For those who insist the 2nd Amendment is absolute and government has no authority to regulate guns, look to the preamble of the Constitution, the authority is written there: “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
It’s a shonda that in face of 31,394 gun deaths and 506 mass shootings so far this year- that President Biden has felt the need to establish the first-ever Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Headed by Vice President Kamala Harris, it is aimed at providing aid and comfort to communities after yet another incident of gun violence, in the same way FEMA does after a disaster, recognizing the trauma and dislocation of communities after such events. The office will also see to fully implement the provisions of the Safer Communities Act – the first serious gun control legislation in nearly 30 years – enact the many gun-safety Executive Orders, and see where new measures need to be taken.
President Biden also vowed to see renewed legislation banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and gave a long list of actions that Congress must take to end the scourge, the epidemic of gun violence that is uniquely “American.”
The new Office of Gun Violence Prevention will be overseen by Vice President Harris, who has been a been a key leader in the Biden-Harris Administration’s effort to end our nation’s gun violence epidemic. Stefanie Feldman, a longtime policy advisor to President Biden on gun violence prevention, will serve as Director of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, alongside leading gun violence prevention advocates Greg Jackson and Rob Wilcox, who will join the Administration as Deputy Directors of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention.
“Every time I’ve met with families impacted by gun violence as they mourn their loved ones, and I’ve met with so many throughout the country, they all have the same message for their elected officials: ‘do something.’ It’s why, last year, I signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to keep guns out of dangerous hands, and have taken more executive action than any President in history to keep communities safe. But as I’ve said before – while these are important steps, they are just the first steps toward what is needed,” President Biden said at a ceremony announcing the office.
“That’s why I’m announcing additional steps forward, with the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, overseen by Vice President Harris, to build upon these measures and keep Americans safe. The Office will include Stefanie Feldman, who has capably led my Administration’s gun violence prevention efforts and been a trusted aide for more than a decade, alongside leading experts Greg Jackson and Rob Wilcox whose own lives and families have been touched by the tragedy of gun violence. They have turned their pain into purpose and dedicated their careers to being advocates for change – that important work will continue as they join my team in these new roles.
“I’ll continue to urge Congress to take commonsense actions that the majority of Americans support like enacting universal background checks and banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. But in the absence of that sorely-needed action, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention along with the rest of my Administration will continue to do everything it can to combat the epidemic of gun violence that is tearing our families, our communities, and our country apart,” Biden said.
The Office of Gun Violence Prevention builds on historic actions taken by President Biden to end gun violence in our country: including signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant legislative action in nearly 30 years aimed at doing so, and taking more meaningful executive action than any other president to make our schools, churches, grocery stores, and communities safer.
The Biden-Harris Administration has worked to implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant gun violence prevention legislation in nearly 30 years. This legislation is already saving lives by keeping guns out of the hands of individuals under 21 who are prohibited from purchasing firearms, empowering the Justice Department with new authorities to prosecute firearms traffickers, improving access to mental health services in our schools to help young people deal with the trauma and grief resulting from gun violence, and investing in community violence interventions.
The Biden-Harris Administration has announced dozens of executive actions to: keep especially dangerous weapons and repeat shooters off our streets; hold rogue gun dealers and gun traffickers accountable; provide law enforcement with the tools and resources they need to reduce gun violence; and address the root causes of gun violence. Most recently, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – a critical leader in work to reduce gun violence – proposed a rule to reduce the number of guns sold without background checks and keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
President Biden continues to call on Congress to take additional action, including by:
Banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines;
Requiring safe storage of firearms;
Requiring background checks for all gun sales;
Eliminating gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability; and
Enacting his Safer America Plan, which would put more police officers on our streets for accountable, community policing and invest in gun violence prevention and intervention.
