Remarks by President Biden Before Cabinet Meeting
1:19 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Okay, well, it’s good for all of us to be together. We’re meeting today at an incredibly important time in the country, to state the obvious. And over the past 10 months, we’ve won passage of some, I think, extraordinary parts of our economic agenda:
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the biggest infrastructure package since the Eisenhower administration — with the help of some of our friends on the other side of the aisle.
The CHIPS Act, a law that’ll spur investments and microchips — which I might point out were invented here in the United States of America and refined. But the CHIPS Act is a gigantic investment, and it’s going to create a number of jobs and technologies for the future.
The Inflation Reduction Act. The law brings down the cost of prescription drugs, health premiums — healthcare premiums, and invests in a “Made in America” and a clean energy future.
And the three things, along with other steps we’ve taken like the American Rescue Plan, student debt relief, and — is proof that democracy can deliver for the people.
And there’s a foundation of the kind of strong, forward-looking economy that we want to continue to build: the economy with lower prices, more breathing room for middle-class families; an economy with good-paying jobs you can raise a family on and — and just have, as I said, just a little bit of breathing room, whether you went to college or not; an economy that leads the world in technology and clean energy; and an economy that ends our dependence on foreign sources across the entire supply chain.
And so, this economy that works for the country from the bottom up and the middle out — as I said from the beginning, I’m not a big fan of trickle-down economics; I find that the trickle stops fairly quickly coming down. But when the — when working folks are doing well and the middle class is doing well, the wealthy do very well. Everybody does well.
And so, today I’ve assembled the Cabinet to lay out in detail how we’re going to implement each of these laws that you worked so hard to get passed and we’ve gotten passed, and because passing these historic bills is only the first step in delivering for the American people. But it’s just that — it’s a first step.
I’ve asked each relevant Cabinet agency to come forward today with a plan to help get the American people and our economy on the right side as fast as possible and to spend taxpayers’ money wisely.
I might add, with all these legislations we’ve passed, Madam Vice President, we’ve still reduced the deficit substantially in our first year — over $300 billion. And this year it’s estimated to be somewhere in excess of a trillion 500 billion and maybe as much as a trillion 700 billion.
So — and — and, you know, we’re going to spend the money wisely to buy American.
For example, we’re going to lower the cost of prescription drugs by letting Medicare negotiate prices with the drug companies. I’ve been — we’ve been proposing that for a long time. And — but pharma is a tough opponent on these issues, and we finally got that legislation through.
We’re going to reduce the cost of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act because of actions we’ve taken in the past — about $800 a premium this year — a person this year.
And we’re going to hire more teachers.
We’re going to create mil- — millions of good-paying jobs — union jobs in manufacturing. I know it’s not always the case — not everyone, even my own team, necessarily agrees with me — but I don’t know where it’s written that we can’t be a manufacturing center for the world. We’ve created 6- — over 600,000 manufacturing jobs, and I think we’re going to continue.
Just last week, major companies announced billions in new investments to make new solar panels here in the United States; fiber optic cables in the United States; electric cars, computer chips here in the United States. And we’re going to be employing American workers and using American products.
On Friday, I’m going to be going to the groundbreaking of a new state-of-the-art semiconductor facility in Ohio — the biggest investment of its kind ever in our nation.
And we’re finally bringing home jobs that have been overseas for a while. You’ll notice some of the Cabinet members are smiling, but we’re doing it, right?
And — and we’re making things here in America. We’re making our supply chains more secure. And I believe we’re winning the race to the future.
Details matter though. Execution matters. And I look forward to everyone here today giving me an update on your departments.
And I’m incredibly optimistic about the future that we’re building here in this country, but it requires solid work making these laws work. The devil is in the details.
Mitch Landrieu, who can’t be here today because his dad, who I knew well, passed away. His dad was a hell of a guy. His dad, way back early in the ’60s, took a — was way ahead of everyone in terms of dealing with racial equity in the South, particularly in Louisiana and New Orleans. And — but anyway, he passed away yesterday.
Mitch is doing a great job leading our team in implementing the Infrastructure Law.
And earlier today, Secretary Raimondo announced the plan we’re putting in place to get the CHIPS Act off the ground, and that’s just the beginning.
And separately, we’re also hearing — we’ll be hearing the latest from the Vice President and the Attorney General on everything our administration is doing to protect women and the right to choose in the wake of the Dobbs decision.
And finally, I want to welcome John Podesta. Where’s John sitting?
MR. PODESTA: In the back.
THE PRESIDENT: There you go, John. (Laughter.) You’re directly under Roosevelt’s portrait, so you’re okay.
John is a good friend. He’s on his — this is his first day on his new job. John, thanks for agreeing to come aboard.
John has graciously accepted the task of helping implement the historic clean energy investments in the — in the Inflation Reduction Act.
And his experience in the highest levels of government and the work being done by Gina McCarthy and Ali Zaidi are getting us to the point where it means we’re going to hit the ground running. And that’s the whole point here.
With this Cabinet — experienced, dedicated, and devoted to working families — we’re going to keep building a strong economy and good-paying jobs and products made in America and lead the world in innovation and success.
And I’m going to stop there and thank the press for being here. And be careful leaving.
(Cross-talk by reporters.)
Q Mr. President, do you plan to meet Xi at the G20?
Q Do you have a message for Liz Truss?
Q What are you going to tell her, Mr. President, about Northern Ireland, sir?
Q Are you going to meet the British Prime Minister?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m going to be speaking with the new Prime Minister at 3:30. I’m looking forward to it.
Q Are you going to be talking about Northern Ireland, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m going to talk to her about a lot of things. Thank you.
(Cross-talk by reporters.)
Be careful. Don’t get hurt.
Q Any plans to meet Xi at the G20?
THE PRESIDENT: If he’s there, I’m sure I’ll see him.
1:27 P.M. EDT