Sep 14, 2022

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 9/13/22 Transcript

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 9/13/22 Transcript
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Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 9/13/22. Read the transcript here.

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Karine Jean-Pierre: (00:00)
Good afternoon, everybody. Okay. Come on in, guys. I have two housekeeping things, and then we’ll get started. So we are excited to welcome Olivia Dalton, our new Principal Deputy Press Secretary into the briefing room and to our team. Olivia returns to the White House after serving as the director of communications and spokesperson at the US Mission to the United Nations. Olivia and I have known each other for more than a decade, right? We’ve been friends for more than a decade, and so I am very excited for her to join our team, and to be working with all of you as well. And one other thing before we get started. We wanted to continue our press team tradition in the briefing room. I just want to take a moment to congratulate and celebrate Andrew. He is getting married this coming Saturday, continuing that tradition, come on guys.

Speaker X: (01:03)
Who’s doing rapid response for that?

Andrew: (01:04)
I probably am.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (01:11)
To add to that, the love he shares for his best friend, movie pal and partner, Megan Apper is wonderful. We’re wishing them the best as they embark on a lifetime of love and happiness. So, of course, like we have done in the past, let’s start this off right, or finish this off right. Little sash over you, my friend. Continuing with the tradition. We got to continue the tradition. Ready to go? Oh, am I doing this right?

Andrew: (01:41)
Thank you.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (01:41)
All right.

Speaker X: (01:44)
Stand up with. Stand up with.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (01:45)
Come on. Come on Andrew.

Speaker X: (01:45)
Lot of sigh.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (01:57)
Okay. And one more thing, and with that, there is a special guest. A surprise guest for Andrew in the briefing room. Megan Apper, stand up. There we go. Oh, she was right there. Andrew, did you see her? And Megan, we’re taking it to the next level. Here. And here’s yours as well. All okay. All right. We take marriage and wedding very seriously here. Here on the press. Okay. All right. Congratulations, guys. We’re so excited for you and I think Andrew’s going to be gone for like 10 days, right? So don’t bug him, bug us, and really, really excited for you and congratulations to you, An. Thank you for coming to surprise him.

Andrew: (02:46)
I’m getting married.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (02:50)
And right now… Okay. I do want to do that one day, but no one will take me up on it, but in all seriousness, okay. So we know you all had a couple of questions on the Ukraine counter offensive that they’ve been doing the last week or so couple of days. So we wanted to invite our NSC friend, John Kirby to come into the briefing room and take a couple of questions. So I will let him do that. He’s going to do about 15 minutes. I’m sure he has a topper and take a few questions. And of course, we have the event at three, so we want to make sure that we get to as many people as we can today. Go ahead. All right.

Andrew: (03:33)
Congratulations. There’s no way what I’m about to say can top that. I have two things I wanted to stop with. One is on Pakistan and the other Armenia and Azerbaijan, quite frankly. And then I know there’s going to be questions on what’s going on in Ukraine and I’m happy to take those. But on Pakistan, just a quick update on our assistance during this difficult time of flooding. And I think you’ve all been seeing that and covering that. The devastation is pretty severe. 33 million people affected. Oh, 1400 have died. Almost 13,000 of an injured. Infrastructure literally washed away to include almost two million homes and more than four million acres of farmland. So United States continues to stand with Pakistan and the communities inside Pakistan, and we’ll help them as much as we can. I think you may have seen on Friday last week, the USAID administrator, Samantha Power was in Pakistan to meet with flood affected communities.

Andrew: (04:35)
During that visit, she was able to announce that the United States was providing an additional $20 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people of Pakistan. And that brings to $53.1 million, a total of our support this year, just to support disaster resilience and flood response in Pakistan with 50 million for emergency flood relief and three in resilience programming. But it’s not just financial assistance. You’ll probably hear more about this from our folks at the Pentagon, but yesterday a total of nine aircraft run by US Central Command delivered more than 400 tons of relief supplies through USAID’s Dubai warehouse in support, again, of the flood response. And our assistance to the people of Pakistan is being determined of course, by US personnel on the ground. USAID has deployed a disaster assistance response team to lead the US government’s humanitarian response efforts in Pakistan. And again, we’re going to continue to support them as much as we can.

Andrew: (05:40)
On Armenia and Azerbaijan, some of you have asked some questions about that. I think you probably saw our statement yesterday, the one that Secretary Blinken issued. We remain deeply concerned about reports of continued attacks along that border including reports of shelling and significant damage to civilian infrastructure. Now we’re actively engaged with both the Armenian and the Azerbaijani government to see what we can do to end this violence. In fact, Secretary Blinken spoke with both the president of Azerbaijan overnight, as well as the prime minister of Armenia. We’ve long said, but it remains, I think important. And it needs to be said again, that there can be no military solution to this conflict. We urge restraint from any further military hostilities. We also encourage both governments to reestablish direct lines of communications, cross-diplomatic, and military channels, and to recommit to a diplomatic process to resolve the crisis. Steve?

