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Press Conference: Karine Jean-Pierre Holds a Press Briefing at The White House - January 23, 2023

  • Karine Jean-Pierre
    Person
  • Question
    Person
  • Jennifer Granholm
    Person
Positive

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:00:00-00:00:30 (30 sec)
Good afternoon, everybody. Happy Monday. As many of you are tracking, this week, House Republicans will vote to raise gas prices on American families. The contrast in priorities could not be more stark. The President spent the last two years, as you know, doing everything he could to lower gas prices for American families, and prices are down about $1.60 a gallon since last summer. 1

Karine Jean-Pierre

Leans Positive
00:00:30-00:00:51 (21 sec)
Now, House Republicans are using their narrow majority to force the American people to pay higher gas prices, just as big oil companies are amassing record profits. What's even more alarming is that this isn't -- this is only -- this is not the only attempt by House Republicans' majority to raise costs on middle -- middle-class families. 2

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:00:51-00:01:01 (11 sec)
House Republicans are also pushing a tax increase on middle-class families, an inflation-worsening tax cut for the rich, and high prescription drug costs as well. 3

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:01:01-00:01:13 (11 sec)
These extreme policies would subject working families to immense financial pain and balloon our deficit, all just to benefit the wealthiest taxpayers and big corporations. 4

Karine Jean-Pierre

Leans Positive
00:01:13-00:01:31 (18 sec)
Joining me today, as you all see to my right, is Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to talk about how the House Republicans' latest attempt to raise prices for American families will result in oil supply shortages and help Putin's war aims by interfering with our ability to release oil. 5

Karine Jean-Pierre

Somewhat Positive
00:01:31-00:01:34 (3 sec)
Secretary Granholm, the floor is yours. Thank you for joining us. 6

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:01:34-00:01:36 (3 sec)
Great. Thank you so much, Karine. Appreciate it. 7

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:01:36-00:02:08 (32 sec)
Hello, everybody. I'm honored to be here again. As Karine said, you know, President Biden really has been singularly focused on reducing costs for American families, especially energy costs, especially both transportation as well as at home, whether it's, you know, increasing the biofuel blends of gasoline to offering additional funds through weatherization for lowering costs for low- and moderate-income households. 8

Jennifer Granholm

Somewhat Positive
00:02:08-00:02:40 (32 sec)
But particularly, he has acted to shore up additional oil supply following the market disruptions that were the result of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Coordinating with allies and with partners through the International Energy Agency, he secured globally a collective release of 240 million barrels of oil from strategic petroleum reserves worldwide. 9

Jennifer Granholm

Slightly Negative
00:02:40-00:03:01 (21 sec)
As Karine said, the average price of a gallon of gas is now down about $1.60 from last summer's peak, about a 30 percent decline. And, in fact, prices are lower today -- gas prices are -- than what they were at the start of Russia's invasion. 10

Jennifer Granholm

Leans Positive
00:03:01-00:03:21 (20 sec)
Analysts who have looked at this have credited the releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for filling the supply gaps that were resulting from the invasion and the lessening of Russian oil on a global market, and have credited the SPR with lowering prices. 11

Jennifer Granholm

Very Negative
00:03:21-00:03:40 (20 sec)
Earlier in January, for example, the Global Head of Energy Analysis for the Oil Price Information Service said, and I'm quoting him -- his name is Tom Kloza -- "There is no question that SPR sales mitigated the price impact of crude last year." 12

Jennifer Granholm

Very Negative
00:03:40-00:03:58 (18 sec)
Yet, as Karine said, House Republicans are now pursuing this extreme agenda that risks worse- -- worsening supply shortages in times of crisis, and risks raising prices -- gas prices for American families. 13

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:03:58-00:04:28 (30 sec)
When you consider H.R. 21, which is a bill that they've introduced, it needlessly aims to weaken the Strategic Petroleum Reserve's usefulness as a tool to ensure energy security in America. The SPR -- the Strategic Petroleum Reserve -- gives us the means to increase supply when the market need it -- needs it most, and it gives us the tool to increase it quickly -- "quickly" being the operative word. Speed is key. 14

Jennifer Granholm

Very Negative
00:04:28-00:05:11 (43 sec)
But H.R. 21 would impose unnecessary, unhelpful restrictions on when the SPR can be used to help provide supply. It would require these arbitrary reports regarding energy production on federal lands before waiving any new restrictions. It would not offer any tangible benefits to the American people. Instead, it would interfere with our ability to be responsive to release oil de- -- during an international emergency, helping Putin's war aims. It would potentially delay allowing oil to be released for domestic emergencies following a natural disaster or a pipeline outage at home, leaving, again, prices at risk of rising during -- in the wake of a market shock because of emergencies due to extreme weather events. 15

Jennifer Granholm

Somewhat Positive
00:05:11-00:05:23 (12 sec)
As I noted in the letter I sent to the Hill last week, be clear: There is nothing standing in the way of domestic oil and gas production. In fact, production is on track for a new record in 2023. 16

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:05:23-00:05:47 (23 sec)
From the beginning, the President set out to use SPR as a bridge, boosting oil supply while the production ramped up. So, production was down globally because of Russia's invasion and the pulling of Russian barrels off the market. He wanted to increase the Strategic Petroleum Reserve amounts to make a bridge while calling upon domestic oil and gas industry to increase production. And that is exactly what has happened. 17

Jennifer Granholm

Somewhat Negative
00:05:47-00:06:00 (13 sec)
Today, the SPR remains the largest strategic petroleum reserve in the world. And with our plans to refill it at the lowest -- you know, at lower prices than what we sold at, the use of the SPR not only saved Americans money, but these releases will end up delivering a return for taxpayers. 18

