceled for issues under their control.
Competition is a core tenet of the President’s economic agenda to lower prices and promote capitalism.
Now turning to another piece of news: During the North American Leaders’ Summit earlier this month, President Biden emphasized his commitment to working with Mexico to prosecute dangerous drug traffickers and increase information sharing on chemicals used in — in the illicit manufacturing of fentanyl and other synthetic drugs.
Yesterday, the Treasury Department sanctioned leader of a Mexico-based network and two associates for procuring pre- — precursor chemicals from China to manufacture and traffic illicit fentanyl and other synthetic drugs to the United States.
This action was coordinated closely with the government of Mexico and will play a role in disrupting the importation of chemicals to the United States. And we will continue to closely coordinate with Mexico and our regional partners to disrupt the transnational criminal organizations that are trafficking illicit fentanyl into the United States.
And I wanted to end our topper here by mar- — by marking the start of Black History Month, which we are celebrating today.
Each February, National Black History Month serves as both a celebration and a powerful reminder that Black history is American history, Black history is American culture, Black stories are essential to the ongoing story of America.
Yesterday, the President issued a proclamation in celebration of Black History Month. This month, the Biden-Harris administration is shining a light on Black history by taking time to celebrate the immeasurable contributions of Black Americans, honoring the legacies and achievements of generations past, reckoning with centuries of injustices, and con- — confronting those injustices that are still so vividly in front of us today.
President Biden and Vice President Harris are deeply committed to advancing equity, racial — racial justice, and opportunity for Black Americans as this administration continues striving to realize America’s founding promise.
This administration’s commitment began with building a federal government that looks like America. It continued with building a federal bench that reflects our nation.
Nearly one third of his judicial nom- — appointments are Black Americans, and President Biden has nominated more Black women to federal courts than ev- — than every other President in history combined.
And, of course, President Biden appointed Ju- — Ketanji — Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to serve on our nation’s highest court in the land.
And in just two years, the Biden-Harris administration has delivered real and lasting change and continues to work each day to deliver equitable outcomes and opportunity for Black Americans, whether it’s rebuilding the economy, where the unemployment rate for Black Americans is a near-record historic low at 5.7 percent, or providing nearly $6 billion in historic resources and support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
But of course, even as we make meaningful progress, not a day goes by — and especially not this day, today — without real reminders of how far we have left to go.
The Biden administration will honor and continue the work of Black Americans who have created a more fair and inclusive democracy, helping our nation move closer to the realization of its full promise of opportunity and justice for all.
With that, Seung Min, go ahead.
Q One — one question on police reform. Can you talk about the President’s message to the CBC members when he meets with them tomorrow and what new, sort of, strategy the White House has for getting police reform through Congress? And I ask that because one of the CBC members told one of my colleagues today that the President is, quote, “missing the opportunity” to be a historic President when it comes to these issues, and that he’s been a champion of the status quo in many ways. We need to be — “We need him to be a champion of a new vision for America.”
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, the President is very much looking forward to meeting with congressional — the members of the Congressional Black Caucus and to have a conversation — a real conversation about how to move forward on police reform and other shared policies, as I mentioned moments ago.
Look, these are members that the President has had a longstanding relationship with, as you all know. And it’s — it is a collaboration that we see this — this conversation becoming — a collaboration, again, on dealing with an issue that is truly affecting the Black community and also the brown community as well.
And, you know, to your — to the statement that you just laid out from a Congressional Black Caucus member, I would say this — you know, and I said this at the top: When — when the Senate Republicans blocked and would not move forward with the George Floyd Policing Act, the President acted. He acted by moving forward with an — taking executive action.
And that shows, we believe and the President believes, how important this issue is. And by bringing the Congressional Black Caucus tomorrow to the White House, it also shows the President’s commitment to working with Congress on trying to figure out how do we move forward.
Again, it does not take away from the fact the — the way that we’re going to deal with this issue is to have federal legislation. That’s how we’re going to move forward.
Again, the President took executive action — he was very proud that he was able to do that — when the Senate — Senate Republicans, in particular — blocked — blocked what the — what Democrats were trying to do. And he took action. And I think that shows his commitment.
Q And on documents, Ian addressed a version of this at the sticks a little bit ago. But I’m wondering how the White House can claim that they are being transparent when the FBI search of the Penn Center — Penn Biden Center that happened months ago was not proactively disclosed to the public. And what should the public take away from the fact that you are keeping information like this from the public?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Look, I’m going to be very prudent from here. I’m going to be very consistent from here. I’m just not going to comment anything that is related to what is currently happening. This is a legal process.
As you just mentioned, my colleague was right outside these doors, answering many of your questions. He has done that these past couple of weeks — I believe four weeks now — and he’ll continue to do that.
Anything that is specific to this — to this partic- — particular process, I would refer you to the Department of Justice and also, again, my colleagues at the White House Counsel’s Office.
Q Following up on that — I understand you’re not going to discuss the details or anything, but just: Is there a reason that two of the searches were disclosed and not the search of the Penn Biden Center?
You mentioned this is a legal process. Is there a legal reason why you’re disclosing only two and not what we know is a third search?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I’m — again, I’m going to refer you to the White House Counsel’s Office.
Q Okay. Then another question on the meeting today with Speaker McCarthy. You know, given that the President has made it pretty clear he’s not going to negotiate on the debt ceiling, what does he hope to get out of this meeting then?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Look, the — we have said before: The President is looking forward to working — working closely and trying to figure out how we can deliver with — with Republicans who are willing to work in a — you know, in a good-faith, bipartisan way. He said that right after the midterm elections, and he’s — he will continue to make that effort.
And, you know, the President has been very clear about this. He wants to — they’re going to talk about a range of issues, as you’ve heard me say, as you’ve heard us really report out from how we see this — this meeting moving forward.
