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Video: Biden signs order to strengthen supply chains

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Biden signs order to strengthen supply chains

President Biden signed an executive order aimed at reducing the United States’ dependence on products manufactured abroad, especially during a national emergency, after a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers.

The Vice President and I had a very productive meeting with a bipartisan group of Senators and Members of Parliament to address an issue that concerns both our economic security and our national security: the resilience and reliability of our critical supply chains. . This is a critical area where Republicans and Democrats agreed this was one of the best meetings, this is the best meeting I think we’ve had so far, even though we’re only here for five weeks. It was like the good old days. People were actually on the same page. Americans should never face shortages of the goods and services they rely on, whether it’s their cars, prescription drugs, or food from the local grocery store. We should not have to rely on a foreign country, especially one that does not share our interests or values, to protect and provide for our people during a national emergency. This ordinance initiates a long-term review of the industrial bases of six sectors of our global economy over the next year. These reviews will identify policy recommendations to 40 members of our supply chain – sorry, to fortify our supply chains at every step and critically to start implementing those recommendations immediately.

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Video: Biden signs 3 immigration decrees

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Biden signs 3 immigration decrees

President Biden on Tuesday signed three executive orders aimed at rolling back former President Donald J. Trump’s immigration policies and reuniting migrant families who have been separated at the Mexican border.

Today I will be signing a few decrees to strengthen the immigration system, building on the executive measures I took on day one to protect dreamers and the Muslim ban and to better manage our borders. And that’s what it is. I want to make it clear that there is a lot of discussion with good reason about the number of orders I have signed. I am not making a new law. I eliminate bad policies, especially in the area of ​​immigration. It’s about how America is safer, stronger, more prosperous when we have a fair, orderly and humane legal immigration system. And with the first action today, we will work to undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration which literally and not figuratively snatched children from the arms of their families, mothers and fathers. at the border. And without any plan, absolutely none, to reunite the children who are still in detention and their parents.

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Video: Biden signs decrees to fight climate change

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Biden signs executive orders to deal with climate change

On Wednesday, President Biden signed a series of executive orders aimed at tackling climate change through job creation, and included a “ pause ” in leasing fossil fuels.

To summarize this decree, it is about jobs, well paid union jobs. It’s about workers, about rebuilding our economy better than before. It’s a whole-of-government approach. Place climate change at the center of our domestic, national and foreign security policy. It advances conservation, revitalizes communities and cities and on farmland, and ensures environmental justice. Our plans are ambitious, but we are America. The first order I sign is to fight the climate crisis at home and abroad. The next, restoring confidence in government through science and integrity and evidence-based policy making. And the latter is the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology – establishing.

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Video: Biden signs executive order to tighten Buy American provision

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Biden signs executive order to tighten ‘Buy American’ provision

President Biden on Monday signed an executive order to strengthen the federal government’s “Buy American” provision that encourages the federal government to purchase goods and services made in the United States.

Today we get to work to rebuild America’s backbone – manufacturing, unions, the middle class. It is based on a simple premise that will reward work and not wealth in this country. I’ve been saying for a long time that I don’t accept the defeatist view that the forces of automation and globalization cannot keep, can prevent union jobs from growing here in America. We can create more, not less. I don’t buy for a second that the vitality of American manufacturing is a thing of the past. Under the previous administration, the federal government contract awarded directly to foreign companies increased by 30%. This will change under our watch. We will require disclaimers to be publicly posted. In other words, someone is asking for an exemption to build that particular vehicle or installation. And he will buy the following foreign coins. This waiver, the request for it will be displayed. Then we’ll work with small American manufacturers and companies to give them a chance to raise their hands and say, “Yes, I can do it here, in my store, in my city.” To make sure America’s future is made, we must win not only the jobs of today, but the jobs and industries of tomorrow as well.

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Video: On day one, Biden signs wave of executive orders

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On day one, Biden signs a flurry of decrees

President Biden on Wednesday signed 17 decrees, memoranda and proclamations from the Oval Office, including the return of the Paris climate accords and the putting up of masks on federal property.

“I thought that with the state of the nation, there is no time to waste today. Get to work immediately. As we indicated earlier, we will be signing a number of Orders in Council over the next few days, the week. And I’m going to start today with the aggravated Covid crisis, Covid-19, with the economic crisis that followed, and the climate crisis, issues of racial equity. “And the first order I’m going to sign here is for Covid. And that requires, as I’ve said all the time, where I have authority, the obligation to wear masks, to maintain social distancing on federal property and interstate commerce, etc. This is the first I sign. “The second one I’m signing off here is support for underserved communities with regards to how we treat people in health care and other things that you can, we’ll give you copies of these decrees. And the third one that I’m going to sign, and the one that we will do while you are all here, is the commitment I made to join the Paris climate agreement today.

