FACT SHEET:
Biden Administration Announces Operational Plan for COVID-19 Vaccinations for Children Under 5

As part of its operational plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to children as young as six-months old, The Administration is making vaccinations for children available at thousands of local pharmacies nationwide through the federal pharmacy program. Participating pharmacies will offer vaccinations for this age group in a more limited set of locations, in many cases at clinics staffed by health care providers with primary care experience. And pharmacies will offer convenient hours and advanced scheduling to best meet the needs of parents and communities. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Driven by President Biden’s comprehensive COVID-19 strategy, including a historic vaccination program that has gotten 220 million Americans fully vaccinated, over 100 million people a booster shot, and made vaccines free, widely available and convenient—daily COVID-19 deaths are down 90 percent since he took office.
 
COVID-19 vaccines remain the single-most important tool that we have to protect people against COVID-19 and its most serious outcomes. Next week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will consider whether to authorize and recommend the first COVID-19 vaccines for kids under the age of 5. If FDA authorizes and CDC recommends one or both of the COVID-19 vaccines for this age group, it would be a historic milestone in the nation’s fight against the virus—and would mean nearly every American is eligible for the protection that vaccination provides.
 
The Biden Administration announced an operational plan that will ensure that vaccines—now authorized by FDA and recommended by CDC—are readily available for our youngest kids and that we continue the critical work of ensuring that all families know the benefits of getting their children vaccinated against COVID-19.
 
The Administration’s vaccination program for America’s youngest children will focus on addressing the specific needs of this age group and their families—recognizing that many parents and guardians will choose to get their kids vaccinated through their pediatrician or primary care doctor. As always, state and local governments, health care providers, federal pharmacy partners, national and community-based organizations, and other entities will be critical to the success of this historic, nationwide effort. And, the Administration will continue to work with trusted messengers, including pediatricians, to make a concerted effort to ensure that all families have answers to their questions and know about the importance of getting their children vaccinated.
 
As the FDA and CDC conduct their independent review processes, the Biden Administration is planning for all scenarios, including for the first vaccinations to start as early as the week of June 20th—with the program ramping up over time as more doses are delivered and more appointments become available.
 
For months, the Administration has been working with a range of stakeholders to get ready. The Administration has made 10 million vaccine doses available for states, Tribes, territories, community health centers, federal pharmacy partners, and others to pre-order. If the FDA authorizes a vaccine, the Administration will immediately begin shipping doses across the country—and will launch an effort to ensure that parents can get their youngest children vaccinated easily. 85 percent of children under the age of five live within five miles of a potential vaccination site.
 
The Biden Administration’s plan includes:
 
Securing vaccine supply for our nation’s children. The Administration has procured a significant supply of vaccines for this age group, with 10 million doses available initially and millions more available in the coming weeks. To ensure that we are able to reach a broad range of pediatric providers—including those in smaller practices and in rural settings—vaccines will be available in package sizes of 100 doses and will come with all of the supplies that health care providers need to serve younger kids, including small needles.
 
Making vaccinations available in convenient places parents and families know and trust. Working with states, localities, Tribes and territories, the Administration will make vaccinations for our nation’s youngest children widely available at thousands of trusted, accessible sites across the country—with 85 percent of children under the age of five living within five miles of a potential vaccination site. Vaccinations will be available at pediatricians’ and other doctors’ offices, community health centers, rural health clinics, children’s hospitals, public health clinics, local pharmacies, and other community-based organizations. The Administration will also work with state and local public health departments and others to ensure that every child—including those who may not have a pediatrician or primary care provider—has access to the vaccine. And, the Administration will work with states and other entities to make vaccinations available at convenient hours for children, parents and their guardians—including after school and evenings, and on weekends.

  • Pediatricians and primary care providers: The Administration will make vaccinations available at thousands of pediatric and primary care sites across the country. Pediatricians continue to be one of the most trusted sources of information about COVID-19 for parents and will play a critical role in the nationwide effort to get our youngest children vaccinated—as they are the most common, trusted location for routine childhood vaccines. More than three in four children under the age of five receive their flu vaccine in a doctor’s office. Well-patient visits are also an opportunity for pediatric providers to conduct recommended screenings and provide counseling. The Administration is working hand-in-hand with states, localities, Tribes, and territories to prioritize these providers and ensure that they have the supply, resources, and support they need. The Administration will also continue to make vaccines available directly to health centers and rural health clinics, who together serve more than 2.2 million children under five nationwide.
     
  • Children’s hospitals and health systems: The Administration will make vaccinations available at more than 100 children’s hospitals and health systems nationwide. Children’s hospitals play an essential role in our efforts to ensure access for our nation’s highest-risk kids, including those with obesity, diabetes, asthma or immunosuppression.  Through the Administration’s partnership with the Children’s Hospital Association, more than 120 children’s hospitals across 47 states and D.C. will provide pediatric vaccinations across their health care systems and in trusted community sites.
     
  • State and local public health clinics and sites: The Administration will build on its longstanding work with state and local health departments across the country to ensure that we are reaching those hardest-to-reach, including families who may not have regular access to a pediatrician, through public health clinics. The Administration will make available federal funding to support states as they stand up and operate these clinics, and will work hand-in-hand with states to maximize vaccination coverage and availability, particularly in the hardest-hit, highest-risk communities.
     
  • Local pharmacies: The Administration will make vaccinations for children available at thousands of local pharmacies nationwide through the federal pharmacy program. Participating pharmacies will offer vaccinations for this age group in a more limited set of locations, in many cases at clinics staffed by health care providers with primary care experience. And pharmacies will offer convenient hours and advanced scheduling to best meet the needs of parents and communities.

 
Leveraging federal programs to reach parents and families with information and advance equity. As with prior vaccination efforts, the Administration will leverage existing federal programs and capabilities to ensure that we are reaching parents and families with the information they need. And, as always, the Administration will remain laser-focused on equity and making sure that we reach those hardest-hit and most at-risk communities.

  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program: In addition to other U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, the Administration will engage families through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which serves over 6 million people, including almost half of all infants born in the United States. A longstanding partner to immunization programs, WIC settings across the country will be provided with tailored resources for talking to families about the COVID-19 vaccine and will continue providing families with referrals to vaccination providers, including those co-located with WIC settings.
     
  • Head Start Program: Through the Administration for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Administration will work with Head Start grantees to get critical vaccination information to the approximately 1 million families they serve. Head Start has always played a crucial role in improving health outcomes for families, and COVID-19 is no different. The Administration will support training and resources for grantees to learn about vaccines for kids under five and how grantees can talk to families about them, and it will ensure that any Head Start location is ready and able to provide vaccinations to its community gets the help it needs.
     
  • Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program: The Administration will engage families through HHS’ Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, which each year reaches more than 140,000 parents and young children across the country that are at risk for poor maternal and child health outcomes. MIECHV home visitors will leverage these established relationships to help families learn more about COVID-19 and the safety, efficacy, and benefits of COVID-19 vaccines and, upon request, will refer families to local vaccination sites.
     
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs: The Administration will launch an effort to reach more than 800,000 children age five and under supported by HUD programs, including children in households that receive housing-choice vouchers and children living in public housing and Section 8 housing. Building on successful campaigns with children in other age groups, these efforts will include education events and on-site vaccination clinics near HUD-supported housing where appropriate, in coordination with other vaccination locations in the community.
     
  • Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): The Center for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) will take steps to support and push the message about the importance of vaccinating the millions of children under 5 who are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. This outreach will involve engaging states, local jurisdictions, and stakeholders to get the latest information on vaccines for this age group to Medicaid beneficiaries and their families. This effort builds on the work that CMS has already done to require state Medicaid programs to pay health care providers for providing counseling visits to parents and guardians about the importance of kids’ vaccination—giving families the support they need to engage with trusted community providers.

 Supporting education and engagement efforts to build trust among parents and families. While many parents are eager to vaccinate their youngest children, others have questions. To ensure that parents and families have answers to their questions and information from sources that they trust, HHS will work with a broad range of national organizations to launch a national public education campaign that reaches parents, guardians, and families with facts and information that they need to make informed choices for both their youngest and their older children.

  • The HHS COVID-19 Community Corps will reach parents and families about vaccinations for kids under the age of five. Launched last April to empower people and organizations to build vaccine confidence in their communities, the Community Corps now has over 17,000 members, including health care, faith, rural, sports, and youth organizations. The ‘HHS We Can Do This’ campaign will provide a pediatric COVID-19 vaccination toolkit—in both English and Spanish—to trusted messengers, health care providers, and state and local organizations so they can reach people where they are in-person and online. HHS will also provide additional materials for stakeholders, including a superhero-themed toolkit with creative resources for hospitals and pediatricians. And, pending FDA authorization and CDC recommendation, the Administration also plans to release a new public service announcement (PSA) letting parents of children 6 months and older know that the new COVID-19 vaccines are available and offer one more way to keep their children safe. The PSA, filmed in both English and Spanish, will be distributed broadly to local television and radio networks, and would air in early July.
     
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), two leading medical, will provide a “Speaker’s Bureau” of pediatricians and family doctors who will lend their trusted voices to raise awareness, answer common questions among parents, and encourage vaccine confidence through community events, vaccine and health fairs, and other key opportunities to reach parents. AAP and AAFP will also work with HHS to co-brand a toolkit of resources geared toward pediatricians and primary care doctors, providing these and other health care providers the information and materials they need to support vaccine confidence among their patients and parents.
     
  • Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), a champion for children’s museums with more than 460 members in 50 states and 19 countries, will work with local member museums to: host vaccine pop-up clinics; provide in-person and virtual events including information sessions, community forums, and other events featuring museum leaders and medical experts to answer parent questions; display a museum exhibit providing educational information about vaccination in English and Spanish; and amplify digital and social content to reach families.
     
