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President Biden Addresses Everytown’s Gun Sense University: ‘You’ve helped power a movement that is turning this cause into reality…Keep it up’

Less than two hours after hearing his only surviving son, Hunter, was found guilty of 3 gun possession offenses, President Joe Biden stood steadfast to uphold policies and laws to reduce America’s gun violence epidemic and change America’s cultural idolatry with guns. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com via MSNBC.

Less than two hours after hearing his only surviving son, Hunter, was found guilty of 3 gun possession offenses, President Joe Biden stood steadfast to uphold policies and laws to reduce America’s gun violence epidemic and change America’s cultural idolatry with guns. In that moment, he did two critical things befitting a president and a man of character and commitment: he upheld the rule of Law and the judicial process, saying he would respect the jury’s verdict and would not pardon his son, and vowed to continue the yeoman’s job of reversing America’s uniquely horrendous level of gun violence. (See: Biden Lauds Everytown, Moms Demand Action GunSense Activists; Points to Historic Progress But More to Do to Stem Gun Violence). –Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Here is an edited transcript of his remarks:

Julvonnia, I know from experience it takes extraordinary courage for you to stand up here and retell your son’s story — and many of you who have lost someone to gun violence.  It’s been a passion of mine for a long, long time. 

It’s the reason way back, a long time ago, I authored the Violence Against Women Act, which no one thought made any sense at the time.  It had — I had a lot of trouble getting people to think we could make a difference. 

But the fact of the matter is I remember well when you first started it with me — this extraordinary courage.  You know, through your words, you help ensure that your son and all the victims of gun violence are not forgotten.  They didn’t die in vain.  Through your love, you help prevent the next tragedy.  It saves lives. 

And through your actions, you remember us — we’ll never let go of one thing that we must never, never lose.  And I mean this.  I know it’s hard because I’ve gotten those phone calls, too, saying I lost a son, a daughter, a wife.  I know what it’s like.  But guess what?  Never give up on hope — hope, hope, hope.  (Applause.)  

I give you my word.  I know what that feels — that black hole when you receive that phone call that seems like you’re — black hole in your chest — you’re being sucked into it.  Just showing up here and all the work you’ve done takes some courage because it reminds you of the mo- — moment you got that phone call.  It reminds you, no matter how long it goes, until y- — it just — it’s hard.  But you’re so — you’re ma- — you’re making such a difference.  The main reason I’m here is to say — and I mean this from the bottom of my heart –…

Folks, to Everytown and all the leaders and advocates here today, I want to thank you for the dedication to this vital issue you’ve shown.

And to all the survivors, veterans, families, moms who have turned their pain and your purpose into the loss and you’re determined to not focus on your anger but on what you can do.

Look, folks, you’ve helped power a movement that is turning this cause into reality — especially young people, who demanded our nation do better to protect us all — (applause) — who protested, who organized, who voted, who ran for office, and, yes, who marched for their lives.  (Applause.) 

From my perspective, today is about celebrating you.  You’re the reason I’m so optimistic about the future of our country, and I mean that.

In two weeks, we’ll mark the second anniversary of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.  (Applause.)  It’s the most significant gun legislation in nearly 30 years, and we passed it only because you gone out and vou worked like hell to get it done.  May have the idea, but you got it ma- — you made it happen. 

It was designed to reduce gun violence and save lives.  And I’m so proud of the tremendous progress we’ve made since then. 

You know, the year before I came to the presidency, the murder rate was the highest increase on record.  Last year, we saw the largest decrease of murder in the history of (inaudible).  (Applause.)  And those rates are continuing to fall faster than ever. 

Last year, we also saw one of the lowest rates of all violent crime in nearly 50 years.  Murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery all dropped sharply, along with burglary and property crime.  (Applause.)  Becau- — this matters. 

So much of this progress is because — and I’m not just trying to be solicitous — it’s because of you.  Don’t underestimate what you have done.  It’s amazing what you have done.  You changed people’s minds — your neighbors, your friends, the folks down at the restaurant, the folks at the grocery store.

Through the American Rescue Plan, I was able to invest $15 billion, the largest investment ever to reduce crime.  And we built on that progress, with your help, the Bipa- — (applause) — through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. 

And here’s how.  First, the act is helping reduce community violence and domestic violence.  It invests $250 million in violence intervention programs all across the country.  (Applause.)  People are now — my daughter is a social worker working with violence against women.  What people don’t realize is these things matter.  They change attitudes. 

We’ve already funded nearly 80 programs and counting.  We also made gun trafficking and straw purchasing a federal crime for the first time, giving prosecutors the legal tools to charge traffickers and hold them accountable for the more severe penalties that are available.  (Applause.) 

Additionally, the law strengthens background checks for anyone under the age of 21 trying to purchase a firearm.  And it’s about time.  There’s more we have to do there.  It’s a big deal.  (Applause.)  Since the law was passed and implemented, the FBI has stopped more than 700 sales of firearms for individuals under the age of 21. 

And about 20,000 unlicensed firearms dealer are now required to become licensed to run background checks — (applause) — which will keep guns out of dangerous hands. 

Second, the act helps stops mass shootings, provides $750 million to state — to — to states to implement their crisis interventions like red flag laws that temporarily remove firearms from those who are in danger to themselves or others.  (Applause.)  

It also gives $1.3 billion to thousands of schools across the country to build a safer learning environments, including (applause) updating safety plans, installing security equipment, hiring mental health professionals and school resource officers — (applause) — I’m married to a full-time teacher; I get it — (applause) — as well as violence intervention teams.

Folks, look, third, the act invests over $1 billion, the largest one-time investment ever in mental health — youth mental health in our schools — (applause) — to help them deal with grief and trauma resulting in gun violence.  I’ve attended too many mass shootings — I’ve gone to too many schools across America and stood there and looked at the faces of those young children who made it and look at all the families that lost somebody.  It’s tragic.  But it needs help.  They need help to get through it.

It includes an additional 14,000 mental health professionals to be hired and trained in our schools — to work in our schools full time.  That’s 14,000 more.  And — (applause) — and over 170,000 Americans across the country have been trained to identify when someone is having a mental health crisis and connect them to the help they need.  (Applause.) 

By the way, one of the reasons I wrote the latest veterans bill was because more veterans and more active-duty personnel are dying of suicide than any combat zone.  (Applause.)  It matters. 

And, folks, this historic law is already saving lives.  But there is still so much more to do to maximize the benefits of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. 

That’s why, last September, I established the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention.  (Applause.)  And I mean it.  We got first-rate professionals there and overseen by my incredible Vice President — (applause) — who is a pretty fierce prosecutor as well — to drive and coordinate government and nationwide effort to reduce gun violence in America.  That’s why we did it.  And to send a clear message about how important this issue is to me, to you, and to the entire country.

President Joe Biden was cheered on at Everytown’s Gun Sense University, where he thanked the Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action activists for creating a movement that is changing America’s gun culture © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com via MSNBC.

Folks — (applause) — you’re changing the nation.  You really are.  You’re changing the nation.  It builds upon the dozen of executive actions my administration has taken to reduce gun violence — more than any of my predecessors, and I suspect more than all of them combined — everything from cracking down on ghost guns, gun trafficking, and so much more.  

Folks, we’re not stopping there.  It’s time, once again, to do what I did when I was a senator: ban assault weapons.  (Applause.)  I mean it. 

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years! 

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you. 

Who in God’s name needs a magazine which can hold 200 shells?

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Nobody!

THE PRESIDENT:  Nobody.  That’s right….

But think about it.  They’re weapons of war. 

And, by the way, it’s time we establish universal background checks — (applause) — and require the safe storage of firearms.  We should hold — (applause) — we should hold families responsible if they don’t provide those locks on those guns…. 

And, by the way, this is the most important: The only industry in America that has immunity are gun dealers.  We got to end it — (applause) — end it now.  No, I mean it.

Imagine — imagine if we gave — if we gave tobacco an exception they could not be prosecuted.  We — what would happen?  We’d still — a thousand more people would be dying of cancer because of smoke inhalation. 

It’s time we increase funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives and other law enforcement agencies as well — (applause) — to solve the crimes faster.  

Look, unfortunately — this is the only partisan thing I’m going to say — the congressional Republicans oppose all of these — every one of these.  Instead of trying to stop our ban on ghost gun kits that can commit crimes, they’re working like hell to stop it.  They want to abolish the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives, which is responsible for fighting gun crimes. 

You can’t be pro law enforcement and say you are pro law enforcement and be pro abolishing the AFT.  (Applause.)  You can’t do it.  It’s outrageous…

What in God’s name is the rationale for taking away the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms?

After a school shooting in Iowa that killed a student and a teacher, my predecessor was asked about it.  You remember what he said.  He said, “Have to get over it.”  Hell no, we don’t have to get over it.  (Applause.)  We got to stop it.  We got to stop it and stop it now.  (Applause.)

More children are killed in America by guns than cancer and car accidents combined.  (Applause.)  My predecessor told the NRA convention recently he’s proud that, quote, “I did nothing on guns when I was president.”  And by doing nothing, he made the situation considerably worse. 