Steve: (06:41)
Are you witnessing a turning point in the war in Ukraine?

Andrew: (06:43)
I think what you’re seeing is certainly a shift in momentum by the Ukrainian armed forces, particularly in the north. Now we’ve been talking about this for quite some days now. This long planned counter offensive, it’s really two counter offensive Steve. We’ve got one in the north and one in the south. Clearly, we’ve been watching closely and the events in the north are more dramatic than what we’ve seen in the south. I would let President Zelensky determine and decide whether he feels militarily they’ve reached a turning point, but clearly, at least in the Donbas, there’s a sense of momentum here by the Ukrainian armed forces. So what we’re going to do is continue to support them as best we can.

Steve: (07:28)
Does it feel like the Russians are just turning tail and running? What are the Russians doing here?

Andrew: (07:35)
I want to be careful not to speak for a foreign military, but certainly in the north, we have seen Russians evacuate withdrawal retreat from their defensive positions, particularly their in and around the car. Kharkiv Oblast. They have left fighting positions. They’ve left the supplies. They’re calling it a repositioning, but it’s certainly, they have withdrawn in the face of Ukrainian armed forces that are clearly on the offense. But Steve, obviously, these are some dramatic events we’re watching. But it’s war and war’s unpredictable. And I think we’re going to watch this as closely as we can, but it’s really the Ukrainian armed forces that should speak to the progress they’re making.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (08:26)
Okay. We got to get out of here at 2:35. So we’re going to… Go ahead, Jonathan.

Jonathan: (08:30)
Hi, everyone. What early signs are US seeing of a Russian response to the counter offensive and what fears do you and your Western allies have for how Putin, now that he’s taking these defeats may escalate things further?

Andrew: (08:43)
Good question. So you’ve already seen over the weekend, the Russian military hit some infrastructure targets in Ukraine. Looks like they were largely going after the power grid. Mixed success, I think. Not all their strikes hit the targets or at least damaged the infrastructure to a maximum degree. But that was certainly what we would anticipate or what we analyzed as a response to what the Ukrainians were doing up in the north. It remains to be seen what their next steps are going to be here as the Ukrainians remain on the offense up in the north, and to continue to pursue a counter offensive down in the south. They were invaded. They have a right to defend their country and their territorial integrity. And that means going on the offense. It doesn’t mean just defending and Jonathan, I know everybody’s focused, rightly so on what we’ve been seeing in the last few days, but I think it’s important to remember that even from the get-go here, way back in February, in March, the Ukrainians were still on the offense as well as on the defense in this war. And it’s a very dynamic situation.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (09:52)

Speaker 1: (09:53)
Can I follow up quickly on that? Is there any concern that the Russian repositioning would include repositioning in Armenia because of the response?

Andrew: (10:02)
We have not seen that. What we want to see is the hostility stop. Now, the Russians apparently brokered to cease fire overnight. That was almost immediately broken. So obviously, we want to see there be a cease fire that can stay in effect, but we haven’t seen any indication that Russian forces are repositioning. Now I will remind, and I think you know this. They did have a peacekeeping presence there. And as far as we know, that peacekeeping presence is still there.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (10:34)
Okay. Couple more.

Phil: (10:35)
Hi, thanks, John. The US and it’s allies have taken the careful consideration, the dynamics on the ground as they’ve considered new support for assistance to send to the military. The current state of play changed or shifted. What type of capabilities the US is willing to send to Ukraine in this moment?

Andrew: (10:55)
I won’t get ahead of future security assistance packages. I do think you’ll see another one here in coming days, Phil. We’re in lockstep with the Ukrainians talking to them every day. Secretary Austin just held another contact group last week with 50 some odd countries. And of course, the Ukrainians were present. So there’s real time discussions going on with the Ukrainians about what their military needs are. And I would also add that many of the systems that we’ve been providing in just the last few weeks and couple of months have proven instrumental and effective in the Ukrainian’s ability to go on the offense and to be actually quite effective on the defense in the last several days and weeks to include, of course, those advanced rocket systems that we’ve talked about so much. They’re using them with great effect.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (11:39)
That’s good.

Phil: (11:40)
Thank you very much.

Speaker 2: (11:43)
Two questions, please. There’s been some pretty unprecedented expressions in public by various officials in Russia, whether it’s Kadyrov or some these municipal elected officials of discontent with what’s going on, even if they’re coming from different directions. Is there any indications that Putin’s place is at threat to his two decades in power?

Andrew: (12:05)
I think that’s going to be up to the Russian people to decide. We have taken note of public statements by public officials and certainly it’s not insignificant because it’s not the kind of thing you have typically seen. Mr. Putin has tried to obscure the war in Ukraine since it started. Actually, I’d go so far as to say before it started. Calls it a special military operation. It’s a war and he hasn’t been honest with his own people about what he’s doing there, why he’s doing it and what he’s doing it with. And he certainly hasn’t been honest with the Russian people about the struggles that the Russian military have had in the conduct of this war to include casualties and losses of equipment and systems. So yeah, we note that he’s coming under more criticism, but it’s going to really be up to the Russian people to decide how they handle that.