And, look, he wants to hear from the Speaker what’s his plan. What is his plan on the budget? What is his plan to really deal with — to deal with — to deal with what is at the top of the minds of the American people? How are we going to lower costs for them? How are we going to deal with the national deficit, which is something that the President has taken very seriously by — in record — in record fashion, lowering the deficit by $1.7 billion? He wants to talk about that. He’s always willing to have those conversations in good faith.
And also, he wants to see what their budget is. What is their plan? We’ve heard them over and over again talk about cutting Medicare, cutting Social Security. This is what we’ve heard from Republicans leading up to the midterms and then after the midterms.
So, okay, what — what is — what else are they going to be doing? What does that look like for them?
Q And the President did have some choice words for the Speaker last night ahead of this meeting. He says he’s made off-the-wall commitments to the far right. Was there any strategy in saying that ahead of this meeting? Is he trying to throw him off a little bit? Or, on the flip side, you know, is that really helpful to be talking like that —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, I will say this: Like, we understand what the Speaker is going through. He has a caucus that — you know, that has put forward some pretty extreme ideas, some extreme options in front of the American people: cutting Medicare, cutting Social Security. That is what he’s dealing with.
And so, what we’re saying is that, “Okay, well, this is what your caucus is saying. This is what your conference is saying. What’s your plan?” And I think that’s what he is acknowledging, really, what the Speaker is currently dealing with.
But, look, you know, as we — as we talk about — as we talk about the meeting that’s about to come up very shortly and what they’re going to discuss — again, a range of issues — the President had meetings, as you know, with the Democratic leadership just last week. He’s looking forward to having this conversation.
You saw a memo yesterday asking — asking the Speaker and, really, Congress — Republicans in Congress — are they going to live up to their constitutional obligation; are they going to lift the debt ceiling, as many of them did, including Speaker McCarthy, three times under the last President?
So, that’s number one: their obligation, are they going to live up to that. And number two: what’s their plan as it relates to the budget and dealing with issues that truly matter for the American people.
Q Karine, what is the current number of documents bearing classified markings that have been found in the President’s residences and offices?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I would refer you to the White House Counsel’s Office.
Q Okay. And Ian just declined to comment on that as well.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Okay. Well, there you go. You got your answer.
Q On debt, would the President veto a bipartisan bill that included both spending cuts and a debt limit hike, similar to the 2011 compromise?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, I’m not going to get — I’m certainly not going to — well, I’m glad you mentioned 2011, because I know I — there’s been a lot of reporting on that. And I just want to be very clear: In 2011, the Obama-Biden administration negotiated in good faith, but congressional Republicans’ recklessnessless [sic] — recklessness caused a historic blow to our economy. That’s what we saw in 2011.
And that’s why when you look at how the administration — the Obama-Biden administration moved forward in 20- — 2013, in 2014, and 2015, they moved forward in a way to avoid unnecessary danger. They didn’t do that in those three — in those three consecutive years because of the bad faith that they saw in 2011.
And so, look, let’s not forget: That’s why congressional Democrats and Republican in Congress voted three times in the Trump administration to lift the debt ceiling. And let’s not forget this has happened 78 times since 1960, 49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democratic presidents.
So, this has been done before. It’s their constitutional obligation to do this. And we are talking about programs — when they talk about Medicare and Social Security, we’re talking about programs that they want to take hostage that’s going to affect taxpayers, that’s going to affect seniors, that’s going to affect veterans.
And, again, it is their constitutional duty. They should be able to do this without conditions.
Q Thanks, Karine. I’m trying to address some market-related chatter as well as some of the beliefs of some members on Capitol Hill. Jay Powell was just asked about the debt ceiling. He said there’s only one option here; it’s for Congress to pass the increase. Is that the view of the White House — there was only one option; there are no prioritization off-ramps, comically-large coins to consider, anything like that? Congress is the only option here, in the view of the White House?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, on any of the coins — and mint coins — I know that’s come up before. You know, that’s something that the Treasury deals with and answers on, so I’m not going to comment there. I think we’ve been very clear.
I think we’ve been very clear from here that this should be done without conditions. And it is — it is their basic job — Congress — right? — it is their basic duty to lift the debt ceiling. It is something that has been consistently done over the years.
And that’s how we see it. We see it as — as something that should not be done without condi- — with conditions. It should be done without conditions, to be even clearer. And again, it is their constitutional obligation to get this done for — on behalf of the American people.
Q I understand that. And you guys have made that abundantly clear repeatedly. I’m saying: Are you closing — can you close the door on any other alternatives than Congress fulfilling their constitutional obligation?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Look, what I’m saying is we’ve been very clear about, when we’ve been asked, if there is going to be negotia- — if there’s room for negotiations. We have said this should be done without any conditions. We should — there shouldn’t be a way to go around this to get this done. This is something that Congress should act on.
Now — and I’ve mentioned this a little bit, which is: As it relates to, you know, lowering the deficit and that being a top priority for this President and has been throughout the last two years, he is willing and happy to have a good-faith conversation with anybody who wants to talk to him about ways to do that.
And that’s why he’s been able to, in the last two years — we’ve talked about it; I just mentioned it — in record fashion, $1.7 trillion, which is the largest decline in American history. That’s what the President has been able to do.
Now, as it relates to the debt ceiling, that is a separate matter. That is a different, different matter. We see this as a constitutional obligation that they — that they have, that Congress has to act.
Q And just one more. The Department of Interior advanced an $8 billion oil drilling project earlier today. Climate advocates had pretty sharp criticism of that. Does the President believe he is adequately balancing his climate goals with the need for increased oil production in the near term?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, let me just be clear: No decision has been made on this.
So — now, if you’re asking about the President’s commitment to tackling the climate crisis, as I think you were just saying, the President has done more than any other President on this front. And he’s taken bold executive actions to accelerate clean energy manufacturing. He secured historic legislation to make communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change and lower energy costs and so much more.