  • The National Diaper Bank Network, a nationwide organization with more than 200 member diaper bank programs that distributed over 68 million diapers last year, will distribute educational material to parents and caregivers through member diaper banks, packing fact sheets, postcards, and other materials in diaper boxes, sharing resources with local agency partners, and hosting virtual and in-person events with pediatricians and other trusted messengers.
     
  • The American Library Association (ALA) will provide resources to assist the nation’s 17,000 public libraries in providing trusted vaccine information to parents and guardians. ALA will conduct a national webinar for librarians and staff featuring a pediatrician from AAP and other trusted messengers to provide information to public librarians and staff on how they can support vaccine education and outreach, share resources through children’s programming, and host in-person events and vaccine pop-up clinics to promote vaccines in their communities. Public libraries have played an important role in the pandemic by equipping their communities with trusted information, supplies like masks and COVID-19 tests, and hosting pop-up vaccine clinics.
     
  • The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has been hosting dozens of vaccine pop-up clinics to reach parents, teachers, and school staff. The National PTA will continue to engage parents of school-aged children, as well as parents of younger children, by hosting a national symposium for local PTA leaders and affiliates featuring a pediatrician from AAP and other trusted messengers; hosting vaccine pop-up clinics in key geographic markets to reach parents of both school-aged and younger children; and hosting virtual events to reach parents and empower community leaders to act as trusted messengers and amplify vaccine information. 
     
  • The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), the leading association for community health centers, will provide culturally appropriate and evidence-based training to empower community health centers to act as trusted messengers with parents of school-aged and younger children and other patients in their communities. NACHC will also host virtual events, including webinars, trainings, and podcasts to aid in the dissemination of campaign materials and messaging about the importance of vaccinations for young children, and how community health workers can play a key role in reaching parents with trusted messaging.
     
  • Latino community-focused organizations, including the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the largest and oldest Hispanic serving organization in the US with over 1,000 LULAC Councils, will hold in-person and virtual educational events for parents and caregivers and will design and distribute bilingual, culturally relevant resources (printed and digital) to community members and partner organizations.
     
  • Black community-focused organizations, including the W. Montague Cobb Health Institute, a consortium of scholars working toward the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities within the National Medical Association, will host “Stay Well Health Fairs and Vaccine Clinics,” an ongoing series of health fairs offering free vaccines, educational materials, health screenings, and pediatric roundtables featuring subject matter experts. The Women’s Missionary Society Foundation, with 800,000 members across the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church’s boundaries, will host “family fun day” vaccine events reaching Black families and will collaborate with AME Church daycares and pre-schools to share information and messaging about pediatric vaccines.
     
  • Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community-focused organizations, including the Asian Community Development Council, The Progressive Vietnamese American Organization, Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center, Chinese Community Center, Filipino Family Health Initiative, and Thai Community Development Center will: engage with local communities in Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog and other languages where possible through in-person engagement, phone banking, social media and written resources; reach families through WIC Market Match, which serves parents with small children who are on WIC; and host weekly vaccine clinics and vaccine education classes and events.
     
  • Native American community organizations, including Native Roots Radio, a leading radio station for Native Americans to discuss local, regional, and national Native American news and events will conduct virtual conversations including physicians, community advocates, and Tribal leadership speaking on the COVID-19 pandemic including vaccinations for children, boosters, mental health and long COVID; and the USDA Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations in partnership with the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board will distribute educational materials to food distribution centers to be packaged in food boxes promoting vaccinations that are regionally and culturally tailored to Native American audiences.

What to Expect, a platform of over 20 million moms, will author a blog series featuring doctors and other trusted experts answering questions about pediatric COVID-19 vaccines, and how moms, expecting moms, and all parents can get the information they need to get themselves and their children vaccinated; author new articles dispelling myths about the COVID-19 vaccine and children; and create and amplify new What to Expect social media content, reaching moms where they are and fighting vaccine misinformation across all platforms.

FACT SHEET: Biden Takes Bold Executive Action to Spur Domestic Clean Energy Manufacturing

Historic Actions Include Authorizing Defense Production Act to Lower Energy Costs, Strengthen Power Grid, and Create Good-Paying Jobs

Solar array on a farm in upstate New York. Biden is accelerating and incentivizing clean energy manufacture in the US. The nation is on track to triple domestic solar manufacturing capacity by 2024 –  to reach 22.5 gigawatts by the end of Biden’s first term, enough to enable more than 3.3 million homes to switch to clean solar energy each year. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

I find it infuriating that the “news” is completely taken over by the latest travesties by Trump, Putin and Supreme Court, fueling anger and cynicism among Democrats and Progressives who may well take their anger out at the polls and simply not vote – that, I would remind you, is how we got Trump and this Christo Fascist Supreme Court. Biden Administration not doing anything on climate change? Inflation? Health care? Nonsense. This administration has been incredibly productive – finding real solutions, not bandaids, rhetoric and hype, that have at their foundation a sense of equity, sustainability and social justice. Want to solve inflation? Not by the Keystone Pipeline or overturning coal plant rules, but investing in EV infrastructure, as Biden wants to do. But you wouldn’t know it from the media, social or otherwise. It is our practice, then, to publish first-hand accounts from the White House, federal agencies and officials. –Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Today’s clean energy technologies are a critical part of the arsenal we must harness to lower energy costs for families, reduce risks to our power grid, and tackle the urgent crisis of a changing climate. From day one, President Biden has mobilized investment in these critical technologies. Thanks to his clean energy and climate agenda, last year marked the largest deployment of solar, wind, and batteries in United States history, and our nation is now a magnet for investment in clean energy manufacturing.
 
Since President Biden took office, the private sector has committed over $100 billion in new private capital to make electric vehicles and batteries in the United States. We have made historic investments in clean hydrogen, nuclear, and other cutting-edge technologies. And companies are investing billions more to grow a new domestic offshore wind industry.
 
We are also now on track to triple domestic solar manufacturing capacity by 2024. The expansions to domestic solar manufacturing capacity announced since President Biden took office will grow the current base capacity of 7.5 gigawatts by an additional 15 gigawatts. This would total 22.5 gigawatts by the end of his first term – enough to enable more than 3.3 million homes to switch to clean solar energy each year.
 
While President Biden continues pushing Congress to pass clean energy investments and tax cuts, he is taking bold action to rapidly build on this progress and create a bridge to this American-made clean energy future. Today, President Biden is taking action to:  

  • Authorize use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate domestic production of clean energy technologies, including solar panel parts;
  • Put the full power of federal procurement to work spurring additional domestic solar manufacturing capacity by directing the development of master supply agreements, including “super preference” status; and
  • Create a 24-month bridge as domestic manufacturing rapidly scales up to ensure the reliable supply of components that U.S. solar deployers need to construct clean energy projects and an electric grid for the 21st century, while reinforcing the integrity of our trade laws and processes. 

 Together, these actions will spur domestic manufacturing, construction projects, and good-paying jobs – all while cutting energy costs for families, strengthening our grid, and tackling climate change and environmental injustice. With a stronger clean energy arsenal, the United States can be an even stronger partner to our allies, especially in the face of Putin’s war in Ukraine.
 
The stakes could not be higher. That is why President Biden also continues to urge Congress to quickly pass tax cuts and additional investments that advance U.S. clean energy manufacturing and deployment. Failing to take these actions would deny consumers access to cost-cutting clean energy options, add risks to our power grid, and stall domestic clean energy construction projects that are critical to tackling the climate crisis. At the same time, President Biden will keep using his executive authority to take bold action to build an American-made clean energy future.

INVOKING THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT FOR CLEAN ENERGY

Today, President Biden is authorizing the use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate domestic production of clean energy technologies – unlocking new powers to meet this moment. Specifically, the President is authorizing the Department of Energy to use the DPA to rapidly expand American manufacturing of five critical clean energy technologies:

  • Solar panel parts like photovoltaic modules and module components;
  • Building insulation;
  • Heat pumps, which heat and cool buildings super efficiently;
  • Equipment for making and using clean electricity-generated fuels, including electrolyzers, fuel cells, and related platinum group metals; and
  • Critical power grid infrastructure like transformers.

In deploying the DPA, the Biden-Harris Administration will strongly encourage the use of strong labor standards, including project labor agreements and community benefits agreements that offer wages at or above the prevailing rate and include local hire provisions. The Administration also will strongly encourage projects with environmental justice outcomes that empower the clean energy transition in low-income communities historically overburdened by legacy pollution.
 
Following this announcement, the White House and the Department of Energy will convene relevant industry, labor, environmental justice, and other key stakeholders as we maximize the impact of the DPA tools made available by President Biden’s actions and strengthen domestic clean energy manufacturing.
 
BOOSTING MADE-IN-AMERICA CLEAN ENERGY WITH FEDERAL PROCUREMENT
 
President Biden is also putting the full power of federal procurement to work spurring additional domestic solar manufacturing capacity. Today, the President directed the development of two innovative tools to accelerate Made-in-America clean energy:

  • Master Supply Agreements for domestically manufactured solar systems to increase the speed and efficiency with which domestic clean electricity providers can sell their products to the U.S. Government; and
  • So-called “Super Preferences” to apply domestic content standards for federal procurement of solar systems, including domestically manufactured solar photovoltaic components, consistent with the Buy American Act.

