Press gaggle by Senior Press Assistant Karine Jean-Pierre aboard Air Force One En Route Hampton, VA

On board Air Force One
En Route Hampton, Virginia

1:24 p.m. EDT

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: This afternoon, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, the President and the First Lady will address the military and their families and thank them for their sacrifices. They will talk about their personal experiences as a proud military family; the president’s long history of foreign policy and visiting troops on board [abroad]; and the First Lady’s work to support military and veteran families, caregivers and survivors, including through joining forces.

Finally, the President will look at the service of the armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the debt – the debt to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

I’m going to read the statement from press secretary Jen Psaki over Memorial Day weekend and gasoline prices because I – we know there’s been a lot of investigation on this.

Across America, the pandemic is receding. As we continue to move forward and our lives return to normal, Americans are eager to make up for lost time and more and more people are traveling this Memorial Day weekend.

And as Americans hit the road, they’re paying less, in real terms, for gasoline than they’ve paid on average over the past 15 years. And they’re paying – they’re paying about the same as in May 2018 and May 2019. The administration’s success in overcoming the pandemic and getting our economy back on track has led to an increase in demand for gas as – like the country. reopens.

But while prices – prices have risen from last year’s lows as demand has fallen dramatically, prices at around $ 3 a gallon are still well in line with what they’ve been – what ‘they have been over the past few decades.

And last week, prices have already stabilized after peaking earlier this month as the Colonial pipeline sank and supply situation returned to normal. This is in part due to the aggressive response of the whole-of-government administration to the unprecedented shutdown of the pipeline.

As oil prices are shaped by global forces, the president knows gas prices are a pain point for Americans, especially for the middle class families he has placed at the center of our economic agenda. That’s why President Biden opposes – opposes any proposal to increase the gasoline tax. And that’s why it will – we’ll continue to monitor prices and we’re glad the Americans can get back on the road.

Here’s a quick look at the president’s schedule for next week: On Sunday, he will speak at the Memorial Day service hosted by the Delaware Veterans Commission at Veterans Memorial Park at the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

On Monday, the president will return to Washington, DC. He and the First Lady, Vice President and Second Gentleman will participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers at Arlington Ceme- – National Cemetery. The President will also deliver remarks on the occasion of the celebration of National Memorial Day.

On Tuesday, the president will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma; to comment; and it will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. He will also meet surviving members of the community who are now between 101 and 107 years old.

On Wednesday, the President will deliver remarks on the response to COVID-19.

And on Friday, President Biden will deliver remarks on the economy.

I’m going to answer a few questions, because we’ve just landed.

Q Karine, the Senate has defeated the September committee – the January 6 committee today. Can we get a response from the president and what he wants to see next? And could that include a special committee of the House?

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, as the President said in his speech to a joint session of Congress, in – in the very place that had been desecrated during the insurgency, the events of January 6 represented an existential crisis. of our democracy.

This is why the president supported the bipartisan commission that was proposed and why he has always called for a full and independent investigation into what happened and how we can ensure that something like this does not happen. will reproduce more.

Members of the Senate are not sent to Washington to – to endorse any party’s views. They swear – an oath to support and defend the Constitution. And today, unfortunately, they have failed to do so.

With regard to the alternative option that you requested, Jonathan, the President has made it clear that the shameful events of January 6 must be the subject of an independent and thorough investigation. He remains committed to this and we will continue to work with Congress to find a way forward to make this happen.

Q Does he plan to form a presidential commission?

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: I have nothing else to share. He sincerely believes that it should be done in a bipartisan way – in a bipartisan way.

We have to remember, when he – when he passed the House, it was a bipartisan pass where 35 Republicans voted for. And he believes the Senate should have – do the same.

Q Can you give us an update on sanctions in Belarus?

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: I have no more updates. As I mentioned, the president’s team will be offering him options. And more – there will be more to come.

Q The New York Times reported that there is a slew of unexplored evidence in this guy from Wuhan – the origins of the coronavirus. Can you talk a little bit about the amount of unexamined information and whether that’s why the chair asked for a – was part of the reason the chair asked for a broader review?

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: Thank you for your question, Annie. Look, we’re not commenting on intelligence, as you might imagine. We will – we will continue to review the information. We believe there is still work to be done, hence the 90 day review.

Q How – how does the last reported hack attributed to Russia impact the upcoming summit between the president and Putin?

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: There was no change at the – at the top. We will go ahead with this, as you can imagine.

Q What’s the White House’s concern about the – the cyber attack? How – how concerned is the White House about this escalation?

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: So we’re – we’re aware of the phishing incident and we’re monitoring the situation. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is handling this incident and is working with USAID. We refer you to USAID and CISA.

But I’ll say while we can – although we can find out more, this is basic phishing that is automatically blocked by most systems. As Microsoft’s blog noted, it was probably blocked by an automatic and automated system as spam. If an email is received by the automated system, a user will still need to click on the link to activate the malicious payload. And we should all know better than clicking links in unfamiliar emails.

I direct you to USAID or CISA for other questions.

Q Secretary Mayorkas spoke positively about the vaccine – the possibility of a vaccine passport today. Can you clarify the administration’s position on this?

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, it’s – we haven’t changed our – our position on it. There will be no federal immunization database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination certificate.

Q Can you explain what he meant by his comments?

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: Again, the US government recognizes that other countries have or may have foreign entry requirements. We will monitor them and help all American travelers comply with them, but we will not – there will be no federal mandate requiring anyone to obtain a single vaccination certificate.

Q Do you have a quick response from the White House to Republican criticism of President Biden’s budget size?

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: Look, we – as you know, we have our – the counter-offer. We’re going to be working this weekend and take a look – an in-depth look, a deep dive into what the counter-offer was – was presented by Capito and her – and the senators there.

Q I was actually talking about the budget.

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: Oh, the budget. I am really sorry.

Q It’s okay.

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: I’m really sorry. I am very sorry about that.

Q Everything is fine.

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: Things are moving so fast. The budget will be released soon, so I won’t go any further.

Q It’s out now.

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: Oh, okay. Well – (laughs) – so like – well, I haven’t seen it. So is it –

HELP: (Inaudible) 1h30.

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: Okay. But here’s what I can say – here’s what I can say about the budget: When the president took office, Congress had already spent over $ 3 trillion trying to bring the pandemic crisis under control. And there was still work to be done, which is why he took decisive action to get the economy back on track with the American Rescue Plan.

The budget does exactly what the president told the country it would do: grow the economy, create jobs, advance its plan for jobs and plan for families, and do it responsibly by demanding that the richest Americans and big business pay their fair share.

The economic plan is already showing results: new jobless claims have fallen by nearly 50% since he came to power. He created more new jobs than any president in his first month in office. And growth is at a peak of 40 to 40 years.

HELP: Okay, thank you. Thank you.

MRS. JEAN-PIERRE: We have to go. And I haven’t – I’ve lost track of time. I didn’t realize it was past 1:30.

Thanks guys.

Q Thank you.

1:32 p.m. EDT


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