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Biden criticizes Republicans for restricting voting rights, defends border record

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WASHINGTON – President Biden said on Thursday that Republicans’ efforts to restrict voting rights were “sick” and “non-American”, vowing to prevent states from doing what he called “insidious” actions that undermine democracy by making it difficult for people to vote. ,

Speaking at his first official news conference in the White House’s’s’s room, Biden said he would do “everything in my power” to pass Senate suffrage legislation. But when asked to end the Senate Rule, which requires 60 votes to pass a majority of legislation that is one of the biggest obstacles to the suffrage bill մեծ much of his agenda, the President was more cautious, saying he was open to change but not committing to it.

The 60-vote threshold set by Philipster “was being abused by a giant egg,” Biden said, reiterating his support for a proposal that would require senators to continue talking about blocking legislation. A practical change that might interfere with normal use. rule.

“I strongly support moving in that direction,” he said.

But he also announced earlier than before that he could eventually support far-reaching proposals to limit or eliminate the dictator if it turns out to be essential to the right to vote and to the adoption of other key elements of his agenda. Senate, divided into 50-50.

“If there is a complete blockade after the robbery, there will be chaos,” the president said. “Then we will have to go through what I am talking about.”

After more than an hour of questioning, Biden said he “expects” that he will be re-elected in 2024 and that his vice president will be Vice President Kamala Harris.

He said for the first time that he “could not imagine” the US troops being in Afghanistan by the end of the year, although he reiterated that it would be difficult to leave them by May 1. The administration has made progress in tackling the health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic, promising to carry out 200 million vaccinations by the end of April, which exceeds its previous promise, even as the government provides a new large injection of financial aid.

“As of yesterday, more than $ 100 million in payments of $ 1,400 had entered people’s bank accounts,” the president said, referring to the $ 1.9 trillion US rescue program he pushed into Congress without Republican support. “It’s real money in people’s pockets, which almost immediately brings help. And millions of people will get their money very soon. ”

But even when he said the epidemic was still the country’s “most pressing issue” and promised “hope is on the way”, Biden was questioned over the issue of migrants, especially children, on the US-Mexico border. ,

He sometimes emotionally asserted that his government officials were doing everything in their power to treat migrant children in a humane way, and he repeatedly accused former President Donald Trump of overcrowding border facilities.

“The idea I’m going to say I would never do: ‘If an unaccompanied child shows up at the border, we’ll just let him starve to death and stay on the other side.’ “No previous administration has done that, except for Trump,” Biden said. “I am not going to do that. I’m not going to do that. “

Former Trump administration officials have accused the president of misinterpreting his predecessor’s border policy, saying Biden’s efforts to adopt a more “humanitarian” immigration policy have fueled a wave of migrants. At the same time, they note that the current administration continues to rely on the policies of the Trump era to expel the majority of immigrants due to the epidemic.

Biden said he was in talks with Mexican officials to ensure that all families were stopped, saying: “They must all return. “Everyone will return.”

Biden said his administration would step up efforts to remove migrant children from crowded border conditions. He added that he had instructed his top immigration officials this week to accelerate the pace at which migrant children are already being housed with relatives already living in the United States.

“They will quickly get a better hell, otherwise we will hear about some people leaving,” he said. “We can do it. We are going to do that. “

The press conference was Biden’s first extended barbecue since he took office more than two months ago. Since then, his advisers have closely monitored his relationship with the media, which has included personal interviews and some limited opportunities for journalists to ask questions while on the lookout.

A veteran politician with a long history of inexplicable verbal gaffes, Biden has entered the presidency with more than the usual discipline in his message. But the decision to finally confront journalists, a White House tradition for decades, was a test of his ability to maintain that discipline under pressure.

Standing in front of American flags in the magnificent Ar-Angel Room, the President offered detailed answers on a number of topics. He went through some of his answers, showing the former senator’s ability to handle the case, showing anger with some of his inquisitors, as well as outbursts of humor, referring for a moment to “when I came to the United States Senate 120 years ago.”

Biden said he was committed to bipartisanship, but that it was more a matter of gaining Republican support for a policy such as the stimulus package, which polls suggest is more popular in the party than gaining the votes of elected Republicans on such issues. such as infrastructure, arms control, climate change, immigration իրավունք suffrage.

“My Republican colleagues must decide whether we want to work together or not, or they decide to go the way they want, just decide to divide the country, to continue the policy of division.” he said.

Presidential advisers postponed Biden’s first press conference until the stimulus package was adopted, hoping to use the expected event as a victory round as he promoted the benefits of the stimulus measure and sought to support even greater spending. ,

He used his opening remarks to signal what he was saying as an incentive for the economy, citing new forecasts that show the year ‘s economic growth could reach 6%.

But Biden’s appearance came amid national mourning in Colorado, with mass shootings in Georgia, North Korea firing ballistic missiles two hours off its east coast, and both warn that the president’s agenda could often be disrupted. or moved by national or global events.

Biden had previously warned that the United States would not recall the remaining 2,500 troops from Afghanistan by the May 1 agreement with the Taliban. But he missed the question of whether the troops would last indefinitely, as many at the Pentagon argue.

“If we leave, we will do it safely and regularly,” he said a few minutes later, adding that “it is not my intention to stay there long.”

The president also said that North Korea’s decision to launch missiles violated UN resolutions and promised to “respond accordingly.” But he opened the door to negotiations “due to the final outcome of the denuclearization,” something North Korean officials have said they will never agree to.

Over the past two weeks, the president has not seen the urgency of rapidly passing firearms legislation.

“Most successful presidents have been more successful than me because they know how to do it right,” Biden said in response to a question about what he planned to do after the aftermath of the shooting, which killed 18 people.

“Order. “Decide on the priorities,” he said before moving quickly to another topic. His desire is to spend up to $ 3 trillion more on “rebuilding infrastructure in this country, both physical and technological.”

Reacting to a mass shooting at a Boulder grocery store in Colorado this week, Biden called on the Senate to lift the arms embargo and close the investigation. But so far his administration has done nothing to show that it intends to spend a lot of political capital on proposals that were immediately blocked by the Republican opposition.

Biden’s criticism of the Republican-controlled state legislature’s attempts to impose new voting restrictions was fierce. He compared the efforts, which included early, absentee voting restrictions, to laws in the Jim Crowe-era era that barred black Americans from voting in the Southern States by imposing polls, literacy tests, and other restrictions.

“I am convinced that we can stop it because it is the worst thing that can happen,” said Biden. “This makes my Crow look like Jim is my Eagle. I mean, this is a huge amount of what they’re trying to do, it’s impossible to maintain. “

But the deeply divided political reality of Congress can make it difficult for the president to succeed. Even as Biden demonstrated his support for Democratic legislation aimed at blocking Republican efforts, West Virginia Sen. Manchin, a member of his party, withdrew what would be the most significant change in the next federal election. including a major expansion of voting rights.

Democrat leaders used the first Senate hearing a day after the overhaul to push the nearly 900-page pavilion to the top of their legislative agenda, with Manchin, the House’s most conservative Democrat, calling for a drastic reconsideration and renegotiation of the proposal. with Republicans. He said there were “legitimate” concerns about some of its provisions.

“We can’s reform our federal election together, not as Democrats, but as Americans, to restore faith and confidence in our democracy,” Mancin said in a statement.

Biden’s promise to double the number of vaccinations in his first 100 days was in line with the president’s example. Low goal, և when it turns out that the initial goal will be exceeded, adjust to another possible goal.

The nation is already on track to meet the 200 million mark. As of Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a total of 130 million shots had been fired, with 14% of the US population fully vaccinated.

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