That’s why Everytown, why this summit, why all of you here today are so damn important.  We need you.  We need you to overcome the unrelenting opposition of the gun lobby, gun manufacturers, and so many politicians when they oppose commonsense gun legislation. 

When I was no longer the vice president, I became a professor at the University of — of Pennsylvania.  Before that, I taught a constitutional law class, and so I taught the Second Amendment. 

There’s never been a time that says you can own anything you want.  You couldn’t own a cannon during the Civil War.  (Laughter.).. 
And, by the way, if they want to think they — it’s to take on government if we get out of line, which they’re talking again about — well, guess what?  They need F-15s.  They don’t need a rifle.  (Laughter.)

Folks, look, this is crazy, what we’re talking about.  Because whether we’re Democrats or Republicans, we want all families to be safe.  (Applause.)  We all want to drop them off at a house of worship, a mall, a movie theater, a school without worrying if it’s the last time I’m going to get to see them.  (Applause.)  We all want our kids to have the freedom to learn how to read and write in schools instead of learning how to duck and cover, for God sake.  (Applause.) 

And above all — above all, we all agree: We are not finished.  (Applause.)  Look, no single — no single action can solve the entirety of the gun violence epidemic.  But together, our efforts, your efforts are saving lives. 

You can help rally a nation with a sense of urgency and seriousness of purpose.  You’re changing the culture.  We are proving we can do more than just thoughts and prayers — just more than thoughts and prayers.  You’re changing politics.  You’re proving that you’re powerful and you’re relentless, and I mean that.  

Let me close with this.  I know many people here have been impacted by gun violence and are tired and frustrated.  (Applause.)  No — no, I — I know.  I’ve been to too many — I’ve literally spoken with well over a thousand families at these events that I’ve attended for mass shootings.  And the look in their eyes — you can almost feel that black hole they feel in the center of their chest, like they’re being sucked in, there’s no way out.  And if they have remaining children, you look at the children and they wonder, “Mommy, Daddy, how about me?”

And I know you may wonder: Are we ever going to make full progress that we need to make?  I’m here to tell you we have no choice.  We cannot give up trying for all the lives lost and all those who still there to save.  We’re going to get there. 

I have no illusions about how difficult it may be.  But I also have no illusions about the people in this room.

You’re changing the attitude of the public — I really mean it.  I’m going back to why I got here in the first place.  That is to say thank you.

I can come up with all these ideas about the laws we can change to make it easier, but you’re changing people’s lives.  You’re convincing your neighbors and people this is necessary.  It’s beginning to move.

Look at what we’ve already done around the community.  Look at the movement you’ve built, the elected officials standing with you.  Look at all the mothers organizations across the country. 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Mr. President, you are making a change too!  I love you so much!  (Inaudible.)  (Laughter and applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:    (Applause.) Look —

When there’s a crisis, half of what people affected by a crisis have to know: Is anybody listening?  Do you hear me?  Do they hear what we’re saying?

Listen to the young people who are speaking out.  That’s the power of the memory of your loved ones.  That’s the power of this movement.  That’s the power of America.

We just have to keep going and keep the faith and remember who we are.  We are the United States of America, and there is nothing beyond our capacity when we act and do it together.  (Applause.) So, God bless you all.  And may God protect our troops.  (Applause.)

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Keep it up.  (Applause.) Thank you.

Black Voters Want to Know ‘What Biden Has Done for Me Lately’? Answer: A LOT

President Biden comes to Atlanta in January, 2022, to speak out on behalf of voting rights and protecting democracy and free and fair elections © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com via MSNBC

I can’t fathom the absurdity of polls that suggest young Black men are pulling their support for Biden in favor of Trump because Biden hasn’t personally visited every impoverished neighborhood! And yet, there is discussion that Biden wasn’t going to be welcomed as the commencement speaker at Morehouse College, despite appropriating record amounts of aid to HBCUs, cancelling student debt for millions, who has the most racially and gender diverse administration and confirmed more diverse judges, including the first Black woman to the Supreme Court, and all he has done to make economic, social, criminal, environmental, political justice and equity the basis for every policy and program he has implemented! Not to mention naming the first woman of color his Vice President. They want to support Trump, who has been overtly racist for his entire life (called for the Central Park 5, later exonerated, to be executed, was cited for discriminating against Blacks in housing), who called out the National Guard and wanted to shoot George Floyd protesters, who could care less about black maternal mortality rates and wants to repeal the cost cap on insulin and Obamacare? Biden celebrated the 70th anniversary of the hallmark Brown v. Board of Education decision and is promoting universal pre-K, parental leave and affordable childcare, while Trump judges seek to reverse and render Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs and affirmative action “unconstitutional.” And if Blacks either vote for Trump or do not vote, Biden will lose reelection and Trump will reverse every policy that has benefited minority communities, from gun violence prevention, promoting access to affordable housing and ridding communities of toxic pollution, to promoting free and fair access to the ballot box.

Here are Biden’s remarks during interviews on two Black radio shows, and a memo from Trey Baker, Senior Advisor, Biden-Harris 2024, outlining actual achievements instead of actual pandering (“What have Democrats done for you lately?” – Answer, A LOT) – Karen Rubin, news-photos-features.com

President Biden Underscores Stakes of 2024
Election to Black Voters

Interviews with President Biden aired on two Black radio shows, V-103’s The Big Tigger Show with Darian “Big Tigger” Morgan in Atlanta, Georgia and 101.7 The Truth with Sherwin Hughes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he underscored the stakes of this election. On the airwaves, President Biden highlighted the progress his administration has made for Black Americans from creating millions of jobs for Black workers to forgiving billions in student loan debt directly working to close the racial wealth gap – in contrast with Donald Trump, who tried to rip away health care from millions of Black Americans by repealing the Affordable Care Act, raised health care costs, and cut taxes for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

Read Excerpts from President Biden’s Interviews Below

V-103, The Big Tigger Show in Atlanta, Georgia

On The Biden-Harris Administration’s Accomplishments for Black Americans: “The first most important thing we can do is make sure the Affordable Health Care Act is not cut by [Donald Trump]. He says he’s gonna do it. […] We pay the most expensive drug costs in the world and, you know, we brought down, as I said, capped insulin costs at 35 bucks instead of 400. More Black families have coverage under the ACA. Black enrollment has nearly doubled, saving families $800 a month on premiums. We took on Big Pharma so Medicare can now negotiate prices. Under Trump uninsurance rates went up, not down. He tried to repeal Obamacare and the ACA 50 times and if he succeeds, it would raise premiums $12,000 for Georgia middle-class families. He wants to cut Social Security and he wants to make sure that Medicare is cut as well, increasing costs, giving tax breaks to the super wealthy. The bottom line here is that this is a guy who is all about wanting to make all the cuts we can make for multi-billionaires and millionaires tax breaks, significant tax breaks, I have a completely different view of it. […]”

On How Donald Trump Hurt the Black Community: “Look, Trump hurt Black people every chance he got as President. Black unemployment, uninsurance rates went up under Trump. Trump’s tax scam reinforced discrimination. Typical white household got double, double cuts of the typical Black household. The botched COVID-19 response was leaving Black people dead, Black-owned businesses shuttered, he pushed to bring back stop and frisk law. Remember who Trump is. He falsely accused the Central Park Five. He’s the the founder of birtherism. He tried to repeal Obamacare the first time. Now he’s promised to do even more damage to Black people.”

On the Importance of Voting: “And so you know, your vote is your voice. Lots of close elections these last couple and every vote counts. I ran in 2020 because democracy was at stake and I think it still is. Because folks like you turned out to vote in 2020, we have made remarkable progress. Trump has decided he’s going to take it all down. For example, one of the things I did in the legislation [was] innovating the infrastructure, replacing every lead pipe in Georgia, every single one, so that now the kids, you’re not gonna worry about your kid in school or at home, drinking water that has lead in it that causes brain damage. You know, making sure that everybody has access to affordable internet, affordable and available, and that’s costing billions of dollars. We’re paying for it to get it done so everybody has access. Trump’s presidency could mean a return to chaos, division and violence, MAGA extremism.”

The Truth with Sherwin Hughes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

On The Biden-Harris Administration’s Accomplishments for Black Americans: “We sent $1,400 checks to people who were having trouble. Black child poverty was cut in half in 2021. We build black wealth, 15 million jobs nationwide, more than 2.5 million for Black Americans. Black wealth is up 60% since the pandemic. Homeownership is up and I’m fighting back against the [racial] bias in home appraisal. If the same home [is] built on one side of a highway in the Black community, as built in the white community, they devalue the home in the Black community. You know, 200,000 new business applications in Wisconsin after investing hundreds of millions of dollars in small businesses. We have 76,000 Black homeowners, more than $800 annually on their FHA insurance mortgage, we saved them. And look and we also relieved student debt, $160 billion in student loan debt for 4.6 million borrowers, many of them Black borrowers, and a plan to relieve student loan debt for 30 million overall. And as I said, you know, we lower prescription drug prices. We’re also in a position where we invest in communities too long left out, left behind. […] Trump has a very different view of the community. […] Trump, you know, he’s still accusing the Central Park Five, he’s the founder of birtherism, he’s tried to repeal Obamacare. He hasn’t, he’s done virtually nothing and he wants to cut access to voting. The whole range of things make a fundamental difference.”

