• February 1, 2023

What he may get asked and how to watch

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will hold his first press conference at the White House on Thursday, his 64th day since taking office.

The president has answered and interacted with reporters’ questions on other occasions, but his first press conference will be a venue for the media to ask urgent questions about the situation at the border, the coronavirus pandemic, recent gun violence and more.

All eyes will be on the President, as he has the opportunity to strike a different tone with reporters than his predecessor Donald Trump, who often dealt with the media and viewed it as an “enemy of the people”.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Biden was “looking forward to the opportunity to engage in a free press.”

Here are some of the topics reporters are likely to urge Biden on Thursday:

Arms Legislation

After two deadly mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado last week, the country has resumed its long-standing, heated debate over gun control legislation. Biden has signaled his support for laws passed by the House and is likely to be asked if the White House is considering proposing a new policy introducing executive action.

On March 16, a gunman in Georgia killed eight people, six of whom were Asian-American. On Monday in Boulder, Colorado, a man killed 10 people, including a police officer, when he opened fire at a grocery store.

More:While the Democrats are pushing for national gun control, the GOP countries are trying to expand access to firearms

Biden said Tuesday that the Senate “should immediately pass the two house bills that would close loopholes in the background system. He also said he supported the firearms ban.”

The two measures passed by the House would expand background checks for those looking to buy or transfer firearms and fill a loophole in federal law that allows gun sales to continue without a background check completed after three business days have passed.

So far, Psaki has said the White House is focused on legislative options to increase gun control but has not taken executive action off the table.

Migrant children at the border

Another early challenge for the Biden administration that will likely be raised at its press conference is this Number of migrants coming to the US southern borderwhat the government has called “closed” while refusing to call the situation a “crisis”.

The number of unaccompanied minors at the border has created overcrowded conditions in short-term, prison-like facilities. Photos released this week show children in immigration facilities sleeping on mats under foil blankets separated in groups by plastic partitions.

More:The Texas Congressman posts photos of children sleeping on mats at the Border Patrol facility

Biden has taken the heat away from Republican lawmakers who blamed the increase in the president’s reversal of some of the tough immigration policies enacted by former President Donald Trump. While the surge in migrants coming to the border is typical in the spring, Democrats also criticized the administration for the problem and refusal to allow the media access to facilities.

The White House announced Wednesday that Vice President Kamala Harris would lead US efforts to contain migration and work to partner with Mexico and the northern triangle of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

“While we understand that people shouldn’t be reaching the limit now, we also understand that we will enforce the law and that – because we can chew gum and walk at the same time – we also need to address the root causes, the people cause to make the hike, “Harris said on Wednesday.

“It’s a big problem. I’m not going to pretend it’s not a big problem. It’s a big problem,” said Harris. won’t be resolved overnight. “

Biden could face pressure from reporters on Thursday to describe the situation as a crisis.

Infrastructure plan

Biden is expected to come up with a robust infrastructure plan soon, following his legislative gain with the passage of his $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package. The infrastructure plan could face opposition from Republicans, however, with some of the priorities that Democrats could focus on including preventing climate change.

The president may have to answer questions about the inevitably high price of the package. It would include money for roads, bridges, the cellular network, and other infrastructure needs that he signals he will help pay for by reversing Trump’s high income tax breaks.

Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg is expected to appear before the House’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee on Thursday to set out the administration’s priorities as a first step in months of negotiations with Congress.

The state of the pandemic

Biden’s press conference comes after his first televised address earlier this month at which he announced that any American adult can get a vaccine from May 1st.

The president has toured the country promoting the $ 1.9 trillion relief plan passed by Congress, which includes checks for $ 1,400 to individuals and money to expedite vaccinations and support school opening .

Biden may be asked about reports that the adoption of vaccines is stalling in some states and that the vaccine registration process in some locations makes it difficult for elderly or disabled Americans to get an appointment.

And while some states are lifting their vaccine licensing requirements and more people are being vaccinated, there are states that are removing the wearing of masks and business restrictions. The nation has also seen the rate of COVID-19 infections stop falling.

How to watch Biden’s first press conference

Biden’s press conference is scheduled for Thursday, March 25th at 1:15 p.m. ET from the White House.

You can watch a live stream on USATODAY.com and follow updates from the Washington team using our live blog and Twitter feed. @USATODAYDC.

Jack

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