Jennifer Granholm

Somewhat Positive
00:06:00-00:06:11 (12 sec)
And so, it's not a tool that we should be taking off the table. We are willing to work with Republicans and with Democrats alike to make our system -- actually do it -- more reliable and more resilient, and our country more energy independent, and costs more affordable. 19

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:06:11-00:06:32 (21 sec)
The Inflation Reduction Act is already reducing costs, and it's made the United States the most attractive country in the world to invest in clean energy production. We believe there's room for bipartisanship to advance a managed transition. We believe that there is room for bipartisanship to expand our ability to create more affordable, reliable energy in America. 20

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:06:32-00:06:39 (7 sec)
But proposals like H.R. 21, which risks raising these gas prices and making it offer to -- harder to offer Americans relief in the future are simply nonstarters. 21

Jennifer Granholm

Slightly Negative
00:06:39-00:06:49 (10 sec)
So I'll be very clear: If Congress were to pass H.R. 21, the President would veto it. He will not allow the American people to suffer because of the backwards agenda that House Republicans are advancing. 22

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:06:49-00:06:54 (6 sec)
So, with that, I'm happy to take your questions. 23

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:06:54-00:06:58 (3 sec)
Okay. Let's go to the back. Alex? 24

Question

Very Positive
00:06:58-00:07:12 (14 sec)
Thank you. Secretary, two questions, please. First, on our exports of liquefied natural gas and the criticism that some environmental groups have surfaced regarding that and climate change, can you address that? 25

Question

Very Positive
00:07:12-00:07:25 (14 sec)
And number two, Texas is now, I think, poised or has already surpassed California in renewable energy production. Is there -- what do you make of Republican states like Texas going in on green energy? And are there lessons to be learned from the way they're doing it, as opposed to blue states? 26

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:07:25-00:07:31 (6 sec)
Yeah, so, first, with respect to LNG, we know that our liquefied natural gas exports have been a significant help to our allies. 27

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:07:31-00:07:46 (14 sec)
And it's an important -- it's very important to make sure that they have the means. We are fortunate in that we have an abundance, obviously, of natural gas in this country. Our prices are low. But during times of challenge, we want to help our allies as well. 28

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:07:46-00:07:58 (13 sec)
We want to make sure it's the cleanest natural gas, which is one of the reasons why the Inflation -- excuse me -- the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law really invested in carbon capture strategies and storage strategies. 29

Jennifer Granholm

Slightly Positive
00:07:58-00:08:05 (7 sec)
So, that's an ongoing issue and an ongoing conversation we're having with industry, and that includes reducing methane as well. 30

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:08:05-00:08:24 (18 sec)
But with respect to Texas, what an opportunity for every state to be able to produce clean energy. And, in fact, a Politico story this morning suggested that there was an abundance of announcements coming out of red states. Great! That is fantastic. 31

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:08:24-00:08:52 (29 sec)
We want to be able to see energy -- clean energy produced in every pocket of the country: blue states, red states. Really, it helps to save people money, so it's really all about green. And green in the sense of: Yes, it's helpful to the planet, but it's also helpful for jobs. And it's also helpful for us to be energy independent, which is exactly what the President would like to see -- homegrown clean energy, independent -- so that we are strong and resilient. 32

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:08:52-00:08:53 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Steve. 33

Question

Unknown
00:08:53-00:08:59 (6 sec)
What sort of conversations with the Senate have you been having about H.R. 21? 34

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:08:59-00:09:05 (6 sec)
Well, we -- I think the Senate knows the position that we have with respect to it, and we'll see what the Senate does with it. 35

Jennifer Granholm

Leans Positive
00:09:05-00:09:19 (14 sec)
But obviously, I think there's a lot of concern that -- anything that it hampers. I don't care whether it's a Democratic president or a Republican president; why would you hamper the ability of the country to be able to respond to emergencies and hamper the ability of us to be able to lower costs as a result of those emergencies? 36

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:09:19-00:09:25 (6 sec)
So, I think the Senate understands the importance of that and hopefully will act accordingly. 37

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:09:25-00:09:26 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Phil. 38

Question

Somewhat Negative
00:09:26-00:09:38 (12 sec)
Thanks, Madam Secretary. You mentioned the refilling or replenishment of the SPR. I know in January, you guys, I think, kind of rejected offers that you didn't feel like were adequate to start that process, kind of delaying, at least from the February perspective. 39

Question

Very Positive
00:09:38-00:09:49 (11 sec)
What's your sense of how successful the process you guys have laid out will be, given this first delay or insufficient offers? And do you have any concerns about the ability to get exactly what you need based on the floor and the plan that was laid out a couple months ago? 40

Jennifer Granholm

Unknown
00:09:49-00:09:58 (9 sec)
Yeah, I have no concerns that we will be able to refill and replenish the SPR and do it at a savings to taxpayers. And our goal was to start with the first 60 million barrels of replenishment. 41

Jennifer Granholm

Unknown
00:09:58-00:10:09 (11 sec)
The offers that we received did not meet specification or price. And so, we're going to -- stay tuned for an announcement on how we're going to go back at that first 60. 42

Jennifer Granholm

Unknown
00:10:09-00:10:14 (4 sec)
But we have a three-part strategy too. One is to accelerate some of the exchanges that were announced before to get those back in. 43