And he continues to deliver on historic climate change action while carrying out the law and meeting our energy needs.
Again, no decision has been made yet. This is something — as it relates to this particular project, the final decision is going to be made by the Secretary of the Interior.
But this is a President that has been committed to climate change. And — and you see that, again, in his actions.
Q Thanks, Karine.
Q Thank you. You were mentioning police reform — how the President has said that he wants legislative action. It doesn’t seem like there’s more momentum at this point for the George Floyd bill. Is there anything being considered as far as executive action? I realize he signed the order last summer, but anything additional as far as executive action?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, let me — let me just say a couple of things here, because I think people forget what the executive action did and — that the President took. Again, he took these — he took this step when Senate Republicans blocked the George Floyd Policing Act and would not move forward with something that’s incredibly important.
So, it — if you look at the executive action, it resulted in immediate changes, like manda- — mandating stricter use-of-force standards and body-worn cameras and banning — it banned chokeholds and restricting no-knock warrants at the federal level. It set the new standard for effective, accountable policing at the federal — at the federal level, as well.
It also incentifi- — incentivizes reform at the state and local level through grant making and accre- — accredation [accreditation] standards.
But again, we understand there’s a lot more work to do. And the way that we’re seeing this, the way that the President sees this: In order to have long-lasting change, we have to have federal legislation. That is the way that we’re going to be able to see real — a real difference in communities as it relates to police reform. And that’s why he’s having the caucus here. He’s going to have those conversations and see how we can move forward.
Q There were some things that were revised in that — in that order compared to earlier draft orders. There — on use of force, it originally said that officers would only be able to use deadly force as a last resort. That was changed to “when necessary” as well. So, it did revise, but there were additional things that some criminal justice advocates were calling for as well.
So, is there anything additionally, noting what’s in there, that’s being considered in case we don’t see Congress move?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, again, we — the President has taken this very seriously by putting forward an executive action. As you just laid out, we ta- — we went back and forth and talked about what was in the executive action.
But he truly believes in order to make real reform here, we have to get Congress to act. And we — this is a President that has been told many times, “You cannot get this done. You cannot get that done.” And we have, you know?
And if you look at the last two years, you know, I think more than 250 pieces of legislation that came into law were bipartisan. Some of the most important, historical pieces of legislation that’s going to really help Americans, as we talk about the economy, as we talk about not leaving anybody behind, was done in a bipartisan way.
Think about the bipartisan infrastructure legislation. Right? For example, you think about the CHIPS and Science Act that’s bringing back manufacturing — manufacturing back into the — into the U.S. Those are important steps that was led by this President.
So, again, it’s not going to stop him just because we’re — we may be hearing naysayers or people are saying that we’re not going to get this done. It doesn’t mean that the President is not going to continue to work really, really hard to make this happen.
Q Just one more. Does he support a pattern-or-practice investigation into the Memphis Police Department?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I’m just not going to get into any specifics as to what’s happening currently in Memphis. As you know, there’s an ongoing investigation. There’s —
Q That would be Justice Department, though?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: That would be — look, that’s — I will — the Department of Justice is dealing with — they’re doing their own investigation. As we know, authorities are doing their own investigation. We’re just not going to comment on anything specific as that is going on.
Q Would the White House be open to an appropriations deal that also takes care of the debt limit? Or would that, in your view, be negotiating on it in some way?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, we said, again, without conditions. This should be done and lifted without conditions. And that would be a way to get around of doing their constitutional duty. So, I’ll just leave it there.
Q Thank you, Karine. Just two quick “how we all do our jobs around here” questions, and then one or two on the President.
Why not have Ian brief in here?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, Ian was outside and took your questions.
Q But why not in here like other government officials?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Again, Ian was outside and took your question, and he’s been doing that for the last four weeks.
Q Would the White House have revealed today’s search if pool cameras hadn’t caught the investigators arriving on scene?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Again, this is a question for the White House Counsel’s Office. I would refer you to them.
Q Okay. Today is perhaps the best example yet of the new era of divided government. There were Republican Oversight hearings being held today on the administration’s border security and pandemic policy. The President is meeting with the Speaker. Can you remind us: What is the level of cooperation or legitimate back-and-forth you’re willing to have with a Republican-led House when they’re holding these investigations?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Say that — say — say a little bit more so I understand.
Q Well — okay, border security —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Yeah.
Q — policy is one thing. Pandemic policy — how money was spent — is another. What — what does the White House consider to be the kind of oversight and inquiries from congressional committees that you’re willing to engage in and what is not?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, as it relates to the Oversight Committee — and I’ve said this many times before — look, we’re willing to work with Republicans — House Republicans on important priorities that matter to the American people, like lowering — lowering costs for Americans, as they said was really important going into the midterm elections. That’s what we want to focus on.
We want to focus on the priorities that matter to the American people. We’re not interested in engaging in political stunts. And we want to move past the constant political warfare as we continue to see from Republicans, sadly.
And, again, let’s not forget, when Americans went out to vote in the midterms, they said they wanted to see less of that. They actually wanted to see bipartisanship.
As it relates to any specifics to the Oversight Committee, I would refer you to my colleagues at the White House Counsel’s Office.
Q There was a local news report that various versions of the so-called Beast that the President is driven around in don’t include the “Taxation Without Representation” license plates that Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama used and Presidents Bush and Trump did not. Is there any reason for that? Or does the President plan to par- — start using them on the Beast?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, I saw — I saw some of those — some of that reporting.
Q This is big news in this town, okay? (Laughter.)
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I know, you have a look — (laughter) — you just looked over at Mary. Mary looked over to you.
Q I saw Mary’s (inaudible).
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: — and I don’t know what’s happening. (Laughter.)
But, look, I have to run dow- — that down, as to the Beast and — and why it may not have those plates.
