Oval Office

11:43 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thanks for taking the time to come in.  We’re having a very important meeting.  There’s a lot on our agenda from the CHC.  We got a lot to talk about. 

Representatives from the House and the Senate — and I want to express my gratitude to the Caucus for being willing to come down.  We got a whole range of issues to discuss.  And, you know, I want to make sure that — from the American Rescue Plan, to COVID — I told the Doc that I — if I hadn’t had my shot already, I’d ask him to give me one because he’s been taking care of business. 

But the America — in our view, and I mean it sincerely — cannot succeed if it’s — unless Hispanic families succeed.  You know, we talk about — I know I’m tired of hearing me say it for a year and a half — we talk about the idea that — with the last administration’s failure to invest or being even — be anywhere remotely positive.

But I — the point I keep making, to remind people — and people understand it, and the recent polling nationwide shows they understand it — is that 24 out of every 100 kids in grade school right now is Latino or Hispanic.  The idea that we’re not going to invest in what will be roughly 25 percent of the population by the time these kids are in our positions, it’s just absolutely — it makes no sense.  And that’s what we’re all about. 

We’re going to talk about everything today, my guess is, from immigration to the — my Jobs Plan and what — what — how it worked for you and how it didn’t, what you think we should be doing. 

We’re also creating a whole lot of job opportunities in neighborhoods, because for most of the — where I come from and all of you come from — is that it gets down to neighborhoods.  It gets down to neighborhoods — whether that grocery store is open, whether that local bank is there, whether the — whether or not you have a barber shop, a beauty shop.  It all — all matters.  It matters about people and their communities and how they belong. 

So we’re going to spend some time pushing forward — I’m going to spend some time trying to sell you all on what I think you’re sold on with the Jobs bill and the aspects of the Jobs bill.  And I want to talk a little strategy with you all as well, if that’s okay.  If that’s all right with you, Mr. Chairman.

SENATOR MENENDEZ:  (Inaudible), Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  All right.  The Chairman is now Chairman of the committee that I enjoyed more than anything I did in my whole career; he’s Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

So, the Vice President and I are looking forward to this meeting, and we’re going to try to get a lot done.  And I think it’s always great when a meeting starts off in a meeting with a bunch of friends. 

So, thank you all for being here.  That’s what we’re going to be talking about today.  Thank you.

Q    President Biden, you spoke to George Floyd’s family; what was your message?

THE PRESIDENT:  I know, Geor- — I’m just going to answer that one question because George is — I’ve come to know George’s family not just in passing — I’ve spent time with them.  I spent time with his little daughter, Gianna — you should see this beautiful child; and his brother — both brothers, as a matter of fact.

And so I can only imagine the pressure and anxiety they’re feeling.  And so I waited until the jury was sequestered, and — and I called.  And as — I wasn’t going to say anything about it, but Philonise said today on television, and he accurately said, it was a private conversation because Joe understands what it’s like to go through loss.

And they’re a good family.  And they’re calling for peace and tranquility no matter what that verdict is.  I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict, which is — I think it’s overwhelming, in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now and not hearing me say that. 

But — so, we just talked a little.  I wanted to know how they were doing, just personally.  And we talked about personal things.

Thank you very much for coming in.

11:47 A.M. EDT

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