On What’s at Stake this November: “A great deal is at stake, everything that all the progress we’ve made is at stake. For example, right now we’ve lowered health care costs, we’ve been able to walk in and make sure we forgive student debt…. We provided billions of dollars to HBCUs to give them a fighting chance. We’ve changed prescription drug costs, by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices so that people on insulin are paying 35 bucks a month instead of 400 bucks a month. And all prescription drugs can be limited to $2,000 a year, you know, cancer drugs ten, 12, $14,000. We are strengthening Medicare. Look, you know, we stand up for our principles. Our democracy is at stake, in fact. Look what he’s doing with Putin and with Kim Jong Un of North Korea. Look at him saying ‘if we don’t think a country is paying enough for their own defense, then they get invaded by the Russians or anyone else, so that’s up to them. We are not gonna help.’ He has a fundamentally different view than the vast majority of Republicans, I might add in the past, as well as me and the Democratic Party..”

Memo: Biden-Harris 2024 Black Outreach

From: Trey Baker, Biden-Harris 2024 Sr. Advisor

Since day one, the Biden-Harris campaign has been authentic and consistent in our efforts to reach Black voters and ensure they are aware that no other administration in modern history has delivered for Black America in the way Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have.  From historic investments and engagement with Black media, to extensive travel by President Biden and Vice President Harris as well as innovative organizing programs that highlight the administration’s commitment to generating Black wealth – we are meeting Black voters where they are.

This weekend is a continuation of that work. The President will attend an event on Saturday in Georgia focused on engaging Black voters, which will provide our Georgia state team additional support in their efforts to reach and organize the community. Serving in his official capacity, the President will then deliver the commencement address at Morehouse College Sunday morning. As Biden-Harris Co-Chair and Morehouse Alum Cedric Richmond perfectly stated, Morehouse College remains one of the most valued, celebrated and distinguished institutions of higher learning in the United States and is responsible for educating some of the most significant Black men in our country’s history. Given the way the Biden-Harris Administration has delivered for Black America, and HBCUs, there is no better speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony than President Biden.

During the weekend, President Biden will also engage with local Black-owned small businesses as he frequently does on his trips. The President will visit a Black-owned small business in Detroit on Sunday ahead of his NAACP speech, and will have a valuable discussion with the business owners focused on this administration’s continued effort to build Black wealth and close the racial wealth gap. Black-owned small businesses have been critical to the Biden-Harris organizing strategy. An organizing model we developed with Detroit small businesses in March is now being rolled out across our battleground states, this month. The President will close out his weekend swing by delivering the keynote address at the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner, where he will once again talk directly to Black America about the issues we care about most.

No administration has delivered for Black America like Joe & Kamala

After Donald Trump failed us, no administration has delivered for Black America like President Biden and Vice-President Harris. While the Black unemployment rate skyrocketed under Trump, the Biden-Harris administration helped to create over 2.5 million jobs for Black workers, resulting in record low Black unemployment – Black business ownership is also growing at the fastest pace in 30 years.  After Donald Trump’s failed PPP launch helped his rich friends at the expense of minority businesses, President Biden worked closely with small businesses to recover. The share of Black households owning a business has now doubled since the pandemic. The President’s student loan forgiveness program has also disproportionately benefited Black Americans, who received nearly $160 billion in student loan debt forgiven. That’s right – BILLION. This measure is directly working to increase Black wealth and close the racial wealth gap. Even after Donald Trump’s Supreme Court Justices tried to stop us. These efforts are directly working to close the racial wealth gap as Black students take on 85% more educational debt than their white counterparts, and 86% of Black students graduate with debt.

Black child poverty was cut in half during the pandemic through the President’s Child Tax Credit, which we are fighting to bring back, despite resistance from MAGA Republicans in the House and Senate. More Black Americans have healthcare coverage than ever before, while Trump remains obsessed with ripping away our healthcare coverage by repealing Obamacare, the signature accomplishment of the first Black President. The President and Vice-President have also tackled the Black Maternal Health Crisis by allowing states to expand Medicaid postpartum coverage from just 60 days to 12 months—impacting approximately 65% of births for Black mothers. And, let’s not forget that Joe Biden has confirmed more Black women to the federal bench than all other Presidents combined.

No campaign has invested in Black outreach like we have

In September of last year, this campaign announced the earliest and largest investment in outreach to Black voters of any reelection campaign in history. Then, earlier this year, on the heels of the President’s electric State of the Union address, our March Month of Action. During the month of March the President and Vice President traveled to every single battleground, putting a focus on key black communities, such as Atlanta, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and others, talking directly to Black voters. President Biden had dinner with Eric Fitts, a North Carolina teacher who benefited from President Biden’s student loan relief program, and his two sons. The TikTok taken by one son during the visit has been viewed over 5 million times. In Saginaw, Michigan, the President also met with a father and son golfing team. Their meeting was first shared on Instagram by The Black Man Can, who has over 1 million followers.

Throughout the month of May, we are continuing these efforts with a seven-figure investment in Black media to communicate directly with voters where they are. The President has done more Black radio interviews than any other medium thus far on the campaign – eleven interviews this year alone.  This week, he spoke with Big Tigger, a major figure of our culture, ahead of his visit to Morehouse.

We’ve also had a dedicated campaign presence at festivals like J.Cole’s Dreamville Fest in North Carolina and engagement with the voters who traveled to Las Vegas for the Lovers & Friends Festival, increasing our reach with young black voters in particular. The Vice President and Second Gentleman have also engaged with cultural influencers like Sheryl Lee Ralph and Khadeen Ellis to talk about what’s at stake for reproductive rights for Black Americans.

We’ve partnered with black-owned small businesses to expand our organizing presence in key battleground states. In Michigan, Team Biden-Harris spent March and April engaging with thousands of small business owners — centered in communities of color — to leverage their networks for visibility and outreach. Beginning this month, Team Biden-Harris is scaling its small business outreach program to all of our battlegrounds.  Meanwhile, Donald Trump and the RNC are shutting down their much vaunted diversity centers.

The Vice President is also in the middle of an Economic Opportunity Tour in her official capacity, which focuses heavily on how the administration is putting Black wealth front and center.

Bottom Line: From the very beginning the President and Vice President have been clear that this campaign will not take a single voter for granted. We are not, and will not, parachute into these communities at the last minute, expecting their vote. Every day, from now until election day, we will continue working diligently to ensure that come November, Black voters send Joe Biden and Kamala Harris back to the White House to continue delivering for Black America in unprecedented ways.


FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Announces $3 Billion to Replace Toxic Lead Pipes and Deliver Clean Drinking Water to Communities Across the Country

$3 billion in funding from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda will accelerate progress toward the President’s commitment to replace every lead pipe in the country within a decade – that is if Biden and Democrats remain in power. This fact sheet is provided by the White House:

Ashokan Reservoir, New York. $3 billion in funding from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda will accelerate progress toward the President’s commitment to replace every lead pipe in the country within a decade © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Biden believes that every American should be able to turn on the tap and drink clean, safe water. But over 9 million homes, schools, day cares, and businesses receive their water through a lead pipe, putting people at risk of lead exposure. Lead is a neurotoxin that can irreversibly harm brain development in children, and it can also accumulate in the bones and teeth, damage the kidneys, and interfere with the production of red blood cells needed to carry oxygen. Due to decades of inequitable infrastructure development and underinvestment, lead poisoning disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color. There is no safe level of exposure to lead. That is why the President made a commitment to replace every lead pipe in the country within a decade and coordinated a whole of government effort to deploy resources and leverage every tool across federal, state and local government to address lead hazards through the Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan

As part of this unprecedented commitment, President Biden traveled to Wilmington, North Carolina, to announce $3 billion through his Investing in America agenda to replace toxic lead pipes. This investment, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is part of the historic $15 billion in dedicated funding for lead pipe replacement provided by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The announcement delivers funding to every state and U.S. territory to help address lead in drinking water while creating good-paying jobs, many of them union jobs. In addition, this program funding is part of the President’s Justice40 Initiative, which set a goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities, and is helping address the inequities of lead exposure.

Additionally, to further reduce lead exposure, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced nearly $90 million in available funding to reduce residential health hazards in public housing, including lead-based paint hazards, carbon monoxide, mold, radon, fire safety, and asbestos, advancing the President’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan.

The announcement from the EPA builds on more than $20 billion in water infrastructure investments that state and local governments have made through the President’s American Rescue Plan. North Carolina has invested close to $2 billion from the American Rescue Plan in more than 800 clean water, wastewater, and stormwater projects across the state and is using another $150 million to test for and remove lead hazards in every school and child care center across the state, a historic effort to remove lead from North Carolina schools.