But what I can tell you — and the President has been very consistent since the campaign — that we strong- — strongly support the D.C. statehood. And — and that has not changed. But I’ll run that down to see about this — the plates on the Beast.
Q And January came and went and there was no physical for the President. Is there a plan for that?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: That is a very good question. I’m glad you asked it. So, just to answer that question for you, the President will — physical will be completed February 16th and released publicly in the same manner as it was back in 2021.
So, we have a date for you. We wanted to make sure we had a date for you.
Q Clear your schedules, folks. (Laughter.)
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Yes. And just to — just to give you a little bit more of information, I know folks were wondering why it hasn’t happened yet. This was literally a matter of scheduling around what has been an incredibly busy — busy schedule for the President the past several months, evolving schedule — travel schedule in recent weeks, as you all have seen for yourself.
But we have a date in the books, and so wanted to share that with all of you.
Q Thank you, Karine.
Q Thank you. I wanted to ask you about the India-U.S. initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies that you launched yesterday. NSA Sullivan said that it is the next big step in the relationship. And he also said that this is an initiative led by the President himself.
Can you let us know what this President thinks about it, why he’s launching the initiative, and why this is called the big — next big thing in this relationship?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, as you know, the President and — and the Prime Minister — Prime Minister Modi — announced this initiative back when they met in a meeting in May of just last year, 2022 — and that was in Tokyo, as you all know — and directed their national security advisors to spearhead our partnership and critical emerging technologies.
And the President believes this initiative that you just laid out is key for the U.S. and India to create a democratic technology ecosystem and reinforces our democratic values and our democratic institutions.
So, we see this as an incredibly important initiative and a partnership that we have with India. We made our announcements yesterday in — in defensive innovation, semiconductors, space, 5G, and STEM talent. And we look forward to building on this momentum in the upcoming months and years.
So, again, an important partnership and initiative between the two — the two friends, the two countries.
Q Is it also aimed towards China?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, I mean, you can’t ignore the geopolitical context that we live in, as you asked me about China. But this initiative is not about one — any country or one country. It truly is about something bigger than that: a relationship between two friends, two countries who have been partners for some time.
So, look, as two — two of the world’s leading economies and democracies, it is in our interest to strengthen this partnership and deliver for our people, when you think about the economies and the people around the world.
So we think this is an important step forward. And we’ll continue to grow on this innovation — initiative.
Q Thank you. One more on the deficit reduction talks as it relates to the debt limit. So is the position of the White House that — you don’t want to negotiate, obviously, on the debt limit; that needs to happen — you say Congress needs to do that without conditions. So would that mean that any bipartisan proposal that the President agreed to as it relates to deficit reduction or debt reduction would have to happen after Congress raised the debt limit?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, I mean —
Q I guess I’m just trying to figure out, sort of, the —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Yeah.
Q — the process here. Like, what’s step one and what’s step two?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I don’t think there’s just one step. And the step is they need to live up to their congressional obligation. That’s their constitutional obligation, to be even more specific, which is lifting the debt ceiling, something that was done three times under the last President. And I’ve mentioned the number 78 many times, because it’s happened 78 times since 1960s — 49 times under a Republican president and 29 times under a Democratic president.
This is something that the Speaker himself voted on three times in the last administration. So, there’s only one step here, and the one step is to do this without conditions.
Q But the President has said, and you have said from this podium, that he is open to these negotiations and potential legislation — right? — on deficit and debt. Right?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: When we’re talking about the national deficit, when we’re talking about lowering that, the President is willing to have good-faith conversation, which is something that he’s prioritized, right? We mentioned the $1.7 billion that he was able to lower the deficit and because of the economic policies that he’s moved for- — moved forward with. So he takes that very, very seriously.
Now, if they want to have a good-faith conversation about that, he’s willing to listen. But right now, all we have heard from the Republicans — the Republicans in the House, to be very specific — the extreme Republicans in the House, to be even more specific — is that they want to cut Medicare, they want to cut Social Security, hold that hostage, which is something that should not be done. It would lead us into chaos.
So it’s not — it’s — it’s — it is a direction that we think is wrong, a direction that is not — should not be taken. We think that, when it comes to the — lifting the debt ceiling, it should be done without conditions.
All right. I’ll come back down. Go ahead.
Q Can I ask you about police reform really quickly again to follow up on some questions you received, Karine? Thanks.
Senator Graham is floating a comp- — a compromise idea that would keep qualified immunity for officers but would get rid of those protections for police departments. Would the President support a compromise of that kind?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So I haven’t seen that — that piece of legislation. We certainly would have to go — get — go back to our policy team to talk through that legislation from Senator Graham.
What I will say, though, is the President wants to see action in a bipartisan way in Congress to deal with an issue that’s clearly critical, as we’re watching what’s happening today and we’re watching a family bury a loved one. And we believe, he believes the way that we’re going to make transformational change on this issue is to have legislation.
I don’t want to speak to something that I have not spoken to the team yet.
Q But suffice to say, it’s possible the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, it doesn’t have to come in the version that it preexisted in. Right? You guys are open to some changes to that? Is that a yes?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, look, if it’s in a bipartisan way, if it’s Republicans joining Democrats in a real way to cha- — to bring forth transformational change, we are willing to have that conversation.
Look, tomorrow’s caucus is going to be very important as well. And we’re going to talk to the CBC members and talk through what their — what their ideas are and what they’re thinking.
But again, we think that legislation — federal legislation is the way to move forward here.
Q Quick separate question. I asked this of Ian Sams outside when he took our questions earlier. I want to ask of you, though, because I think it is for the wider White House, not just the Special Counsel’s office, which is: Did anyone at the White House tell the National Archives at any point not to issue a press release about the discovery of classified documents?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I would — I would really refer you to the White House Counsel’s Office, who has been running this process and refer you to them.
