May 10, 2023

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 5/09/23 Transcript

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 5/09/23 Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsKarine Jean-Pierre White House Press Briefing TranscriptsPress Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 5/09/23 Transcript

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 5/09/23. Read the transcript here.

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Karine Jean-Pierre (00:01):

Good afternoon everybody. Okay, let’s get to it. As you know, tomorrow the president will travel to New York to drive home the impact of current discussions on the economy to real hardworking American families. After his meeting it’s important to the president that Americans across the country know what is at stake here. Default threatens 8 million jobs of recession, retirement accounts, and social security and Medicare payments. The House Republican default on America Act will cut veterans healthcare visits, teachers and school support staffs, and Meals on Wheels for seniors. The president has a different vision, prevent default, and invest in America while reducing the deficit by nearly $3 trillion, and cutting wasteful spending on special interest. Now, at just a few minutes ago, a while ago, we announced that President Biden will be making a historic stop in Papua New Guinea while traveling from the G7 Leader Summit in Hiroshima, Japan to the Quad Leaders’ Summit in Sydney, Australia later this month.

While in Papua New Guinea, President Biden will meet with Prime Minister Marape of Papua New Guinea and other Pacific Island Forum leaders to follow up on the first ever US-Pacific Island Summit in Washington DC this past fall. The leaders will discuss ways to deepen cooperation on challenges critical to the region and to the United States. Such as combating climate change, protecting maritime resources, and advancing resilient and inclusive economic growth. As a pacific nation, United States has deep historical and people to people ties with the Pacific Islands. And this visit, the first time a sitting US president has visited a Pacific Island country, further reinforces this critical partnership. This week marks, as you all know, the anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe and the victory of the United States and allied forces over fascism and aggression on the continent. President Putin had remarks for the occasion by launching another wave of cruise missiles and armed drones at the Ukrainian people.

Since Russia launched its brutal invasion of Ukraine last year, thousands of Ukrainian civilians have been killed and millions have been driven from their homes. The European continent now faces new aggression. The United States has rallied the world in response, and we will continue to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their independence and their democracy. As part of those efforts. Today we are announcing a significant new security assistant package that will help build the capacity of Ukraine’s armed forces and to defend Ukraine’s territory and deter Russian aggression over the long term. The package includes additional air defense systems that will help Ukraine protect its people against Russia’s missiles and drone attacks, as well as artillery rounds and support to enable Ukraine to better maintain its systems and equipment. Victory Day is supposed to be about peace and unity in Europe, it’s supposed to be about the end of war and bloodshed and suffering.

Instead, Mr. Putin promised only more violence and spewed only more lies about a war he falsely claims has been unleashed against Russia. Make no mistake. Russia is the aggressor here. Mr. Putin started this unprovoked, unjustified war against the people of Ukraine and he could end it at any moment. He could end it today if he chooses. Unless or until he does, we and our allies and partners will work to help Ukraine achieve the peace and security they deserve. With that, Josh, welcome. Good to see you my friend. How are you?

Speaker 1 (04:02):

Good to see you, Karine. I’m good. How are you?

Karine Jean-Pierre (04:04):

I’m doing well. It’s a big day today.

Speaker 1 (04:06):

Yes. So three subjects.

Karine Jean-Pierre (04:08):


Speaker 1 (04:08):

First, what’s the White House’s reaction to Imran Khan’s arrest in Pakistan?

Karine Jean-Pierre (04:14):

So just a couple of things I’d like to say about that. Just give me a second here. Yikes. Okay, so as you know, we are aware of the arrest of former Pakistani Prime minister, Imran Khan. As we have said before, United States does not have a position on one political candidate or party versus another. We call for the respect of democratic principles and the rule of law around the world. So I would refer you to the the government of Pakistan for any further information on that.

Speaker 1 (04:52):

Secondly, as part of the debt limit talks, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today called for an agreement that includes discretionary spending caps. Does the White House see all spending caps as a negative, or just the spending caps that are part of the House GOP bill?

Karine Jean-Pierre (05:08):

So I’m going to be very clear here. The president’s going to have a conversation with the four leaders. As you all know, that’s going to happen in a couple of hours at 4:00 PM local time, clearly. And we’re going to stay focused on what the Congress needs to be doing here. Their congressional duty, which is to prevent a default. That’s what we’re going to be clear about. I just laid out at the top how this can cost almost 8 million jobs if House Republicans get their way. It could also lead us to a recession, trigger a recession, and we’ve listed over and over again what this could be if they continue to hold the American economy hostage. That’s going to be our focus. That’s going to be the President’s focus today to make that clear to the leaders that they have to do their congressional duty. And that’s expected not just of him, but of the American people. And I’m just going to leave it there.

Speaker 1 (05:56):

And then lastly, the Writer’s Guild of America tweeted out the president saying that he wants the striking writers to get a fair deal.

Karine Jean-Pierre (06:04):

So I’m just going to echo what the President said last night from his yesterday’s remark. “We sincerely hope that the writer’s strike in Hollywood gets resolved and the writers are given the fair deal they deserve and as soon as possible.” And that is what you heard directly from the President yesterday.