In Wilmington, North Carolina, President Biden announced $76 million from his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for lead pipe replacement across the state. The President also met with faculty and students from a Wilmington school that replaced a water fountain with high levels of lead with funding from his American Rescue Plan.

EPA estimates North Carolina has an estimated 300,000 lead pipes, and today the President will highlight his goal of replacing every lead pipe in the state. With today’s new investment of $76 million, the President has now delivered $250 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to North Carolina for lead pipe replacement. This funding has already reached over 60 communities across the state to kick start lead pipe identification and replacement efforts.

One of these communities is Wilmington, North Carolina, which has already received over $4 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to identify and replace 325 lead pipes. Today, President Biden is announcing that the first Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-funded lead pipe replacement in Wilmington is now underway, kicking off this project for the city.

Progress Replacing Lead Pipes Across America

The Biden-Harris Administration is taking action to accelerate lead pipe replacement in communities across the country. The total lead pipe replacement funding announced by the Administration to date will replace up to 1.7 million lead pipes, protecting countless families and children from lead exposure.

To ensure that communities that bear most of the burden of lead exposure are not left behind in this opportunity, EPA and the Department of Labor are partnering directly with disadvantaged communities across the country to provide the support and technical assistance they need to secure funding for and execute lead pipe replacement initiatives. EPA has partnered with over 40 communities to date, and last November announced it would partner with 200 more communities through the EPA Get the Lead Out Initiative.

This work is also creating good-paying jobs, many of them union jobs, in replacing lead pipes – and accelerating the development of a skilled water workforce. Unions including the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, and the International Union of Operating Engineers are already training workers in lead pipe replacement and putting them to work on neighborhood blocks across the country. The EPA estimates that 200,000 jobs have been created by the Administration’s investments in drinking water infrastructure alone.

In addition, last November, EPA issued a proposal to strengthen its Lead and Copper Rule that would require water systems to replace lead pipes within 10 years and drive progress nationwide toward reducing lead exposure.

The examples below highlight several communities where the Administration’s investments are making an impact:

  • In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, $41 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has helped put the city on track to replace all its lead pipes within 10 years instead of the initially estimated 60 years. The city is using a high proportion of union labor to replace lead pipes, and will be one of four new White House Workforce Hub cities that were announced by President Biden last week.
     
  • Following a lead-in-water crisis, Benton Harbor, Michigan, successfully replaced all its lead pipes within just two years, fueled by $18 million in funding from the President’s American Rescue Plan.
     
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has received $42 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to replace lead pipes, and is on track to replace every lead pipe by 2026. Vice President Harris visited the city in February to highlight this progress in lead pipe replacement and announce new funding for clean water.
     
  • St. Paul, Minnesota, has received $16 million from the American Rescue Plan to replace lead pipes. This funding has enabled the city’s Lead-Free St. Paul program to target the replacement of all lead pipes by 2032 at no cost to residents.
     
  • Cincinnati, Ohio, passed an ordinance to develop a program to replace all lead pipes in line with the President’s goal, and authorized covering the cost of replacing private lead pipes that bring water to residents’ homes. A $20 million investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will support this work.
     
  • Tucson, Arizona, received $6.95 million to develop a Lead Service Line inventory for their nine public water systems. The city will use this inventory to develop a plan to replace lead service lines in the community and improve drinking water quality for residents – many of whom live in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
     
  • Denver, Colorado, has replaced almost 25,000 lead service lines since the program launched in 2020. Denver plans to replace another 5,000 this year and is on target to replace 100% by 2031, accelerating its lead pipe replacement due to Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding.
     
  • Last week, at the White House Water Summit, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative launched its new Great Lakes Lead Pipes Partnership with three of its members – Chicago, Illinois, Detroit, Michigan, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This first-of-its kind, mayor-led effort to accelerate lead pipe replacement in cities with the heaviest lead burdens will provide a collaborative forum for metropolitan areas in the Great Lakes to share emerging best practices to encourage faster, more equitable replacement programs and overcome common challenges, including reducing replacement costs, improving community outreach, and spurring water workforce development.

Broader Administration Actions to Deliver Clean Water

The funding announced today is part of the over $50 billion provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to upgrade the nation’s water infrastructure – the largest investment in clean and safe water in American history. In addition, over $20 billion from the American Rescue Plan has been invested in water infrastructure, including lead pipe replacement, nationwide.

Beyond replacing lead pipes, these broader investments are helping to expand access to clean drinking water, improve wastewater and sanitation infrastructure, and remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in water. The Administration has launched over 1,400 of these projects to deliver clean water to date.

Delivering Clean Drinking Water. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests nearly $31 billion in funding to secure clean drinking water through infrastructure projects such as upgrading aging water mains and improving water treatment plants.

Improving Wastewater and Sanitation Infrastructure. Over 2 million people in the U.S. live without basic running water or sanitation systems in their homes. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests nearly $13 billion to improve wastewater, sanitation, and stormwater infrastructure.

Tackling PFAS Pollution in Water. Exposure to PFAS “forever chemicals” in drinking water is linked to severe health impacts including deadly cancers, liver and heart damage, and developmental impacts in children. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $10 billion to address toxic PFAS pollution in water. In addition, this month EPA announced the first-ever national drinking water standard for PFAS , which will protect 100 million people from PFAS exposure.

FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Key Progress on Efforts to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Under President Biden’s leadership, the home appraisal gap—an indicator of potential racial and ethnic bias—has shrunk by more than 40%
 
80% of Congressional Republicans are supporting a plan that would reverse this progress, while cutting Medicare, Social Security, and the Affordable Care Act

This fact sheet is provided by the White House:

Nearly three years ago at a speech to commemorate the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, President Biden committed to addressing racial inequities in the home appraisal process and increase the share of federal contract spending awarded to small disadvantaged businesses by 50%. During remarks at the National Action Network Convention, President Biden highlighted how his Administration is delivering on that promise and announce key progress being made to create opportunity in historically under-resourced communities and narrow the racial wealth gap.
  
While the President and Vice President continue working to close the racial wealth gap and create more opportunities for all Americans, 80% of Congressional Republicans are supporting a plan that would move the country backwards.  Their plan would defund the President’s executive orders on racial equity, while cutting Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and Social Security—raising the Social Security retirement age in the process. Congressional Republicans would also roll back billions of dollars in investments and tax incentives that support small businesses as they shift to a clean economy.  Moreover, the Congressional Republican plan would also increase prescription drug, energy, and housing costs, while fighting for tax giveaways for the very rich and big corporations.
 
In direct contrast, closing the racial wealth gap has been central to the Biden-Harris Administration’s economic agenda, and the progress we are making under the President’s leadership is delivering for communities nationwide, including Black Americans. The President’s announcements today to build on this progress include:

Rooting out bias in the home appraisal process. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is releasing new data showing that the “appraisal gap”—the likelihood that homes in communities of color are undervalued compared to homes in majority-white communities—has been cut by more than 40% since the Biden-Harris Administration took action on appraisal bias. The data also show that some states have eliminated the gap entirely. In these states, families in communities of color are no more likely to have their home valued at less than the agreed contract price than are families in white communities. This means that more Black Americans and people of color are able to build greater wealth from owning a home.
 
While there can be many reasons why an individual home is valued below the agreed-upon contract price, systemic undervaluation in communities of color can indicate racial bias in the appraisal process.
 
On June 1, 2021, the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, President Biden announced the creation of the Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE): a first-of-its-kind effort to root out bias and advance equity in the home appraisal process. Since releasing the PAVE Action Plan in March 2022, the Task Force has made critical progress towards implementation, including major steps to empower consumers to take action against appraisal bias; prevent algorithmic bias in home valuation; and support a well-trained and more representative appraiser profession. 
 
Rooting out bias in appraisals can help narrow the racial wealth gap. According to a recent study, eliminating racial disparities in the amount of wealth families gain from owning a home would narrow the wealth gap by 16% between Black and white households and by 41% between Latino and white households.
 
Achieving record federal investment in small disadvantaged businesses. Today, President Biden is also announcing that in Fiscal Year 2023, agencies surpassed the President’s goal for federal contracting dollars going to small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs), awarding SDBs a record-breaking $76.2 billion, or 12.1% in federal contracts. This sets a new all-time record for federal dollars to SDBs, surpassing the record set by the Biden-Harris Administration last year of $69.9 billion, and illustrates continued progress towards the President’s goal of 15% to SDBs by 2025. Three consecutive years of record-breaking awards to SDBs underscores the Administration’s unwavering commitment to leveling the playing field for the Nation’s small businesses and ensuring that no talent is left on the sidelines, even in the face of legal attacks that seek to undercut the Administration’s efforts.
 
Increasing federal investments in under-resourced businesses not only helps more Americans realize their entrepreneurial dreams and strengthens the supplier base, but also narrows persistent wealth disparities. According to analysis from the White House Council of Economic Advisers, eliminating racial disparities in business ownership rates would narrow the wealth gap by an additional 22% between Black and white households and by an additional 17% between Latino and white households. Recognizing this historic opportunity, in 2021, the President set a bold goal of increasing the share of the more than $630 billion in contracting dollars going to SDBs each year, including Black, Latino and Asian American-owned small businesses, to 15% by 2025—or an increase of 50% from 2010.
 