Speaker 2: (12:54)
And my other question is, what’s happening around Nagorno-Karabakh and in Armenia? Is this Azerbaijan taking advantage of the fact that Russians are in a real-

Speaker 3: (13:03)
… taking advantage of the fact the Russians are in a real mess on the other side of their country.

Andrew: (13:05)
It’s difficult for us to say with certainty what the motivation is here. As you know, these tensions have been long-running, since the end of the Soviet Union, and broke out into full-scale war in 2020. So it’s really difficult to know what was the lit match here that started this. It’s possible that there could be some notion by some leaders that Russia is preoccupied, but again, I think we need to be careful speculating on that.

Speaker 4: (13:33)
Kathy, go ahead.

Speaker 5: (13:39)
I wanted to ask you, Chinese investors were the most active buyers of US real estate last year among foreigners, often paying cash for farms, homes above market rates, in many cases pushing American buyers out of the markets. At the same time, housing is becoming a crisis. There is an increasing number of homelessness in the United States, Black ownership of homes is below what it was in the 1970s. I’m wondering, given the fact that a known adversary, in the case China, foreign buyers are buying up US real estate, in some cases farms around military installations, is this on the administration’s radar and what is being done perhaps to study this or to protect Americans from making sure that homes remain affordable and so on?

Andrew: (14:28)
I think the question of home ownership is a little bit out of my swim lane, but-

Speaker 5: (14:33)
This is actually a national security issue, particularly when it comes to around military installations.

Andrew: (14:39)
What I will tell you is that the president has been nothing but clear about our concerns about Chinese unfair trade practices and economic practices.

Speaker 5: (14:49)
This isn’t about trade.

Andrew: (14:51)
I understand that, ma’am.

Speaker 5: (14:52)
This is about national security and buying up land around military installations.

Andrew: (14:57)
I’m probably not the right person to ask about home ownership here in the United States.

Speaker 5: (15:01)
This isn’t about home ownership, this is about buying up land around military installations.

Speaker 4: (15:05)
Okay, we’re going to keep going.

Speaker 5: (15:05)
Is that a concern to this administration?

Speaker 4: (15:07)
Go ahead, April.

Speaker 5: (15:08)
I sent this to your office last week. They’ve had a week to look at this, including the articles.

Speaker 4: (15:13)
Okay, we can get back to you afterwards. We’re going to move on. Go ahead, April

April: (15:18)
Two questions. Going back to your comments about the struggles that Russia is having with this war.

Andrew: (15:23)
Yes, ma’am.

April: (15:24)
Does that change the mindset, the global mindset about the perceived status of Russia being a superpower with their struggles, as you just said, in this war?

Andrew: (15:35)
I think, look no further than how the Defense Department has characterized Russia. They’ve talked about Russia being an acute threat, and I think that’s a accurate way of putting it. They clearly still have a military capable of inflicting great damage and casualties. I mean, we’ve seen that sadly to some effect in Ukraine. Now clearly, and I’ve talked about this many times, they have not overcome struggles and challenges with respect to command and control, logistics and sustainment, unit cohesion, integration of air and ground. I mean, they have met with many problems of their own making in Ukraine. There’s no question about that. But it’s still a very large and very powerful military, and Mr. Putin still has an awful lot of military capacity left at his disposal, not just to be used in Ukraine, but potentially elsewhere.

April: (16:38)
All right. And the second question, last question on domestic national security issues. Benny Thompson, the chair of House Homeland Security Committee, he said that water insecurity in this nation is a national security threat. You have Jackson, Mississippi, you had Baltimore, Maryland just recently. Flint, Michigan, we are told is no better than what it was, it may even be worse. There are other places around this nation that are facing water issues. What do you say about the comment that water insecurity in this nation is a national security threat? And could you explain it?

Andrew: (17:23)
I think, April, writ large issues of resource security around the world ends up affecting our national security. And certainly the United States is not immune to the problems that are caused either through infrastructure needs or through climate change. But in general, when the country or any country faces famine, flood, drought, or natural disaster, it can create security issues that the United States military sometimes will have to respond to. So you’ve got the National Guard, they’re fighting wildfires and they’re involved in helping back home here with floods and other natural disasters. So I mean, those kinds of issues do back up on the national security establishment, as you would think that they, that’s why it’s important that we completely fund the defense department. They have the capabilities to help out people, just like I talked about in Pakistan a few minutes ago, and certainly here at home. But this country is not immune to the same sorts of pressures by climate change and other infrastructure issues that other countries are.

Speaker 4: (18:45)
All right, last question.

Speaker 6: (18:47)
Thanks. Can you talk about the Taiwan Policy Act that’s getting marked up in the formulations committee tomorrow? We know you’ve had some problems with it. Are you working with Democrats on the committee to get that language changed and what specifically do you want to see coming out of it that makes you feel good about that piece of legislation moving forward?