Speaker 1 (06:20):

Is he on their side?

Karine Jean-Pierre (06:22):

I think his words from last night make it clear where the President stand on this issue. Go ahead, Mary.

Speaker 1 (06:28):

Given the conversation that is happening today that it is not negotiations, as you’ve made very clear, how is the President going into this? How is he viewing success in this meeting? What would we consider to be a successful meeting? Is it simply just conveying his message to them and having him receive it?

Karine Jean-Pierre (06:42):

I mean, look, what we convey as success, I mean, people have asked, “Well, will the President give Speaker McCarthy an off-ramp, an exit strategy?” The exit strategy is very clear. Do your job. Congress must act, prevent a default. That’s what a success… Not for him. It’s not about the President, it’s about the American economy, it’s about the American people. That’s what the President view as success. That’s the way that it should be done. Regular order. This is regular order. What House Republicans are saying is that they want to potentially, if they get their way, threaten the country’s first default, something that has never happened before. That’s what they’re threatening. Again, could lead to trigger a recession. Eight million jobs potentially lost. That is what they are threatening. So it’s very easy. It’s very, very simple. Do your job, go back to regular order, do what you’re supposed to do. It’s been done 78 times since 1960. And that’s what he’s expecting from Congress.

Speaker 2 (07:43):

The Speaker says The President is ignoring the problem.

Karine Jean-Pierre (07:46):

The president is not ignoring the problem. The four leaders are going to be here today at four o’clock to have this conversation. The president’s going to make himself very clear. The President has been clear since February. Since February. He has said over and over again, ” We cannot be a country that defaults.” And most recently he has said “We cannot be a deadbeat nation.” Something that we have never done before. Never done before. And so they need to take action. Congress has to do their job. Super simple. They are manufacturing a crisis.

Speaker 2 (08:20):

And just one on immigration. The Mexican president said that he had plans to talk with President Biden this morning. Has that conversation taken place? Can you give us any sense of what was discussed?

Karine Jean-Pierre (08:28):

I can confirm that the president spoke to President AMLO this earlier today, this morning. We will have a readout later on and we’ll certainly share that readout to all of you. So I can confirm. Go ahead Steve.

Speaker 3 (08:39):

Does the President plan to postpone his foreign trip in order to deal with the debt ceiling?

Karine Jean-Pierre (08:43):

So look, the President could be a president anywhere. It doesn’t matter if it’s domestic or international. He is always president even when he travels. Look, this is something that Congress can take care of today if they choose. Is do their job, do their constitutional duty.

Speaker 3 (08:59):

And what happens after today’s meeting from your standpoint, will you set up more meetings or is this a one-off?

Karine Jean-Pierre (09:05):

I’m not going to get ahead of today’s conversation discussion. The president hopes it’s a productive conversation. We’ll see how it goes. Again, the president’s going to make it very clear to the congressional leaders that they must act and avoid default.

Speaker 3 (09:18):

And lastly, there are some estimates that there are 150,000 migrants waiting across the board when Title 42 expires. Is the US prepared to deal with this onslaught of people?

Karine Jean-Pierre (09:28):

So as you know Steve, I’ve said this many times, I said it yesterday, but actually let me just give you guys a little bit of an update on the briefings that are coming up. The State Department and Department of Homeland Security will be holding a call on our plan leader today. Secretary Mayorkas and the State Department will also be holding press conference tomorrow. And Secretary Mayorkas will be joining me at the podium on Thursday. We want to make sure that we are transparent about the plan, how we’re moving forward. So he’ll be here to certainly take all of your questions on what’s ahead. But we’ve been very clear. We have a multi-agency process. We believe we have a robust process to deal with what is going to occur after Title 42 lifts. Again, we’re using the tools that are available to us because Congress refuses to do their job as it relates to the border. Again, a system that has been broken for decades. Go ahead.

Speaker 4 (10:20):

Thanks, Karine. Senator Manchin this morning sharply criticized the President’s handling of these debt ceiling talks. He said it’s, quote, “Not rational, it’s not reasonable, it’s not practical.” In terms of his refusal to negotiate over raising the debt limit. What’s the White House’s response to that? And to what extent does it weaken the President’s position to not have Democrats in lockstep with him?

Karine Jean-Pierre (10:43):

It’s not rational, it’s not reasonable and it’s not practical for Congress to be doing what they’re doing. For House Republicans to be holding us up. For threatening default. That is where the problem should be. And that’s who should be called out. Speaker McCarthy’s going to be here. And what we’re seeing from House Republicans, from MAGA Republicans is that they are manufacturing a crisis. That shouldn’t be. The President doesn’t want to see this happen either. He doesn’t want to see our economy held hostage. He does not want to see this. That’s why he’s having these leaders here and he’s going to make himself very, very clear. And that’s the discussion that they’re going to have. And I’m not going to get ahead of what’s going to come out of that. And we’ll see.