Jennifer Granholm

Slightly Positive
00:10:14-00:10:27 (13 sec)
And second was: In the omnibus bill at the end of last year, we canceled the sales of the congressionally mandated sales for '24 and '25 -- up through '27, actually. So, there was a significant savings of having to send out oil. 44

Jennifer Granholm

Positive
00:10:27-00:10:35 (9 sec)
But we're going to continue to work on this. I think, in the end, because of the way this has been managed, people will be pleased to see the savings to taxpayers. 45

Question

Somewhat Negative
00:10:35-00:10:42 (6 sec)
Just real quick, could you tease a little bit of the statement that we're supposed to be staying tuned for? 46

Jennifer Granholm

Slightly Positive
00:10:42-00:10:42 (1 sec)
Well -- 47

Question

Unknown
00:10:42-00:10:46 (3 sec)
Maybe a little bit? 48

Jennifer Granholm

Unknown
00:10:46-00:10:48 (3 sec)
Just stay tuned. It's going to happen very soon. [Laughter] 49

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:10:48-00:10:51 (3 sec)
Just a couple more. Go ahead, Ed, and then April. 50

Question

Very Positive
00:10:51-00:11:09 (18 sec)
Thanks, Karine. Thanks, Secretary Granholm. So, gas prices are now up 33 cents over the past month. The President took credit for the prices coming down. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as you mentioned, is no longer releasing. Does the President get credit for the price of gas going up? 51

Jennifer Granholm

Slightly Positive
00:11:09-00:11:15 (5 sec)
Well, it's obviously based upon international and climate events. 52

Jennifer Granholm

Unknown
00:11:15-00:11:24 (9 sec)
So, for example, Winter Storm Elliott pulled 2 million barrels off the U.S. market because of refineries that went down. That crimp in supply causes prices to go up. 53

Jennifer Granholm

Somewhat Positive
00:11:24-00:11:34 (10 sec)
What happens in China? Are they going to be opening up soon? Is there expectations regarding an increase in demand? That is something that happens on a global market. 54

Jennifer Granholm

Unknown
00:11:34-00:11:52 (18 sec)
The whole point of this is that this Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a tool that we have, that we can control. We may not be able to control the weather. We may not be able to control what happens at OPEC+ or China. But we can control what we have access to, and that's why this tool is so incredibly important. 55

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:11:52-00:12:03 (12 sec)
We'll see what happens with respect to the price of gas. We know that there are still refineries that have been pulled down, both for maintenance as well as because of Winter Storm Elliot. But in the end, we think it'll -- it'll be balancing out soon. 56

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:12:03-00:12:05 (1 sec)
Go ahead, April. 57

Question

Somewhat Negative
00:12:05-00:12:18 (13 sec)
Secretary Granholm, two questions. You're sounding the alarm about H.R. 21. But let's say they do pass in both the House and the Senate and, for whatever reason, the President didn't veto. 58

Jennifer Granholm

Unknown
00:12:18-00:12:20 (2 sec)
That's a big assumption. 59

Question

Somewhat Negative
00:12:20-00:12:23 (3 sec)
I know it is. [Laughter] And [inaudible]. As you're sounding the alarm -- 60

Jennifer Granholm

Slightly Positive
00:12:23-00:12:23 ( sec)
Yeah. 61

Question

Somewhat Positive
00:12:23-00:12:38 (15 sec)
-- and we've seen some of the most -- the highest gas prices we've ever seen in this country. If H.R. 21 were to pass and be signed into law by the President, what would it look like at the pump for the average American? 62

Jennifer Granholm

Somewhat Negative
00:12:38-00:12:41 (3 sec)
Prices would go up because we would have lost this tool. 63

Question

Unknown
00:12:41-00:12:41 ( sec)
But how high? 64

Jennifer Granholm

Leans Positive
00:12:41-00:12:56 (14 sec)
Well, it's hard to know because we don't know the circumstances around it. We don't know what would be the reason for -- for actually exercising an additional action at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But know this: Prices would go up because we don't have this tool. 65

Jennifer Granholm

Very Negative
00:12:56-00:13:09 (13 sec)
And again, it's always in response to an emergency, like war or like, you know, an extreme weather event. We do know that taking that tool off the table would harm the American family. 66

Question

Unknown
00:13:09-00:13:17 (9 sec)
And lastly, the second question: When the President did release the strategic oil reserves and -- and a million-a-day gallons came out -- or barrels -- whatever the -- 67

Jennifer Granholm

Unknown
00:13:17-00:13:19 (1 sec)
Million barrels a day. 68

Question

Very Positive
00:13:19-00:13:40 (21 sec)
Yeah. I forget the numbers. But in the midst of that, there were some communities that felt the relief. Other communities did not, particularly those in urban areas; there was price gouging, et cetera. Could you talk about that? Because we're still very -- we're still -- this is -- this could actually happen again, at some point. 69

Question

Unknown
00:13:40-00:13:46 (6 sec)
And could you explain why there was such a difference in communities with gas prices in one community versus the other? 70

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:13:46-00:14:03 (17 sec)
Yeah. I mean, there -- there are definitely differences in terms of infrastructure across the country. And so, some rural areas, for example, or some who might be at the very end of a -- of a line or may not even have a line -- that may get it trucked in -- it takes longer and it's more expensive. 71

Jennifer Granholm

Unknown
00:14:03-00:14:17 (14 sec)
If you're not near a refinery, that's another reason why the transportation costs are tacked on at the pump. So you're seeing, for example, when refineries go down in regions, then the prices go up in those regions much more than they would nationwide. 72