Q Even if it — even if it’s something that’s not just in their purview, it would be wider within the entire White House?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I think because this is — when it — when it relates to the DOJ —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: — when it relates to the Special Counsel, this is something that’s been under their purview, so I would refer you to them.
Q Thanks, Karine. On the SHOW UP to work telework bill, I wanted to see if you could tell us what the White House’s position is on that piece of legislation — it seeks to end telework for federal workers so they’ll go back to work in downtowns — and whether or not President Biden would veto it should it pass.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, a couple of things. I just want to take a little bit of a step back and — and kind of take us back to when the President first walked into this administration. And what he had to do and was able to do is really do a whole-of-government process in dealing with COVID and what we saw at the time.
And he put forth a comprehensive — a comprehensive way to deal with making sure that people got their shots in arms — right? — making sure that what we saw with schools being closed, small businesses being closed. He was able to move forward with the American Rescue Plan, which was only voted out of — out of Congress by Democrats. And what we were able to do is open the country — reopen the country.
Small businesses are booming, as we saw record — a record number of small business applications that we — which we announced about two weeks ago.
And now, COVID-19 does not determine how federal agencies work and serve the public because of the work that this President did on day one.
And so, our view is that the agency decisions should be guided by a focus on delivering results for the American people. That’s how they should move forward, like other major employers and federal agencies are making those decisions based on their performance goals, not only to increase efficiency and effectiveness but also to remain competitive in the labor market.
So, we’re committed to working with anyone in Congress to continue strengthening federal agencies — we think that’s incredibly important — and the federal workforce in order to deliver on their missions and serve the American public.
That — that’s what we think the criteria should be.
Look, you know, we’ve explained our thinking, how the President sees this, and don’t have anything to share specifically on the SHOW UP Act. But we believe that, you know, there are ways that federal agencies should be able to track their performance and continue to — continue to deliver for the American people. And that’s how we think this is the most important way to move forward here.
Q (Inaudible) particularly given that the administration announced it’s going to be ending the state of emergency on COVID, that there would be a desire to get federal workers back in the office?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I just don’t have anything specific, it’s on — on that particular question. We, again, think it’s — it should be — that decision should be guided by agency, that that’s their decision to make.
Q Then, quickly, on one other topic, on Russia. Does the Biden administration believe that Russian and Belarusian athletes should be able to compete in the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So I haven’t talked to the — to my — to my colleagues at NSC. Would like to get a sense of where they are. Have not heard any real, like, impor- — reporting or have any incoming, so let me just talk to them and see where we are on that.
Q Okay. We can circle back.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Okay, great.
Q Thanks, Karine. A couple of weeks ago, when the mayors were in town, the President said he looked forward to an honest debate with Republicans on entitlements. The House Speaker, on Sunday, on “Face the Nation,” was asked if he was going to propose cuts to Medicare and Social Security, and he said no. He said he would take that off the table. He was asked, “Completely?” And he said, “Yeah.”
So is it your sense — is it the sense here that the House Speaker is not being honest when he says that?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I think it’s more of, like, there are some facts out there — right? — that we can easily point to, this administration can point to. And I think I did a little bit of that last time.
And so, if you look at McCarthy’s Republican conference, especially the extreme part of that conference — and McCarthy himself voted to raise the retirement age and end Medicare as we know it. That has been historic. Like, that — those are the facts.
And just last year, the Republican Study Committee, which includes most House Republicans, reiterated those costs to cut Social Security and Medicare. When Republicans call for these cuts, they do so under the guise of strengthening the programs.
So, you know, when — when the Speaker — Speaker McCarthy says he wants to strengthen Social Security or Medicare but rules out making the wealthy and the big corporations pay their fair share, so that leaves just one option, which is cuts.
And again, many — many outlets in here reported what — what House Republicans were thinking about when it came to this new Congress, the new 118th Congress. Fox News says, “Republicans eye using debt limit hike to overhaul entitlement programs if entrusted with majority.” That’s something that was reported on.
CBS: “Republicans want to push Social Security, Medicare eligibility age to 70.” As I just mentioned, voting to increase the age limit.
Reuters: “GOP House members are threatening to…force cuts to Medicare and Social Security spending.”
I mean, these are the facts. This is from the reporting that we all saw from you, but not — you guys got that reporting because of what you saw the actions were being taken by House Republicans.
Washington Post: “House GOP eyes Social Security, Medicare amid spending battle.”
So this is something that they have said over and over again for the past several months. And there is also voting that can be looked at on how they have treated this issue of Medicare and Social Security.
So they’ve been very vocal, and they’ve been very clear. And so, what we’re going to do is we’re going to stand up for the American people, fight for the American people, and protect Medicare and Social Security, which the President has said himself and been very clear about.
Q Setting entitlements aside for a moment, one of the other things Republicans are saying is that there ought to be a reduction in discretionary spending. Is that something the President is in any way open to, or will he put forward a budget on March 9th that increases discretionary spending?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So I’m not going to get into — get ahead of the President. Right? As you saw from our memo yesterday, the President is going to have his budget on March 9th. He is calling and asking — right? — the Speaker to put forward his budget as well so the American people can see what it is that they’re thinking about, what it is that they’re thinking about when it comes to the American people and the budget. Right? What are the cuts that they want to make? What is it that they’re proposing?
So, certainly not going to get ahead of what the President is going to put out on March 9th.
Q If I just could, just because I know it’s important to everyone here and important to the public as well: Can you explain the decision not to offer the public visibility on this meeting? It’s — it’s tradition for the press to be brought in when the President speaks to the Speaker of the House.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Not — look, not all the time. The President has had many conversations — one-on-one conversations — with members of Congress.
I totally understand — I get the question and understand why there is interest in this. But we have done it many times before where we’ve had private one-on-one meetings with members of Congress, and not just in this administration. We’ve seen it under President Trump. We’ve seen it under President Obama.