Speaker 4 (11:35):

Given how unified Republicans have been around Speaker McCarthy, do you have any concern about Democrats, that there may be some wavering among some Democrats about the President’s position on the debt ceiling?

Karine Jean-Pierre (11:47):

I mean, look, the Democrats have been very clear as well that we need to deal with the debt limit. We’ve been all very clear about that. So has Leader Jeffries and so has Leader Schumer.

Karine Jean-Pierre (12:00):

We’ve been all on the same page with the leadership is that, Republicans and Congress need to do their job, and that’s what we’re going to see today.

Speaker 4 (12:08):

And then in terms of the situation on the southern border, yesterday there were nearly 10,000 migrant encounters on the southern border. There are around 27,000 migrants currently in CBP custody. I know that the administration, you guys talked a lot about the surge that you anticipated after Title 42 would expire. Did the administration expect there to be a surge before. And how is that going to impact your preparedness if there’s still another surge expected after May 11?

Karine Jean-Pierre (12:37):

So what you can expect from us is that we’re going to do everything that we can, and use every available tool to us, as we have been, to deal with this issue in a humane way, manage it humanely. And that’s what we’ve been very clear about. Our focus, as it relates to managing the border, is we’re going to do this through enforcement, deterrence and diplomacy, and that’s what you have seen. We’ve been working with our regional partners, and we have just few tools that are available to the president, and that’s because Congress has failed to act.

So right now, we believe we have a robust plan, a multi-agency plan to do this in a humane way. And we’re going to have Secretary Mayorkas here with us in the briefing room on Thursday, and he’ll certainly lay out the plan in a more deeper way and more in depth way. You all will be able to ask him his question. He was at the border very recently. He’s held multiple press conferences on this issue. You’ve heard from the State Department, you’ve heard from the Homeland Security, clearly Mayorkas, as I just mentioned, you’ve heard from Pentagon who did a briefing just last week, and we’re going to continue to inform the American people and continue to inform all of you on how we’re moving forward. And that’s what you can expect from this administration.

Speaker 4 (13:50):

Did you anticipate the current numbers that we are seeing right now?

Karine Jean-Pierre (13:52):

Look, I can’t get into hypotheticals about the numbers and what they were going to be, or going to be. That’s not something I’m going to do here. What I can say is that we knew, clearly, we knew from the court that Title 42 was going to lift on Thursday. That’s something that we were clearly very aware of. Since earlier this year, we have put plans in place and processes in place to deal with this very moment. I can only speak to what you could expect from us, and we’ve been very transparent about that and will continue to be. [inaudible 00:14:22].

Speaker 5 (14:22):

Thank you. Speaker McCarthy said today, he doesn’t support a short-term debt ceiling increase. “Let’s just get this done now,” he told reporters. Does the White House agree with him, with the speaker on this point?

Karine Jean-Pierre (14:34):

A short term extension is not our plan either. That is not our plan. This can be easily resolved. This is a man-made crisis that the speaker is leading. We can get this done. We want to make sure that we move the threat of default, and that’s what the president’s going to be making clear about. This is not negotiable. Default is not negotiable.

Speaker 5 (14:58):

And second question on the Writers Guild strike that the president weighed into. He says he wants to see a fair deal. What is a fair deal in the president’s view?

Karine Jean-Pierre (15:09):

We’re certainly not going to get into a back and forth on what a fair deal looks like. We are going to continue to encourage both sides to come together, to come to the table and have that discussion. I’m just not going to get ahead of that.

Speaker 5 (15:19):


Speaker 6 (15:20):

Thanks, Karine. I mean, I wanted to ask, Secretary Mayorkas is going to come speak with us. Thanks for that. What about the president? Will the president speak out about Title 42, share a message that Mayorkas has given or something to that effect? Will we hear from the President on Title 42?

Karine Jean-Pierre (15:38):

Well, I would say you heard from the president just this past Friday. He did an interview, a sit down interview with one of the networks and talked about Title 42, talked about immigration. So the American people did hear directly from the president on this issue. I don’t have anything else to share in the next couple of days about the president’s schedule, so I’ll just leave it there. But he was asked a question and he answered it. Go ahead, Josh.

Speaker 6 (16:01):

One more please, if I could. I mean, should Americans anticipate or expect an orderly process on the border, or does the administration want Americans to know that this is going to be a challenging moment and there could be some hiccups or there could be some challenges, and to give a little bit of patience as the transition is made?

Karine Jean-Pierre (16:21):

Look, what we have been very clear about is that we do want to put a process in place that’s orderly, that’s humane, and using the tools that the President has in front of him to do just that. I’ve said very clearly, we want enforcement, deterrence, and diplomacy. That’s how we’re moving forward. Those are the three steps that we’re taking to get this done.

There are challenges at the border. This is something that the president has taken seriously from day one, putting forth a comprehensive piece of legislation to deal with immigration reform, something that has been a problem for the past several decades. The system has been broken for the past several decades. And again, the president would like to do more. He’s using the tools in front of him. The Congress refuses to act. Instead, many Republican officials want to make a political case out of this. They’re not looking to meet us at the table to actually deal with this issue. They want to turn this into a political stunt. And so that’s not what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to deal with this issue. We’re trying to deal with this challenge. And again, we’ve been doing this since day one. Go ahead, Josh.