Jennifer Granholm

Unknown
00:14:17-00:14:20 (3 sec)
So, a lot of it depends on local infrastructure. 73

Question

Slightly Negative
00:14:20-00:14:40 (21 sec)
But specifically, the urban areas. Because there was still a big pinch in urban areas with these gas prices when the outlying communities, particularly majority white communities, were seeing the drop to $3, and many of these urban areas were seeing $4 and $5 gas prices. Could you speak to that? 74

Jennifer Granholm

Slightly Positive
00:14:40-00:14:56 (15 sec)
Yeah, here's what I would say, is that, obviously, gas station owners are often indi- -- they're often owned by individuals. Most of them are not part of the branded oil companies. Most of them are owned by individuals. 75

Jennifer Granholm

Very Negative
00:14:56-00:15:11 (15 sec)
And so, if an individual is taking advantage in a region, that is something that for sure -- I know I did when I was an attorney general -- local attorney -- I mean, state attorney generals should go after because gouging is illegal. You cannot take advantage of a crisis to jack up the prices in that way. 76

Jennifer Granholm

Slightly Positive
00:15:11-00:15:23 (12 sec)
So, we en- -- we encourage local law enforcement to really get on it, because that should not be happening ab- -- absent some other, dis- -- you know, infrastructure lack that might cause prices to go up. 77

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:15:23-00:15:24 (2 sec)
Okay, last question. Kelly O. 78

Question

Very Negative
00:15:24-00:15:39 (15 sec)
Since you oversee the nation's nuclear arsenal and it's 11 months now with war in Ukraine, has anything changed in your management, maintenance, and so forth of the nuclear arsenal, given the potential concerns of war and some of the threats that have come from Russia? 79

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:15:39-00:15:57 (17 sec)
Well, it is clear that we are singularly focused at the NNSA of making sure that we have a stockpile that is safe, secure, and effective. And so, all of the modernization plans that are happening at the NNSA are -- are pointed in that direction. 80

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:15:57-00:16:21 (24 sec)
So, it is -- we're watching this very carefully, obviously. But people should know that we have an incredible relationship with the Department of Defense and incredible professionals -- professionals who are experts at the NNSA who are focused on making sure that those three things -- safe, secure, and effective -- are the adjectives that we apply to the stockpile. 81

Karine Jean-Pierre

Somewhat Positive
00:16:21-00:16:26 (5 sec)
Thank you so much, Secretary. 82

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:16:26-00:16:27 (2 sec)
Okay. Thank you. 83

Karine Jean-Pierre

Positive
00:16:27-00:16:28 (1 sec)
Appreciate it. 84

Jennifer Granholm

Unknown
00:16:28-00:16:29 (1 sec)
You bet. 85

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:16:29-00:16:35 (6 sec)
Thanks for coming, again. It's always good to have you. Thank you. 86

Jennifer Granholm

Very Positive
00:16:35-00:16:41 (6 sec)
All right. Great. Thanks, you guys. 87

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:16:41-00:16:44 (4 sec)
Okay, just a couple of things, and then we'll get going. 88

Karine Jean-Pierre

Somewhat Positive
00:16:44-00:16:47 (3 sec)
Thank you, guys. 89

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Negative
00:16:47-00:16:59 (12 sec)
As you saw last night, the President and the First Lady shared their condolences for those killed and injured in the deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park -- which is in California, as you all know -- this past weekend. 90

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:16:59-00:17:18 (19 sec)
The President was briefed early yesterday morning by his Homeland Security Advisor, Liz Sherwood-Randall -- -Randall, and directed her to ensure full federal support for local officials responding to the situation. She continued to provide him with updates throughout the day and evening. 91

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:17:18-00:17:28 (10 sec)
Our team continues to be in regular contact with law enforcement officials leading the response, and the President has been briefed today on the latest developments. 92

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:17:28-00:17:39 (11 sec)
As the President said last night: While there is still much we don't know about this attack, we do know how deeply it has impacted the AAPI community. 93

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:17:39-00:17:48 (10 sec)
Monterey Park is home to one of the largest AAPI communities in America, many of whom were celebrating the Lunar New Year along with loved ones and friends this past weekend. 94

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:17:48-00:18:01 (13 sec)
But instead of celebrating, yesterday many families in Monterey Park were grieving or praying that their loved one will recover from their wounds. 95

Karine Jean-Pierre

Leans Positive
00:18:01-00:18:12 (11 sec)
Last night, the President lowered the flags at the White House to half-staff to honor those who lost their lives this weekend. 96

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:18:12-00:18:14 (2 sec)
Now, turning on to another piece of news for all of you. 97

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:18:14-00:18:30 (15 sec)
As you all saw last week, the State Department launched the Welcome Corps, a new private sponsorship program that will create opportunities for Americans to directly sponsor refugees from around the world arriving through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. 98

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:18:30-00:18:39 (9 sec)
The Welcome Corps is the boldest innovation in U.S. refugee resettlement in four decades and will make a meaningful difference in the lives of refugees and Americans alike. 99

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:18:39-00:18:50 (11 sec)
The Welcome Corps program is designated to strengthen and expand our country's capacity to resettle refugees by harnessing the energy of private sponsors from all over the United States. 100

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Negative
00:18:50-00:19:05 (15 sec)
Local communities have long been at the heart of America's resettlement program. And we have seen over the past year the overwhelming response of the American people to welcome our Afghan allies, Ukrainians displaced by war, and Venezuelans fleeing violence and oppression. 101