Canceling student loan debt. The Biden-Harris Administration also today announced that it is canceling an additional $7.4 billion in student loan debt for 277,000 borrowers. This brings the total amount of debt relief approved by the Administration to $153 billion for 4.3 million Americans. Today’s announcement builds on the President’s announcement earlier this week, laying out his Administration’s plans that would cancel student debt for tens of millions of Americans, if implemented as proposed. These plans would cancel runaway interest for over 25 million borrowers, cancel loan debt for borrowers eligible for forgiveness programs but not enrolled in those programs, and cancel student debt for borrowers experiencing hardship in their daily lives preventing them from paying back their loans.
 
Black and Latino borrowers are more likely to experience growth in their student loan balances due to excessive interest accumulation. Four years after graduation, Black bachelor’s degree borrowers, on average, owe more than they borrowed. These plans would not only help create more financial stability for millions of working and middle-class families, they would also help address the disproportionate debt burden on communities of color and advance racial equity.
 
Today’s announcements build on the progress the President has made to leverage the full force of the Federal Government—including with the signing of two executive orders on advancing racial equity—in order to ensure the promise of America for all communities, including Black Americans. Here are just a few examples of how Bidenomics and the President’s Investing in America agenda are already delivering for Black Americans:

  • Under President Biden, the Black unemployment rate and gap between Black and white unemployment hit record lows. 
  • Black wealth is up 60% relative to pre-pandemic levels.
  • The share of Black business owners more than doubled between 2019 and 2022.
  • Black-owned businesses are being created at the fastest rate in 30 years.

Fact Sheet: Vice President Harris Announces Historic Advancements in Long-Term Care to Support the Care Economy

These advancements in long-term care to support the care economy are the latest the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to improve safety, provide support for care workers and family caregivers, and to expand access to affordable, high-quality care. This fact sheet is provided by the White House:

Vice President Harris is announcing two landmark final rules that fulfill the President’s commitment to safety in care, improving access to long-term care and the quality of caregiving jobs. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and to have access to quality care. That’s why, today, Vice President Harris is announcing two landmark final rules that fulfill the President’s commitment to safety in care, improving access to long-term care and the quality of caregiving jobs. Ensuring that all Americans, including older Americans and people with disabilities, have access to care – including home-based care – that is safe, reliable, and of high quality is an important part of the President’s agenda and a part of the President’s broader commitment to care. Today’s announcements deliver on the President’s promise in the State of the Union to crack down on nursing homes that endanger resident safety as well as his historic Executive Order on Increasing Access to High-Quality Care and Supporting Caregivers, which included the most comprehensive set of executive actions any President has taken to improve care for millions of seniors and people with disabilities while supporting care workers and family caregivers.


Cracking Down on Inadequate Nursing Home Care


Medicare and Medicaid pay billions of dollars per year to ensure that 1.2 million Americans that receive care in nursing homes are cared for, yet too many nursing homes chronically understaff their facilities, leading to sub-standard or unsafe care. When facilities are understaffed, residents may go without basic necessities like baths, trips to the bathroom, and meals – and it is less safe when residents have a medical emergency. Understaffing can also have a disproportionate impact on women and people of color who make up a large proportion of the nursing home workforce because, without sufficient support, these dedicated workers can’t provide the care they know the residents deserve. In his 2022 State of the Union address, President Biden pledged that he would “protect seniors’ lives and life savings by cracking down on nursing homes that commit fraud, endanger patient safety, or prescribe drugs they don’t need.”

The Nursing Home Minimum Staffing Rule finalized today will require all nursing homes that receive federal funding through Medicare and Medicaid to have 3.48 hours per resident per day of total staffing, including a defined number from both registered nurses (0.55 hours per resident per day) and nurse aides (2.45 per resident per day). This means a facility with 100 residents would need at least two or three RNs and at least ten or eleven nurse aides as well as two additional nurse staff (which could be registered nurses, licensed professional nurses, or nurse aides) per shift to meet the minimum staffing standards. Many facilities would need to staff at a higher level based on their residents’ needs. It will also require facilities to have a registered nurse onsite 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide skilled nursing care, which will further improve nursing home safety. Adequate staffing is proven to be one of the measures most strongly associated with safety and good care outcomes.

To make sure nursing homes have the time they need to hire necessary staff, the requirements of this rule will be introduced in phases, with longer timeframes for rural communities. Limited, temporary exemptions will be available for both the 24/7 registered nurse requirement and the underlying staffing standards for nursing homes in workforce shortage areas that demonstrate a good faith effort to hire.

Strong transparency measures will ensure nursing home residents and their families are aware when a nursing home is using an exemption.

This rule will not only benefit residents and their families, it will also ensure that workers aren’t stretched too thin by having inadequate staff on site, which is currently a common reason for worker burnout and turnover. Workers who are on the frontlines interacting with residents and understanding their needs will also be given a voice in developing staffing plans for nursing homes. The Biden-Harris Administration also continues to invest in expanding the pipeline of nursing workers and other care workers, who are so essential to our economy, including through funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Improving Access to Home Care and the Quality of Home Care Jobs


Over seven million seniors and people with disabilities, alongside their families, rely on home and community-based services to provide for long-term care needs in their own homes and communities. This critical care is provided by a dedicated home care workforce, made up disproportionately by women of color, that often struggles to make ends meet due to low wages and few benefits. At the same time, home care is still very inaccessible for many Medicaid enrollees, with more than threequarters of home care providers not accepting new clients, leaving hundreds of thousands of older Americans and Americans with disabilities on waiting lists or struggling to afford the care they need.

The “Ensuring Access to Medicaid Services” final rule, finalized today, will help improve access to home care services as well as improve the quality caregiving jobs through its new provisions for home care. Specifically, the rule will ensure adequate compensation for home care workers by requiring that at least 80 percent of Medicaid payments for home care services go to workers’ wages. This policy would also allow states to take into account the unique experiences that small home care providers and providers in rural areas face while ensuring their employees receive their fair share of Medicaid payments and continued training as well as the delivery of quality care. Higher wages will likely reduce turnover, leading to higher quality of care for older adults and people with disabilities across the nation, as studies have shown. States will also be required to be more transparent in how much they pay for home care services and how they set those rates, increasing the accountability for home care providers. Finally, states will have to create a home care rate-setting advisory group made up of beneficiaries, home care workers and other key stakeholders to advise and consult on provider payment rates and direct compensation for direct care workers.


Strong Record on Improving Access to Care and Supporting Caregivers


Today’s new final rules are in addition to an already impressive track record on delivering on the President’s Executive Order on Care. Over the last year, the Biden-Harris Administration has:

  • Increased pay for care workers, including by proposing a rule to gradually increase pay for Head Start teachers by about $10,000, to reach parity with the salaries of public preschool teachers.
  • Cut child care costs for low-income families by finalizing a rule that will reduce or eliminate copayments for more than 100,000 working families, and lowering the cost of care for lower earning service members, thereby reducing the cost of child care for nearly two-thirds of children receiving care on military bases. Military families earning $45,000 would see a 34% decrease in the amount they pay for child care.

Supported family caregivers by making it easier for family caregivers to access Medicare beneficiary information and provide more support as they prepare for their loved ones to be discharged from the hospital. The Administration has also expanded access to mental health services for tens of thousands of family caregivers who are helping veterans

Biden Announces $7.4 Billion in Student Debt Cancellation for 277,000 More Americans, Pursuing Every Path Available to Cancel Student Debt

New debt cancellation for borrowers enrolled in SAVE, other Income-Driven Repayment plans, and Public Service Loan Forgiveness comes on the heels of President Biden announcing new plans that could benefit tens of millions of Americans. This latest round of debt cancellation means that $153 billion in student debt relief has been provided for 4.3 million Americans. New plans announced by Biden would cancel student debt for over 30 million when implemented. These state-by-state fact sheets have been provided by the White House:

New debt cancellation for borrowers enrolled in SAVE, other Income-Driven Repayment plans, and Public Service Loan Forgiveness comes on the heels of President Biden announcing new plans that could benefit tens of millions of Americans. This latest round of debt cancellation means that $153 billion in student debt relief has been provided for 4.3 million Americans. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Biden announced that 277,000 more Americans will get their student debt canceled, bringing the total debt relief approved by the Biden-Harris Administration to $153 billion for 4.3 million Americans through various actions. This latest round of debt cancellation comes on the heels of President Biden announcing new plans that, if implemented, would cancel student debt for over 30 million Americans when combined with actions the Administration has taken over the last three years. These announcements reinforce the President’s commitment to using every path available to deliver student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible through various actions.

The 277,000 Americans receiving this latest round of debt relief are borrowers enrolled in the SAVE Plan, other borrowers enrolled in Income-Driven Repayment plans, and borrowers receiving Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The Biden-Harris Administration fixed Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) and launched the SAVE Plan last year – the most affordable repayment plan ever. Already 8 million borrowers are enrolled in SAVE, 4.5 million of those borrowers have a monthly payment of $0, and over 1 million additional borrowers have a monthly payment of less than $100. And if borrowers took out low balances of loans, the SAVE Plan puts them on a faster path to debt relief after at least ten years of payments.