Speaker 7 (17:25):

Can you say what will happen if Congress doesn’t act on the debt limit? Speaker McCarthy has a budget yet. President hasn’t moved his position. Will he let this go off a cliff if the speaker doesn’t do anything?

Karine Jean-Pierre (17:39):

Well, the speaker has to do his job. Congress has to do their job.

Speaker 7 (17:44):

The president doesn’t have any job.

Karine Jean-Pierre (17:48):

Historically, 78 times since 1960, this is what Congress has done. They have done their constitutional duty, is to deal with the debt limit. That is something that they have done. This is regular order. This is the process that they have used and we’re asking them to go back into that process. Look, what could potentially happen, as I just laid out, is a potential recession, 8 million jobs lost. That is something that Congress could avoid. They can easily avoid this and do their jobs. So I’m not going to get ahead of what’s going to happen today at four o’clock or get into hypotheticals from here, but the President has been very clear. He has been very, very clear. They have to get this done.

And what they’re threatening is, and what they’re saying to us is we have to take their whole, entire agenda, which is extreme, a lot of Americans do not agree with that agenda, or they’re going to hold the economy hostage. That’s what they’re putting forward. Remember, 22% cut on veterans, on healthcare, on meals on wheels, all of the things that we have listed out over and over again, Americans don’t agree with that and it’s going to hurt American families. So we’re going to be very clear, the president’s going to be very clear with the leaders today that they have to act.

Speaker 7 (19:07):

You’ve been talking today about two subjects where Congress hasn’t act. One is immigration, and you’re saying you will use all the tools available to us, but Congress refuses to act on the border. They also so far haven’t acted on the debt ceiling. So I guess I’m trying to figure out what will happen if they continue to not act and we get closer to the deadline, which could be of course as early as June 1st or late as August. The president, does he think he has any tools to use if Congress continues to not do its job? Because it’s not clear that Speaker McCarthy can [inaudible 00:19:38], that he has a lot of leeway in his [inaudible 00:19:40].

Karine Jean-Pierre (19:40):

Well, that’s for Speaker McCarthy to speak to. I can’t speak about the leeway and the-

Speaker 7 (19:43):

What happens if [inaudible 00:19:45].

Karine Jean-Pierre (19:44):

I know. I hear you. You mentioned Speaker McCarthy. I can’t speak for him. I can speak for the president. And it is Congress’s job. And I get your question, Josh, but this is literally their constitutional duty. They take an oath and this is what they’re supposed to do. They’re supposed to deal with the debt limit, one of the many things that they have that they’re supposed to deal with. And this is something that we, a first ever default, that’s what they’re threatening. This is what they’re saying that they want to take us down the road on. This is first ever default, would trigger a recession, erase millions of jobs. It’s very simple. The exit ramp for them is to do their job, is to do their job. The president will make that very clear in his meeting. Not going to get ahead of what’s going to come out of that meeting, but the president has been really, really clear here. Go ahead.

Speaker 8 (20:36):

Thanks, Karine. Going back to Steve’s question, when the president does leave for Japan and Australia next week, he’s not slated to return until just before that June deadline that the Treasury Secretary has talked about. If we get to next week and there is no plan in place to raise the debt ceiling, will the president delay or cancel his trip?

Karine Jean-Pierre (20:57):

So Nancy, appreciate the question. I understand the question. I’m not going to get ahead of today’s meeting. Let’s see how the meeting goes at four o’clock. Certainly our goal here is to make sure that Congress does its constitutional duty and to prevent default. Just not going to get into hypotheticals. Let’s see how the meeting goes. It’s going to happen very shortly at four. And let’s see how it turns out, what comes out of that.

Speaker 8 (21:20):

Who’s going to be handling these discussions from the White House while the president is overseas?

Karine Jean-Pierre (21:25):

Well, look, the President could be president anywhere. These are issues that certainly that he will be very aware of and very involved in getting updates from his team. As you know, when it comes to legislative things and things that are dealt with Congress, that’s the Office of Leg Affairs. They play point on this. But the president, again, can be president wherever he is, domestically or out of the country.

Speaker 8 (21:50):

Should the Vice President be involved in today’s meeting since she’ll be here in the country while the president is away?

Karine Jean-Pierre (21:55):

So the president has been closely consulting with the vice president on this. They have had several conversations on this issue. And so again, when it comes to issues that matter to the American people, they’re very much partners.

Speaker 8 (22:09):

What message does it send to the world that we are now three weeks away from a potential default and it is still completely unclear how this is going to be resolved?

Karine Jean-Pierre (22:20):

So look, the United States is not a deadbeat nation. The President has made that very clear. We have never failed to pay our bills and we should not do this now. Congress must do its job and prevent a default. And look, if there was a default, it would be a gift to China, to Russia, and to other competitors. That’s what we’re saying here. That’s what House Republicans are saying. If they were to default, it would be a gift to them.

