Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy LIBBY CATHEY, ADIA ROBINSON, JACK ARNHOLZ, MEREDITH DELISO, LAUREN KING and MICHELLE STODDART, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — This is Day Three of the administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Here is how events are unfolding. All times Eastern:
Jan 22, 7:57 am
‘We’re not packing our bags at 100 million shots,’ Psaki says
While White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged that Biden’s goal of getting 100 million Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 within the first 100 days of his presidency “was bold at the time” it was set and “continues to be,” she insisted their efforts won’t stop there.
“When we reach that goal, and we’re confident we will, we’re going to build from there. So we’re not packing our bags at 100 million shots in the arms of Americans,” Psaki told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview Friday on Good Morning America.
“We want to make sure that people know that we’re going to hold ourselves accountable and we’re going to do everything to make sure we’re getting as many people vaccinated as possible,” she added.
Addressing the criticism from some congressional Republicans on Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package, Psaki said the emergency relief plan “is big because the crises are big” but that it’s really just an opening offer and the president believes they can get a bipartisan package.
“This is exactly how it should work,” she said, “and it feels maybe unfamiliar to many people.”
“The president of the United States laid out his agenda, laid out his bold vision. There’s going to be a discussion with members of congress of both parties about where we go from here,” she continued. “They’ll like some pieces, they won’t like some pieces, we’ll see what the sausage looks like when it comes out of the machine.”
“He’s an optimist by nature, I can confirm for the American public,” she said of Biden. “But also he’s a believer, having spent 36 years in the Senate, that when the country is facing a crisis — and we’re facing multiple right now, not just health, the pandemic — that Democrats and Republicans are going to have to come together to agree on a package to address this crisis.”
When asked whether the Biden administration favours a delay on Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate in order to get more cabinet members confirmed, Psaki dodged the question and instead emphasized the urgent need for the confirmation process to move quickly.
“We want it to be expedited,” she said. “Again, you know, the president is somebody who’s focused on working with both parties to get both his cabinet through, address the crises we’re facing, and that’s what we’re going to work to do everyday. We’ll see if we’re successful.”
Jan 22, 7:25 am
Harris to stay at Blair House while Naval Observatory undergoes repairs
Harris and her husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, will stay at Blair House while repairs at the vice president’s official residence, the Naval Observatory, are underway, a spokesperson told ABC News.
Blair House, which was built in 1824, is located just steps from the White House and is the oldest of four connected townhouses that comprise the president’s guest house.
An aide had previously confirmed that Harris will not immediately move into the Naval Observatory to “allow for repairs to the home that are more easily conducted with the home unoccupied.” The repairs are to replace the liners in the chimneys “and other household maintenance,” the aide said.
Jan 22, 1:30 am
Biden to outline response to US economic crisis
On his third day in office, President Joe Biden will tackle one of the country’s biggest issues: the economic recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden will deliver remarks on his administration’s response to the economic crisis in the U.S. Friday afternoon, according to the White House.
His announcement will come as so many Americans (at least 900,000) continue to battle with unemployment caused by the pandemic.
Biden will also continue to sign executive orders, the White House said.
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