These federal procurement measures can stimulate demand for up to a gigawatt of domestically produced solar modules in the near term, and up to 10 gigawatts over the next decade from U.S. government demand alone. To further increase the impact of these actions, the Administration will also partner with state and local governments and municipal utilities in these innovative arrangements – increasing the potential market impact over the next decade to as much as over 100 gigawatts. These procurement actions will provide a significant demand anchor for a revitalized domestic solar manufacturing industry.
 
SUPPORT FOR U.S. GRID-STRENGTHENING, CLEAN ENERGY CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
 
Because of private investor confidence in President Biden’s leadership and our national commitment to a clean energy future, the United States is now on track to triple its solar manufacturing capacity by 2024. The expansions to domestic solar manufacturing capacity announced since the President took office will grow the current 7.5 gigawatts of capacity by an additional 15 gigawatts of capacity, for a total of 22.5 gigawatts by the end of his first term – enough to enable more than 3.3 million homes to switch to clean solar energy every year. To rapidly build on this progress and create a bridge to this American-made clean energy future, we need to boost short-term solar panel supply to support construction projects in the United States right now. This is because grid operators around the country are relying on planned solar projects to come online to ensure there is sufficient power to meet demand, and to ensure we can continue to deploy solar at the rates needed to keep us on track to meet the President’s climate goals. 
 
Today, President Biden is using his powers to create a 24-month bridge for certain solar imports while reinforcing the integrity of our trade laws and processes. Specifically, the President is:

  • Temporarily facilitating U.S. solar deployers’ ability to source solar modules and cells from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam by providing that those components can be imported free of certain duties for 24 months in order to ensure the U.S. has access to a sufficient supply of solar modules to meet electricity generation needs while domestic manufacturing scales up; and
  • Reinforcing his commitment to safeguarding the integrity and independence of all ongoing trade investigations by career officials at the Department of Commerce and recognizing the vital role these processes play in strengthening our economy.

ADDITIONAL STEPS TO CUT COSTS, SUPPORT GOOD-PAYING JOBS, AND ADVANCE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
 
Today’s actions build on this Administration’s existing initiatives to grow domestic clean energy innovation and manufacturing and to lower energy costs for Americans, including: 

  • Permitting More Clean Energy on Public Lands. As part of the Biden-Harris Permitting Action Plan, a new five-agency collaboration is expediting reviews of clean energy projects on public lands through the Department of the Interior, helping us race ahead toward permitting at least 25 gigawatts by 2025 – enough to power around five million homes. These actions have already increased clean energy permitting activities by 35 percent, including major solar project approvals and leases. We have also launched five new Renewable Energy Coordination Offices and reduced rents and fees by more than 50 percent for solar and wind projects on public lands.
     
  • Boosting Community-Based Clean Energy in Cities and Rural Areas. The Biden-Harris Administration is helping 17 local communities remove red tape with the SolarAPP+ online tool to enable same-day approvals for residential solar installation permits, and an additional 400 interested communities are in the pipeline. The National Climate Task Force launched new initiatives on increasing deployment of Distributed Energy Resources, including rooftop solar, with a focus on bringing the benefits of these projects to underserved communities. The United States Department of Agriculture provided the largest-ever investment in rural renewable energy last year. In addition, the Department of Energy and the Department of Health and Human Services are partnering to develop and pilot a digital platform that will connect customers who are eligible for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program with community solar subscriptions, to further reduce customer energy costs. Likewise, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is working with municipalities to enable residents of affordable housing to directly benefit from low-cost community solar power without seeing a rent increase or adjustment to their utility allowance.
     
  • Supporting a Diverse Solar Workforce with Good-Paying Jobs, including pathways to stable careers with the free and fair choice to join a union. Solar industry jobs consistently rank among the top fastest-growing in the nation, and many require only a high school education or GED. The Economic Development Administration recently awarded funding to support solar employment training in tribal and coal-impacted communities. In addition, the Department of Energy has issued a Request for Information and hosted six workshops to determine common goals and needs from stakeholders, including industry, unions, and training organizations. DOE will continue to explore these issues, including by providing funding, new collaborations with industry, other federal agencies, and state-based job boards to develop equitable worker-centric training and education programs, work-based learning opportunities, and support services such as career counseling, mentorship, and job readiness programs.
     
  • Developing Clean Energy Domestic Manufacturing for Export and Building Capacity in Allied Nations. The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) Make More in America Initiative, approved by the EXIM board in April, will prioritize investments to expand clean energy manufacturing. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation supports building resilient clean energy manufacturing supply chains in allied nations around the world, reducing global dependence on China.
     
  • Investing in Clean Energy for Resilience in Puerto Rico: The Biden-Harris Administration joined forces with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to advance dozens of solar energy projects that will enable Puerto Rico to meet its target of 100% renewable electricity, while improving power sector resilience and increasing access to more affordable energy and cleaner air. 

White House Memo: President Biden’s Plan to Tackle Inflation

People are really really upset about paying more for gas and groceries, kind of forgetting how it was a year ago to feel you might die from COVID-19. COVID, coupled with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, are the two biggest drivers of inflation, which has been even more severe in other countries, but Biden has taken steps to mitigate or reverse – getting blocked at every turn by Republicans. Meanwhile, people can adjust their own behavior to reduce costs – drive less, bike more, for example – and moving the economy to electric vehicles, with billions being spent by the Biden Administration to develop the infrastructure, will also create jobs and increase wages © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The White House has published a memo outlining President Biden’s plan to tackle inflation:

As our economy begins to transition to more stable growth, President Biden has made combatting inflation and lowering costs for families his top economic priority. President Biden’s plan to tackle inflation has three key pillars: 

1. Reducing costs on everyday items

2. Lowering the deficit

3. Giving the Federal Reserve the independence it needs to act

The biggest single driver of inflation now is Putin’s war against Ukraine –increases in food and energy prices account for around 50% of this month’s CPI. Putin’s Price Hike hit hard in May: gas pump prices are up by $2 a gallon in many places since Russian troops began to threaten Ukraine. President Biden has taken action to blunt the impact of Putin’s Price Hike for families:

• The President announced the release of a record 1 million barrels per day from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

• He rallied our Allies and partners to join us, releasing a combined 240 million additional barrels of oil on the market. 

• He expanded access to biofuels like E15, which will lower prices at thousands of gas stations in the across the country.

• While oil production is increasing and projected to reach a historic level next year, oil companies are sitting on 9,000 unused permits to drill more and pocketing the largest profits in years.

80% of a typical family’s monthly budget is spent on items other than food and energy. That means that even as we work to address energy and food prices in the near-term, making other necessities more affordable for working families can give families more breathing room at the end of the month.

• President Biden announced that tens of millions of households – or nearly 40% of all households in America – will be able to save $50 per month or more on high-speed internet, which is now an economic necessity for American families. 

• President Biden took action to save hundreds of thousands of families hundreds of dollars a month by fixing the Affordable Care Act’s “family glitch.” Nearly 1 million Americans would see their coverage become more affordable.

• President Biden has cut the deficit by $1.7 trillion – more this year than any President in history, reducing inflationary pressures. 

The President calls on Congress to act urgently as well.

• The President has called on Congress to pass a bill to crack down on ocean shippers to lower the price of goods. In the last year, shipping prices have gone up by as much as 1,000% driving higher prices for families on items from appliances to apparel. 

• The President calls on Congress to pass legislation to cut costs for families like energy bills and prescription drugs. According to an independent analysis, the clean energy tax credits and investments the President has proposed would save families $500 per year on their energy costs by 2030, and transition our economy away from relying on energy produced by autocrats like Putin. And the President believes that Congress should give Medicare the power to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, and that Congress should cap the cost of insulin at $35 per month. These reforms wouldn’t just lower costs for consumers; they would also reduce federal spending. 

• Congress could lower the deficit even more by asking the super wealthy and profitable corporations to pay their fair share. According to an outside analysis, 55 companies paid no money in taxes last year. It’s wrong for the super wealthy and profitable corporations to pay a lower tax rate than a teacher or firefighter. 

Congressional Republicans’ only plan to tackle inflation increases taxes for working families. And, their attacks on gas prices are incoherent and dishonest. 

• Senator Rick Scott, a member of Senate Republican Leadership changed his words on his agenda to raise taxes on millions of working and middle class Americans by $1,500, but still said “We need them pulling the wagon and paying taxes” and that he “apologizes to absolutely nobody.” He also stood by his Congressional Republican plan to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every 5 years.

• Congressional Republicans blame President Biden for gas prices, but the truth is that gas pump prices are up by $2 a gallon in many places since Russian troops began to threaten Ukraine. This is Putin’s price hike. A majority of Republicans in Congress support Ukraine in their fight for their democracy and our alliance to strengthen theirposition, and now cynically blame the President for Putin’s actions that have raised prices around the world. That’s not economics, that’s politics.

• Congressional Republicans blame the administration for decreased oil production. The truth is oil production is projected to reach a historic level next year. When oil companies produce less, the cost goes up. In 2020, Americans stayed home more and drove less, so oil companies cut back on oil production and refining. Now, demand has returned, but oil production is still 10% below where it was pre-pandemic. Oil companies are sitting on 9,000 unused permits to drill more and pocketing the largest profits in years. The President has called for — and Congressional Democrats have voted for — a “use it or lose it” policy for permits on federal lands, and Congressional Republicans opposed it. 

• The five biggest oil companies made $35 billion in the first quarter of this year—that’s four times what they made in the same quarter last year. Congressional Republicans oppose making these companies pay their fair share in taxes.