Let me just give you a little bit about what the Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines said, who, as you all know, the head of the intelligence community. She testified last week to Congress and she said the following; “Both Russia and China would look to use a default to demonstrate the chaos within the United States that we’re not capable of functioning as a democracy. Default would create global uncertainty about the value of the US dollar and the US institutions and leadership, leading to volatility in currency and financial markets and commodity markets that are at priced in dollars. China and Russia would look to take advantage of the opportunity if we were to default.” That’s what congressional Republicans are threatening. That’s what they are potentially going to really put us into a tailspin if they don’t actually do their jobs. Really simple, do their jobs and avoid default.

Speaker 9 (23:46):

On matters of the economy, the public often holds the President accountable for the outcomes here. Does the President have a sense that he will be blamed by the American public if default actually occurs?

Karine Jean-Pierre (23:59):


Karine Jean-Pierre (24:00):

Republicans are holding the entire economy hostage and saying, unless their entire agenda gets done, they’re going to cause an unprecedented default.

What the President is doing is the opposite of that. He wants to make sure that we take that off the table and have a separate conversation, a separate conversation on the budget, something that he put forth on March 9th, which shows how he values the way moving forward, to show how he sees our economy moving forward, building on the successes that he’s had these last two years, making sure that we cut the deficit by $3 trillion for the next 10 years.

So, to your question, I have an answer to your question, polling from 2011 and 2013 makes clear that congressional Republicans were to blame for their threats to default. And polling now shows Americans want spending and default handled separately, as does the President.

That said, when it comes to threatening default, people should not be looking at polling. They should be looking at how they’re going to be delivering for the American people. They should be looking at their constituents whose jobs and retirements could be crushed by recession if this is truly going to move forward in the way that they seemingly want to go, which is manufacturing a crisis.

So, again, this is something that the President wants to avoid. He wants to make sure that this is not on the table, that we take default off the table. And that’s a conversation that he’s going to have very clearly with congressional leaders today.

Speaker 10 (25:33):

There have been other instances of brinksmanship on Capitol Hill with government shutdowns, and the public has seen that. They’ve seen 11th hour resolution to things.

This is a very different beast, in terms of the potential negative impact; as you’ve pointed out, never happened before. Do you think the public has a sense of what is at stake for them, their retirement accounts, their job security, the overall economy? And do you anticipate the President will have to speak out about this in a bigger way than the daily communication that he’s done or that you speaking on his behalf? Is there a speech to be had? Is there a moment coming?

Karine Jean-Pierre (26:11):

So the President is going to go to New York. He’s going to visit a district that he won in 2020. He’s going to talk directly to constituents and, clearly, Americans in that district, and have a very clear conversation and lay this out very clearly, as he’s done many times.

I had mentioned the polling in 2011-

Speaker 10 (26:30):

I was thinking nighttime is, I guess, where I was going with that.

Karine Jean-Pierre (26:32):

I see. I mentioned-

Speaker 10 (26:34):

I’m sorry. That wasn’t clear-

Karine Jean-Pierre (26:35):


Speaker 10 (26:35):

… I know he’s going to New York.

Karine Jean-Pierre (26:36):

Yep. No, no. I totally understand. I mentioned the polling from 2011 and 2013, how congressional Republicans were blamed by the American people about what they tried to do in those two instances. And the President is going to continue to talk about this.

Don’t have a nighttime, primetime speech to lay out for you or to preview at this time. But, look, let’s see what happens at 4:00. Let’s see how this conversation goes.

And we’ve been very clear, Secretary Yellen has been clear, the President has been clear, many economists who work here in the administration has been clear, businesses have been clear: This would be catastrophic. And it does not have to happen. It does not have to happen. This could be avoided.

We have never, ever defaulted before. We cannot be a deadbeat nation. So we can avoid this. The President is going to make that very clear today.

Speaker 7 (27:26):

Hey, Karine. Thank you. You mentioned that the President is going to be going to New York tomorrow. You mentioned that he’s going to a district that he won in 2020. It also happens to be a district that is represented by a Republican currently.

Can you talk about the decision to target this specific district and what the President plans to say? And also, can you address the fact that the Republican member of Congress, Mike Lawler, agreed to the White House’s invitation to appear alongside the President and what that means for the President’s remarks?

Karine Jean-Pierre (27:54):

Look, I’m going to let the congressman speak for himself. He can do that. He’s able to do so.

I mentioned this at the top: The President is going to drive home the impact of these current discussions that we’re having, the economy; how it affects real hardworking Americans. That’s what you’re going to hear from the President. He’ll be very clear about that. He’ll be clear about what could potentially happen.

And, yes, we’ve talked about default and what that could look like, recession, triggering a recession, potentially 8 million jobs lost. But let’s not forget the other piece of the act that Republicans in the House has put forward. Let’s not forget veterans. Let’s not forget healthcare. Let’s not forget schools, to support staff. Those things are also embedded or part, a 22% cut to these programs that families really, truly need. So he’s going to talk about that.