Karine Jean-Pierre

Positive
00:19:05-00:19:13 (8 sec)
The Welcome Corps builds on this enthusiasm by establishing a durable program for Americans to privately sponsor refugees from around the world. 102

Karine Jean-Pierre

Positive
00:19:13-00:19:25 (12 sec)
Groups of private sponsors will help refugees find housing and -- and employment, enroll children in school, and connect with other essential services so they can thrive in their new home. 103

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:19:25-00:19:44 (19 sec)
The State Department is working with a consortium of non-profit organizations with expertise in welcoming, resettling, and integrating refugees into U.S. communities to make this program a success. This Welcome Corps team will pro- -- will guide private sponsors through every step of sponsorship journey. 104

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:19:44-00:19:54 (10 sec)
Our goal for the program's first year is to mobilize at least 10,000 Americans to step forward as private sponsors and offer a welcoming hand to at least 5,000 refugees. 105

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:19:54-00:20:30 (36 sec)
I'm proud to share we're already off to a strong start, thanks to the generosity and tremendous support of Americans across the country. Nearly 250 diverse organizations representing every sector, national and community-based service organizations, veterans' groups, and a wide diversity of faiths have already joined in expressing their support for the program. More than 100,000 people have visited the Welcome Corps website since its launch this past Thursday, and over 10,000 people have signed up for more information. 106

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:20:30-00:20:43 (13 sec)
And this week, Director of the Domestic Policy Council Ambassador Susan Rice and Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer will host a briefing with stakeholders to dicu- -- discuss the Welcome Corps. 107

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:20:43-00:20:50 (8 sec)
President Biden made a commitment to rebuild, enhance, and expand the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, and the Welcome Corps is one of the many ways in which we are doing this. 108

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:20:50-00:20:57 (6 sec)
We encourage anyone who is indeed interested in sponsoring refugees to visit WelcomeCorps.org to learn more about the program. 109

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:20:57-00:21:01 (5 sec)
Finally, we have a preview for some new travel on the President's schedule for next week. 110

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:21:01-00:21:28 (26 sec)
Next Monday, the President will travel to Baltimore, Maryland. And next Tuesday, he will travel to New York City to discuss how his economic plan, including his success bringing Republicans, independents, and Democrats together to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is strengthening America's economic competitiveness, creating good-paying jobs, and proving that we can still do big things when we all work together. 111

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:21:28-00:21:51 (23 sec)
In Baltimore, the President will discuss how Bipartisan Infra- -- Infrastructure Law funding will replace the 150-year old Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel -- as you -- many of you have probably experienced and gone through during your -- your outing in your cars -- to address the largest bottleneck for commuters on the Northeast Corridor between Washington, D.C., and New Jersey. 112

Karine Jean-Pierre

Positive
00:21:51-00:22:04 (13 sec)
In New York City, the President will discuss how Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for the Hudson River Tunnel project will improve reliability for the 200,000 passengers trips per day on Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. 113

Karine Jean-Pierre

Positive
00:22:04-00:22:13 (9 sec)
Both projects will create good-paying jobs, including union jobs; lower commu- -- commuting times; and enhance safety. 114

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:22:13-00:22:35 (22 sec)
These two critical, important projects funded by the President's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, much -- much like the -- the Brent Spence Bridge project connecting Ohio and Kentucky that the President visited just a few weeks ago, alongside Senator -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with thousands of other projects across the country, will make life better for people in communities nationwide. 115

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:22:35-00:22:47 (12 sec)
During both visits, the President will also discuss how his economic plan to build an economy from the bottom up and the middle out is leading to billions of dollars in private sector investments in Maryland, New York, and across the country. 116

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:22:47-00:22:50 (2 sec)
With that, Zeke, you want to kick us off? 117

Question

Positive
00:22:50-00:22:59 (9 sec)
Thanks, Karine. Does the President or the Vice President have any plans to visit the community in Monterey Park in light of this weekend's shooting? 118

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:22:59-00:23:11 (12 sec)
No, that's a good question. Don't have anything to share at this time on any travel to California, specifically Monterey Park, at this time. But if we have -- if that changes, certainly we will share that with all of you. 119

Question

Very Positive
00:23:11-00:23:22 (11 sec)
And then, over the weekend, there was a reporting that Ron Klain will be stepping down as Chief of Staff, being replaced by Jeff Zients. Can you confirm that? And when will that changeover be effective? 120

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:23:22-00:23:34 (12 sec)
So, look, I know many of you have a lot of questions on this. I know that you might have some -- a lot of questions today on this particular story. I don't have anything to preview or share or announce at this time. 121

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:23:34-00:23:44 (10 sec)
I do want to take just a personal -- pers- -- point of personal privilege, as -- when the President was senator would say. Look, Ron has been an incredible boss. He is someone that I've enjoyed working with every day. 122

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:23:44-00:23:51 (6 sec)
And we are -- many of us -- and I think all of us here are a part of the "Klainiacs." If you don't know, I would suggest you go on Twitter and find out what the Klainiacs are. 123

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:23:51-00:24:09 (19 sec)
But he has been an incredible leader, an incredible boss, as I just stated. And we credit the President, as we should, for the impressive legislative successes, historic successes that the President has had the first two years. But in part, it was because of Ron's leadership -- incredible leadership that we were able to get that done. 124

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:24:09-00:24:14 (5 sec)
So, again, don't have anything to share with you all today at the -- on this front. 125

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:24:14-00:24:19 (5 sec)
But, again, Ron has been an incredible, incredible leader these past two years. 126

Question

Very Positive
00:24:19-00:24:22 (3 sec)
So just an out-of-context praise for Ron? [Laughter] 127