Andrew: (19:07)
Members of our legislative team in the administration here are in discussions with members of Congress about this proposed legislation. I don’t want to get too far ahead of it, because it is proposed legislation. But as we do normally, we are working with members of Congress about it and as it goes forward. But I would just remind that we have been deepening our involvement and our support for Taiwan in this administration. You saw that just a week or so ago, announced another round of arms sales to Taiwan, more than a billion dollars, what will give them capabilities to deal with the kinds of threats that they continue to face, certainly from the PRC. So we’ve been adamant about being committed to Taiwan’s self-defense and moving that forward. And we look forward to working with Congress on this proposed legislation as it works through the process, but it is working through the process.

Speaker 6: (20:00)
You don’t want to say what you want to change?

Andrew: (20:03)
I think that’s about as far as I’ll go today.

Speaker 7: (20:04)
Quick follow up on [inaudible 00:20:05].

Andrew: (20:05)
Thank you guys. Appreciate it.

Speaker 8: (20:07)
Mr. Kanter, can you define what your job is at the White House?

Speaker 9: (20:10)
Thanks John.

Speaker 10: (20:12)
Thank you, sir.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (20:12)
Okay. Thanks, John. All right. Just have one, a topper for you. We have about 25 minutes before folks have to gather for the event at three o’clock. So this afternoon, President Biden will be joined by thousands of Americans in celebrating the historic Inflation Reduction Act here at the White House. The President will highlight how this historic legislation will deliver for middle class families and why it’s a major win for them over rich special interests.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (20:41)
The President is proud that this bill delivers on promises that Washington has made to American people for decades, like lowering costs for families and finally taking aggressive action to tackle the climate crisis. In his remarks today, the President will note that while Republican members of Congress could have joined in a bipartisan effort to fight inflation, instead they unanimously opposed lowering costs for the American people and they have now unconscionably doubled down by declaring their top economic priority is to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act. Think about that.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (21:19)
The Inflation Reduction Act has already led to announcements of new manufacturing jobs being created in the United States, including from companies who weren’t planning to invest more here before the law. But they want to cancel those jobs, take away those jobs. Americans have been forced to pay two to three times as much as people in other countries for prescription drugs for so, so long. But Republicans want to tie Medicare’s hand again. It’s flat wrong.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (21:53)
The President will also call out Congressional Republicans for stopping us from capping the price of insulin at $35, and that they are going all out to prevent the IRS from stopping rich law breakers who are taking advantage of everyone else. Now, today’s CBI data show more progress in bringing global inflation down here at home thanks in part to the President’s actions and the fastest decline in gas prices in a decade. But there is still more work to do to bring prices down, which is yet another reason why the Inflation Reduction Act that President Biden is speaking about this afternoon is so critically important.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (22:38)
I also want to say a word, a few words about the bill that Senator Graham just introduced just a couple of hours ago in the Senate. A national ban on abortion, which would strip away women’s rights in all 50 states. It’s wildly out of step with where the majority of Americans are. Today, while President Biden and Vice President Harris are focused on the historic passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and taking action to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, healthcare, and energy, and unprecedented action to address climate change as well, Republicans in Congress are focused on taking rights away from millions, millions of women across the country. While we are fighting for progress, they are fighting to take us back. President Biden and Congressional Democrats are committed to restoring the protections of Roe. And they are committed to doing so in the face of continued radical steps by elected Republicans to put personal healthcare decisions in the hands of politicians instead of women and their doctors, which threatens women’s health and their lives. That’s what’s at stake right now in this country and the American people need to use their voices. With that, Chris, you want to kick us off?

Chris: (24:03)
Yes. How is the White House preparing for potential strike, railroads or there’s the capacity through other means to move goods through the country? What is being done right now to get-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (24:15)
So let me just first say, that it’s important to remember that the unions and companies are still at the table, which is incredibly important. They’re negotiating in good faith, as the President and cabinet secretaries have pushed for these past several months. And we have made crystal clear to the interested parties the harm that American families, businesses and farmers, and communities would experience if they were not to reach a resolution. A couple of things I would say about basically a contingency plan, is what I think you’re asking me here is, so we are working with other modes of transportation, including the shippers and truckers, air freight to see how they can step in and keep goods moving in case of this rail shutdown. The administration has also been working with relevant agencies to assess what supply chains and commodities are most likely to face severe disruptions and available authorities to keep goods moving. So again, we’re really working with and trying to figure out with other modes of transportation, how to move forward.

Chris: (25:25)
Has the President been working the phones himself? Who has he spoken to directly?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (25:28)
So just a couple of things on that. Look, the President has been involved in this and the cabinet secretaries have been involved since the early days of this effort. The administration has made hundreds of calls and meetings with unions and companies since early spring and will continue to do so. The White House also, back on July 15th, they took a step in creating the Presidential Emergency Board. And so after a careful deliberation to find experienced members who could be trusted by both sides, they formed that board, which provided the framework-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (26:03)
Both sides, they formed that board, which provided the framework to restart negotiation. That was July 15, but they have been in constant communications since the early days of the spring.