And I know the Big Four was — was — there was a pool spray for that one, but it was the Big Four. It was a different kind of — a different meeting. But it’s not uncommon. It is not uncommon to have one-on-one — private one-on-one meetings.
And I’ll just add to this: You know, Speaker — Speaker McCarthy is welcome to go to the sticks after the meeting and take your questions. We — we welcome that if that is something that he wishes to do.
Q Can you help us just clarify what his position then, a little more, is on deficit reduction? Like, you’re saying, “McCarthy, hey, give us your plan.” Is your plan — the President sort of let out dribs and drabs of his views here and there.
So, just so I understand correctly: He is opposed to any cuts to Medicare and Social Security, including changes to eligibility? He’s open to other spending reductions over the medium term, including potentially defense?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I want to be very careful here, because what the President has been very clear about is: What is their plan? He wants to see their plan as it relates to the budget, right? So, the President is going to put out his budget on March 9th. You guys will all get to see that. And so we want to see what their plan is.
I’m not going to — to get ahead of that particular piece when it comes to the budget. But, of course, the President is going to protect the Medicare — right? — for Americans. Of course, the President is going to do everything that he can to protect Social Security.
And when it comes to holding those two programs hostage, the President is going to call that out and say that we should not be holding those two — those two programs hostage on something that is the basic duty of Congress, which is to lift the debt ceiling, something that they should be able to do because it is their constitutional duty.
Q Right. You’re trying to put the debt ceiling aside, and I hear you. Does he want a fiscal reform deal aside from the — like, does the President want a deal with Republicans on it?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, he wants to see what — what is their — what are they putting forth, what is their idea of dealing with fiscal — right? — fiscal priorities. What does that look like for them?
So, that’s what he’s going to ask them for, which is what we did in our memo yesterday. He wants to see what is it that they’re putting forward.
Q Right. And I’m trying to ask what it is you’re putting forward. Is this, like, revenue is part of that mix as well? Will he talk to Kevin McCarthy about, “Hey, these are the taxes we want to cut. We can shrink the deficit that way, too”?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: We — look, we want to see — we have been very clear: When it comes to Medicare, when it comes to Social Security — right? — that should be protected. We’re going to continue to fight for that.
And we’ve been very clear: When it comes to the debt limit, it should be done without conditions. We’ve been very clear. And we should not hold those two programs — and others, not just that — hostage. Right? Been very, very clear about that.
On March 9th, the President is going to put forth his budget. You’re going to see how he sees the budget moving forward in this — in this fiscal year. And — and so, I’ll leave it there.
And then, again, as I said, in the memo — you guys read it — from Brian Deese and others, that we want to see what their plan is.
Q And with the public health emergency, just to be clear: Is it the administration’s plan to lift Title 42 on May 11th, when the public health emergency underpinning it is lifted?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, I just want to be very clear on this part, too, because I know this question has come up, and I do want to do a little bit of a step back here.
The CDC said in April that the Title 42 should lift, but the courts have, as you all know, required us to keep it in place. And so, that’s kind of where we are.
So, we do not know when or what the courts will rule, but we — we must comply with that order. And so, we’re going to comply with that.
As it relates to what exactly is going to happen, because it is a court matter, a court order, that is something that DOJ is dealing with at this time.
Q Even if you lift the emergency, if the court order hasn’t been lifted, you’re going to keep 42 in place?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, here’s what we were trying to do. And I’ll be — explain, like, our thinking here.
So, what past Republicans were trying to do is they were trying to really barrel toward abruptly and immediately ending Title 42. And what we were trying to do was to make sure that there was an orderly process to manage this in a — in a really — manage the situation at the border in a way that was, again, orderly and effective.
And what they wanted to do was to end something overnight, which would have created chaos. And so, that’s why we — we are — have been very clear about doing this when it comes to Title 42, doing this in a safe and orderly way. And — and coming up — you know, we are putting up — putting forward alternative priorities, alternative ways to dealing with the border. And so, that’s why we moved in that way. That’s why we were very clear about — about what we’re trying to do these next couple of months.
Now, as you’re asking me about the date, if it’s going to happen or not on that particular date, again, there’s a court order in place that — as you know, that was — that was very clear, that DOJ is taking on. And so, I would refer you to DOJ about what will happen because of that court order.
Q Thank you so much. Two domestic questions today. First of all, when the President meets with Speaker McCarthy, what are the specific areas of bipartisan cooperation that he’s going to focus on, aside from, you know, the debt ceiling?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, there’s going to be a range of issues that they’re going to discuss. You’ll hear from the President afterwards. We’ll have a — you know, a readout of the meeting. You’ll probably hear from the Speaker. If he’s — if he is going to go to the sticks, you guys can all ask him questions. Don’t want to get ahead of a meeting that is probably underway, I believe, and just don’t want to get ahead of it.
But again, there’ll be a range of issues that the President thinks is important to work with — with Congress on, with the Speaker on, but just don’t want to get ahead of what is going to be discussed specifically.
Q And then, just zooming out on the Tyre Nichols funeral today. People both inside the United States and outside are looking at this killing and asking, “Is the United States a racist society?” I’d like to hear your thought on that and also what the administration is doing beyond just police reform, qualified immunity, those discussions — what the U.S. is doing holistically — what the administration is doing holistically to address that perception.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, at the top of the briefing, you heard me lay out how important this month is because it’s Black History Month, and how important it is to see Black Americans and lifting up the contribution of Black Americans, and also understanding that their culture, when you think about Black culture as an American, is also American culture; when you think about what they’ve been able to — what the Black community has been able to contribute to the history of this country, what they’ve been able to contribute in many different sectors of America.
And so, that’s something that’s really important that we will continue to lift up. There was a memorandum that was put out by the President.
