March 26, 2021: Joe Biden discussed the 2024 presidential election, voting rights legislation, economic recovery, immigration, and the filibuster in his first news conference as president.
President Joe Biden (D) and his team have been preparing for the transition between presidential administrations since the election, including selecting senior White House staff and appointees to top government positions.
In 2020, there were 1,472 government positions subject to presidential appointment: 1,118 positions required Senate confirmation and 354 did not. The new administration is also responsible for filling thousands of other positions across the federal government, including in operations and policy. Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking potential Cabinet nominees, appointments, and news related to the Biden administration.
- There are no committee hearings scheduled today.
- Biden held his first news conference on Thursday, where he discussed voting rights legislation, economic recovery, immigration and the filibuster. He said he intended to run for reelection in 2024 with Vice President Kamala Harris (D). He also doubled his vaccination goal from 100 million to 200 million doses administered in his first 100 days in office.
- Biden is expected to announce the details of his infrastructure bill in Pittsburgh on Mar. 31. Reuters reported the bill could cost up to $4 trillion.
- Biden is holding his first political fundraiser as president for the reelection campaign of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) on Friday. Bottoms had been offered a position in Biden’s Cabinet but declined.
Transition in Context
Here’s what Democratic and Republican leaders have said about gun ownership laws.
- “I’m not trying to perfectly equate these two, but we have a lot of drunk drivers in America that kill a lot of people. We ought to combat that too. But I think what a lot of people on my side are saying is we ought not to get rid of all the sober drivers.” – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.)
- “If a measure [extending background checks] that has 90 percent to 95 percent public support can’t pass the Senate just because of our rules — not because it doesn’t get the majority of support in the Senate — then something’s really wrong here. Democracy dies when things that have the majority of support in Congress, the support of the president and 90 percent public support can’t become a law.” – Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
- “Every time there’s a shooting, we play this ridiculous theater, where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders. … When you disarm law-abiding citizens, you make them more likely to be victims.” – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
- “Compromise is hard when Republican colleagues give speeches about how all these proposals are just trying to take away guns, seize your firearm from law-abiding citizens, which in fact, none of these proposals would do. So it sort of indicates that we have to overcome a gap that is created by the personal or political divide, not substantive disagreement.” – Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
What We’re Reading
- CBS News: Biden agenda could collide with federal judiciary remade by Trump
- Politico: Progressives get antsy over Biden’s slow-mo foreign policy
- The Washington Post: Democrats push Biden on returning war-powers authority to Congress