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration’ Monkeypox Outbreak Response

For years, the United States has invested in research on monkeypox and in tools to effectively respond to the disease. Monkeypox is a virus that is generally spread through close or intimate contact, with symptoms that include a rash and fever. It is much less transmissible than fast-spreading respiratory diseases like COVID-19, and this outbreak has not caused any deaths in the United States.  The virus, however, is spreading in the United States and globally, and requires a comprehensive response from federal, state, local, and international governments and communities. Since the first United States case was confirmed on May 18, President Biden has taken critical actions to make vaccines, testing, and treatments available to those who need them as part of its whole-of-government monkeypox outbreak response.

The Biden-Harris Administration announced the first phase of its national monkeypox vaccine strategy, a critical part of its monkeypox outbreak response. The vaccine strategy will help immediately address the spread of the virus by providing vaccines across the country to individuals at high risk. This phase of the strategy aims to rapidly deploy vaccines in the most affected communities and mitigate the spread of the disease.

This announcement is a critical component of the Administration’s broader public health response, which includes rapidly scaling up and decentralizing testing alongside continued provider education and community engagement across the country. The Administration’s monkeypox outbreak response is also informed by the multiple times over the last twenty years that the United States has effectively responded to the virus. The United States government’s response is coordinated by the National Security Council Directorate on Global Health Security and Biodefense – more commonly known as the White House Pandemic Office – which President Biden restored on day one of his presidency, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Collectively, the Administration’s efforts aim to expand vaccination for individuals at risk and make testing more convenient for healthcare providers and patients across the country. The Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to working with urgency to detect more cases, protect those at risk, and respond rapidly to the outbreak.

Scaling and Delivering Vaccines to Mitigate New Infections: Thanks to prior investments in health security and the nation’s prior experience responding to the monkeypox virus, the United States has effective vaccines and treatments that can be used against monkeypox. To date, HHS has received requests from 32 states and jurisdictions, deploying over 9,000 doses of vaccine and 300 courses of antiviral smallpox treatments. With today’s national monkeypox vaccine strategy, the United States is significantly expanding deployment of vaccines, allocating 296,000 doses over the coming weeks, 56,000 of which will be allocated immediately. Over the coming months a combined 1.6 million additional doses will become available.

Making Testing Easier: The new national monkeypox vaccine strategy builds on the Administration’s efforts to make testing more widely available and easier to access. On day one of this outbreak, providers had access to a high-quality, FDA-cleared test to detect monkeypox. The CDC has since scaled testing capacity to 78 sites in 48 states, primarily at state public health laboratories, with spare capacity to conduct nearly 10,000 tests per week nationwide. Last week, CDC began shipping  tests to five commercial laboratory companies, including some of the nation’s largest reference laboratories, to further increase monkeypox testing capacity and access in every community. This action will dramatically improve convenience for patients and health care providers across the nation.

Activating Community Leaders and Stakeholders: The response to monkeypox requires a whole-of-society effort between federal, state, territorial, and local governments and communities. The Biden-Harris Administration is communicating with healthcare providers, public health officials, and affected communities on a daily basis to share information on what the virus is, how to treat it, and which communities are most at risk. The Administration is also sharing information on how to access testing, treatments, and vaccines, and how to prevent transmission with local, government, and community leaders in geographies and communities where transmission rates have been the highest. The Administration is grateful for the leadership and activism of advocates in the LGBTQI+ community who have thus far been most affected and have quickly mobilized to promote information and awareness.

The Biden-Harris Administration is providing vaccines to protect high-risk groups across America.

As part of the monkeypox outbreak response, the Biden-Harris Administration is launching a national strategy to provide vaccines for monkeypox for individuals at higher risk of exposure. The strategy aims to mitigate the spread of the virus in communities where transmission has been the highest and with populations most at risk. This plan distributes the two-dose JYNNEOS vaccine, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for protection against smallpox and monkeypox in individuals 18 years and older determined to be at high risk for smallpox or monkeypox infection. States will be offered an equitable allotment based on cases and proportion of the population at risk for severe disease from monkeypox, and the federal government will partner with state, local, and territorial governments in deploying the vaccines.

The goal of the initial phase of the strategy is to slow the spread of the disease. HHS will immediately allocate 56,000 vaccine doses currently in the Strategic National Stockpile to states and territories across the country, prioritizing jurisdictions with the highest number of cases and population at risk. To date, vaccines have been provided only to those who have a confirmed monkeypox exposure. With these doses, CDC is recommending that vaccines be provided to individuals with confirmed monkeypox exposures and presumed exposures. This includes those who had close physical contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox, those who know their sexual partner was diagnosed with monkeypox, and men who have sex with men who have recently had multiple sex partners in a venue where there was known to be monkeypox or in an area where monkeypox is spreading.

In the coming weeks, HHS expects to receive an additional 240,000 vaccines, which will be made available to a broader population of individuals at risk. HHS will hold another 60,000 vaccines in reserve.

As additional doses are received from the manufacturer, HHS will make them available to jurisdictions to expand availability to the vaccine for individuals with elevated risk. HHS is increasing the availability of doses by leveraging its long-standing partnership with the manufacturer of JYNNEOS to expand vaccine supply and by accelerating completion and shipment of doses to the United States.  HHS expects more than 750,000 doses to be made available over the summer. An additional 500,000 doses will undergo completion, inspection, and release throughout the fall, totaling 1.6 million doses available this year.

To supplement the supply of JYNNEOS, states and territories may also request a second vaccine, ACAM2000. ACAM2000 is FDA-approved for protection against smallpox, caused by the variola virus. ACAM2000 is also believed to confer protection against monkeypox, and is available under an expanded access investigational new drug protocol sponsored by CDC for vaccination of individuals at risk of monkeypox infection. However, ACAM2000 carries greater risk of certain serious side effects than JYNNEOS and cannot be provided to individuals who are immunocompromised or who have heart disease. The CDC will work with state, territorial, and local health departments requesting the ACAM2000 vaccine to ensure that individuals are fully informed on the benefits and the risks before receiving the vaccine.

HHS will work closely with local and state partners and health providers to continuously evolve and strengthen its vaccine strategy to ensure that vaccines are being made available to communities most at risk and where transmission has been highest.

The Administration is expanding testing supply and availability.

Last week, CDC began shipping its FDA-cleared orthopox test to five major commercial laboratory companies to rapidly increase monkeypox testing access across the country. This action will dramatically expand testing capacity nationwide and convenience for patients and health care providers. These laboratories will begin to come on board for testing in early July and increase capacity through the month.

This expansion reflects the latest, most significant increase in testing accessibility, building on the capacities already available within the Laboratory Response Network (LRN). CDC has worked with the LRN to increase public health testing capacity by more than 50% since the start of the outbreak, increasing testing capacity from 6,000 tests per week to approximately 10,000 test per week. This network continues to provide spare testing capacity to jurisdictions across the country. CDC is working with state, territorial, and local health departments to make the monkeypox testing process more accessible to health care providers.
To further expand access to testing early in the outbreak, CDC published its protocol from their FDA-cleared test on June 9, 2022 for any laboratory to test for monkeypox. The FDA is exercising enforcement discretion regarding CDC’s tests, which permits the use of tests beyond the current network. FDA has also authorized the use of additional reagents and automation to increase the capacity of laboratories using the CDC test.

Since the start of the monkeypox outbreak, the number of days from average symptom onset to test has decreased by approximately 35%, enabling patients to more quickly learn their diagnosis, access care, and prevent spread to others. The expansion of testing aims to facilitate further reductions in the gap between symptom onset and test result, maximizing access to treatment and vaccines for patients and high-risk contacts early in the course of disease.

The Administration has launched a robust community and stakeholder engagement strategy.

The most effective response to infectious disease outbreaks is a community-based response. The Biden-Harris Administration is communicating with healthcare providers, public health officials, and communities on a daily basis to raise awareness of the monkeypox outbreak and educate the public and local and community leaders about what the virus is, how it is transmitted, and which populations are most at risk of the virus. As part of its robust engagement strategy, the Administration is facilitating access to vaccines, treatments, and tests. The Administration will also continue to engage directly with leaders and stakeholders in the LGBTQI+ community to work together to prevent and combat stigma and bias, and promote testing and vaccine access and health equity for LGBTQI+ communities. Through its comprehensive stakeholder engagement strategy, the Administration is also creating a critical feedback loop – learning from the experiences of those most at risk and responding based on their insights and needs.

HHS has provided a range of public health information to inform providers and high-risk communities, including:

  • Updating and expanding the monkeypox case definition by June 1st to encourage health care providers to consider testing for all rashes with clinical suspicion for monkeypox;
  • Releasing emergency information on May 20th and June 14th covering clinical testing, treatment, contact tracing, and other topics to health providers, sexual and community health centers, and public health officials across the nation;
  • Providing over 570 case consultations to healthcare providers and health departments;
  • Clarifying how to transport and dispose of medical waste that allowed healthcare facilities and waste management companies to operate confidently and safely; and,
  • Regularly speaking with global, community, clinical, and public health stakeholders to solve challenges and answer questions.

HHS and CDC will continue to engage with the public and communities most impacted and at risk on a daily basis throughout the response.

The Administration is leading efforts to combat monkeypox globally

There is no domestic-only response to a global outbreak. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to combatting monkeypox in the United States and around the world, including in countries where it has been historically endemic. The United States has also supported international efforts to combat monkeypox in endemic countries for years, including in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Biden-Harris Administration is dedicated to assisting endemic and non-endemic countries combat their outbreaks and is exploring options to further support the international response.

The Administration is also developing key U.S. monkeypox research and evidence priorities, led by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, to drive efforts to improve our arsenal of medical countermeasures, strengthen real-time monitoring, enhance our understanding of the monkeypox virus, and energize the broader U.S. and global scientific community around urgent monkeypox research and evidence challenges.