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Finally, the travel community may breathe after Trump signs a stimulus bill

The travel industry breathed a huge sigh of relief this morning after President Donald Trump signed the stimulus relief bill after a week of threats not to do so.

The president wanted the $ 2.3 trillion government funding and coronavirus relief bill to include $ 2,000 in stimulus checks for eligible U.S. citizens, rather than the $ 600 per person currently in the bill. Trump backed away holding the bill, and a separate congressional vote was scheduled for today on the amount of direct personal checks.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

Trump’s signing of the $ 900 billion COVID-19 aid package, the second this year he has signed, averted a government shutdown that was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, according to CNN.

It also gave travel leaders the go-ahead to plan for the first quarter of 2021. Airlines, for example, will receive $ 15 billion on the condition that they bring back all employees who were suspended, 32,000 of them alone. between American and United Airlines. and no further layoffs until March 31, 2021. It is a similar stipulation that carriers complied with earlier this year when they accepted the provisions of the CARES Act of no permits until September 30, 2020.

In addition to aid from airlines, the new stimulus package includes $ 1 billion for airline contractors, $ 2 billion for airports and concessionaires, $ 14 billion for transit, $ 10 billion for state highways, $ 1 billion million for Amtrak and $ 2 billion for private buses, school buses and ferries. Business.

CNN noted that Trump noted in a statement Sunday night that he signed the coronavirus relief bill only after securing a compromise for the Senate to consider legislation to increase stimulus checks from $ 600 to $ 2,000. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made no reference to that commitment in his own statement Sunday night praising the president for signing the aid bill.

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Trump signs pandemic relief bill.

Two governors also said the time for negotiations was over. On “State of the Union,” Michigan Housekeeper Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said she has long backed $ 2,000 stimulus checks, but it was too late in the process to make those kinds of requests.

“Sign the bill, get it done, and then if the president wants to push for more, let’s do it too,” said Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican who also appeared on the show.

Another governor, Jay Inslee of Washington, said Mr. Trump “chose to hold the entire relief program hostage.” Mr. Inslee, a Democrat, announced on Sunday that the state would provide $ 54 million in funding to nearly 100,000 people who lose their unemployment assistance benefits.

Despite harshly criticizing Mr. Trump, two elected progressive representatives joined the president’s call for increased out-of-pocket payments. On the subject of the “State of the Union”, Jamaal Bowman, Democrat of New York, affirmed that the president “made postures to be made, to bring back like the hero of the American people” after his defeat in November. But like Mr. Trump, he said Americans needed more help.

“It has to be at least $ 2,000, so he has to talk to his Republican buddies and say ‘give the people money,’” said Cori Bush, Democrat of Missouri, who also referred to the figure as 600. dollars of “slap in the face. people in pain.”

Democrats, who have long advocated increasing the amount of financial aid distributed across the country, plan to hold a vote on Monday to approve a stand-alone bill that would increase payments to $ 2,000. It’s unclear whether this legislation will stand a chance in the Senate, where Republicans have long resisted spending more than $ 1 trillion on pandemic relief.

Republican Senator Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania said he would oppose such a measure and urged the president to sign the bill, adding that “time is running out.”

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Trump signs pandemic bill after jobless aid ends

WASHINGTON – President Trump abruptly signed a measure on Sunday providing $ 900 billion in pandemic aid and funding the government until September, ending last-minute unrest he himself had created over ‘legislation that will provide an economic lifeline to millions of Americans and prevent government shutdown.

The signing was a sudden reversal for the president, who last week looked set to derail the bill. But the move came after the end of two critical unemployment programs, guaranteeing a delay in benefits for millions of unemployed Americans.

The president had largely been sidelined for months of negotiations, so his last-minute resistance last week to signing the $ 2.3 trillion package surprised lawmakers and policymakers. White House. He has raised fears that such a delay will worsen the economic toll as the coronavirus pandemic rages across the country.

Aid bill includes a revival of expanded and extended unemployment benefits, billions of dollars to help states distribute coronavirus vaccines, a replenished small business loan program and relief funds for companies aerial. It was passed with a spending measure to maintain government funding for the remainder of the year.

About 24 hours after the measure’s overwhelming approval by Congress, Mr. Trump a surprise video from the White House Tuesday night and called for direct payments to be more than tripled to $ 2,000 per adult.

