President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Washington. (Photo: Evan Vucci, AP)
On President Joe Biden’s 65th day in office, he finally held his first news conference. He took longer than his predecessors to formally address the White House press corps, FYI.
Biden has faced an influx of migrants heading to the U.S.-Mexican border, two recent mass shootings, and growing concerns about whether Congress can come together to pass key legislation.
It’s Mabinty, with your guide to what happened today in Washington. Let’s dive in, shall we?
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The border situation isn’t going away
A large portion of Biden’s press conference addressed how the Biden administration is handling an increased number of migrants coming to the U.S.-Mexico border. Our White House reporter Rebecca Morin reports, Biden is facing criticism for the issues at the border, as the administration continues to only accept migrant children and some families.
Biden didn’t back down and instead defended his immigration policy. The president said he would never tell an unaccompanied child “we’re just gonna let him starve to death and stand on the other side” of the border. “No previous administrations did that either except Trump,” he said, referring to former President Donald Trump. “I’m not going to do it.”
Biden also said while he would like to think migrants are coming to the U.S. because “I’m a nice guy,” that isn’t the case. The president noted there are cyclical surges that happen between January and March, as it’s safer for individuals to travel.
“I’d like to think it’s because I’m a nice guy, but it’s not,” Biden said. “It happens every year.”
What else happened?
- Biden has been in office a little more than two months, but he said he’s already planning to run for a second term in 2024. “Yes, my plan is to run for reelection,” he said. “That’s my expectation.” Biden said he also “would fully expect” that Vice President Kamala Harris would remain on the ticket as his running mate for a second term.
- The president may have agreed that the Senate filibuster is a “Jim Crow relic,” but Biden showed no signs of pushing for its demise. He did again voice his support for returning to a talking filibuster. “Successful electoral politics is the art of the possible. Let’s figure out how to get this done and significantly change the abuse of the filibuster rule,” Biden said.
- Biden conceded that the administration is facing challenges in meeting the deadline for troop withdrawal in Afghanistan. “It’s going to be hard to meet the May 1 deadline,” the president said of removing American troops, citing “tactical reasons.”
- An impassioned Biden condemned efforts in Republican-led state legislatures to pass bills making it more difficult to vote, calling it “all by design” to suppress voters. “What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is,” Biden said during his first White House press conference. “It’s sick. It’s sick.”
Here’s what else happened today:
- ‘Nothing subtle about a bullet’: Supreme Court says police ‘seizure’ includes shots fired at fleeing suspect
- Judge signals plea offers coming in Capitol riot inquiry as authorities focus on violent suspects
- PPP small business loan program deadline extended to May 31 with Senate vote
- No ‘wall’ or ‘fort’: Sens. Van Hollen and Blunt want to ban having permanent fence
RIP to a legend: Jessica Walter—Mabinty
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