The Biden Administration has been responding to the outbreak since the first domestic case was identified with urgency, humility, and transparency, adapting our approach as we learn more about how this virus is spreading. It will continue to ensure a whole-of-government response to the monkeypox outbreak moving forward, and will lead the government in adapting our response as the situation develops.

To learn more about monkeypox, signs and symptoms, treatments, and prevention, please visit the CDC page here.

Biden Announces Actions In Light of SCOTUS Decision to Overturn Roe v Wade

Protester at a rally at the Nassau County Courthouse, Long Island, New York, hours after the Supreme Court announced its ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and with it, women’s reproductive freedom – one of hundreds across the country. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

June 24, 2022


 FACT SHEET:
President Biden Announces Actions In Light of Today’s Supreme Court Decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

 

Today, President Biden announced actions that his Administration is taking to protect women who will face the grave consequences of today’s Supreme Court decision. This decision expressly took away a Constitutional right from the American people that it had recognized for nearly 50 years – a woman’s right to choose, free from government interference.

This decision will have devastating consequences in the lives of women around the country.

The President made clear that the only way to secure a woman’s right to choose is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe as federal law. Until then, he has announced two actions the Administration is taking to protect women.

Protecting the Right to Seek Medical Care

As the Attorney General made clear, women must remain free to travel safely to another state to seek the care they need.

A person has the right to travel between states for whatever reason they want – it is no one else’s business – especially the government’s. If a woman lives in a state that restricts abortion, the Supreme Court’s decision does not prevent her from traveling from her home to a state that allows it.

If any state or local official tries to interfere with women exercising this basic right, the Biden Administration will fight that deeply un-American attack.

Protecting Access to Medication

The President directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to protect women’s access to critical medications for reproductive health care that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration—including essential preventive health care like contraception and medication abortion.

More than 20 years ago, the FDA approved mifepristone to safely end an early pregnancy; this drug is also commonly used to treat miscarriages. The American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists wrote to President Biden and Vice President Harris, asking the federal government to protect access to this care. In the face of threats from state officials saying they will try to ban or severely restrict access to medication for reproductive health care, the President directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to identify all ways to ensure that mifepristone is as widely accessible as possible in light of the FDA’s determination that the drug is safe and effective—including when prescribed through telehealth and sent by mail.

See: Abort the Court: Supremes Have Lost all Credibility, Authority, Legitimacy

Reactions, Next Steps After Supreme Court Extremists Strike Down State’s Concealed Carry Restriction

New York Attorney General Leticia James and New York City Mayor Eric Adams join March Against Gun Violence: Policy & Action Over Thoughts & Prayers protest.New York Governor Kathy Hochul and NYC Mayor Adams are reacting to the Supreme Court decision striking down the state’s conceal carry permit regulation © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Karen Rubin, news-photos-features.com

The statement by Clarence Thomas’ majority opinion justifying striking down New York State’s sensible qualifications to obtain a concealed carry gun permit saying regulation must conform with “history” – as if the 1791 technology of muskets and a ball were still the norm instead of high-tech assault weapons made for war that pulverize, vaporize human body – rather than common sense restrictions that go back more than 100 years, means that all of us must live in terror that an altercation, road rage, misunderstanding or a suicidal meltdown will lead to murder or massacre. The Supreme Court has basically given its blessing to gun violence as political weapon of intimidation – threatening poll workers, election workers, voters, elected officials. Imagine Trump or DeSantis thugs, strapped with AR15s blocking access to a polling place, or protesting in front of a home of a Secretary of State or House member of the January 6 committee (but certainly not the Supreme Court justices’ homes).

The Supreme Court has proved itself to be a political actor with a Christo Fascist ideological agenda – overturning state’s rights to protect citizens against guns and epidemic while insisting on state’s right to overturn a woman’s federal, Constitutional right to Equal Protection or equal citizenship. The court has lost all legitimacy or credibility – with three justices illegally placed on the court by an illegitimate president using anti-constitutional means by the Republican Senate Majority Leader, and a fourth corrupt justice, Clarence Thomas who should be impeached.

So short of disregarding the court’s radical extremist majority altogether, states should follow the “founders’” 1791 language to the letter. This is what states and municipalities should do to protect citizens from the epidemic of gun violence:

All gun owners should be required to enlist in a well-regulated militia, be required to go for regular training, be registered, licensed every five years, and be prepared to defend the state.

Also: impose tax on guns, ammunition to support a Victims Fund. Require gun owners to have liability insurance.

Following the tactic used by anti-choice activists, restrict all gun sales to licensed gun sellers, who are restricted where and when they can operate, and who are held liable if they sell a gun to someone who failed background check or if the gun is used in crime. Outlaw online and private sales. Restrict what kinds of guns and ammunition can be sold.

Require gun manufacturers to use SMART ID so only the registered, licensed, trained gun owner can operate the gun; require microstamping so that ammunition used in crime can be traced back. Make gun manufacturers liable when their guns are used in crimes, mass shooting. Restrict advertising (as is done for tobacco sales).

Here are the statements from New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and President Joe Biden:

Governor Hochul: “As Governor of the State of New York, my number one priority is to keep New Yorkers safe, but today the Supreme Court is sending us backwards in our efforts to protect families and prevent gun violence.”

Hochul: “I’m prepared to call the legislature back into session to deal with this. We’ve been in contact with the leadership. We’re just looking at dates. Everyone wants a little bit of time to digest this, but I will say we are not powerless in this situation. We’re not going to cede our rights that easily. Despite the best efforts of the politicized Supreme Court of the United States of America, we have the power of the pen.”

We just received some very disturbing news from Washington; that the Supreme Court of the United States of America has stripped away the state of New York’s right and responsibility to protect its citizens with a decision – which we are still digesting – which is frightful in its scope of how they are setting back this nation and our ability to protect our citizens back to the days of our founding fathers. And the language we’re reading is shocking.

As Governor of the State of New York, my number one priority is to keep New Yorkers safe, but today the Supreme Court is sending us backwards in our efforts to protect families and prevent gun violence. And it’s particularly painful that this came down at this moment. We are still dealing with families in pain from mass shootings that have occurred; the loss of life of their beloved children and grandchildren.

Today, the Supreme Court struck down a New York law that limits who can carry concealed weapons. Does everyone understand what a concealed weapon means? That you have no forewarning that someone can hide a weapon on them and go into our subways, go into our grocery stores like stores up in Buffalo, New York, where I’m from, go into a school in Parkland or Uvalde.

This could place millions of New Yorkers in harm’s way. And this is at a time when we’re still mourning the loss of lives, as I just mentioned. This decision, isn’t just reckless, it’s reprehensible. It’s not what New Yorkers want. We should have the right of determination of what we want to do in terms of our gun laws in our state.

If the federal government will not have sweeping laws to protect us, then our states and our governors have a moral responsibility to do what we can and have laws that protect our citizens because of what is going on – the insanity of the gun culture that has now possessed everyone all the way up to even to the Supreme Court.

The law we’re talking about has been in place since the early 1900s. And now to have our ability to determine who is eligible for a concealed carry permit – this is not an ordinary permit. This is a special use that you can hide it from people. We have limitations, if it’s for a proper cause, someone who’s been threatened, someone who needs it for their job as a security guard. We have classifications where it is allowed and has been allowed for over a hundred years.

We do not need people entering our subways, our restaurants, our movie theaters with concealed weapons. We don’t need more guns on our streets. We’re already dealing with a major gun violence crisis. We don’t need to add more fuel to this fire.

But I will tell New Yorkers, we’ve been ready for this. We feared this day would come and it came. At this very moment when we are about to sign a law into place, the origins of which was a loss of a 14 year old child, Alyssa, in her school.

The confluence of these two events is shocking. But again, I’m going to reassure this state. We are reading the language as we speak. We’ve been preparing, but we have been working with a team of experts, legal experts from all over this country and organizations like Everytown, true leaders, to make sure that we are prepared.

I’m prepared to call the legislature back into session to deal with this. We’ve been in contact with the leadership. We’re just looking at dates. Everyone wants a little bit of time to digest this, but I will say we are not powerless in this situation. We’re not going to cede our rights that easily. Despite the best efforts of the politicized Supreme Court of the United States of America, we have the power of the pen.

And I just want to read some language here. Apparently, the Supreme Court has now decided with this far reaching decision that the two step standard that had been in place since Heller [and] McDonald, where they analyze the Second Amendment, where it combines history. We have a history, yes we do, but also means and scrutiny. Does the means of the restriction justify the infringement.

And most people would say, yes, we have a right to protect people from gun violence. But I’ll simply say in our very quick analysis because this is only minutes old, they have now said that the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with this nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.

That’s it. No longer can we strike the balance. Only if a firearm regulation is consistent with this nation’s historical tradition may a court conclude that the individual’s conduct falls outside the Second Amendment’s unqualified command.

Shocking, absolutely shocking that they have taken away our right to have reasonable restrictions. We can have restrictions on speech. You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater, but somehow there’s no restrictions allowed on the second amendment.

This is New York. We don’t back down, we fight back. And we’ll be alerting the public, the media in the very short term of exactly what our language is that we’ve been analyzing. We have language we’d like to now enact into law. We’ll be sharing that with the leaders.

And I’m sorry this dark day has come. That we’re supposed to go back to what was in place since 1788 when the Constitution of United States America was ratified. And I would like to point out to the Supreme Court justices that the only weapons at that time were muskets. I’m prepared to go back to muskets.

I don’t think they envision the high capacity assault weapon magazines intended for battlefields as being covered from this, but I guess we’re just going to have to disagree.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams: This decision has made every single one of us less safe from gun violence.