Hinting that he might veto the legislation, the president also criticized provisions in the funding bill that provided foreign aid and allocated money to Washington institutions like the Kennedy Center for the Performing. Arts and the Smithsonian. Many of Mr. Trump’s complaints were about measures that distributed money in accordance with his own White House budget requests.

Over the holiday weekend spent at his estate and golf club in Florida, Mr Trump appeared to double his reluctance to sign the legislation, calling for direct payments of $ 2,000 and for Congress to cut some of the spending on the government. But in a sharp reversal on Sunday, he suddenly teased, “Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow! “

The most pressing issue caused by the President’s delay was the fate of unemployment benefits. Mr Trump’s decision to wait several days before signing the bill means that two unemployment programs meant to expand and expand federal unemployment benefits have expired, which guidelines for states pending to reprogram systems and reporting the new law have been delayed and that millions of unemployed Americans have been delayed. left unsure if any federal relief would come.

Lawmakers on both sides spent the weekend urging Mr. Trump to sign the bill and turn the tide, with a bipartisan group of lawmakers who had helped break a months-long deadlock in Congress on aid to the stimulus, urging either an immediate signing or a veto to “ allow those in favor to act before it is too late. “

“I understand he wants to be remembered for arguing for big checks,” Pennsylvania Republican Senator Patrick J. Toomey told Fox News. “But the danger is that he will be remembered for the chaos, misery and erratic behavior if he lets this expire.

Alan Rappeport and Ben Casselman contributed reporting.

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Pfizer signs deal with US for additional 100 million doses of vaccine

The Trump administration and Pfizer on Wednesday announced an agreement for the pharmaceutical company to provide an additional 100 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine by the end of July, easing a potential shortage.

The deal, along with orders for another vaccine made by Moderna, means the United States has now secured commitments for doses sufficient to immunize all but about 60 million of the approximately 260 million eligible adult Americans for be vaccinated.

Pfizer had agreed this summer, even before its vaccine proved effective, to provide 100 million initial doses to the United States. Under the new deal, Pfizer will deliver an additional 70 million doses by the end of June and an additional 30 million by the end of July, doubling the deliveries promised in the original contract.

So far, Pfizer and Moderna, the only two producers whose vaccines have been approved for emergency distribution to Americans, have jointly pledged to ship 400 million doses over the next seven months. Both vaccines require two doses.

The U.S. government will pay $ 1.95 billion for the second order, or $ 19.50 per dose, according to a company statement. Pfizer’s vaccine was developed with a German partner, BioNTech.

As part of the deal, the government agreed to invoke the Defense Production Act to help Pfizer gain better access to about nine specialty products it needs to make the vaccine. Under Korean War-era law, the government can secure critical supplies more quickly by prioritizing a contract, forcing suppliers to shift orders from that contractor to the fore.

The government’s promise to release supplies is not mentioned in statements released by Pfizer or the government, but was essential to the deal, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

As early as September, Pfizer began asking for government help with refueling, according to documents reviewed by the New York Times. By this time, the administration had already given priority status to orders from Moderna and other companies that had worked more closely with it to develop their vaccines, putting Pfizer at a disadvantage. This included two companies – Sanofi and Novavax – which have yet to start large-scale clinical trials in the United States.

A senior Trump administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to speak freely about the internal talks, said the government was unwilling to intervene on Pfizer’s behalf earlier because the company refused to promise that it would use raw materials purchased with government assistance to produce vaccines only. for Americans.

Others familiar with the negotiations said the government feared that Pfizer’s prioritization would compress the supply chain, hampering other vaccine makers the government was supporting through its vaccine development program, called Operation. Warp Speed.

The new deal with Pfizer includes options whereby the government could purchase an additional 400 million doses. But the conditions for exercising these options were not clear. The earlier July contract gave Pfizer the ability to “reasonably” deny a federal government request for more doses.

The administration has been negotiating with Pfizer for more doses for over a month. Among the hurdles were Pfizer’s commitments to other countries that had moved faster than the United States to lock in large orders, according to people familiar with the situation.

Federal officials including Alex M. Azar II, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, have repeatedly said the administration has secured pledges of sufficient doses to cover all Americans who wish to be vaccinated from here June. But even with Pfizer’s new contract, the government is still running out of doses for around 60 million Americans eligible for vaccination.

A third vaccine maker, Johnson & Johnson, is expected to announce the results of its clinical trials next month and could fill a gap. Other vaccine manufacturers participating in Operation Warp Speed ​​could also step in, but have so far experienced significant delays.