I’m going to let the congressman speak for himself. The President loves to travel across the country to different district, different states. And that’s what you’re going to see from this President tomorrow.

Speaker 7 (28:53):

The President has talked about having a sense of unity and not questioning people’s motives and sort of bringing the temperature down in politics. We’ve seen him on the stumps… We’ve seen his stump speech. We’ve seen how aggressive it can be about “MAGA Republicans.” You are going to have Republican member in front of his constituents, right there alongside the President. Will that change the way the President addresses the crowd in [inaudible 00:29:20]?

Karine Jean-Pierre (29:20):

The President is always going to be honest with the American people. There’s a real question about where our economy is going to be going. And that is something that the President is going to lay out for the American people.

And so, look, when the President speaks, it’s not just to the people who are in front of me… in front of him, pardon me, or the people in that district or in that state. He’s speaking to the nation, and sometimes to the world, when he’s at the podium or when the President speaks just in general. Like, everyone listens, and you all cover it, you all write about it.

And so this is a message that he’ll have to the American people about what’s at stake. Americans need to know what’s at stake. Basically to Kelly O’s question, they need to know what’s at stake here, where we’re headed with our economy.

The President has worked the last two years to rebuild our economy, as we’ve always said, from the middle out, bottom up, and we’ve had some successes. If this occurs, it’s going to take us back. It’s going to take us back.

And so the President is going to be very honest, very upfront with the American people. That’s what you’ll hear from him, as he always is when he speaks. And so he’ll lay out, again, lay out what’s at stake.

Go ahead.

Speaker 11 (30:33):

Thanks. Just a quick follow-up. Can you just give a bit more specifics on why the President chose Hudson Valley to give this speech? And does he think that giving this speech on avoiding the default and going after the Republican plan that they passed would actually convince them to pass a clean debt limit increase?

Karine Jean-Pierre (30:53):

I’m not going to get ahead of the President. He’ll lay out why he’s there, as he always does, why he’s in front of the audience that he’ll be speaking to tomorrow. So I’m going to let him speak to that.

But what I can say is, again, kind of what I just said to your colleague: The President is going to be very clear about what’s at stake, the impact of the current discussions that we’re having, the impact of this budget and this default that House Republicans have connected. He’s going to make it very, very clear this is going to hurt American families. It’s going to hurt our economy, and it’s going to hurt American families.

We’re talking about American families that need these programs that are having the 22% cut. They need it just to make ends meet. So he’s going to lay that out, as he has many times when he talks about the economy, when he talks about what MAGA Republicans are doing. He’s mentioned that before; he’s talked about that before especially the last two weeks. And so now he’s going to be doing it in New York in front of an audience, again, speaking to the country, as he does every time he speaks, as President of the United States. And I’ll let him speak to why now, why New York, and what is it that he wants the American people to know.

Go ahead.

Speaker 12 (32:07):

Thanks, Karine. Two questions on Title 42 and governors. I know you were asked yesterday if the President had spoken to Governor Abbott about the Allen, Texas, shooting. But when was the last time the President spoke to Governor Abbott about the border situation?

Karine Jean-Pierre (32:20):

I don’t have any timeline of calls to lay out to the governor. You’ve seen the governor and the President together many times over the past, I would say, year when the President visited Texas. I don’t have anything to lay out on the timeline of conversation or the last time he’s spoken to the governor.

Speaker 12 (32:36):

And any plans for them to talk this week?

Karine Jean-Pierre (32:38):

I don’t have anything to preview at this time.

Speaker 12 (32:41):

And Arizona Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs said Monday that she’s afraid the federal government is unprepared to meet the demands of the expected influx at the border. And she said that her recent request to the White House and to the DHS Secretary asking what the plans are and for more help have not been met with an adequate response. What is the response to the governor? And why hasn’t the administration responded to what she’s asking for?

Karine Jean-Pierre (33:04):

Look, we welcome the additional steps that Governor Hobbs announced. And teams in our administration remain in close contact with border communities, including Arizona, to provide timely information and resources. Just this past Friday, DHS provided $45.5 million to organizations in Arizona supporting migrants.

So, look, we’ll continue to have those conversations with her. We’ll continue to stay in touch. I just mentioned the funding that we provided, that DHS provided on Friday. We are putting forth a robust plan, and we’re putting that in place to do this in a humane way, to do this in an orderly way through enforcement, deterrence, and diplomacy. We’ve been very clear about that not just today, not just yesterday, not just last week, but for the past several months.

We’re going to have Secretary Mayorkas, who is kindly going to be joining us in the briefing on Thursday. He’s going to take your questions. He’s going to lay out very clearly, again, what we’ve been doing. We want to provide all the information that we can, that we have to all of you. We have been doing that not just here, State Department, DHS, and Pentagon as well.

And so we’re going to continue to have those conversation. Again, we appreciate and welcome the additional steps that was provided by the governor, and we’ll continue to stay in close touch.

Go ahead.