“Every person and every child deserves the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and live up to their God-given potential. Every family, in every community, should have the freedom to live and to thrive,” Vice President Kamala Harris stated. “We know true freedom is not possible if people are not safe. This epidemic of gun violence requires urgent leadership to end the fear and trauma that Americans experience every day. The new Office of Gun Violence Prevention will play a critical role in implementing President Biden’s and my efforts to reduce violence to the fullest extent under the law, while also engaging and encouraging Congressional leaders, state and local leaders, and advocates to come together to build upon the meaningful progress that we have made to save lives. Our promise to the American people is this: we will not stop working to end the epidemic of gun violence in every community, because we do not have a moment, nor a life to spare.”
Today, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden convened a meeting of the Cancer Cabinet to announce new actions federal agencies are taking to advance the mission of the White House Cancer Moonshot, as well as new commitments the Biden-Harris Administration has secured from non-governmental organizations and the private sector to deliver progress on the mission to end cancer as we know it.
Last year, the President and First Lady reignited the Cancer Moonshot with the goals of reducing the cancer death rate in the United States by at least half—preventing more than 4 million cancer deaths—by 2047 and improving the experience of people who are touched by cancer. The President also established a Cancer Cabinet to mobilize the entire Biden-Harris Administration in pursuit of these ambitious goals. In the time since, the Cancer Moonshot has announced roughly 50 new programs, policies, and resources and secured more than 100 commitments from private companies, non-profit organizations, patient groups, and more toward the President’s and First Lady’s goals.
Accelerating the fight against cancer is a core component of the President’s Unity Agenda, a set of priorities that Americans from every walk of life can support. In his State of the Union address earlier this year, President Biden laid out a bold vision to advance his Unity Agenda, including the work of the Cancer Moonshot, specifically by driving innovation that changes patient outcomes, providing support to families as they navigate a cancer diagnosis, and preventing cancer by tackling the biggest single driver of cancer deaths in this country—smoking. Today’s actions build on the progress the Cancer Moonshot has delivered since then, and at today’s Cancer Cabinet meeting, the President and First Lady will hear from Cabinet leaders on the progress made and the important work ahead.
“Joe Biden is determined to be a president for all Americans,” White House deputy chief of staff Bruce Reed said in a statement Tuesday. “That is why his Unity Agenda is about making progress on the biggest challenges we all face regardless of party. At his direction, the entire federal government is mobilizing like never before to end cancer as we know it.”
Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health is announcing $240 million in investments to fund research and innovators this year for cancer-related projects, as well as a new partnership with the NIH, the National Cancer Institute to launch a so-called Biomedical Data Fabric Toolbox, which the administration says will be “the first step toward transforming data accessibility across all medical domains.”
In addition, new programs from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Environmental Protect Agency will seek to expand cancer care to underserved communities, reduce the impact of smoking in underserved, minority, tribal, and veterans’ communities, and invest in community centers offering cancer screenings.
And NASA, in partnership with the International Space Station, will also announce funding for in-orbit research projects to advance cancer technology.
Biden unveiled his “Cancer Cabinet,” as part of his administration’s broader Cancer Moonshot initiative in 2022. It’s made up of representatives from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, Defense, Energy and Agriculture, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute and others across the executive branch.
For her part, First Lady Jill Biden has used her platform to support cancer patients and their families, participating in more than 40 Cancer Moonshot events in 16 cities across almost a dozen states, per the White House.
The issue remains a personal one for the Biden family – both have had cancerous lesions removed as part of routine checkups, while their son, Beau Biden, died of a glioblastoma brain tumor in 2015.
Today’s announcements from the Biden Cancer Moonshot include:
$240 million in additional investment this year to accelerate new ways to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) will award an additional $240 million to researchers and innovators this year for cancer-related projects. This includes projects to develop new tools to detect cancers early, when cancers are most treatable; produce innovative approaches to visualize cancer cells during surgery to improve patient outcomes through the Precision Surgical Interventions program; pursue new treatment approaches, like directing bacteria to kill cancer inside the body; and design devices that could deliver treatments directly to cancer cells to treat tumors more effectively.