Speaker 11: (26:12)
So the President, yes or no, is personally calling [inaudible 00:26:15]-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (26:14)
Yeah, oh, I’m happy to share that as well. Yes, just yesterday, while he was in Boston, the President called both the unions and the companies to avert a strike. Again, as a reminder, it’s just the latest engagement. So, yes, the President has been engaged as I just laid out. Again, the administration has made hundreds of calls since early spring, and you have the Secretaries of Labor involved, you have the Secretary of Agriculture involved, you have the Secretary of Transportation have been directly engaged since the early days.

Speaker 11: (26:51)
Last thing, does the President plan to cast his ballot at Delaware Primaries today?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (26:51)
I don’t have anything to share about that at this time. Go ahead.

Speaker 12: (26:55)
On the inflation report that came out today, the President is promising the Inflation Reduction Act will do just that and bring down costs. But this bill does not address food or housing, prices of which we are seeing going up. What is your message to Americans who are seeing these rising costs and are you confident that you’re doing enough to finally bring these down?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (27:13)
Look, the President has said for some time now, when it comes to his number one economic priority is to deal with inflation. Is to make sure that we are lowering costs for the American people, for American families. Americans who have to come around the table once a month, in particular, to figure out how are they going to pay those bills? Again, this is why the event that we’re having in less than 45 minutes to celebrate and talk about, you’ll hear from the President about the Inflation Reduction Act, is so critical. That is why Democrats and this President did the hard work to get that done, is to lower cost on healthcare, to lower cost on prescription drugs, and also energy cost as well.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (27:58)
Look, when you look at the data, the inflation data, we’re seeing more progress bringing global inflation down in the U.S. economy, as I just stated moments ago. Overall, prices have been essentially flat in our country these last two months. That is welcome news for American families with more work still to do. As you know, every day this summer, gas prices have come down. We are at about a dollar… have come down, on average, a dollar and 30 cents a gallon. That is because of the work that this administration did with the leadership of this President. This month, we saw some welcome moderation in the price increases for food at the grocery store, it’s moderating, which is important.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (28:40)
And real wages are going up again for the second month in a row, giving hardworking families, just a little bit of breathing room that you hear the President say. Look, we understand that there is more work to do and that is something that we are very, very focused on as well. The more work that we have to do to get this more down, the costs are down for American families.

Speaker 12: (29:02)
But this bill doesn’t address groceries or rent, so how long should Americans expect those prices to remain high?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (29:08)
Look, again, we’re going to do everything that we can to lower prices, but we have taken concrete actions to lower food. For example, there’s the double cropping that USDA is making it easier for U.S. farmers to grow food in America, increase food supply, and lower food costs for American families. There’s the fertilizer, which is also important where fertilizer prices spiked following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and remain at high levels. That’s why the President took action there, and USAD have has committed $500 million to lower fertilizer cost for farmers and increased supply.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (29:48)
There’s the ocean shipping as well. The President signed into law a historic reform of ocean shipping industry. All of these actions are going to help lower cost. Again, we understand that there’s more work to do, but we have to understand that the Inflation Reduction Act, it is a historic piece of legislation. It is going to a big deal for families, change their lives. As you look at prescription drugs, for Medicare beneficiaries, as you look at energy cost for American families, that is still a big deal. Is there more work to be done? Absolutely.

Speaker 13: (30:28)
Back on the rail talks, is there any progress being made in these talks, Karine?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (30:33)
Again, as I mentioned, the President spoke to both the unions and the companies yesterday. We have encouraged, we continue to encourage both sides to continue the conversation, the talks at the negotiation table. We are encouraged that they’re doing that in good faith, and so, again, the Secretaries that I mentioned, Secretary of Department of Labor, Secretary of Department of Transportation and Agriculture have been working through this since early spring. And we’re committed to make sure that we are helpful here.

Speaker 13: (31:09)
How damaging will a strike be to the U.S. economy, which seems to be in a fragile stage at this point?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (31:16)
Look, I mean, we’re going to be very honest, a shutdown would have a tremendous impact on our supply chains, as you all know. It’s going to have a ripple effects into our overall economy on American families. A shutdown is not acceptable. That is not something that we want. It risks harming families, it risks harming businesses and whole communities. We have made that clear empathetically and repeatedly to both parties, so we are aware of the impact this might have. Which is why, again, the President put together the PEB, the board, back in July to make sure that there was a negotiation framework. To make sure there were neutral arbiters that could help get to a solution here. Okay, I’m going to try and get around because I haven’t [inaudible 00:32:03].