Question

Unknown
00:24:22-00:24:27 (6 sec)
And then -- I'll let some of my colleagues follow up on that one. And then, finally -- 128

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:24:27-00:24:31 (3 sec)
Feel free. I'm sure they won't be shy to follow up. 129

Question

Unknown
00:24:31-00:24:36 (5 sec)
On the -- on the FBI search of the President's home -- 130

Karine Jean-Pierre

Positive
00:24:36-00:24:37 (1 sec)
Yes. 131

Question

Very Positive
00:24:37-00:25:03 (27 sec)
-- on Friday. The President, when the initial batch of documents were reported a couple of weeks ago, said he was "surprised" the documents -- that there were classified documents down at the Penn Biden Center. Was he surprised that there was classified material found at his home on Friday, as well the prior discovery at his house a few weeks ago? 132

Karine Jean-Pierre

Positive
00:25:03-00:25:16 (13 sec)
So, look, again, there's going to be a lot of questions on this. I know my colleagues from the White House Counsel's Office has been pretty diligent on taking questions these last couple of days. 133

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:25:16-00:25:25 (9 sec)
They're going -- there's going to be a call in less -- I think less than an hour or so from my -- White House Counsel Office. And look, they're going to answer the questions from -- from -- from here. 134

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:25:25-00:25:33 (8 sec)
Any specifics, the Department of Justice -- any specifics to this particular legal matter, I would refer you to the Department of Justice. 135

Karine Jean-Pierre

Somewhat Positive
00:25:33-00:25:43 (10 sec)
I'm going to continue to be prudent from here. I'm going to be -- continued to be consistent and make sure that those questions go to my colleagues in the White House Counsel's Office. 136

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:25:43-00:25:44 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Mary. 137

Question

Somewhat Negative
00:25:44-00:26:12 (28 sec)
Another question on the documents. You have said, though, from this podium many, many times over the last two weeks that this President takes the handling of classified material very seriously. And yet, we continue to learn about more documents being found and discovered at his home, including now some that go back decades to his time in the Senate. So why should the American people believe that this President takes classified material seriously, and the handling of it? 138

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:26:12-00:26:20 (8 sec)
Look, the President -- the American people heard from the President directly on this when he was asked by your colleagues, at least twice now, about -- 139

Karine Jean-Pierre

Positive
00:26:20-00:26:30 (10 sec)
about how he sees this process. And he was very clear what -- with the response of what we're currently seeing. And he says, "I take this very seriously." He said, "I didn't know that the documents were there." 140

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:26:30-00:26:40 (10 sec)
And look, I think, as it relates to the American people and the President standing with the American people, it is going to be up to them to decide how they see this President. 141

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Negative
00:26:40-00:26:52 (13 sec)
Look, this is a President that came into office -- 9 million people had lost their jobs, the unemployment rate was 6.3 percent, and hundreds of thousands of small businesses had closed their doors. 142

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:26:52-00:27:05 (13 sec)
And in the past two years, we've created nearly 11 million jobs, the unemployment rate is at a record low at 50 -- a 50-year record low. And the last two years were the best years for small businesses' applications on record. We talked about that last week just from here. 143

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:27:05-00:27:26 (21 sec)
The President has built the most significant legislative record since LBJ. Let's not forget, there's the CHIPS and Science Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure legislation. I just walked through what he's going to see next week when he's traveling to Baltimore and also New York City. The Inflation Reduction Act, which is going to deal with lowering costs. 144

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:27:26-00:27:37 (11 sec)
So, the President has been in office for the last two years focusing on the American people, and, you know, we saw that. We saw what the American people had to say during the midterms. 145

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:27:37-00:27:48 (11 sec)
As it relates -- again, as it relates to this, as it relates to this ongoing legal matter, I would refer you to -- to my colleagues at the White House Counsel. Again, they're going to be speaking with all of you in just -- in just less than an hour or so. 146

Question

Neutral
00:27:48-00:27:55 (7 sec)
But I do want to ask one more time, because you have been the one messaging that he takes this seriously. You have also been saying over and over again that you are cooperating fully -- 147

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:27:55-00:27:55 ( sec)
Yeah. 148

Question

Unknown
00:27:55-00:27:57 (1 sec)
-- with this investigation. 149

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:27:57-00:27:58 (2 sec)
That hasn't -- that hasn't changed, Mary. 150

Question

Unknown
00:27:58-00:28:05 (7 sec)
But given that, why then did it take several searches and the FBI coming in to uncover the full extent of the documents at his house? 151

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:28:05-00:28:18 (13 sec)
I understand your question. I -- I've said many times, the President has said many times he takes this very seriously. You've heard directly from him. You've just said that his team is cooperating fully. 152

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:28:18-00:28:29 (10 sec)
And just want to add, you know -- and you heard from his team -- that the FBI was invited into the President's home. I'm not going to go beyond that. That is -- that was in the statement that was released on Saturday. 153

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:28:29-00:28:35 (7 sec)
Again, these are questions that should -- that have been answered to our -- you know, that have been answered from here, that has been answered from my colleagues. 154

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:28:35-00:28:45 (9 sec)
Anything else, my colleagues or -- my colleague is going to speak to all of you in just a few minutes -- a few moments. And you can ask more -- more intel and detailed questions. 155

Question

Somewhat Positive
00:28:45-00:29:01 (16 sec)
But I do just want to clarify one thing that you just said. You just said the President said that he "did not know the documents were there." I'm not actually sure he has said that that clearly. Are you saying the President did not know -- 156