A new “biomedical data fabric toolbox” to advance cancer research progress. ARPA-H is partnering with the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and other agencies to develop a new Biomedical Data Fabric Toolbox for Cancer. Starting with cancer datasets, this program represents the first step toward transforming data accessibility across all medical domains, promising a future of boundless possibilities in health innovation. Today, cancer research data is collected across thousands of research labs, clinical care organizations, and numerous other sources; these entities all store their datasets differently, making it difficult for cancer researchers to leverage the full potential of massive amounts of data that exist. This initiative will pioneer prototype technologies capable of seamlessly searching cancer datasets to reveal opportunities for groundbreaking disease detection, prevention, and treatment, reduce the time needed to integrate new data sources from months to days, and improve data usability by the research community—so we can break down existing data siloes and learn from the experiences of more patients. This project will help bring America’s cancer research system into the 21st century by transforming our health care system for cancer into a learning system, ensuring that knowledge gained through research is available to as many experts as possible, and delivering discovery and breakthroughs to patients sooner.
A new nationwide health innovation network to bring cancer clinical trials to underserved communities and drive research progress. ARPA-H is announcing that it’s new ARPANET-H, a nationwide health innovation network to tackle pressing health challenges, will be deployed to accelerate clinical trials for cancer and other diseases. This new network will reach all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and create a continuous feedback loop with patients, providers, researchers, and others that improves the goals, reach, and data sharing capabilities across ARPA-H programs to foster breakthrough collaborations and advance equitable health outcomes. ARPANET-H will comprise Customer Experience, Investor Catalyst, and Stakeholder and Operations hubs, along with a network of supporting spokes that connect local organizations, health providers, companies, and others to ARPA-H’s work. This new network will enable historically underserved populations to actively participate in clinical trials, improve equity in access to innovative cancer interventions and accelerate the agency’s work to drive breakthroughs in preventing, detecting, and treating cancer and other diseases.
New investments to reduce the impact of menthol and other flavored commercial tobacco products in communities that experience health disparities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is announcing awardees of a new five-year, $15 million program to help increase adoption, implementation, and enforcement of policies prohibiting the sale of menthol and other flavored tobacco products and increase awareness of cessation services and coverage options among populations experiencing tobacco-related disparities in order to accelerate smoking cessation.
A new award recognizing community health centers for exceptional performance and high clinical quality in cancer screenings. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is launching a new National Quality Leader (NQL) – Cancer Screening Badge. Federally qualified community health centers that meet two or more of the Healthy People 2030 breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening targets in their annual Uniform Data System performance report will receive the new NQL – Cancer Screening Badge. This badge, which will be awarded annually, was created in support of the Cancer Moonshot’s call to action on cancer screening, and highlights the critical role health centers play in providing historically medically underserved, high-need communities with access to lifesaving cancer screenings. In 2022, community health centers—which provide comprehensive, high-quality primary health care services tailored to their communities regardless of their patients’ ability to pay—served more than 30 million patients nationwide.
A new plan to decrease the impact of smoking on Americans’ health by expanding efforts to prevent smoking and to support everyone who wants to quit. While the United States has made important progress, smoking remains the biggest single driver of cancer deaths in the country. To ensure Americans who want to quit have the support they need, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will finalize its Framework to Support and Accelerate Smoking Cessation this year. This Framework, which was developed with public input, will be a roadmap for enhancing collaboration and coordination across HHS—and with federal agencies and non-governmental organizations—to equitably accelerate smoking cessation progress, with a specific focus on communities disproportionately impacted by tobacco use.
New smoking cessation resources for underserved communities, including American Indian, Alaska Native, and Black communities, to reduce cancer health disparities. NCI’s SmokeFree.gov initiative is extending a partnership with the Indian Health Service to collaborate with experts from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and the American Indian Cancer Foundation to launch SmokeFreeNative, a text messaging program to help American Indian and Alaska Native adolescents and adults quit smoking, while honoring the significance of traditional tobacco. Additionally, NCI is launching digital resources this fall on www.smokefree.gov to encourage and help people who smoke menthol cigarettes to quit. These resources were created to address barriers to quitting in communities that experience disparities caused by menthol cigarette use, with a particular focus on Black communities.