Since President Biden took office, his Administration has approved over $54 billion in debt cancellation for 1.3 million borrowers enrolled in income-driven repayment plans, including the new SAVE Plan. This builds on additional actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to cancel debt for nearly 900,000 public service workers, 1.3 million borrowers cheated by their schools or borrowers covered by related court settlements, and nearly 550,000 borrowers with a total and permanent disability, including many veterans.

While the Administration continues to cancel Americans’ student debt through improving existing forgiveness programs and through the SAVE Plan, the Biden-Harris Administration is also pursuing new plans that, if implemented, would cancel student debt for tens of millions more. Earlier this week, the President announced his Administration’s alternative path to debt cancellation in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court decision. Learn more about these plans at StudentAid.gov/DebtRelief.

State Fact Sheets:

FACT SHEET: 80% of House Republicans Propose Defunding COPS as President Biden Insists on Funding the Police

President Biden’s investment in community policing and violence prevention has resulted in significant drop in violent crime from the surging rates during the Trump Administration but Republicans, who constantly falsely hype crime rates and pretend to support “The Blue” (certainly not during the January 6 insurrection) are seeking to withdraw funding in the 2025 budget they are proposing. This fact sheet was provided by the White House: –Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Republicans including Nassau County’s Executive Bruce Blakeman love to rail against crime rates and pretend to “back the Blue”, but ignore the reality that President Biden’s investments in community policing and violence prevention have paid off with lower crime rates. Now Republicans, who make sure to surround themselves with police protection, are proposing to cut funding for law enforcement in the 2025 budget, while Biden is standing firm © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Biden has stood with law enforcement his entire career, and worked to ensure law enforcement serves all communities his entire career. And he has the results to show for it.
 
The President inherited a violent crime rate that surged under the prior administration. After taking office, President Biden immediately took action and signed the American Rescue Plan – which led to the largest federal investment in public safety in history, giving state and local governments resources to reduce crime and prevent violence. Even though leaders on the ground sided with the President, the Plan passed without a single Republican vote. 
 
The President also signed one of the most significant gun violence prevention reforms in 30 years, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which has helped keep guns out of the hands of individuals with felony convictions, and those who have a serious mental illness and are a danger to themselves or others.
 
These swift actions paid off. FBI 2023 data shows that the prior administration’s crime wave has turned around under President Biden, resulting in a record drop in crime.
 
In his State of the Union, President Biden described how cities across the country have used the American Rescue Plan to make historic investments in public safety and urged Congress to build on that progress, including by hiring over 100,000 new police officers accountable to the public, investing in mental health workers and community violence intervention programs across the country, and cracking down on gun crime.
 
But the Republican Study Committee – which speaks for 100% of House Republican leadership and 80% of its members – just released a dangerous plan that would defund law enforcement:
  

  • The Republican Study Committee is proposing defunding the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program on top of other efforts to undermine law enforcement. President Biden voted to create COPS while a Senator, and the COPS Hiring Program is one of the primary ways the federal government supports local law enforcement. Each year, communities seek funding they need to hire officers to engage in community policing and crime prevention, and during this Administration, nearly 500 communities have received awards that put more than 3,700 officers on the beat.
     
  • The Republican Study Committee budget would also gut the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and take steps that prioritize gun industry profits over the lives of the American people.
     
  • Numerous House Republicans also support abolishing the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Although the Border Patrol Union endorses President Biden’s tough bipartisan border security deal, congressional Republicans are blocking it, to the detriment of law enforcement and the benefit of fentanyl traffickers.

 
By contrast, President Biden backs law enforcement and supports programs that reduce crime:
 

  • Through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, more than 1,000 communities across the country have invested over $15 billion to keep their communities safe and prevent crime. These include investments to avoid cuts to police budgets, hire more police officers for safe, effective, and accountable community policing, ensure first responders have the equipment they need to do their jobs, and expand community violence intervention and prevention programs.
     
  • President Biden’s budget includes $1.2 billion over five years to launch a new Violent Crime Reduction and Prevention Fund.
     
  • The President’s budget also funds his Safer American Plan, including providing for hiring 100,000 additional police officers for effective, accountable community policing.
     

President Biden wants to deploy $17.7 billion for DOJ law enforcement, including $2.0 billion, an increase of over 30 percent since 2021, for the ATF.

Council of Economic Advisers Issues The 2024 Economic Report of the President

President Biden delivers the2024 State of the Union Address © Karen Rubin/news-p[hotos-features.com via c-span.org

The Council of Economic Advisers under the leadership of Chair Jared Bernstein released the 2024 Economic Report of the President, the 78th report since the establishment of CEA in 1946. The 2024 Report brings economic evidence and data to bear on many of today’s most significant issues and questions in domestic and international economic policy:

Chapter 1, The Benefits of Full Employmentwhich is dedicated to the late Dr. William Spriggs, examines the labor market, distributional, and macroeconomic impacts of full employment, with a particular focus on the benefits for economically vulnerable groups of workers who are much more likely to be left behind in periods of weak labor markets.

Chapter 2, The Year in Review and the Years Ahead, describes macroeconomic and financial market trends in 2023 and presents the Federal government’s FY 2024 macroeconomic forecast.

Chapter 3, Population, Aging, and the Economyexplains how long-run trends in fertility and mortality are shaping the U.S. population and labor force.

Chapter 4, Increasing the Supply of Affordable Housingexplores the causes and consequences of the nation’s longstanding housing shortage and how the Biden-Harris administration’s policy agenda can significantly increase the production of more affordable housing.

Chapter 5, International Trade and Investment Flowspresents key facts about long-term trends in U.S. international trade and investment flows, including the role of global supply chains, and highlights the benefits and costs of global integration for American workers.

Chapter 6, Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition, applies a structural change framework to explain the factors that can accelerate the transition towards a clean energy economy.

Chapter 7, An Economic Framework for Understanding Artificial Intelligenceuses an economic framework to explore when, how, and why AI may be adopted, adapting standard economic models to explore AI’s potential effects on labor markets, while examining policy decisions that will affect social and macroeconomic outcomes.

FACT SHEET: Delivering on the Biden-Harris Administration’s Commitment to Democratic Renewal at the Third Summit for Democracy

Among the actions the Biden Administration has taken to bolster democracy globally, in 2023, the Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on more than 130 individuals and entities engaged in corruption, spanning 17 countries, while the State Department issued public visa restrictions on more than 90 individuals from around the world for their involvement in significant corruption. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Biden has correctly assessed the 2024 election as a battle to save democracy against an emergent autocracy. He launched the historic Summit for Democracy in 2021 to strengthen democratic institutions, protect human rights, and accelerate the fight against corruption, both at home and abroad and recently convened the Third Summit.

Can you imagine Trump or any Republican advocating for democracy, strengthening democratic institutions, protecting human rights and accelerating the fight against corruption domestically and abroad? This fact sheet from the White House lists the ways the Biden-Harris Administration is delivering on its commitment to democratic renewal, at its Third Summit for Democracy—Karen Rubin, [email protected]
 
At the first Summit, approximately 100 participating governments made over 750 commitments on a wide array of deliverables, including in the areas of advancing technology for democracy, media freedom, countering the misuse of technology, and improving financial transparency, gender equity and equality, and rule of law.  The second Summit built on these efforts, convening government stakeholders, youth voices, civil society, and the private sector to demonstrate the power of cross-sectoral collaboration and amplify the importance of including diverse voices in these spaces.  This year, the Republic of Korea hosted the third Summit for Democracy in Seoul under the theme “Democracy for Future Generations.”  
 
The U.S. delegation in the ROK, led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, highlighted U.S. efforts to strengthen democratic resilience, respect for human rights, and good governance globally.  The Biden-Harris Administration has requested $11.8 billion in Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DRG) foreign assistance, of which $5.8 billion has already been appropriated for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023.  The Administration intends to provide the remaining $6 billion over the next two years, subject to the availability of appropriations.  During the Summit, the United States held a high-level, multi-stakeholder event on combatting the proliferation and misuse of commercial spyware, which not only threatens democratic institutions but also poses risks to global security.
 
Under President Biden’s leadership, the United States has taken concrete steps to advance previous commitments and initiatives launched over the past three years, which include:
 
Advancing Technology for Democracy:

  • In March 2023, President Biden signed the ground-breaking Executive Order Prohibiting the Use of Commercial Spyware that Poses Risks to National Security to prohibit U.S. Government use of commercial spyware that poses risks to national security and has been misused by foreign actors to enable human rights abuses.
     
  • In July 2023, the Department of Commerce imposed export controls on four commercial spyware entities, building on an initial tranche of Entity List designations in November 2021.
     
  • In October 2023, the U.S. Government worked with 59 other countries at the Human Rights Council in Geneva to issue a joint statement on Heightened Risks Associated with Surveillance Technologies & the Importance of Safeguards.
     