Karine Jean-Pierre

Positive
00:29:01-00:29:02 (1 sec)
Well, he said he was surprised. 157

Question

Unknown
00:29:02-00:29:04 (2 sec)
-- that any of the documents were there? 158

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:29:04-00:29:06 (2 sec)
He said he was surprised. 159

Question

Unknown
00:29:06-00:29:07 (1 sec)
Any of the documents? 160

Karine Jean-Pierre

Leans Positive
00:29:07-00:29:17 (10 sec)
He said he was surprised. I'm just going to leave it there. And I'm going to refer you to the White House Counsel's Office. He -- I'm just repeating what he said. And he said -- 161

Question

Unknown
00:29:17-00:29:21 (4 sec)
But I wanted to clarify what you just said. You said he -- 162

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:29:21-00:29:21 ( sec)
He said -- 163

Question

Unknown
00:29:21-00:29:23 (2 sec)
-- did not know the documents were there. 164

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:29:23-00:29:36 (13 sec)
He said he was surprised that the documents were there. He said that and that he takes this very seriously. That's what I want to make sure that the American people understand. And I just refer -- 165

Question

Unknown
00:29:36-00:29:49 (13 sec)
But can you understand why the American people might question that? Given that you keep every -- I mean, every few days it seems we are finding that more documents have been found at his house. 166

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:29:49-00:29:59 (10 sec)
What I'm telling you is what the President has said, which is he takes this very seriously. I will refer you to detailed explanations from statements that have come from his -- from his personal lawyer. 167

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:29:59-00:30:06 (6 sec)
Again, anything further on this, my colleague is going to be taking your questions, Mary, in -- in the four o'clock hour. I would refer you to them. 168

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:30:06-00:30:06 ( sec)
Go ahead. 169

Question

Neutral
00:30:06-00:30:11 (5 sec)
Has Ron Klain told the President that he's leaving, planning to leave? 170

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:30:11-00:30:19 (8 sec)
Don't have anything further to share. And just to -- to be very clear, Ron Klain is still very much the Chief of Staff. He is still here with us. I just don't have anything to share. 171

Question

Positive
00:30:19-00:30:22 (3 sec)
Does the President think Jeff Zients would be a good Chief of Staff? [Laughter] 172

Question

Unknown
00:30:22-00:30:23 (1 sec)
What about Steve Holland? 173

Question

Leans Positive
00:30:23-00:30:24 (1 sec)
Ha! No -- 174

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:30:24-00:30:31 (7 sec)
Steve Holland, do you want to be Chief of Staff? [Laughter] I think I hear a -- I hear a name. Someone just called you out as -- as poten- -- Chief of Staff material. 175

Question

Unknown
00:30:31-00:30:37 (6 sec)
So, this popped up on Friday. When will Speaker McCarthy visit President Biden? 176

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:30:37-00:30:47 (11 sec)
So don't -- don't have a meeting to share at this -- with all of you at this time. The President is looking forward to -- to sitting down with Speaker McCarthy to talk about an array of issues that -- 177

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:30:47-00:30:57 (9 sec)
And this is -- this is -- this is normal, right? During a new Congress, it is normal for the President to sit down with the Speaker to talk about how they can work together. 178

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:30:57-00:31:11 (14 sec)
You heard the President say this right after the midterms, how he wants to work in a bipartisan way with members of Congress to deliver -- to continue to deliver on the successes that he has had this -- this first two years in good faith. He wants to do this in good faith. 179

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:31:11-00:31:16 (5 sec)
So, once there's a meeting locked -- locked in, we certainly will share that with all of you. 180

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:31:16-00:31:17 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Phil. 181

Question

Somewhat Negative
00:31:17-00:31:48 (31 sec)
Thanks, Karine. On the debt limit, Senator Manchin, I think today, called the White House position on the negotiations, quote, "not responsible." And yesterday, I think he called it a "mistake." I understand what your position is. Is there any concern that Democrats not siding with that position could undercut the effort you guys are trying to put into place over the next four months? 182

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:31:48-00:32:08 (20 sec)
So, just let me -- look, lowering the deficit has always been a top priority when it -- for this President. As you know, he's lowered the deficit in record fashion at $1.7 trillion under his presidency. And he has said -- he's always said he is happy to talk to anyone who wants to deal with -- with that in a responsible way. 183

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:32:08-00:32:27 (19 sec)
But preventing default is a separate matter. That is a separate matter within itself. It is a basic responsibility for Congress. We've said this over and over and again, and I'll continue to say this. And it's the responsibility that they -- that Congress has to the American people. 184

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:32:27-00:32:40 (13 sec)
And so, it must be done without conditions, even -- even as they've pushed for a tax givea- -- giveaways to the rich. Republicans want to cut Social Security; they want to cut Medicare and other critical programs. 185

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Negative
00:32:40-00:32:55 (15 sec)
And let's not forget -- these critical programs have already been paid into. These are programs for veterans, for seniors and taxpayers. This is what we're -- they're talking about taking away from these really critical -- critical programs for critical groups here. 186

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:32:55-00:33:05 (10 sec)
So, President Biden will never -- will never allow Republicans to cut benefits that our hardworking Americans have earned. This is what they have earned. 187

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:33:05-00:33:25 (21 sec)
So -- but I'll also note, as it relates to Senator Manchin and to your question, Phil: He agreed on the need to protect Social Security, he agreed on the need to protect Medicare, and called on Republicans to take cuts to those programs off -- this is a quote -- "off the board right now." And so, just want to make that very, very clear as well. 188