And, look, you know, when the President walked into this administration, he said there were four crises that we needed to deal with. One of them was COVID. One of them was the economy, climate change. And he talked about racial justice.
And he had given many — he has given many — many speeches on the work that we still need to do to deal with an issue that is affecting a community acro- — communities across the country — this particular community, the Black community.
So, we understand — he understands there’s a lot more work to be done. And we need to call out injustices and continue to do that.
And while we have a rich history and an important history in this country, there are things that he also believes is important that we talk about and we speak to, and that is the injustices that we have seen in the Black community and other communities as well, historically.
So, that’s why the President has made it a priority in his administration to make sure that it looks like America, to make sure that we see the diversity in this administration, throughout different communities. And you see that over and over again when you look at the different agencies, when you look in to the White House.
And this is — this is historically the most diverse administration in history. And that matters. When we talk about policies, when we’re talking about transformational change, when we talk about how do we move forward in a country that is dealing with many issues, that’s important to see that and to have that at the federal government.
So, again, lots more work to be done. The President understands that. He’s spoken to that. And we’re going to hopefully be able to work towards the healing for this country.
Q Thank you, Karine. I have two questions on debt and deficit. First, the budget that the White House proposed last year represented 102 percent of the country’s economic output. Is the administration aiming for something below that this year?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I’m just not going to get ahead of the President’s budget that’s coming out on March 9th. You’ll be able to view that once he’s ready to speak to it.
Q But directionally, where are discussions going?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, I hear you. I hear you’re asking me for direction. You’re asking me what is it potentially going to look like, the ballpark number. I’m just not going to get ahead of the President.
Q And then, on the debt itself, you said earlier that the difference between 2011 and now is the number of times that Republicans have been able to pass the debt limit on a clean basis without anything attached to it.
But the other difference is that the national debt has more than doubled in that time. It now is about $240,000 per household. Does the President believe that that is sustainable?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, let’s — let’s remember why we have seen that the last couple of years, right? I mean, we’ve seen that the — it balloon in the way that you just spoke to.
Let’s not forget the Trump tax cut — the $2 trillion 2017 Trump tax cuts, if you think about that.
If you think about the first piece of legislation that Republicans put forward, it was going to increase the debt limit by $100 billion.
And so, there has been time after time that we have seen, you know, action that has been incredibly, you know, not — not prudent to what we need to be doing in moving the country forward.
The deficit increased every single year under Trump. His four years in office are responsible for 25 percent of to- — of our total national debt from the last 230-plus years.
And so, look, there’s been action that’s been taken by — by Republicans in Congress that has led to where we are today. Again, their first piece of legislation just weeks ago in this new Congress would have — would have increased the deficit by $100 billion. And let’s not forget — and let’s not forget why: to help tax cheats, wealthy tax cheats. That’s what they wanted to do.
This is a President — for the first two years has taken lowering the deficit very seriously and has done it in historic fashion.
Q So will this administration pledge to be deficit neutral this year?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Look, what I can say is the President is committed to dealing with lowering the deficit. He — he has a record to — to speak to — as I just mentioned, the $1.7 billion that he has been able to do in the first two years to lower the deficit.
And he is willing — willing to have a good-faith conversation — right? — with — with anybody — Democrats, independents, Republicans — to talk about how do we continue to move forward to do that, to deliver a — for the American people, yes, on important programs and issues, but also how are we going to continue to lower the deficit, which he thinks is incredibly important.
Go ahead, Karen.
Q Thanks, Kar- — Karine. Tyre Nichols’s parents are expected to come to the State of the Union next week as a guest of a member of Congress. Is — would the President meet with them when they’re here in town next week, Monday or Tuesday?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, don’t have a — don’t have a meeting to preview at this time. As you know, just last week, last Friday, the President spoke with his — his mother and his stepfather, offering his condolences and saying that — telling — telling them that he is going to continue to fight for police reform, continue to fight for the George Floyd Policing Act. And so, that is a commitment that he’s made to the family.
Don’t have a — don’t have a meeting to — to read out or — or to announce at this time.
Q And on the COVID pandemic emergency, the administration has been using that as the justification for the plan to cancel student loan debt. Does ending the COVID emergency undermine the student loan plan?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, we see that very, very differently. As — as we’ve talked about before — I think I’ve been asked this question before: So, we’re not using any emergency power. We’re using the HEROES Act, as I’ve mentioned before, which gives the Secretary of Education the explicit authority to provide debt relief in this exact situation.
So, as you know, millions of Americans are — are at risk to default on their student loans due to the economic effects of the national emergency. And so, this is why we took this action to make sure that tens of millions of Americans are able to — to deal with the time that was very difficult, especially in the last couple of years.
So, the Secretary of Education is using the author- — authority Congress gave them to prevent the harm. And so, that’s been the important priority of the President to make sure that the folks who — who felt the — who felt the pinch, if you will, who felt the hurt the most these past couple of years due to what CO- — COVID did to the economy got a little extra help.
Q Thanks, Karine. With regards to the State of the Union, will that be paired with additional travel? And more broadly, can you tell us anything more about what the President wants to accomplish legislatively over the next year, given the intense congressional gridlock?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, on — on the first question, we’ll have more to share on what — what that week will look like for the President. Again, don’t want to get ahead of any announcement from here.
As far as legislatively, look, the President has been very clear after — again, after the midterms. And this is a President who has talked about, throughout his career, working in a bipartisan way with Congress on delivering important — important programs and important initiatives for the American people.
That is something that he’s going to continue to do, and it won’t stop him. He’s done that the first two years. I talked about 250-plus pieces of legislation that has become law that the President signed.
So, clearly, that’s something that the President is committed to, you know. He’s going to have this conversation with Speaker McCarthy, just like he’s had a conversation last week with the Democratic leaders. And they’re going to try to figure out how can we work together in a good-faith way.