Speaker 13 (34:22):

Thank you. 43 Republican senators signed on to a letter opposing raising the debt ceiling without budget reforms, and 217 members in the House voted for that bill to raise the debt limit with cuts to spending. Does the White House consider all of those members to be dangerous MAGA Republican extremists?

Karine Jean-Pierre (34:43):

Do they understand what the cuts that they’re voting for is going to do? That’s the question. I mean, Republicans in Congress, in the House specifically, voted for cuts that’s going to hurt American families. I mean, we can’t say this enough: 22% cuts to veterans, healthcare, schools. That’s what they voted for. And this not-

Speaker 13 (35:07):

[inaudible 00:35:07] off the table. But-

Karine Jean-Pierre (35:08):

Okay. But this is not just… this is their constituents. This is what they voted for.

Speaker 13 (35:14):

And those constituents that they’re voting on behalf of have said that they are concerned about their retirements, about the effects of inflation. And those members represent more than half of the country in the House. I mean, that’s the majority of districts in the country that they’re voting on behalf of those constituents who are expressing concern about where the economy is.

So, I guess, how can the White House continue to use messaging in calling this the Default on America Act and paint this legislation in such a way without having a conversation about the budget when you’ve got half the country saying that they want that conversation?

Karine Jean-Pierre (35:54):

So, House Republicans are threatening a first-ever default.

Karine Jean-Pierre (36:00):

They want the President to agree on a plan in its entirety that includes cuts to programs that are incredibly important for the American family, because they want to hold the American economy hostage, because that’s what they’re saying that they want to do by threatening a default.

Speaker 13 (36:21):

Their bill would raise the debt limit. They passed a bill to raise the debt limit. So the conversation-

Karine Jean-Pierre (36:28):

I hear you, but they are connecting, passing, whatever, this debt limit to 22% cuts to veterans, to seniors. That’s what they are threatening: cuts to our schools. That’s what is connecting. That’s what their budget plan is.

Speaker 13 (36:47):

The bill doesn’t have any appropriations in it, actually, and the Speaker has ruled out a number of those things, including defense, veterans benefits, senior entitlement programs. When you have Mitt Romney saying that there has to be a conversation here… Is he a MAGA Republican extremist?

Karine Jean-Pierre (37:06):

What I’m saying is House Republicans have been very clear. They’ve voted on a bill that’s going to cut programs that are very important to American families: cutting programs to law enforcement; cutting program to veteran care; cutting program to our school system. That’s what Republicans have voted on. So those are extreme. Those are very extreme. These are things that the American people don’t want. Just look at 2022, what they voted for. They voted for to protect their retirement accounts. That’s what the American people want to see. And so they’re connecting those two. They want the President to agree on its entire agenda of an extreme budget. It is an extreme budget, something that Americans do not want, and that’s something for them to answer to. They’re speaking to their constituents when they’re voting for something like that.

And so look, the President put forth a budget where it also cuts spending but not hurting American families. We’re trying to make sure that we lower the deficit by saying that we’re going to cut the deficit by $3 trillion over 10 years. But he put forth something that is actually responsible. Remember, “Show me your value. Show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.” That’s what the President said. They showed their value by cutting veterans program, cutting school programs, cutting healthcare 22%. That’s what they value. That’s something that they have to answer to the American people about. Go ahead, Ed.

Ed (38:38):

Thanks, Karine. So if cutting government spending would help reduce inflation faster, in this meeting today if the president opened to hearing other viewpoints…

Karine Jean-Pierre (38:48):

So look, as you know, Ed, because you asked me this question many times, when it comes to the economy, when it comes to a priority that the President has for the American people, lowering costs for families is a top priority. He talks about that often. You’ve heard him talk about lowering prescription-drug costs, which we have been able to do, capping insulin at 35 bucks a month for seniors, allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices. That’s why Inflation Reduction Act was so critical and important. Only Democrats voted for that. Helped lower energy bills. Another component of the inflation Reduction Act I just talked about, how he put forth a budget that’s going to lower the deficit by $3 trillion over the next 10 years.

And again, I was very clear with Jackie: they have put forth the opposite. They want to go the opposite direction. They want to cut programs that’s going to lower cost. They want to take our economy hostage with the default. They want to bring back failed trickle-down economy, which we know doesn’t work. So look, the President’s always going to try and figure out how can he can lower costs for the American people. He’s actually taken action and been able to put policies forward, pass legislation with the help of Democrats and Congress, sign that legislation, to deal with issues that really matter to the American people.

Ed (40:04):

Wait, one more on a different subject, if I could. So after Title 42 ends, does the President then want to go back to the border to see the situation for himself?

Karine Jean-Pierre (40:13):

I don’t have any trips to preview for you. As you know, the President has gone to the border more than once. We have put forth a robust multi-agency plan to humanely deal with the border in a way that leads with enforcement deterrence and diplomacy. I’m going to have Secretary Mayorkas here on Thursday. He’ll be glad to take your questions. That’s why he’s joining us. We’ve had multiple briefings from the different agencies that are involved in this process. We’ll continue to do that and answer your question and put out information on how we’re dealing with the challenges that we’re seeing at the border. Again, the President is using the tools that he has in front of him because Congress refuses to act. Go ahead.