This decision has made every single one of us less safe from gun violence. It ignores the shocking crisis of gun violence every day, engulfing not only New York, but entire country.

To base this decision on “historical past” that does not account for the reality of today, ignores the present and endangers our future.

While nothing changes today, we have been preparing for this decision and will continue to do everything possible to work with fed, state, local partners to protect city. We will collaborate with other mayors, municipality leaders, leave no stone unturned, as we seek to undue and mitigate the damage today.

We are undertaking a comprehensive review with counsel, legal experts, as we start to define sensitive locations where carrying gun is banned and reviewing application process to insure only those fully qualified can obtain carry license.

We cannot allow New York to become the wild wild west. That’s unacceptable. We will not allow our city to live in fear that everyone around is armed, and any altercation could evolve into shootout. We will not allow our police to be subject to further danger, making their already difficult jobs even more harrowing.

We will do everything in our power, using every legal resource to insure gains are not undone, and New Yorkers are not put in greater danger of gun violence.

There is no place in the nation this decision affects more than New York City, no place in the nation that will be impacted more than New York City or is affected as much as New Yorkers.

And we are prepared to set example, lead the country in fighting back this decision. Today’s Supreme Court decision may feed gun violence.

Now is time for every elected official who cares for safety of all Americans to come together, to respond thoroughly, comprehensively to this appalling decision.

New York City Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell added, “This decision has been remanded back to lower courts. Nothing changes. A premise permit doesn’t automatically change to a carry permit. If you carry without a permit, you will be arrested.” 

Statement by President Joe Biden on Supreme Court Ruling on Guns

I am deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. Since 1911, the State of New York has required individuals who would like to carry a concealed weapon in public to show a need to do so for the purpose of self-defense and to acquire a license. More than a century later, the United States Supreme Court has chosen to strike down New York’s long-established authority to protect its citizens. This ruling contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all.
 
In the wake of the horrific attacks in Buffalo and Uvalde, as well as the daily acts of gun violence that do not make national headlines, we must do more as a society — not less — to protect our fellow Americans. I remain committed to doing everything in my power to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer. I have already taken more executive actions to reduce gun violence than any other President during their first year in office, and I will continue to do all that I can to protect Americans from gun violence. 
 
I urge states to continue to enact and enforce commonsense laws to make their citizens and communities safer from gun violence. As the late Justice Scalia recognized, the Second Amendment is not absolute. For centuries, states have regulated who may purchase or possess weapons, the types of weapons they may use, and the places they may carry those weapons. And the courts have upheld these regulations.
 
I call on Americans across the country to make their voices heard on gun safety. Lives are on the line.

New Yorkers Protest for Gun Safety Laws to End Scourge of Gun Violence Epidemic

“The NRA Has Blood on Its Hands.” UFT joins March For Our Lives rally in New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Karen Rubin, News-Photos-Features.com

[Breaking news: Just one day after the March for Our Lives events, the bipartisan Senate committee working on some compromise gun violence prevention legislation announced they had come up with a framework. The proposal calls for making juvenile records of gun buyers under age 21 available when they undergo background checks; provides money to states to implement “red flag” laws and to bolster school safety and mental health programs; require more people who sell guns obtain federal dealers’ licenses, which means they would have to conduct background checks of purchasers. President Biden immediately put out a statement that the framework “does not do everything that I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction, and would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades.” He urged rapid passage. But as you see in what the gun violence prevention activists are saying, there is much, much more to do.]

Amid the palpable outrage, frustration and fear, there is this kernel of hope that what didn’t happen after Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkville and now Uvalde, the 40,000 lives lost to gun violence last year, and the more than 200 mass shootings that have already happened this year, or the report that more children and teens are killed by guns than by disease or car accidents, may finally happen: that Congress would finally pass sensible gun safety regulations to end the public health epidemic of gun violence. And the difference is this: the election season for the midterms is already underway and Congressmen have already had their primary challenges so shouldn’t “fear” being primaried by an even more fascist candidate to appeal to the bloodlust of their base.

“I’m Scared to Be a Teacher..” UFT joins March For Our Lives rally in New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Over a thousand protesters – representing a huge array of groups including March for Our Lives, Youth Against Violence, teachers from the UFT and AFT, Moms Demand Action, Everytown, NYACLU, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and many more – who marched from Brooklyn to Manhattan to rally – screamed and cheered when urged to vote out any politician who refuses to put children’s lives over the gun industry’s profits.

“United States of School Shootings.” UFT joins March For Our Lives rally in New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“End gun worship,” Rev. Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft of Middle Church, intoned. “Vote out every politician who supports the NRA, gun lobby.”

“Love Children More.” UFT joins March For Our Lives rally in New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

They called for universal background checks, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and other instruments and weapons of war never meant for the streets; raise the minimum age to buy a gun to 21; mandate safe storage so that a two-year old who finds a gun doesn’t kill his sibling (or what just happened when a mother handed her two year old her gun, killed his father), and Red Flag laws.

“Message to Congress: None of You are Ballotproof.” March For Our Lives rally in New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

And mindful that it is Republican Senators (Democrats passed gun reform in the House) who have blocked every gun safety measure for the past 30 years, they called for an end to the filibuster, since there do not seem to be 10 Republican Senators of conscience.

“End Gun Violence.” March For Our Lives rally in New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Dr. Nancy Dodson, a pediatrician and gun safety activist, said gun violence is a public health crisis and one that is propagated by the propaganda of the gun industry, no different in its campaign to deflect and distract (mental health, not guns), than the lead paint industry who blamed neglectful mothers and even put out a children’s book to say that lead paint is good for you, and the tobacco industry.

“Hey NRA, How Many Kids Did you Kill Today,” became one of the cheers during the March For Our Lives protest in New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“Why aren’t there cigarette ads in magazines, commercials on TVs, toy giveaways?  Because they were sued. But the gun industry, despite 40,000 killed last year including 4000 children has near-total immunity, under the Protection of Legal Commerce in Arms Act. This is an unjust law that must be repealed so that victims and survivors can sue,” she declared, to cheers.

“Never Again.” March For Our Lives rally in New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

 “It would lead to economic justice for victims and radical changes in design, advertising and sales of guns. “What is the life of a child worth? Gun manufacturers should find out in court.”

“Laws can change social norms,” she said. Drunk driving became socially unacceptable, it became a loving gesture to take your friend’s keys away. It should be the same for guns.”

That means more use of Red Flag Laws, so that it becomes culturally acceptable to say, “You’re struggling now, so don’t do something you’ll regret.”

“We have saved lives of children before and cited examples and a public health scourge through changing  culture – drunk driving… And many examples of government taking action – after one guy got on a plane with explosives in his shoe and another with explosive underpants, everyone for the past 20 years has had to take off their shoes at the airport, been patted down and x-rayed.

March Against Gun Violence: Policy & Action Over Thoughts & Prayers, takes the protest over the Brooklyn Bridge © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York State Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Mayor Eric Adams join organizers of the March Against Gun Violence, March for Our Lives and UFT crossing the Brooklyn Bridge to call for gun safety legislation to end the gun violence epidemic  © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Ali and Aj of AJ Band described the terror of being in the midst of multiple mass shootings – outside their concert venue, someone sprayed 100 rounds , leaving six dead on the pavement just outside their tour bus where they had hit the ground, then again in Portland, then again in Atlanta they heard shots. “This should not be normal.”

Aly and AJ of the AJ Band speak of their own terror surviving a mass shooting that left six dead on the street in front of their tour bus parked at a concert venue © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Instead, the Republicans are trying to deflect, putting the onus on mental health and school security, when school districts are cutting funding for actual education, for the arts, theater and music programs that might help that alienated youth to find a better outlet.

“Books Not Bullets.” March for Our Lives rally, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“Young people must turn their passion and pain to purpose and vote,” said Attorney General Letitia James, who was with the protest from the beginning of the march through the end of the rally. “Congress won’t act until they feel the power of the people.  Vote in record numbers to end the violence.

“I am 21 and have lived through 369 school shootings.” Gun Violence is now the number one killer of children under 18, surpassing disease and car accidents. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“Enough prayers, empty thoughts. This is a defining moment young people, for the country. Women’s rights, civil rights, gay rights, trans rights, disabled rights, environmental protection did not start with politicians. It was all of you young people who lead and politicians who followed. Break the collective yoke around the neck of this country…Turn out and vote, vote, vote the reckless cowards out of office, the spineless, gutless who believe in power over people.”

Janella Hines, a high school teacher, speaks of gun violence in homes and how one of her students was murdered. “The trauma is experienced day after day. This is not what teachers went to school for, but we have to do it. It’s time for policy and change.”Gun safety activists are calling for Red Flag laws and universal background checks.  © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Janella Hines, representing the UFT which helped organize the march, spoke for the teachers who carried signs saying, “I’m scared.” “Books not bullets.” And how when they decided to make teaching their career, they never expected that protecting children from gunmen with military-style weapons, and comforting the traumatized children after they have lost classmates, was part of the job description.

She focused not on the mass shootings that have so terrorized – in schools, churches, grocery stores, concerts, movie theaters, malls – but violence in homes. One of her student’s, named Chloe, was murdered with her sister and mother by her step father on her sister’s birthday. “The entire school community suffered the loss. The trauma is experienced day after day. This is not what teachers went to school for, but we have to do it. It’s time for policy and change.”

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney declared, “If guns made us safe, we would be the safest on earth. But the only place more dangerous is Ukraine, and they are at war. We are killing people because of the easy access to guns,” and called for an end to gun manufacturers’ immunity to lawsuits © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney declared, “If guns made us safe, we would be the safest on earth. But the only place more dangerous is Ukraine, and they are at war.

