Joint Base Andrews
Prince George’s County, Maryland
5:19 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for coming up. That’s going to be a cool plant.
Q Mr. President, you talked a lot about climate being an emergency today. Why not just declare it an emergency?
THE PRESIDENT: Because I’m running
into [the]* traps on the totality of the authority I have. I will make that decision soon.
Q And what would be the ramifications of doing it? Do you think you’d be able to do more?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think I can do more, unless the Congress acts. In the meantime, I can do more, because not enough is being done now. And so, there’s still discussions going on about whether or not there will be some action on my climate plan. And that’s — I’m told that’s in play. And we’ll see. We’ll see what happens.
Q Do you still have hopes for a legislative agreement with Senator Manchin on climate?
THE PRESIDENT: I’ve not spoken to Senator Manchin.
Q So, no? No hopes for one?
THE PRESIDENT: I do not have an agreement with Senator Manchin.
Q Mr. President, do you think it’s a good idea for Speaker Pelosi to travel to Taiwan this summer?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I — I think that — the military thinks it’s not a good idea right now, but I don’t know what the status of it is.
Q And what about declaring a public health emergency for abortion, sir? Where does that stand?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s in consideration as well.
Q Still? That’s still under consideration?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Okay —
Q Sir, are you pleased with your administration’s response to monkeypox? Senator Patty Murray today expressed concern to the HHS.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’ve — I think we should be doing all that we possibly can. And I’m getting a report on that on Friday.
Q Do you expect to talk to President Xi soon, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: I think I’ll be talking to President Xi within the next 10 days.
Q What’s your take on the next steps for COVID, Mr. President? Cases are going up. What should the country be doing right now?
THE PRESIDENT: Getting vaccinated.
Q And for those who aren’t?
THE PRESIDENT: They’ve got a problem. It’s not — it’s not in their interest or the public’s interest not to get vaccinated. We have the capacity to control it. They should get vaccinated now.
Q And you said you’re going to speak to President Xi in the next 10 days.
THE PRESIDENT: I didn’t say that. I said I expect to.
Q Expect to. What will you tell him about tariffs?
THE PRESIDENT: I’ll tell him to have a good day. No. (Laughs.)
Q (Laughs.) What about the student loan decision, sir? People have said that you’re going to make that decision by the end of August. Where does that stand at this point?
THE PRESIDENT: By the end of August.
Thank you so much.
5:21 P.M. EDT