Speaker 14 (40:55):

[inaudible 00:40:55]. On the COVID-19 public health emergency ending on Thursday, obviously we know COVID is not over, and in fact, CDC data shows that there’s a disproportionate share of hospitalizations and infections and deaths for Black, Hispanic and Indigenous populations. These are also populations that are overrepresented in lack of access to healthcare, unemployment, poverty levels. Is the Administration concerned that these communities could be left behind as we move away from the public health emergency, especially when you think about long COVID?

Karine Jean-Pierre (41:25):

So there’s a couple questions there with long COVID, and I’ll take that first. Look, we’ve seen the progress that has been made last year that HHS has led on, and that’s deliver high quality care for individuals experiencing long COVID, provide information and resources to help people struggling with long COVID, including our nation’s veterans, employers… Employees, pardon me, in the workplace. And we’ve invested in care for people in underserved communities who have been disproportionately impacted by long COVID.

There’s going to be an office that’s going to be set up, as you know, because of the Omnibus fiscal year of 20 in 2023. Certainly that’ll be a space where we’ll continue to deal with the pandemic, even though we’re in a different stage of a pandemic. As you said, COVID is still here. So we’ll certainly deal with that in an appropriate way. And so look, there’s the Project Next Generation as well. That’s a way to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving virus that causes COVID. We need to continue to support the development of a new generational generation of tools, and that’s what you’re going to see from Project NextGen. So we are taking all of this very seriously, and we certainly have more to share in the next day or two.

Speaker 14 (42:41):

Broadly, could you give a sense of how the Administration is feeling coming out of the public-health emergency given where we were two, three years ago? Does the Administration see this as a success in terms of combating COVID, or a sense of a sigh of relief at all?

Karine Jean-Pierre (42:59):

So look, we are definitely at a different point in the pandemic. Over the last two years, the Administration has made significant progress in the ability to manage COVID-19 in a way that protects life and health and no longer meaningfully disrupts our lives, and that’s because of this President’s leadership. Again, we’re not out of the pandemic. We’re certainly in a different place, and that’s because what this President has been able to do, when you think about how COVID deaths have declined by 95%. New COVID-19 hospitalizations are down nearly 88%, and COVID-19 cases and deaths globally are at its lowest levels since the start of the pandemic.

You heard from the World Health Organization saying the COVID pandemic no longer qualifies as a global health emergency. So look, let the numbers speak for itself. Over 270 million people have at least one shot in arms because of the comprehensive plan that this President and his Administration has put forward. And so look, again, let the numbers speak for itself. The President has taken this very seriously since day one, and now it’s good. It’s actually good that we’re in a different stage of this pandemic.

Go ahead, Courtney.

Courtney (44:16):

Thank you. I wanted to ask about the Labor Department. The department hasn’t testified before Congress yet about its budget. I know that Acting Secretary Julie Su is also up for a nomination. Is there a reason that she hasn’t gone before Congress about the budget in her acting role or that you haven’t sent someone else to take questions?

Karine Jean-Pierre (44:35):

That’s a very good question. I would refer you to Department of Labor about their process and being in front of Congress and speaking to their budget. I would just refer you to them.

Courtney (44:45):

Also, on Title 42, there’s a bill emerging on Capitol Hill this week that Republicans are pushing in the House. I understand that broadly you disagree with that bill, but can you talk about if you see any points of agreement with the GOP on places of tension or problems related to the border that you agree on that you can move forward with? Maybe there’s parts of that bill you do agree with or other solutions that you know or have brought support.

Karine Jean-Pierre (45:10):

So I laid out yesterday why we don’t agree with that bill. Certainly that-

Courtney (45:13):

[inaudible 00:45:14].

Karine Jean-Pierre (45:13):

No, no, no. Nothing changes there. That still stands. What we have seen is Congress Republicans wanting to cut resources, cutting 2,000 in law enforcement to be at the border. They have not done anything to be helpful in this process. They’ve taken political stunts. What they put forward is not going to help the issue at all, and we’ve taken this very seriously. On day one, the President put forth a comprehensive immigration reform legislation to really have this conversation about how do we put more resources to deal with this challenge? And instead, they want to take away resources. That’s what they’ve told us. And so if they want to seriously have a real conversation, we’re willing to have that conversation, but they haven’t proven that. They haven’t proven that they want a real conversation. They want to actually make the situation, the challenges that we see at the border, worse. That’s what their legislation shows. That’s what it tells the American people.

Courtney (46:20):

Thanks. You don’t see a specific area of agreement, then.

Karine Jean-Pierre (46:22):

I mean, I’ve been very clear. I literally went almost line by line about the things that we disagree about with this in that legislation yesterday. It’s going to make the situation worse. It’s not going to help. And look, they want to play political games, and that’s not what the President wants to do. He wants to do the opposite.

All right, everybody, I’ll see you on Thursday. Thank you.

Audience (46:42):

Thank you.

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