A new pilot program to increase veteran engagement in tobacco use treatment. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in collaboration with NCI, will conduct a clinical demonstration project to assess how to more effectively engage veterans in tobacco-use treatment programs. This clinical demonstration project will be implemented in the next year across a subset of Veterans Integrated Services Network clinical resource hubs and aims to address the high rates of tobacco use among veterans with mental health disorders and address gaps in the provision of treatment across facilities.
New resources and actions to reduce exposures to environmental carcinogens. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching epa.gov/cancer, with new information and prominently featured resources from EPA and other federal agencies about secondhand smoke, smoking cessation, and other cancer-related topics. New regulatory efforts, through rules and standards in progress, will regulate unreasonable cancer risks associated with carcinogenic chemicals under statutes including the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Clean Air Act. EPA will also continue to leverage its existing authorities under our nation’s bedrock health and environmental laws to accelerate the rate of progress to prevent cancer, including phase-outs of carcinogens, regulatory actions to protect children, workers and overburdened communities, and enforcement actions to ensure pollution is curbed. The Administration’s efforts to fight cancer linked with environmental exposure also advance President Biden’s commitment to environmental justice for all.
Leveraging research in space to fight cancer on earth and amplifying awareness on cancer screening. NASA’s Division for Biological and Physical Sciences, in partnership with the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory, will fund several projects to advance cancer research and technology to take place in-orbit on the ISS. Projects will aim to develop new cancer treatments, broaden research advancements, foster new collaborations, and accelerate biomanufacturing. Additionally, NASA is piloting early cancer screening education videos, partnering with VA to drive targeted education on lung cancer screening for veterans.
A new partnership to further understanding of the impact cancer has on America’s veterans. In alignment with the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022, VA and NCI are announcing a new partnership to develop a two-way exchange process to collect more data on cancers in VA patients. This process will allow NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program and the VA cancer registry to work together to gain crucial insights on veteran cancer diagnoses and treatments, while maintaining and protecting veteran privacy. Prior to this effort, data exchange was sporadic and incomplete, resulting in a lack of complete information on cancer in this important population. This collaboration will help us better understand—and ultimately treat—cancer among veterans and all Americans.
An expansion of virtual cancer care for America’s veterans. VA is announcing that it is adding more than 30 new sites to its VA National TeleOncology program, which provides resources and staff support through partnerships with VA medical centers nationwide. This program makes highly specialized care, like virtual tumor boards for multiple cancers, available to veterans, in particular, living in rural locations.
The Cancer Moonshot is also announcing the following new commitments from non-governmental organizations:
The American Cancer Society (ACS) will create a new oncology professional navigator curricula and certification program. In 2024, the ACS, with input from key partners, will lead the creation and implementation of a standardized national curricula for professional, non-clinician navigators to support people with cancer. Navigation by trained professionals in clinical settings is an integral component to improving cancer outcomes in the United States, helping to ensure every cancer patient has access to timely, quality, and culturally competent care, especially in historically marginalized communities. Additionally, ACS with will work with key partners to establish new programs such as navigator certification to support evaluation and adherence to best practices that align with improved outcomes.
The HealthWell Foundation will provide more than $300 million in 2024 to underinsured oncology patients to offset out-of-pocket medication costs. This will enable these patients to adhere to prescribed treatment regimens, and improve survival. In 2024, HealthWell will also start providing financial assistance to address disparities in oncology clinical trials and to support oncology caregivers—self-funding $500,000 for the program.
The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) is launching a coordinated effort to make Emotional Brain Training (EBT) services available for stress management and smoking cessation. In collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, AATCLC will launch a coordinated effort within three months to promote the use of a free app for anyone new to EBT to gain easily scalable, rapid-acting tools to assist with smoking cessation. EBT has shown long-term effectiveness in treating stress overload, as well as mood and addictive behaviors including smoking.