  • In February 2024, the State Department announced a new visa restriction policy for individuals involved in or financially benefiting from the misuse of commercial spyware.
     
  • In February 2024, the Department of Commerce imposed export controls on a company that has enabled foreign governments to conduct mass web-monitoring, censorship, and surveillance of perceived political opponents and human rights defenders.
     
  • In February 2024, the United States joined the United Kingdom and France-led Pall-Mall Declaration, which brought together international partners and stakeholders to address the proliferation and irresponsible use of commercial cyber intrusion tools and services.
     
  • In March 2024, the Treasury Department imposed unprecedented financial sanctions targeting five commercial spyware entities and their leadership that have enabled the misuse of commercial spyware. This was the first time that the U.S. Government sanctioned actors involved in the misuse of commercial spyware.
     
  • In March 2024, the U.S. Government convened members of the investor community – during which the investors revealed voluntary principles and commitments – to discuss the role of trusted capital in advancing technology while promoting the values of free and open societies, including guarding against the misuse of commercial spyware and encouraging safe AI development.
     
  • Since its launch at the first Summit for Democracy, the U.S. Government has contributed more than $46 million to the Surge and Sustain Fund for Anti-Censorship Technology, including $31 million in 2023 alone, to support 30 million users of circumvention tools such as virtual private networks (VPNs) each month.
     

Supporting Free and Independent Media

  • USAID’s International Fund for Public Interest Media – announced at the second Summit for Democracy – has committed nearly $9 million in 32 grants across 16 countries to independent media outlets in urgent need of support and to strengthen their long-term sustainability.  The U.S. Government’s initial seed funding of $20 million has leveraged an additional $32 million from 15 governments, philanthropies, and corporate entities.
     
  • The State Department launched two programs under its Journalism Protection Platform to combat impunity for violence against journalists and strengthen holistic security for journalists and independent media outlets, including those operating in exile.

 
Fighting Corruption

  • In December 2023, the United States assumed the presidency of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Conference of the States Parties (COSP).  At COSP, the United States secured consensus to adopt the U.S.-led Atlanta Declaration, which holds governments accountable to their UNCAC obligations and announced a new Presidential Proclamation restricting entry into the United States for those who enable corruption.
     
  • In 2023, the Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on more than 130 individuals and entities engaged in corruption, spanning 17 countries, while the State Department issued public visa restrictions on more than 90 individuals from around the world for their involvement in significant corruption. 
     
  • USAID kickstarted implementation of the Countering Transnational Corruption Grand Challenge for Development, with an initial focus on reducing corruption in the supply of green minerals. USAID also initiated new activities to seed a new investigative journalism network in Southeast Asia, strengthen public accountability in Zambia, and address Kremlin-backed strategic corruption in Eastern and Central Europe.
     
  • In September 2023, the State Department expanded its Transnational Anticorruption Partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ International Corruption Unit, which places regional anticorruption advisors in the field to build partners’ capacities to investigate and prosecute transnational corruption cases.  This program, part of the U.S. Democracies against Safe Havens initiative to tackle kleptocracy, has upskilled law enforcement agencies in over 30 countries, resulting in dozens of new actionable leads, cases initiated, and instances of cross-border cooperation to hold kleptocrats and money launderers accountable.    
     
  • In the past year, the United States has made historic strides in preventing corrupt and other illicit actors from laundering funds through anonymous companies and advancing rulemaking processes to guard against dirty money in the residential real estate sector and investment advising industry.

 
Bolstering Human Rights and Democratic Reformers

  • Since the first Summit, USAID’s Partnership’s for Democratic Development (PDD) has allocated $53 million to deepen relationships with democratic reformers and accelerate democratic development in nine countries.  PDD will provide up to $52 million in additional funding in the coming year, subject to availability of funds, to expand democratic reform and ensure PDD partner countries are given the support they need to make their democratic transformation a reality.
     
  • Since announcing the Advancing Women’s and Girls’ Civic and Political Leadership Initiative at the first Summit, USAID has allocated over $15 million in nine focus countries to build and sustain women’s participation in political and civic engagement. USAID will provide up to $10 million in additional funding this year, subject to availability of funds.
     
  • The Community of Democracies (CoD) is working towards the 2024 launch of the global Youth Democracy Network, announced by the United States at the second Summit for Democracy.  Ahead of the launch, the CoD YouthLeads, who will serve as the inaugural advisory board for the Network, are driving discussion on youth engagement in elections, including a new series of articles, “A Blueprint for Youth Electoral Engagement,” to showcase effective strategies and policies from around the globe that enhance youth participation in electoral processes.


Defending Free and Fair Elections

  • Following a commitment made at the first Summit for Democracy, USAID has worked with more than 30 leading international organizations and elections networks to launch the Global Network for Securing Election Integrity (GNSEI) to promote electoral integrity in the face of critical threats to democracy.  In 2024, GNSEI intends to develop and promote two electoral integrity priorities: one on principles to support democratic electoral reform processes and the other on safeguarding election management bodies’ independence in their interactions with other domestic agencies.
     
  • In 2023, USAID launched the Defending Democratic Elections Fund, which is helping to pilot and scale up approaches to addressing critical long-standing and emerging electoral integrity issues — including on strengthening information integrity and resilience – particularly during the period in between elections, when resources have often been scarce. This past year, USAID provided nearly $16 million in additional support across 17 countries to tackle issues like campaign finance reform, and barriers to women’s political participation.
     
  • The State Department contributed $25 million in new funding under the Political Accountability, Inclusivity, and Resiliency Support mechanism to promote political competition by building stronger connections between political parties and citizens.  

At the third Summit for Democracy, the United States reiterated and expanded upon its commitment to bolstering democratic resilience and advancing human rights at home and abroad.  Specifically, the U.S. delegation announced several new commitments and initiatives to further progress in the years ahead:  

  • On March 18, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Poland signed the Joint Statement on Efforts to Counter the Proliferation and Misuse of Commercial Spyware, which was launched by an initial group of 11 like-minded countries at the second Summit for Democracy, expanding the coalition of countries committed to implementing robust guardrails against misuse of commercial spyware. The Joint Statement affirms the threat posed by the misuse of commercial spyware and countries commit to working within their domestic systems to establish robust guardrails to counter the proliferation and misuse of this sophisticated surveillance technology.
  • The Biden-Harris Administration aims to provide financial support, working with Congress and subject to appropriated funds, to committed partners like the Platform for the Engagement of Civil Society, to coordinate the ongoing work of the Summit, including future convenings, and to build networks among the existing democratic renewal architecture.
     
  • The United States, led by USAID, will convene a meeting to galvanize momentum for the next Summit gathering and to show our continued commitment to democratic renewal around the world on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly session in September 2024. 
     
  • On March 17, USAID launched the Advancing Digital Democracy (ADD) Academy, building upon the ADD initiative announced at the second Summit for Democracy.  In partnership with multinational technology firms, the ADD Academy will offer essential skills training in cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud computing, and responsible AI, among other topics.   In the initial phase, ADD Academy intends to work with technology partners Cloudflare, Google, and Microsoft. 
     
  • On March 18, the State Department released U.S. Guidance for Online Platforms on Protecting Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) Online, which highlights best practices online platforms can take to prevent, mitigate, and provide remedy for actions targeting HRDs online, building on joint guidance recently released by the U.S. and the EU through the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council.
     
  • Through the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse, which was announced during the first Summit, the United States and UK are developing a response framework for coordinated, evidence-informed action to prevent, disrupt, and reduce the spread of targeted online campaigns against women political and public figures and human rights defenders, which will be informed through a first-of-its-kind global conference on countering gendered disinformation held in Kenya on March 25-27, 2024. Complementing the goals of this framework, in January 2024 the State Department announced a new Global Technology-Facilitated Gender-Based Violence (TFGBV) Rapid Response Fund for women politicians, political candidates, and civil society leaders who have experienced extreme forms and/or threats of TFGBV and need urgent access to flexible resources to meet their immediate needs.   
     

On March 20, the United States released its second National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct, which outlines efforts to expand U.S. government guidance to and coordination with external stakeholders on responsible business conduct, strengthen federal procurement processes related to human rights, and promote access to remedy for those harmed by irresponsible business conduct.

FACT SHEET: In Nevada, President Biden Doubles Down on Plan to Lower Housing Costs and Increase Housing Supply for American Families

President Biden is working to lower housing costs and increase the housing supply to address the large shortage of affordable homes inherited from his predecessor. In his State of the Union address, he called on Congress to support the construction and rehabilitation of two million additional homes, lower costs for renters, and help first time homebuyers and families seeking to trade up or downsize. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Biden is working to lower housing costs and increase the housing supply to address the shortage of affordable homes. This fact sheet is provided by the White House:

President Biden is working to lower housing costs and increase the housing supply to address the large shortage of affordable homes inherited from his predecessor. In President Biden’s State of the Union address, he called on Congress to support the construction and rehabilitation of two million additional homes, lower costs for renters, and help first time homebuyers and families seeking to trade up or downsize.
 