Again, not going to get ahead of the President’s State of the Union speech. You’ll hear from him — you know, you’ll hear from him talk about optimism, talk about possibilities, which is something that you’ve heard the President speak to, and how optimistic he is for the future of this country. He’ll talk about, you know, the ec- — his economic policy and how it’s delivered these last two years. And he’ll lay out what his — what he believes his legislation plan is going to be for the American people. Certainly not going to get ahead of that at this time.
Q And, last year, on January 19th, the President had a solo press conference. Does the White House anticipate that there will be a press conference where reporters might be able to ask him about those plans that you just mentioned anytime in the near future?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Don’t have a press conference to — to read out to you at this time.
Q Thanks, Karine. Boris Johnson is in town, talking about aid to the Ukraine. Is he going to meet with the President or anyone at the White House while he’s here?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Don’t have a meeting to read out at this time or on the President’s schedule with the — with Boris Johnson.
Q Thanks, Karine. I have one quick one on the documents and then one on student loans.
Understanding that you can’t tell us why the FBI search of the Biden Center wasn’t disclosed previously and that Ian Sams has referred questions about the National Archives possibly being blocked from sending a press release to DOJ — understanding you can’t talk about any of that — can you assure us that the White House has been and continues to be as transparent as possible — meaning that where there haven’t been disclosures, something has prevented that?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: What I can say is what the President has said many times — and you’ve seen it in our statements — is that we are cooperating fully. The President and his team is cooperating fully, and we will continue to do that. And I will just leave it there.
Q On student loans, does the White House believe that the President or the administration can continue to use emergency powers after the emergency is over?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, providing debt — debt relief or pau- — pausing loan payments, as it relates to the student loans, does not require an ongoing na- — national emergency. And I just laid — laid out for Karen how we see this process and talking about the HEROES Act, which was — which was a authority that was given to the Secretary of Education through Congress. And that’s how we’re moving forward there.
And, look, the emergency ending doesn’t change the legal justification. And here’s a couple of things here. There was a national — there was a national emergency, as we all know, as we’ve all lived through it. Millions of borrowers were negatively impacted by the pandemic and faced risk of default on their loans.
Due to that emergency — that national emergency, Congress gave, again, the Secretary of Education the authority to take steps to prevent that harm. And he is. And that’s how we see the process moving forward.
Q With the HEROES Act, it’s the — the portion of the HEROES Act that the Secretary is using is the part that needs a national emergency to be able to cancel that debt. So, I understand what you’re saying. And it was sort of explained in the background call a few weeks ago on this, where an official said that the increased authority under national emergency is necessary for the program to be created but doesn’t have to be in effect through the duration of the program.
And the reason I’m asking is: That interpretation could potentially allow for, you know, policy effectuation beyond the emergency. So, at what point is someone not worse off after a pandemic? How are we determining —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, just getting back to, I guess, the — I guess, the crust of your question is that we don’t need an emergency power to use the HEROES Act. It is a — it is an authority that was given to the Secretary of Education, and he’s using that authority for a time, for a moment that we believe the American people really need it after these last three years, after dealing with what — what many dealt with — dealt with a — you know, a national emergency that was to them. Right? Something that was — caused them harm.
And so, this is a way to help tens of millions of Americans who need a lex- — a little extra help. And so, that’s what the Secretary of Education is doing.
Q Doesn’t the HEROES Act, though, require that — the national emergency for the Secretary to use it? I know we’re splitting hairs here, but what I’m getting at is: Yes, there was national emergency. Yes, the administration used the HEROES Act, because of the national emergency, to cancel student debt. And I understand that the position that the administration staked out in the DOJ brief is that it doesn’t have to be in effect to do the program.
But my — my question I’m getting at is: When do you stop being harmed by the pandemic? How are we measuring it? And —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: That’s a good question. Look, it’s not any — and it’s not any — any emergency power. It is, again, something that the Secretary of Education gets to — the HEROES Act is something that is in his purview that he’s able to use, an authority that he’s able to use. And that’s a decision that the Secretary of Education is going to make.
As you remember, the debt relief was — was being used at the same time that we were pau- — that we were going to lift up the pause — right? — for — for payments. And so, we believed, as that was going to happen, we needed to do something to help tens of millions of Americans out there.
Again, this is an authority that the Secretary of Education has; it’s not just any kind of emergency power. This is a power that was given to the Secretary of Education by Congress that he’s using in a way to make sure that Americans out there who have been harmed get a little bit of extra relief.
Q So, to put a final point on it —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I got — I got to move on. I got to move on. I just —
Q Just one final (inaudible) —
Q Karine, last one. Last one. Last one. Last question.
Q Just really —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I really got to move on.
Q Karine —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: All the way in the back, yeah. Yeah.
Q Thank you. Appreciate it. Does the President see the current rate of spending at the federal level as a problem? And if so, what spending cuts would he support?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, look, we — I just talked about what the President has done the last two years — right? — by lowering the deficit — right? — cutting the deficit by $1.7 trillion.
So, yes, so that is something that he took very seriously and took action to make that happen. If you look at the Inflation Reduction Act, the Inflation Reduction Act is going to also lower the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. That is important as well.
Every piece of policy, he has done it in a really responsible way. Every legislation that has been passed by Congress, that has been led by this President, he’s done it in a responsible way. So, yes, he thinks it’s important to — for him to do his job and the best that he can to really address the deficit.
And — and I’ll add this — I’ll add this as well, and I’ve said this multiple times at this podium today — which is that he is willing — he is willing to work in a bipartisan fashion, in a — in a good-faith fashion with anybody from — from Congress who is willing to continue that work that he has done, to build on that historic record that the President has made.
So, I’ll leave it there. Thanks, everybody. I’ll see you tomorrow.
Q Karine, will the White House let us know what time the McCarthy meeting began?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Yeah, we will. We will.
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