Question

Somewhat Positive
00:33:25-00:33:30 (5 sec)
Are you actively asking Democrats not to break ranks on this issue? 189

Karine Jean-Pierre

Positive
00:33:30-00:33:33 (2 sec)
We've been very clear. I don't -- 190

Question

Unknown
00:33:33-00:33:36 (3 sec)
Do not form groups. Don't start meeting with people -- 191

Karine Jean-Pierre

Somewhat Negative
00:33:36-00:34:07 (31 sec)
I mean, look, we've been very public about this. You guys have all covered what we have said from here about how we see this process moving forward, that it should be done without conditions. This is something that has been done 78 times, when we're talking about lifting the debt ceiling, in the pa- -- since -- since 1960, I believe. This is not unusual. It was done three times in the past -- in the past administration, under Donald Trump. 192

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:34:07-00:34:26 (19 sec)
So, this is nothing unusual. This is something that should be done without conditions. And we should not be taking hostage key programs that that the American people really earned and care about. Social Security, Medicare -- it should not be put into a hostage situation. 193

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:34:26-00:34:35 (9 sec)
And again, the President is going to continue to fight for -- for those programs. And we're going to be very clear about how we see how Congress should move forward. 194

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:34:35-00:34:35 (1 sec)
Go ahead. 195

Question

Neutral
00:34:35-00:34:50 (15 sec)
Thanks, Karine. The President said last week that he has no regrets when it comes to the handling of classified documents. Why doesn't he have regrets, given that classified documents keep turning up? 196

Karine Jean-Pierre

Somewhat Positive
00:34:50-00:35:17 (27 sec)
I talked about this last week. I'm not going to go beyond what the President said. Again, I would refer you to the White House Counsel for anything further on -- on this legal matter. Again, I'm just -- I spoke to this yesterday. I'm just not -- last week, pardon me -- last Friday. I'm just not going to go beyond what the President -- 197

Question

Neutral
00:35:17-00:35:23 (6 sec)
But that's not a legal question. It's about his statement -- 198

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:35:23-00:35:24 (1 sec)
I understand. 199

Question

Unknown
00:35:24-00:35:25 (1 sec)
-- from last week. 200

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:35:25-00:35:50 (25 sec)
I understand. And I said I'm not going to go beyond what the President said, and I think it speaks for -- speaks for itself. I'm not going to go into what he meant or didn't meant. He laid it out. He said it to all of you when he was -- when he was out -- out, I believe in California, when he answered one of your colleagues' question or when he addressed this particular matter. I'm just not going to go into what he meant or didn't mean. 201

Question

Very Negative
00:35:50-00:36:07 (18 sec)
But going back to what Mary was asking, when -- the President says that he takes classified material and the handling of it very seriously. This weekend, top Senate Democrats, who have known him for decades, described this situation as "unacceptable" and "completely irresponsible." What's the disconnect here? 202

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:36:07-00:36:21 (14 sec)
They also said, I may add -- if I may add -- that the President is handling this in the appropriate fashion, that the President and his team has been completely -- complying completely with -- with the investigation. They also said that. 203

Karine Jean-Pierre

Positive
00:36:21-00:36:34 (13 sec)
And so, I will -- I will leave it up to -- their comments up to them. I'm not going to go beyond what they have said. But they also said that piece too, and I think it's important to note that they believe that the President has handled this properly, as well. 204

Question

Unknown
00:36:34-00:36:37 (3 sec)
Who's paying the President's private attorney on this matter? 205

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:36:37-00:36:40 (3 sec)
I mean, it's his private -- it's his private attorney, so I would leave it -- 206

Question

Unknown
00:36:40-00:36:41 (1 sec)
So, he's paying them? 207

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:36:41-00:36:49 (8 sec)
I would -- I would -- I would just say it's his private attorney. Any questions, anything in particular to this, I would ask the White House Counsel Office. 208

Question

Very Positive
00:36:49-00:36:56 (7 sec)
We've asked his private attorney at least four times, and they haven't given us an answer. Don't we deserve to know whether he's paying for it or a super PAC or the DNC? 209

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Negative
00:36:56-00:37:06 (10 sec)
I hear you. No, I totally understand, Nancy. My colleague is going to be speaking to you moment in -- momentarily. You can ask that question in that conversation -- on-the-record conversation with all of you. 210

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:37:06-00:37:07 (1 sec)
Go ahead. 211

Question

Unknown
00:37:07-00:37:20 (14 sec)
On Friday, when we were here, you were asked about the President going to Rehoboth and if that had anything to do with searches, and you declined to answer that. Did you know Friday there was a search going on at the President's home? 212

Karine Jean-Pierre

Somewhat Positive
00:37:20-00:37:40 (20 sec)
So, I'll say this -- and I think I said this on Friday as well: They go to Delaware almost every -- every weekend. We put out guidance last Monday, as you know -- Monday night -- that they would be spending the weekend in Rehoboth. So, it was indeed preplanned. So just want to put that out there. 213

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:37:40-00:37:54 (14 sec)
And I'll just, you know, put -- I'll just mention what was said in the statement just on Saturday, which is the DOJ requested that the search not be made public in advance, in line with its standard procedures. And we -- we did adhere to that. 214

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:37:54-00:38:06 (12 sec)
As you can understand, that is something that we are going to take very seriously. And it was, again, a request from DOJ for us to make sure that we did not make that public in advance. 215

Question

Unknown
00:38:06-00:38:09 (2 sec)
Should we anticipate other searches are possible? 216

Karine Jean-Pierre

Positive