Speaker 14: (32:03)
If I could just follow up on this question so that the President’s Emergency Board didn’t just create a framework, it proposed recommendations. Recommendations accepted by 10 of the unions and the companies. The two unions that are talking about the dispute have not accepted these recommendations. What’s the President’s view of those recommendations? Is he urging them to accept the recommendations before Friday’s deadline?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (32:25)
So I’m not going to get ahead of the conversations that are happening right now. What we are saying is we want to see, continue to see, the good faith. We believe that the negotiations, the conversations are happening in good faith. We want to continue to see that. They continue to be at the table, and so that’s what we’re going to push for at this time.

Speaker 14: (32:45)
This specific issue is a question of the workers’ rights to take time off. They say that they should have the right to call in sick, that the pay respects to their relatives when they want to take bereavement and they’re not able to do that. Is the President sympathetic to that? Because that’s the primary issue up here.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (33:03)
Yeah, so, as you know, the President strongly supports collective bargaining as the best process available for employers and working people to reach mutual acceptable solutions. But here’s the reality, and this is what the President understands, which is he’s focused on how this is going to hurt families and farms and businesses and communities that they could be harmed by this rail shutdown. Again, he encourages them to continue to negotiate at the table in good faith.

Speaker 14: (33:34)
Given the potential risk of harm, is the President prepared to sign a bill enacting the recommendations of the President’s Emergency Board?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (33:42)
Look, the rail companies, again, we have to remember that they are… and the unions have worked out agreements in previous negotiations. This is not the first time and they can do this again. We are going to encourage them to stay at the negotiation table, and in good faith, and come up with the solution this time around, as they have done many times before. All right, I’m going to try and go around. Go ahead, way in the back.

Speaker 15: (34:09)
I’d like to ask you about Senator Graham’s bill. You just said that this is wildly out of step with how the American people feel. But throughout the years, and even recently, there have been many polls that show his bill calls for a 15-week ban that even amongst people who would like abortion to be legal, when it comes to bans, that 15 weeks, 20 weeks, 24, there actually is support for that. So is the White House open to speaking with Senator Graham about some kind of compromise?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (34:42)
Two things I want to say there. The first thing is the senator’s proposal would keep in place the most extreme, the most extreme state level abortion bans that ban all abortions and have no exceptions for health, rape, or incest. That’s just what his bill would do. It also provides no exceptions for women who may need access to abortion for their health. That’s what his bill does. It is an extreme piece of legislation and it is in line, from what we are seeing from Republicans, on these extreme agendas that is not in line, that is not in line with majority of Americans.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (35:26)
One last thing and then I’ll move on. I’m going to quote Lindsey Graham from August 7th, 2022 and he said, “I’ve been consistent. I think States should decide the issue of marriage and States should decide the issue of abortion.” And so that’s from his own mouth and now he wants to do a national ban. I’m going to move around. We actually have 10 minutes or less, so I’m going to move around. Go ahead, go ahead, and then I’ll come back.

Speaker 16: (35:55)
What exactly would the Inflation Reduction Act do to reduce inflation in the short term?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (36:02)
When you look at the lowering costs, in particular, for Americans, I think that’s important when you think about how inflation has increased costs for Americans. If you think about the $100, saving about $100 per year on premiums with ACA, when you think about lowering costs for our seniors, capping that at 2000 a year, instead of thousands and thousands of dollars a month. That lowering of cost as we deal with a time that is difficult for many, many Americans. Look, experts, economists has said, themselves, that this would be the, Inflation Reduction Act, would be beneficial to that extra $300 billion in deficit. That is really important as we have, right now, 1.7 billion in deficit deduction under this administration.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (37:02)
It would help lower that even more, which is incredibly important. Look, we’ve heard from Republicans and Democrats who were U.S Treasury Secretaries who said it would lower inflation. We’ve heard from more than 126 economists said it would lower inflation. So I think that is also an important effect that we point to when we talk about the importance of the Inflation Reduction Act, the importance of lowering cost for American families, even as you look at the energy cost as well.

Speaker 16: (37:39)
But some of the savings that you are pointing to wouldn’t kick in until 2024 or 2026. So is it fair to suggest to people that somehow they’re going to see some inflation reduction right now while they’re hurting the most?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (37:53)
Well, that is actually not true. This is just for some folks who are watching, consumers, families and small businesses owners can head to, as it relates to the energy cost component. The lowering of cost to learn more about how they can start saving money immediately. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act tax credits and rebates, that is real, Inflation Reduction Act credits and rebates available today include a 30% credit to cover the cost of installing rooftop solar. Up to 10% credit to cover the cost of insulation materials and other energy efficient improvements like energy savings, windows and doors.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (38:34)
A $300 tax credit for purchasing efficient heating and cooling equipment, like a heat pump or central air conditioner. A tax credit of up to $7,500 for purchasing a new electric vehicle. All of these things could happen and are available to folks. Those rebates are available to the folks. Those tax credits are available to folks today. I’m going to go around.

Speaker 17: (38:57)
[inaudible 00:38:57] Karine.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (38:57)
Okay, all right. Go ahead.

