From Biden plans for a trip to Europe to voting rights, here are the 6 major stories you need to know about Jen Psaki and Jake Sullivan’s Press Briefing on Monday, June 7, 2021
1. Biden plans for a trip to Europe
On Monday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan joined Press Secretary Jen Psaki in the briefing room to discuss President Biden’s upcoming trip to Europe.
On the President’s trip to the UK, he will attend the G7 Summit to join fellow world leaders to lay out a plan to end the COVID-19 pandemic. He will also join his fellow leaders to announce a new initiative to provide financing for physical, digital, and health infrastructure in the developing world.
Biden, along with other G7 leaders will endorse a global minimum tax of at least 15% and will make several significant commitments on climate labor standards, anti-corruption, and ransomware.
At the NATO Summit in Brussels, President Biden will address security challenges, including Russia, and coordinating the remaining period of the drawdown of forces from Afghanistan. Biden will also focus on emerging security challenges to the alliance critically including cyber and the challenge posed by China.
President Biden will also reinforce the importance of burden-sharing and the need for allies, “to give not just cash but contributions to exercises, and to operations that NATO is undertaking and to have the kinds of capabilities that make sure that NATO is a full spectrum alliance with allies across the board,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan stated that at the US EU summit, Biden and European Union leaders will “focus on aligning our approaches to trade and technology, so that democracies and not anyone else, not China or other autocracies are writing the rules for trade and technology for the 21st century.”
President Biden will meet with Prime Minister Johnson, where the two leaders will reaffirm the special relationship between the U.S. and the UK, and update and upgrade it for the modern era.
Biden will also travel to Geneva on June 16, to meet with President Putin, amid recent Russian cyber attacks. “We have made clear repeatedly and I will reinforce again today that we do not regard a meeting with the Russian president as a reward, we regard it as a vital part of defending America’s interests and America’s values,” stressed Sullivan.
Sullivan went on to say, “Joe Biden is not meeting with Vladimir Putin, despite our countries’ differences, he’s meeting with him because of our countries’ differences.”
Sullivan believes that ‘hearing directly’ from President Putin is the most effective way to understand Russia’s plans.
The Department of Health and Human Services released new data that showed more than 31 million Americans have gained access to quality affordable health care through the Affordable Care Act.
President Biden reunited with former President Obama for the White House’s weekly conversation, to discuss how the administration’s special enrollment period has allowed more than 1.2 million Americans to enroll in health coverage and highlight how the American Rescue Plan has lowered premiums and health care costs.
3. Gun Violence
So far in 2021, there have been more than 200 mass shootings in the United States. In response to the rise in gun violence, the Department of Justice announced two new steps to stem the ‘epidemic of gun violence in our country.’
The Department of Justice has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to strengthen regulations on stabilizing braces, which helps convert pistols into dangerous short-barreled rifles.
The DOJ is also publishing model legislation and guidance that will make it easier for states to implement red flag laws, which is already law in many states across the country, “which studies have shown can be effective in reducing gun violence including by preventing suicides, and even potential mass shootings” said Psaki. This plan is a part of the President’s commitment to addressing gun violence ‘which continues to claim far too many lives every single day.’
4. Voting Rights
Over the weekend Senator Manchin made clear he will not be voting in favor of the For the People Act, a set of election reforms pushed by Democrats, and is not in favor of ending the filibuster.
Psaki stated, “The President’s view is that we need to move forward, not just with the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but also with legislation like the For the People Act, which enjoys I should note broad support from the American people, and because it does a couple of things that he thinks are essential.”
The legislation provides basic protections for registering to vote and how Americans cast their ballots. It will prevent politicians from drawing congressional district lines for partisan advantage, to ensure that people are choosing the representatives that will help end the corrupting power of money in politics.
The President believes “making voting easier for people, making it easier to vote, ensuring people have access to that fundamental American right should be something that Democrats and Republicans, all support” stated Psaki.
5. When will the Infrastructure bill pass
As negotiations over the infrastructure bill continue, and questions over when the bill will pass rise, Psaki made clear that “the time is not unlimited here as we’ve stated from the beginning, nor is the President’s willingness to compromise” on Monday.
Speaker Pelosi has said she wants to move forward with legislation on infrastructure in the House this month, and Leader Schumer stated he wants to move forward in July.
Biden and Senator Capito are expected to meet to discuss further negotiations before the President’s trip.
6. Origins of Covid
Despite China stating their part of the international investigation is over, the administration will continue to ‘press’ the country to be transparent with forthcoming data and information.
“We are engaging certainly at the highest levels and we’ll continue to do that, whether it’s the Secretary of State or other leaders who engage on it on through national security diplomatic conversations, and we will continue to work through the who and also with our international partners to exert that pressure and ensure that we’re all going to keep pressing for them to release date underlying data and participate in the second stage of this investigation,” said Psaki.