During a briefing Wednesday, Moncef Slaoui, one of the leaders of Operation Warp Speed, said Johnson & Johnson’s product looked like “a wonderful vaccine” and could significantly increase the country’s supply. ‘here spring. Instead of a shortage, he said, “the likelihood is that there will be significant redundancy” of doses for Americans in the first half of next year.

According to a document that a European official posted and then deleted on social media, Pfizer struck a deal last month to sell the European Union 200 million doses at a cost of $ 14.50 each. But it is not known if this price is correct. In its two contracts, the United States agreed to pay Pfizer $ 19.50 per dose.

Pfizer simply said its prices were based on volume and delivery dates, and the European Union placed the largest order first.

The Pfizer contracts alone will now cost the government nearly $ 4 billion. On Monday, Congress approved a stimulus package that provided $ 20 billion for the government to buy vaccines.

But in a surprise turnaround on Tuesday night, President Trump spoke out against the bill, hinting that he might not sign it in its current form.

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Congress signs long-awaited stimulus deal to provide $ 900 billion in aid

WASHINGTON – Congress leaders affected deal on Sunday on a $ 900 billion stimulus package that would provide out-of-pocket payments and unemployment aid to struggling Americans and much-needed funds for small businesses, hospitals, schools and vaccine distribution, overcoming months of deadlock on a measure intended to stimulate the economy in the grip of the pandemic.

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, announced the deal Sunday night in the Senate, saying, “We can finally report what our nation has needed to hear for a very long time: More help is on its way.” “

The deal, reached after a new wave of talks, broke a partisan block that had persisted since the summer, came hours before the federal government was ready to run out of funds, and it was not yet clear when the House and the Senate would release it. President Trump. Once drafted, it was to be merged with a catch-all spending measure that would keep the government funded for the remainder of the fiscal year, creating a $ 2.3 trillion monster whose passage will be the last act. major of Congress before the adjournment of the year.

The deal is expected to provide $ 600 in stimulus payments to U.S. adults and children, and boost additional federal unemployment benefits to $ 300 per week – half the level of assistance provided by the $ 2.2 trillion stimulus bill. dollars passed in March, as the devastating health and economy of the coronavirus pandemic impact had only just emerged.

It would extend two federal unemployment programs that expanded and extended regular benefits, and would have expired next week without Congressional action. The deal will most likely provide rental and food assistance, as well as billions of dollars for schools and small businesses, reviving the Paycheck Protection Program, a federal loan program that expired this year. .

The two most thorny political obstacles that stood in its way for months were notably absent from the final compromise. In order to strike a deal just before Christmas and allow Congress to adjourn, Republicans agreed to drop a broad coronavirus liability shield and Democrats agreed to omit a direct stream of aid to states and governments. local governments.

While the deal marked a triumphant moment in talks that had long been stalled, it was much smaller than the one Democrats had long insisted on, and nearly twice the size of what Republicans had said they were. could never accept in the days leading up to the November election. Democrats had refused for months to reduce their demands for a multibillion-dollar package, citing the devastating toll of the virus, and Republicans opposed another large infusion of federal aid, pointing to the growing deficit.

In a nod to Conservative concerns about the overall price of a package, the legislation is expected to reuse nearly $ 500 billion previously allocated under previous stimulus packages, Mr McConnell said.

But in the end, the crucial breakthrough came on Saturday just before midnight, when Republicans scrapped efforts to ban the Federal Reserve from establishing certain emergency loan programs to help stabilize the economy going forward. .

Pennsylvania Republican Senator Patrick J. Toomey launched a last-minute effort to stop the Fed and the Treasury Department from implementing a loan program similar to the one created this year that helped keep credit going to municipalities, businesses and mediums. corporate borrowers in times of crisis. After a wave of talks between him and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, the agreed alternative would only ban programs that were more or less faithful to those newly employed in 2020.

At nearly $ 1 trillion, the package was one of the largest federal relief measures in American history. Still, the resulting compromise was well short of what most economists said was needed to shake the shaky economy, and would leave President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., who pushed for the compromise, to face the task of researching yet another major economic economy. first aid kit when he takes up his post in January.

The relief plan will be associated with a $ 1.4 trillion government spending bill. Included are 12 annual appropriation bills to fund each federal ministry and social safety net programs, as well as an array of complementary legislative legislators attached to ensure their priorities could be passed before Congress adjourns for the year.

Mr McConnell said the two parties were still finalizing the text at dinner time in Washington, and he did not indicate when they would formally introduce a bill or put it to a vote.

“I hope we can do this as quickly as possible,” said McConnell.

This is a developing story. Please come back for updates.