“We are killing people because of the easy access to guns.” She said that gun manufacturers need to be held accountable for profiting from murdering children. and called for an end to the immunity gun manufacturers, unlike every other industry, from liability lawsuits.

Congressman Mondaire Jones, if the Senate Republicans block passing the Protecting Our Kids Act, end the filibuster, and if the Supreme Court overturns gun safety laws, expand the court to nullify Trump’s three radical rightwing ideologues © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Congressman Mondaire Jones, the youngest member of the House Judiciary Committee (whose remarks inspired rebuke from Republicans and Tucker Carlson), noted that the House has passed a package of gun safety bills, but that they will likely languish, as have all gun regulations for the past 30 years, in the Senate. “Make sure the Senate hears you.”

He is a sponsor of the Protecting Our Kids Act which changes federal firearms laws, including to establish new criminal offenses and to expand the types of weapons and devices that are subject to regulation. The bill:

  • generally prohibits the sale or transfer of certain semiautomatic firearms to individuals who are under 21 years of age;
  • establishes new federal criminal offenses for gun trafficking and related conduct;
  • establishes a federal statutory framework to regulate ghost guns (i.e., guns without serial numbers);
  • establishes a framework to regulate the storage of firearms on residential premises at the federal, state, and tribal levels;
  • subjects bump stocks to regulation under federal firearms laws;
  • generally prohibits the import, sale, manufacture, transfer, and possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices; and
  • requires the Department of Justice to report on the demographic data of persons who are determined to be ineligible to purchase a firearm based on a background check performed by the national instant criminal background check system.

“If we can’t find 10 Senate Republicans of good conscience, we need to abolish the filibuster.”

He also introduced the Judiciary Act, which would expand the Supreme Court by four, to undo the damage of Trump putting three hard-right ideological partisans on the bench, orchestrated by then Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who refused to allow Obama to appoint a justice after Antonin Scalia died 10 months before the 2016 election, then rushed through Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment even though voting in the 2020 presidential election had already begun.

The young people of Youth Against Violence and March for Our Lives are propelling the movement to end the gun violence epidemic © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Meanwhile, the rightwing majority on the Supreme Court is poised to overturn New York’s gun permit law, taking away a vital tool to keep guns off the streets, even as New York State passed 10 more gun safety laws.

Governor Kathy Hochul vowed to bring back the Legislature for an emergency session to address whatever the Supreme Court throws. (My idea is to require all gun owners to be enlisted in a “well-regulated militia” where they would train, drill, and be available to protect the state against foreign and domestic enemies, as the Founding Fathers intended in the Second Amendment (See: Guns Again Again).

Moms Demand Action was prominent at the March for Our Lives event in New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

New York’s was one of some 450 events throughout the United States and the world, including a re-do of the March For Our Lives rally in Washington DC that followed the 2018 massacre.

They are hoping it isn’t déjà vu all over again, with Congress doing nothing.

The message from Jessalise Rivera: “I’m 9. Please don’t shoot me while I’m learning.”

Jessalise Rivera offers this message: “I’m 9. Please don’t shoot me while I’m learning.” © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Here are more photo highlights from the march and rally:

March Against Gun Violence in New York City, one of 450 March for Our Lives events on June 11, 2022 to demand gun safety legislation and end the public health crisis © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
March Against Gun Violence in New York City, one of 450 March for Our Lives events on June 11, 2022 to demand gun safety legislation and end the public health crisis © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
UFT was one of the organizers of the March Against Gun Violence in New York City, one of 450 March for Our Lives events on June 11, 2022 to demand gun safety legislation and end the public health crisis © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
March Against Gun Violence in New York City, one of 450 March for Our Lives events on June 11, 2022 to demand gun safety legislation and end the public health crisis © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
March Against Gun Violence in New York City, one of 450 March for Our Lives events on June 11, 2022 to demand gun safety legislation and end the public health crisis © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
March Against Gun Violence in New York City, one of 450 March for Our Lives events on June 11, 2022 to demand gun safety legislation and end the public health crisis © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
“We March for Those Who Can’t.” March Against Gun Violence in New York City, one of 450 March for Our Lives events on June 11, 2022 to demand gun safety legislation and end the public health crisis © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
March Against Gun Violence in New York City, one of 450 March for Our Lives events on June 11, 2022 to demand gun safety legislation and end the public health crisis © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
“Am I Next”. March Against Gun Violence in New York City, one of 450 March for Our Lives events on June 11, 2022 to demand gun safety legislation and end the public health crisis © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
“The Scar Splattered Banner: The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a vote!” March Against Gun Violence in New York City, one of 450 March for Our Lives events on June 11, 2022 to demand gun safety legislation and end the public health crisis © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

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© 2022 News & Photo Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. For editorial feature and photo information, go to www.news-photos-features.com, email editor@news-photos-features.com. Blogging at www.dailykos.com/blogs/NewsPhotosFeatures. ‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures, instagram.com/News_and_Photo_Features/, Tweet @KarenBRubin

Fact Sheet: Biden Economic Plan Delivers Robust Progress in all 50 States- See How Your State is Doing

Sign of a robust economy: airline traffic © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The White House released new state-by-state fact sheets that highlight several economic indicators —including state employment, unemployment insurance claims, gross domestic product, supplemental poverty, and vaccination rates—which demonstrate the robust economic progress under President Biden’s leadership. This wasn’t by accident. This is the result of President Biden’s plan to build the economy from the bottom up and the middle out.
 
When President Biden took office, our economy was in crisis and COVID-19 was wreaking havoc on our country. Thanks to his American Rescue Plan, unemployment is near historic lows, the vast majority of Americans are vaccinated, the number of adults with a positive outlook on their overall financial well-being reached an all-time high last year, the number of Americans relying on government unemployment benefits has dropped by more than 90%, and new businesses are being created at record rates. 
 
The fact sheets highlight our historic economic recovery strong foundation to transition to stable and steady growth that works for working families. Fact sheets for all 50 states are linked below. 

Fact Sheets by State

White House Memo: Five Key Points on our Economic Transition and How We Got Here

Even before disruptions to global energy and food markets from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drove inflation higher, many other factors boosted demand, shifted its composition, and constrained supply, which led to higher prices. Higher gas prices – which have become a political weapon – are also caused by price gouging as Big Oil reaps record profits. And consumers, spoiled by low gas prices from the last two years, are finding ways to reduce consumption, which would benefit the climate © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This memo, highlighting five key points of America’s transition to sustainable growth, the role the American Rescue Plan played in that growth, and how the Administration is turning its focus to address a range of global economic challenges with inflation chief among them, was provided by the White House:

Earlier this week, the President noted that our economy is in a moment of transition: from what has been an historic economic recovery to what can be a period of stable, steady growth that works for working families. The President understands that Americans are dealing with the challenge of elevated inflation. And addressing inflation is his top economic priority.

This is a moment when we can build on the unique strengths of our recovery to bring down inflation and ensure that we don’t give up the historic economic gains of the last year. It also means building on the recovery to deliver growth that actually works for working families – unlike the growth that we saw too often in the years before the pandemic, when we were promised that gains for those at the top would trickle down to working families. President Biden’s approach is to build the economy from the bottom up and the middle out.

As we look ahead and aim to achieve stable, steady growth, here are five key points about how we arrived at our current economic moment. In short, the Administration passed the American Rescue Plan in a moment of significant economic uncertainty and, because of the Administration’s decisive action, we now face a range of global economic challenges – with inflation chief among them – from a position of strength. 

  1. The American Rescue Plan helped deliver one of the strongest job markets in American history.

When President Biden took office, the unemployment rate was 6.4% and around 20 million Americans were on unemployment insurance. Since then, the unemployment rate has come down to 3.6 % — with only three times in the last 50 years when the rate has been lower – and fewer than 1.5 million Americans are receiving unemployment insurance. Before the Rescue Plan passed, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the unemployment rate would be 5% right now, and would not drop below 4% until 2026. In addition, the number of Americans between the ages of 25 and 54 who are working or looking for work is higher today than it was before the pandemic began. In the wake of the Great Recession, that recovery took 12 years. As the Washington Post noted this weekend, we are in the midst of a “great return to work.” While it “took more than six years to recover from the Great Recession … this jobs recovery is on track to take about 2.5 years. That’s worth celebrating.”

  1. The American Rescue Plan has meant the U.S. recovery has been the envy of the world.

According to the latest World Economic Outlook from the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. economy will be larger at the end of this year—relative to its pre-pandemic size—than any other Group of 7 economy. The U.S. economy may grow faster this year than China’s economy for the first time since 1976, according to a projection by Bloomberg Economics. CBO recently projected that U.S. economic growth would continue in 2022 and 2023, albeit at a slower rate than in 2021, with unemployment remaining low and inflation falling throughout this year and next. The CBO forecast was roughly in line with the consensus of private sector forecasters.

  1. The American Rescue Plan has meant economic security for millions of families.

Since President Biden took office, incomes are up 5.1% overall and by 11.9% for the bottom 50% of the income distribution – even after accounting for inflation – due to job creation and higher earnings. Self-reported financial well-being at the end of 2021 reached its highest level on record, with 78% of adults reporting that they are financially comfortable. In the same survey, 68% of Americans said they could cover a $400 emergency cash expenses – the highest level in the history of the survey and up 18 percentage points since 2013. Bankruptcy filings also remained below pre-pandemic levels, eviction filings have remained 30% below pre-pandemic levels across the eight months since the eviction moratorium ended, and foreclosures hit an all-time low in 2021.