Speaker 17: (39:04)
[inaudible 00:39:04].

Karine Jean-Pierre: (39:04)
Go ahead.

Speaker 17: (39:04)
Thank you.

Speaker 18: (39:04)
[inaudible 00:39:00], Karine.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (39:04)
Okay. All right, go ahead.

Speaker 18: (39:04)
Title IX.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (39:04)
Go ahead.

Speaker 18: (39:04)
Thank you. Okay, on Title IX. Thank you. The comment period just ended yesterday. It was swamped with comments. A lot of people writing in saying they don’t like this. It’s going to hurt women, it’s going to hurt girls on athletic fields and dorms and locker rooms. Does the administration share those concerns? A. And B, if enough people oppose it, the revisions adding gender identity and sexual orientation, will the administration pullback and drop it?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (39:27)
So I would refer to the Department of Education who would have details here, the more specifics on this, but more broadly speaking, a couple of things for you. We certainly appreciate each of the commentators or commentors, if you will, for taking the time to share new views, their views about the proposed amendments to the department’s Title IX regulations. This is a critical part of any regulatory agenda process, from hearing from others, from hearing the comments that Americans may have about the process. The department reviews each and every comment to help inform the development of the final regulations. That’s how the process works. And we’re not going to prejudge its process here as we would not for any regulatory agenda that happens through various agencies, just across the federal government. The promise of Title IX remains as vital today as it has been over its five decades and the department is committed to its full and fair enforcement. Any more details, I would refer you to the Department of Education. I’m going to keep going. We have just a few minutes. Go ahead.

Speaker 19: (40:34)
While an administration certainly has the opportunity to celebrate achievements like legislation, is there any concern that there’s a dissonance between the current economic moment and the celebration you’ll have this afternoon on the South lawn about the Inflation Reduction Act when today’s figures show that inflation is still a great concern, when we’ve talked about the Amtrak situation and so forth? Is there a disconnect there?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (41:02)
So I think if we look at the picture more broadly about what this means, because we have to remember the Inflation Reduction Act is historic. If you think about how electeds like the President and Democrats on Congress, other Democrats for decades have been trying to fight big pharma, have taken that to head for the last few decades, to make sure that Medicare, that our seniors are able to not pay thousands of dollars a month. And that is a huge, huge historic win for the American people. It’s not about us celebrating. It’s about the win for the American. And that’s what you have seen when you see costs that are going to come down for our seniors, when you see costs that are going to come down for American families, as I just listed out for energy costs, are going to come down. When you think about the healthcare costs are going to come down. That is a fight that we have been having for some time in Washington DC.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (42:07)
That is a huge win for the American people. We understand, and I’ve said this many times, the President has said this many times, that there’s more work to do. But if you look at the President’s economic plan just more broadly, you think about the American Rescue Plan that helped put a few hundred bucks in people’s pockets during one of the most difficult times in the early beginnings of the pandemic. You think about how it helped turn our economy back on, how it helped get shots in arms, how it helped give us an a historic economic growth that we have seen, how it helped create 10 million jobs alone in this President’s administration. How it helped lower unemployment to 3.5%. All of that is part of the broader economic plan that this president has had.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (42:59)
You think about the bipartisan infrastructure law that’s going to create jobs. You think about the Infrastructure Reduction Act, that’s going to create jobs, bring manufacturing back home, so we can actually create jobs right here. Good union paying jobs. That is a huge deal. That is what the Inflation Reduction Act does, which is only part of the American’s economic plan. I’m sorry, the President’s economic plan. So yes, we think it’s important because this is a huge win for the American people and we were able to beat special interest. So that is … Wealthy special interest. That is really important. Go ahead, Jenny.

Speaker 6: (43:40)
May I ask one more follow up on the rail negotiations to all Steve’s good questions. One other thing that the President could do is ask Congress to extend the window to negotiate further since have a couple days left. But if you’re trying to avert to shut down and everyone’s at the table, is the President open to doing that?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (44:01)
Look, this is again, and I’ve said this already, this has been done before, these types of negotiations. They’ve gone through this process and they’ve come to a resolution in the past, and that’s what we’re going to focus on. We’re going to make sure we encourage folks to stick at the negotiation table to come up with a resolution. This is important. This is important because of what this can mean for the American people, what this can mean for American families. Again, our administration, our secretaries have been at this since early spring. They’ve made more than a hundred calls, as I’ve just laid out. They’ve been in regular communication with both sides. And we encourage them to please negotiate in good faith. This is incredibly important and this is why we have been engaged for the past several months on this.

Speaker 6: (44:57)
So if you don’t see enough progress, let’s say by tomorrow night, is the President open to asking Congress to extend that window or are you just not getting ahead of-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (45:05)
Again, we’re going to continue to encourage folks to stay at the negotiation table in good faith, and that’s the work that we’ve been doing the past several months. All right.

