KEY TAKEAWAYS from Biden’s first formal press conference as president:
- Biden said his “expectation” is that he will run again in 2024, with Kamala Harris as his expected running mate. He demurred on whether he thinks Donald Trump will be his opponent, saying he’s not even sure if there’ll be a Republican Party.
- He signaled that he’s open to curtailing or getting rid of the Senate filibuster if the chamber remains deadlocked on key issues. This raises the prospect of an all-out brawl over Senate rules. He also teased an announcement next week on what his next spending package will be, but didn’t get into specifics.
- He said China wouldn’t overtake the U.S. in clout under his watch. He sees “stiff competition” but does not want unnecessary confrontation. He said the U.S. needs to do more to invest in technology and medical breakthroughs to keep pace with China. He said President Xi Jinping “doesn’t have a democratic, with a small d, bone in his body.”
- He doubled his vaccination goal, saying he predicts they’ll administer 200 million shots under his presidency by the end of his first 100 days. He is already on this pace.
- Border immigration dominated the press conference. He said he is speaking with Mexico’s president about whether the country will accept more families who try and cross into the U.S. He also said he would not block unaccompanied children from coming, but may ship them back home to their parents. He warned of a response to missile tests by North Korea, pledged to rebuild alliances and said it’s unlikely that U.S. troops will fully leave Afghanistan before May 1 but that he doesn’t think they’ll still be there by 2022.
Categories: The Muslim Times