News Update

Biden takes criticism, touts wins as first year in office ends

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President Joe Biden wrapped up the last day of his first year in office taking questions from 30 reporters in a White House news conference. It marks just the 10th news conference Biden has held in his first year as president. For comparison, former President Donald Trump held 21 news conferences in 2017 alone, according to data tracked by The American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The administration views the news conference as a chance for Biden to highlight the accomplishments of his first year in office. According to a White House fact sheet highlighting said accomplishments, they include job creation and declining unemployment, expanded access to health care, and judge and cabinet appointments.

“In spite of unprecedented crises and opposition from Congressional Republicans, the President and Congressional Democrats got an enormous amount done for the American people in their first year,” the White House said in a separate fact sheet. “The President and Vice President made history growing our economy, addressing the climate crisis, and building a judiciary and government that represents America.” At the news conference, Biden also touted rising vaccination rates.

“We’re going to stick with our vaccination efforts because vaccinations work,” Biden said.

However, Biden faced plenty of criticism, as well. Multiple legislative priorities of his, including the Build Back Better Act and voting legislation, have failed to make it through Congress.

“It’s never a good idea not to shoot for the moon with what your proposals are and what you’re fighting for,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said when addressing the latter at her daily briefing Tuesday. “The alternative is to fight for nothing and to fight for nothing hard.”

Biden has also recently been the source of criticism for a lack of COVID-19 testing and mask availability as the Omicron variant has caused cases to spike. The White House is currently trying to address this by offering 1 billion tests and millions of N95 masks for free.

“Should we have done more testing earlier? Yes. But we’re doing more now,” Biden said Wednesday. “We’ve gone from zero at-home tests a year ago to 375 million tests on the market in just this month.”

Then there is inflation, which has continued to break records for months.

“COVID-19 has created a lot of economic complications, including rapid price increases across the world economy. People see it at the gas pumps, the grocery stores and elsewhere,” Biden said. “Here at the White House and for my friends in Congress, the best thing to tackle high prices is the more productive economy, with greater capacity to deliver goods and services to the American people.”

White House aides say they see the news conference as an opportunity to frame the president’s approach to his second year in office. A more expansive message will follow when Biden delivers his State of the Union address to Congress on March 1.

Joe Biden: “Tomorrow will mark one year since I took office. It’s been a year of challenges, but it’s also been a year of enormous progress.”
Gwen Baumgardner: PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN — ALLOWING HIMSELF TO BE GRILLED BY REPORTERS TO CAP OFF HIS FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE.
ON WEDNESDAY, HOSTING A SOLO NEWS CONFERENCE FOR JUST THE SEVENTH TIME IN THE LAST YEAR.
BIDEN USED THE OPPORTUNITY TO HIGHLIGHT HIS ADMINISTRATION’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS — LIKE THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL — FALLING UNEMPLOYMENT RATES AND RISING VACCINATION RATES.
Joe Biden: “We’re going to stick with our vaccination efforts because vaccinations work. So get vaccinated, please, and get your booster.”
Gwen Baumgardner: BIDEN ALSO CONFRONTED THE RECENT CRITICISM OVER A LACK OF TESTING AND MASK AVAILABILITY AMID A SURGING OMICRON VARIANT — AS WELL AS THE FAILURE TO PASS THE BUILD-BACK BETTER ACT OR VOTING LEGISLATION.
THERE’S ALSO THAT SKYROCKETING INFLATION.
Joe Biden: “People see it at the gas pumps, the grocery stores and elsewhere. So here’s what we’re going to do. A critical job in making sure that the elevated prices don’t become entrenched rests with the Federal Reserve, which has a dual mandate: full employment and stable prices.”
Gwen Baumgardner: AIDES FOR BIDEN SAY HE VIEWED THE NEWS CONFERENCE AS A CHANCE TO FRAME HIS APPROACH FOR HIS SECOND YEAR IN OFFICE.
THE PRESIDENT IS EXPECTED TO OUTLINE EVEN MORE OBJECTIVES IN HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS LATER THIS YEAR.

President Joe Biden wrapped up the last day of his first year in office taking questions from 30 reporters in a White House news conference. It marks just the 10th news conference Biden has held in his first year as president. For comparison, former President Donald Trump held 21 news conferences in 2017 alone, according to data tracked by The American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The administration views the news conference as a chance for Biden to highlight the accomplishments of his first year in office. According to a White House fact sheet highlighting said accomplishments, they include job creation and declining unemployment, expanded access to health care, and judge and cabinet appointments.

“In spite of unprecedented crises and opposition from Congressional Republicans, the President and Congressional Democrats got an enormous amount done for the American people in their first year,” the White House said in a separate fact sheet. “The President and Vice President made history growing our economy, addressing the climate crisis, and building a judiciary and government that represents America.” At the news conference, Biden also touted rising vaccination rates.

“We’re going to stick with our vaccination efforts because vaccinations work,” Biden said.

However, Biden faced plenty of criticism, as well. Multiple legislative priorities of his, including the Build Back Better Act and voting legislation, have failed to make it through Congress.

“It’s never a good idea not to shoot for the moon with what your proposals are and what you’re fighting for,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said when addressing the latter at her daily briefing Tuesday. “The alternative is to fight for nothing and to fight for nothing hard.”

Biden has also recently been the source of criticism for a lack of COVID-19 testing and mask availability as the Omicron variant has caused cases to spike. The White House is currently trying to address this by offering 1 billion tests and millions of N95 masks for free.

“Should we have done more testing earlier? Yes. But we’re doing more now,” Biden said Wednesday. “We’ve gone from zero at-home tests a year ago to 375 million tests on the market in just this month.”

Then there is inflation, which has continued to break records for months.

“COVID-19 has created a lot of economic complications, including rapid price increases across the world economy. People see it at the gas pumps, the grocery stores and elsewhere,” Biden said. “Here at the White House and for my friends in Congress, the best thing to tackle high prices is the more productive economy, with greater capacity to deliver goods and services to the American people.”

White House aides say they see the news conference as an opportunity to frame the president’s approach to his second year in office. A more expansive message will follow when Biden delivers his State of the Union address to Congress on March 1.

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