During a visit to Las Vegas, Nevada, President Biden detailed his agenda to bring down the cost of housing and described the investments the Biden-Harris Administration has already made through the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The ARP provided $1 billion in Nevada to help boost affordable housing, lower housing costs, and keep homeowners and renters in their homes. This includes $700 million invested in affordable housing supply that includes major investments in senior housing. As a result, Clark County has several major 200-unit affordable housing developments coming, and about 1,000 new senior apartments on the way thanks to the ARP.
 
The President’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget includes a historic $258 billion in housing investments to give working families a fair shot, including an historic expansion in rental assistance for low-income families, while reducing the deficit by asking corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share. These new proposals build on his Housing Supply Action Plan, major investments provided by the ARP, and actions the Biden-Harris Administration has already taken to increase the housing supply and lower housing costs for American families, including reducing mortgage insurance premiums by $800 per year for hundreds of thousands of homeowners, expanding rental assistance to more than 100,000 additional households, and building tens of thousands of affordable housing units. These actions have contributed to a record high of nearly 1.7 million homes currently under construction nationwide.
 
President Biden’s Plan to Lower Housing Costs and Build Two Million Homes
 
Reduce Barriers to Homeownership
For many Americans, owning a home is the cornerstone of raising a family, building wealth, and joining the middle class. Too many working families feel locked out of homeownership and are unable to compete with investors for a limited supply of affordable for-sale homes. President Biden is calling on Congress to enact legislation to enable more Americans to purchase a home, including:

  • Mortgage Relief Credit. President Biden is calling on Congress to pass a mortgage relief credit that would provide middle-class first-time homebuyers with a tax credit of $10,000 over two years. This is the equivalent of reducing the mortgage rate by more than 1.5 percentage points for two years on the median home, saving families $400 per month on their mortgage payments. It will help more than 3.5 million middle-class families purchase their first home over the next two years. The President’s plan also calls for a new credit to unlock inventory of affordable starter homes, while helping middle-class families move up the housing ladder and empty nesters right size. The President is calling on Congress to provide a one-year tax credit of up to $10,000 to middle-class families who sell their starter home, defined as homes below the area median home price in the county, to another owner-occupant. This proposal is estimated to help nearly 3 million families.
  • Down Payment Assistance for First-Generation Homeowners. The President continues to call on Congress to provide up to $25,000 in down payment assistance to first-generation homebuyers whose families haven’t benefited from the generational wealth building associated with homeownership. This proposal would help about 400,000 families purchase their first home.
  • Lowering Closing Costs. The Federal Housing Finance Agency has approved policies and pilots to reduce closing costs for homeowners, including a pilot to waive the requirement for lender’s title insurance on certain refinances. This would save thousands of homeowners up to $1500, and an average of $750, and the lower upfront fees will unlock substantial savings for homeowners as mortgage rates continue to fall and more homeowners are able to refinance. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will also pursue rulemaking and guidance to address anticompetitive closing costs imposed by lenders on homebuyers and homeowners.  These charges—which benefit the lender but not the borrower—can add thousands to the upfront costs of a mortgage. 
  • Promoting Competition in the Housing Market. In his State of the Union Address, the President discussed the importance of boosting competition and lowering housing costs, and the Department of Justice has made those goals a priority. Last week’s settlement reached by the National Association of Realtors is an important step toward boosting competition in the housing market. It could save as much as $10,000 on the median home sale. Now, the Administration is calling on realtors and lenders to offer more choices and lower costs, while promoting access to homeownership for first-time, low-income, and low-wealth homebuyers.

Lowering Costs by Building and Preserving 2 Million Homes
America needs to build more housing in order to lower rental costs and increase access to homeownership. That’s why the President is calling on Congress to pass legislation to build and renovate more than 2 million homes, which would close the housing supply gap and lower housing costs for renters and homeowners.

  • Tax Credits to Build More Housing. President Biden is calling for an expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to build or preserve 1.2 million more affordable rental units. Renters living in these properties save hundreds of dollars each month on their rent compared with renters with similar incomes who rent in the unsubsidized market. The President is also calling for a new Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit, the first tax provision to build or renovate affordable homes for homeownership, which would lead to the construction or preservation of over 400,000 starter homes in communities throughout the country.
  • Innovation Fund for Housing Expansion. The President is unveiling a new $20 billion competitive grant fund as part of his proposed Budget to support communities across the country to build more housing and lower rents and homebuying costs. This fund would support the construction of affordable multifamily rental units; incentivize local actions to remove unnecessary barriers to housing development; pilot innovative models to increase the production of affordable and workforce rental housing; and spur the construction of new starter homes for middle-class families. According to independent analysis, this will create hundreds of thousands of units which will help lower rents and housing costs.
  • Increasing Banks’ Contributions Towards Building Affordable Housing. The President is proposing that each Federal Home Loan Bank double its annual contribution to the Affordable Housing Program – from 10 percent of prior year net income to 20 percent – which will raise an additional $3.79 billion for affordable housing over the next decade and assist nearly 380,000 households. These funds would support the financing, acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of affordable rental and for-sale homes, as well as help low- and moderate-income homeowners to purchase or rehabilitate homes.
  • Bolstering Efforts to Prevent and End Homelessness. The President is calling for $8 billion for a new grant program to rapidly expand temporary and permanent housing strategies for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Funds from this proposal would support non-congregate emergency shelter solutions, interim housing, rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, and rental housing for extremely low-income households experiencing housing instability or homelessness. 

Lowering Costs for Renters
President Biden is also taking actions to lower costs and promote housing stability for renters. The White House Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights lays out the key principles of a fair rental market and has already catalyzed new federal actions to make those principles a reality. Today, President Biden is announcing new steps to crack down on unfair practices that are driving up rental costs:

  • Fighting Rent Gouging by Corporate Landlords. The Biden-Harris Administration is taking action to combat egregious rent increases and other unfair practices that are driving up rents. Corporate landlords and private equity firms across the country have been accused of illegal information sharing, price fixing, and inflating rents. As part of the President’s Strike Force on Unfair and Illegal Pricing, he is calling on federal agencies to root out and stop illegal corporate behavior that hikes prices on American families through anti-competitive, unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent business practices. In a recent filing, the Department of Justice (DOJ) made clear its position that inflated rents caused by algorithmic use of sensitive nonpublic pricing and supply information violate antitrust laws. Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission and DOJ filed a joint brief further arguing that it is illegal for landlords and property managers to collude on pricing to inflate rents – including when using algorithms to do so.
  • Cracking Down on Rental Junk Fees. Millions of families incur burdensome costs in the rental application process and throughout the duration of their lease, from “convenience fees” simply to pay rent online to fees charged to sort mail or collect trash. These fees are often more than the actual cost of providing the service, or are added onto rents to cover services that renters assume are included—or that they don’t even want. Last fall, the FTC proposed a rule that if finalized as proposed would ban misleading and hidden fees across the economy, including in housing rental agreements. HUD has released a summary of banned non-rent fees within their rental assistance programs. These actions build on voluntary commitments the President announced last summer from major rental housing platforms to provide customers with the total, upfront cost on rental properties on their platform.
  • Expanding Housing Choice Vouchers. Over the last three years, the Administration has secured rental assistance for more than 100,000 additional households. The President is calling on Congress to further expand rental assistance to more than half of a million households, including by providing a voucher guarantee for low-income veterans and youth aging out of foster care – the first such voucher guarantees in history. Receiving a voucher would save these households hundreds of dollars in rent each month.

The ARP Provides $1 Billion to Boost Housing Supply and Provide Housing Help in Nevada:

  • Nevada is a national leader in investing ARP funding in affordable housing: In Nevada, the ARP has provided over $1 billion for housing investments, including helping to fund the construction of thousands of new units in Clark County, making them one of the national leaders in using this money to expand supply of affordable housing.
  • Investing in Down-Payment Assistance to help Nevadans buy homes: The state also used ARP funds to provide 500 Nevadans with $15,000 in down-payment assistance to purchase a home. 
  • Nevada State and local governments have used $700 million through the ARP to support major affordable housing projects.
  • About 1,000 ARP-supported Senior Affordable Apartments on the way in Clark County today, including, for example:
    • 195 Units of affordable housing at Pebble and Eastern Senior Apartments in Clark County currently under construction.
    • 125 Units of affordable housing at Nevada HAND’s Buffalo and Cactus Senior Apartments in Clark County currently under construction.

The ARP Has Invested Billions of Dollars to Support Affordable Housing:

  • Through the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, over 940 state and local governments have invested more than $18 billion for housing assistance, homelessness, and affordable housing initiatives, including over $6 billion to build and preserve housing.
  • State and local governments are using an additional $5 billion in funding through the ARP’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program to build or rehabilitate at least 20,000 units of affordable housing and support an additional 23,000 households with rental assistance, non-congregate shelter, or supportive services. 

New data released today shows that since the ARP’s passage, states, Tribal governments, and territories have distributed $6.6 billion HAF award funds to over 500,000 homeowners for past due mortgage payments, utility expenses, and property taxes, as well as other housing related expenses. As a result of this program and the strong economic recovery, foreclosure starts are well below pre-pandemic levels.