Two months and five days after the start of his presidency, Joe Biden offered the first press conference of his term on Thursday , a tug of war with the press that served to officially end the honeymoon in which he has lived since to land in the White House.
Following his initial successes with the vaccination campaign and the passage of a massive stimulus package , the Democrat has seen the unforeseen piling up on his table, from the immigration crisis at the border to gun violence , not to mention the resumption. of North Korean missile tests or the stormy start of the relationship with China.
That country challenges like no other the hegemonic position of the United States in the world, a position that Biden promised to maintain.
” China will not become the world leader while I am president,” said the Democrat after stressing that he intends to increase public investment in research , science and infrastructure to counter the Chinese rise and preserve US leadership in the world.
Biden explained that, in Xi Jingpin’s first conversation last month, he told him that the US “does not seek confrontation” even though it knows there will be ” fierce competition .” And he pledged to continue to publicly denounce Chinese human rights violations.as well as working with other democracies to hold Beijing accountable when it violates international standards.
As he has stated on other occasions, he explained that the great geopolitical struggle of this century is fought between democracies and autocracies such as the Chinese and the Russian. “That is what is at stake. We have to show that democracy works.” And in that sense the challenges you face at home are monumental.
Starting with the more than 250 laws introduced by Republicans in 43 states to restrict voting . Biden compared them to Jim Crow laws that for decades served to restrict the rights of African Americans and institutionalize racial segregation . “What worries me is the anti-Americanwhat are these initiatives. It’s really sick, “he said after showing his willingness to fight them from the federal level.
To achieve this and get Congress to protect the right to vote, it would most likely have to eliminate filibustering , the legislative maneuver that forces many laws to pass in the Senate with a qualified majority of 60 votes , nine more than Democrats have.
Biden reiterated that he would rather reform filibustering, which he defined as a relic of the Jim Crow years, than eliminate it completely. But he also stressed that if the maneuver ends up causing a complete legislative blockade, it will go “further.”
The press conference lasted for about an hour, in which Biden answered more than twenty questions. He made several headlines, such as his intention to run for reelection in four years, when he would be almost 82 years old. Or the new objective of his Administration in the vaccination campaign: to reach 200 million vaccinated when the first 100 days of his mandate are fulfilled . His initial aspiration of reaching 100 million was fulfilled in just 59 days.
Perhaps the biggest problem on the table right now is the situation on the border . The arrival of immigrants has tripled compared to February last year and particularly the reception centers for minors are completely overwhelmed. One of them, in Texas, has exceeded its capacity by 1500%. “We’re going to get a thousand of those kids out of there quickly. It’s totally unacceptable ,” Biden said.
The president asked for time to fix the situation, which he blamed largely on Donald Trump’s policiesto dismantle the shelters for minors. He also insisted that most of the adults who arrive are being immediately deported, a different policy from that applied to children. His Administration, he said, is working to relocate them with their relatives in the US.