Speaker 20: (45:18)
Karine, on the Inflation Reduction Act, have a question on …

Karine Jean-Pierre: (45:23)
There’s so many people. So many hands. I’m so sorry. It’s just hard to …

Speaker 21: (45:27)
I wanted to ask something a little later in the week, the President’s delivering a keynote at the United We Stand Summit. I wanted to try to get a sense of his remarks or what he’s going to say, but also I wonder if he’s introducing any initiatives, executive orders. There are some critics that say he needs to do more than just speak out about Haiti.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (45:45)
So really quickly, just to give you a bit of a preview. This week at the White House, as you just mentioned, the President’s going to be hosting the United We Stand Summit to counter the corrosive effects of hate motivated violence on our democracy and public safety. The summit will highlight the response of the Biden Harris administration and communities nationwide to these dangers and put forward a shared vision for a more United America. As you know, President Biden decided to run for president after the horror of the hate fueled violence that erupted in Charlottesville back in August, 2017. Charlottesville, Virginia and since taking office, his administration has consistently taken steps to counter hate motivated violence from signing the bipartisan COVID- 19 Hate Crimes Act to releasing the first ever national strategy for countering domestic terrorism, to signing the bipartisan Safer Communities Act and most significant legislation in three decades to reduce gun violence.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (46:46)
This bipartisan summit will highlight heroes from across America who are leading historic work in their communities to build bridges and address hate and division, including survivors in hate fueled violence. We know that even as our nation has endured a disturbing series of hate fueled attacks from Oak Creek to Pittsburgh, from El Paso to [inaudible 00:47:12], from Atlanta to Buffalo, Americans remain overwhelmingly united in their opposition to such violence. We will have more specifics on deliverables, but wanted to give you a preview of what that’s going to look like. Again, we’ll have more on deliverables for you on that. Okay. All right. We got to end this, but go ahead.

Speaker 21: (47:33)
One more, one more question. I know that there’s some criticism about whether the President will take his limousine to London versus other world leaders. The palace has referred everybody to you guys. I wonder what your take is?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (47:48)
So look, I’m not going to comment on details around the President’s security. We never do that. It’s not a good thing to do. This is the President’s security, and I would refer you to the United Kingdom government on the broader logistics of the Queen’s funeral. More broadly, what I can share is that the president has visited the United Kingdom twice since taking office. First to the G7, as you all know. Some of you traveled with him in Cornwall and second to Cop 26 in Glasgow. In the lead up to both of these visits, our team worked seamlessly with the UK government, our colleagues there to ensure all presidential travel requires were met. Again, we look forward to working again in close coordination with their team. But again, it just would be inappropriate for me to comment on the-

Speaker 21: (48:43)
Just need a yes or no.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (48:46)
We don’t do yes or nos here. All right, go ahead.

Speaker 22: (48:51)
The census bureau reported today the income inequality increase for the first time since 2011. They didn’t have a reason for that, but do you have any comment on why that might be, particularly when inequality has been the top concern?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (49:02)
Say that beginning part again. I missed that. Income inequality.

Speaker 22: (49:06)
Income inequality increased for the first time since 2011.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (49:10)
Okay. I would have to talk to the national economic team on that specific question. Okay. All right.

Speaker 22: (49:16)
Karine, do … Oh.

Speaker 23: (49:17)
Thank you, Karine. Over the weekend, the Vice President said that the border is secure, but we’re on track to close the fiscal year with 2 million encounters breaking last year’s record last month. In last month alone Fentanyl seizures are up 200% and we’re on pace to break that record also this year. So how is the border secure?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (49:38)
So we see record seizures of a fentanyl at the border so we’re actually catching fentanyl before it enters the country. So that’s how we see that. Look, as far as the border, we’re taking unprecedented action. We had to fix something that was broken, especially by the last administration. We’ve secured record levels, this is what we have been able to do, of funding for the Department of Homeland Security. Remember, many Republicans voted against that. Many of them who would like to invite me to the border have actually voted against that. We’ve made over 3000 arrests as part of a first of its kind anti smuggling campaign. We’ve installed border technology and set up joint patrols with Mexico and Guatemala catch traffickers. We’ve got Mexico to agree to pay $1.5 billion to improve border processing and security through smart proven border management solutions. And the President brought 20 world leaders together to collectively manage my migration flows across Western Hemisphere.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (50:52)
Compare that to the Trump administration, which largely just tried to build a wall, an ineffective wall along the border, and couldn’t even finish that in four years. Were certainly doing a lot more to secure the border and could be doing even more if Republicans would stop their obstruction. That’s it. I’m going to just take one last … I’m actually breaking the rule here. I’m taking one last question. Go ahead, Tam. Just one last question.

Speaker 24: (51:17)
Very quick follow up. You probably do not have an answer, but will the president be meeting with the king when he’s in the UK and what about Prime Minister Liz Truss?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (51:26)
I don’t have anything to share on his schedule. Anything further than he will be attending the funeral on the 19th and nothing else to share on his schedule to the UK. Okay. All right. Thanks everybody.

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