  1. The Rescue Plan didn’t just improve our economic position; it improved our fiscal position too.

The CBO projected that the deficit will fall by $1.7 trillion this year. This is the largest nominal reduction in the federal deficit in history. According to their projections, the deficit as a share of the economy this year will be at a lower level than in 2019, before the pandemic. It is also a lower level than CBO projected for this year before the American Rescue Plan passed, showing that the strong economic recovery resulting from President Biden’s economic and vaccination plans were not just good for our economy but also for our fiscal position. Public debt as a percent of the economy is also projected to be lower this year than was projected before the Rescue Plan passed – further reflecting the degree to which our strong economic recovery has improved our fiscal position. This progress on deficits and debt was not pre-ordained. In addition to responsibly winding down emergency programs, around half of the reduction in the deficit this year is projected to be driven by an increase in revenues, as household and business earnings have increased given the strong economic recovery.

  1. Inflation is a global challenge, with many causes, but the Rescue Plan is not its predominant cause.

Inflation is elevated around the world, particularly in light of Putin’s invasion into Ukraine, which has driven global food and energy prices higher. Inflation is at its highest level on record in the Euro Area and in Germany, the highest level in 40 years in the U.K., and the highest level in more than 30 years in Canada. Consumer prices have risen by 8.2% in the United States in the last year, 8.1% in the Euro Area, and 9% in the United Kingdom.

Putin’s actions in Ukraine have driven inflation higher in recent months, with gas prices up $1.51 since Putin began amassing troops on the border of Ukraine. It is of course not plausible that disruptions in global energy and food markets are the result of the American Rescue Plan.

And even before disruptions to global energy and food markets have driven inflation higher, many other factors boosted demand, shifted its composition, and constrained supply, which led to higher prices. The pandemic meant that American consumers shifted their consumption from services to durable goods. Businesses were unprepared for demand returning quickly, and we saw an inward shift in supply capacity – from auto production to domestic energy production to rental cars. And supply chain pressures meant bottlenecks and thinner inventories that also drove up prices.

That’s why we know that even without the Rescue Plan – or with a smaller Rescue Plan – inflation would have still been elevated. In fact, according to one independent analysis, keeping inflation close to 2% would have required an unemployment rate in the double digits – instead of today’s 3.6% unemployment rate. Moreover, without the Rescue Plan, another independent analysis shows that we would have had less growth, less job creation, and more human suffering.

NYS Legislature Passes Comprehensive 10-Bill Gun Safety Package, Strengthening NY’s Already Tough Gun Laws

Gun Safety Bills to Require Microstamping Technology for All Semi-Automatic Pistols, Expand Extreme Risk Protection Order Law, Improve Oversight and Regulation of Gun Dealers, Require a License to Purchase or Possess a Semi-automatic Rifle, and Other Common Sense Gun Violence Prevention Measures

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, at Memorial Day Parade in Queens, NY, vows to implement whatever new gun safety legislation is necessary to protect New Yorkers. If and when the Supreme Court nullifies the state’s gun permit law, she said, “I will call back the legislature to work on a comprehensive package of proposed reforms. New Yorkers should know how seriously we are taking the fight to get guns off our streets.” The State Legislature just passed a package of 10 gun-safety bills © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Karen Rubin, News-Photos-Features.com

Even as President Joe Biden was appealing to Congress to finally act to end the scourge of gun violence that is taking more than 100 lives each day and has become the leading cause of death for children, New York State was passing a package of gun safety bills to further strengthen the state’s already stiff gun control laws. The action came just days after an 18-year old white supremacist, armed with an AR 15 assault weapon murdered 10 in a grocery store in a predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo, followed closely by the massacre at the Uvalde, Texas elementary school, and then another at a Tulsa hospital. Meanwhile, the state awaits the radical rightwing Supreme Court majority’s decision on a case deciding whether New York can give criteria for someone to have a gun permit. Governor Kathy Hochul has said she would call the state Legislature back into session to adopt new gun laws should that happen.

Immediately following the State Legislature’s adoption of its package of gun laws, Governor Hochul stated, “Just last night a deadly semiautomatic weapon was once again used to mercilessly kill innocent civilians, this time at a medical facility in Oklahoma. It was a scene all too familiar in this country, one we’ve seen everywhere from Uvalde, to Sandy Hook, to Parkland, to my hometown of Buffalo. We cannot keep living like this. 

“We cannot be satisfied by New York’s already tough gun laws. Shooting after shooting makes it clear that they must be even stronger to keep New Yorkers safe. This comprehensive package will close loopholes, give law enforcement the tools they need to prevent easy access to guns, and stop the sale of dangerous weapons to 18-year-olds. I am grateful to Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie, and our partners in the legislature, and I look forward to signing these bills into law. 

“Even as we take action to protect New Yorkers, we recognize that this is a nationwide problem. I once again urge Congress to seize this moment and pass meaningful gun violence prevention measures. We have no time to waste.”    

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV), a statewide advocacy organization, applauded the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly for passing a package of 10 gun safety bills this week.  The bills, which are expected to be signed by Governor Kathy Hochul, will require microstamping technology for all semi-automatic pistols, expand New York’s Extreme Risk Protection Order law, improve oversight and regulation of gun dealers, require a license to purchase or possess a semi-automatic rifle, and other measures that will prevent gun violence and mass shootings. 

The passage of this gun bill package comes on the heels of a scourge of gun violence and mass shootings during April and May across the state and country, including in Brooklyn and Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, and as recently as last night, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, among numerous other gun violence incidents.

Rebecca Fischer, NYAGV Executive Director said, “Faced with a surging gun violence crisis, the New York State Legislature has once again made it a priority this week to protect New Yorkers by passing a strong, life-saving slate of gun violence prevention bills.  These measures will help keep guns away from people in crisis to prevent mass shootings, suicide and other gun violence, will require a license to purchase or possess a semi-automatic rifle anywhere in this state, and will provide law enforcement with microstamping tracing technology to stop gun trafficking and hold rogue gun dealers accountable. As New Yorkers and Americans, we should not have to fear gun violence on a daily basis in our neighborhoods or homes, in our subways, our supermarkets, our schools, our houses of worship, our hospitals, or anywhere else.  While Congress continues to stall on meaningful national gun reform, we are grateful to have outstanding gun violence prevention champions leading our state government who are committed to keeping our children and all New Yorkers safe.”

A.7926-A (Rosenthal, L)/S.4116-A (Hoylman): Requires DCJS to certify or decline to certify that microstamping-enabled pistols are technologically viable and if certified as viable, to establish programs and processes for the implementation of such technology; and, establishes the crime of the unlawful sale of a non-microstamping-enabled firearm.

A.1023-A (Paulin)/S.4970-A (Kavanagh): Requires all state and local law enforcement agencies to report seized or recovered guns to the criminal gun clearinghouse; participate in ATFs collective data sharing program; test-fire seized or recovered guns for national integrated Ballistic Information Network; and enter the make, model, caliber, and serial number of the gun into the national crime information center. Also requires gun dealers to implement a security plan for securing firearms, rifles and shotguns; prohibit persons under eighteen and not accompanied by a parent from the certain locations of a gun dealer’s premises; provide training to all employees on the conduct of firearm, rifle, and shotgun transfers, including identification of and response to illegal purchases; adhere to record keeping requirements; and require the State police to conduct inspections of gun dealers every three years.

A. 10502 (Cahill)/S. 9113-A (Skoufis): Expands who may file an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) petition to include health care practitioners who have examined the individual within the last six months; requires police and district attorneys to file ERPO petitions upon credible information that an individual is likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to himself, herself or others; requires the State Police and the Municipal Police Training Council to create and disseminate policies and procedures to identify when an ERPO petition may be warranted; amends the firearm licensing statute to make it clear that when an individual has been reported by a mental health practitioner and a county mental health commissioner has concurred with such practitioner that the individual is likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to them self or others, such report is considered in determining whether or not to issue a firearm license to the individual; and, expands the mental health practitioners who can make such reports.

A.10501 (Meeks)/S. 9465 (Bailey): Creates a new Task Force on Social Media and Violent Extremism in the Attorney General’s office to study and investigate the role of social media companies in promoting and facilitating violent extremism and domestic terrorism online.

A10503 (Jackson)/S. 9458 (Thomas): Requires that an individual obtain a license prior purchasing a semiautomatic rifle. This is prospective and applies to purchases made on and after the effective date.

A.6716-A (Wallace)/S89-B (Kaminsky): Creates the crimes of making a threat of mass harm and aggravated making a threat of mass harm.

A7865-A (Fahy)/ S.4511-A (Kaplan): Requires social media networks in New York to provide a clear and concise policy regarding how they would respond to incidents of hateful conduct on their platform and maintain easily accessible mechanisms for reporting hateful conduct on those platforms

A.10428-A (People-Stokes)/S.9229-A (Hoylman): Eliminates the grandfathering of large capacity ammunition feeding devices that were lawfully possessed prior to the enactment of the Safe Act or manufactured prior to 1994.

A. 10497 (Jacobson)/S.9407-B (Kavanagh): Makes unlawful the purchase and sale of body vests for anyone who is not engaged in an eligible profession. Eligible professions include law enforcement officers and other professions designated by the Department of State in consultation with other agencies. Also requires that any sale of a body vest be done in person.

A. 10504 (Burgos)/S. 9456 (Sepulveda): Expands the definition of a “firearm” to include any weapon not defined in the Penal Law that is designed or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by action of an explosive. This is intended to capture firearms that have been modified to be shot from an arm brace, which are evading our current definitions of firearms and rifles.