CVS Health will be launching anexpanded smoking cessation program in a dozen states. In addition to their currently offered smoking cessation and counseling, CVS Health will launch a comprehensive smoking cessation assessment, prescribing and counseling program at its retail pharmacies in 12 states, further increasing patient access to smoking cessation care. Combined with its expanding digital capabilities, CVS Health will be able to reach patients in their neighborhoods, helping address health disparities and breaking down barriers to care, building on their commitment to not sell tobacco products.
Komodo Health, a health data and technology startup, is announcing a new platform to measure cancer disease burden, map cancer outcomes, and illuminate disparities in cancer care. Over the next two years, this effort will deliver insights to help public health officials, government agencies, and patient advocacy organizations to directly support efforts to close the screening gap and decrease the impact of preventable cancers. Built on more than 330 million patient experiences, Komodo’s platform can be used to spotlight gaps in care, identify disparities in disease burden, and understand the impact of cancer on discrete patient populations. This research will enable public and private partners to direct resources to reduce the burdens of lung cancer.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) will invest more than $17 million to bring clinical trials and treatment innovation to diverse and underrepresented communities across the country. For example, LLS is expanding its Influential Medicine Providing Access to Clinical Trials (IMPACT) Research Grant Program to include seven major, geographically diverse cancer centers and surrounding local cancer care delivery settings, to bring blood cancer treatment studies into more communities. As part of the investment, LLS’s Equity in Access Research Program will spend $2.5 million withing the next year to initiate multi-year studies addressing systemic, institutional, clinician, and patient-related barriers to trial participation. In the next five years, LLS aims to improve the speed of innovation and expand equitable access to treatments that have the potential to increase blood cancer patients’ quality of life and survival.
TOUCH, the Black Breast Cancer Alliance, will bolster Black women’s breast cancer clinical trial participation by 2025 committing to reaching 350,000 Black women and motivating 25,000 into trial portals. Additionally, TOUCH Care, the first program to provide a nurse navigator service to assist Black breast cancer patients in clinical trials by developing culturally-agile recruiting materials, training trial staff, and coaching patients, is being piloted with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, and will add five trials annually. Less than three percent of breast cancer clinical trial participants are Black.
xCures, a health-data technology platform, is launching a study to enhance the collection and organization of comprehensive data for Diffuse Midline Glioma (DMG) and Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). The study will streamline and standardize data gathering and identify patterns that can predict disease progression and treatment response, leading to more personalized treatment plans and targeted therapies. xCures pledges to maintain the data infrastructure for this study, and to make the data freely available to academic and government researchers. This will improve access and collaboration, with the ultimate goal of bringing innovation to more patients and providing a better understanding of these deadly cancers.
The DIPG DMG Research Funding Alliance is launching an online hub to support pediatric brain cancer patients from diagnosis through treatment and grief support. This hub, DIPG OneLink, will provide entry to two complementary data registry studies by the Children Brain Tumor Network and xCures, enrolling 250 DIPG/DMG patients in 2023 and expanding to over 700 patients by the end of 2024. The project will collect, store, and harmonize clinical records, imaging, and multiomics information that will be readily accessible to families and researchers.
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation (FUSF) is committing more than $3 million over the next three years for clinical trials exploring focused ultrasound as part of cancer treatment. In partnership with the Cancer Research Institute and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, FUSF has defined a roadmap to move towards clinical adoption of focused ultrasound and cancer immunotherapy combination treatments in glioblastoma, diffuse midline glioma, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and pediatric solid tumors. In addition, and in partnership with Arms Wide Open, FUSF will co-fund a preclinical research project exploring focused ultrasound for neuroblastoma.
The National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) is launching a comprehensive effort to advance quality of life (QoL) research for people facing brain tumors. NBTS will create a new QoL Research Agenda, the first of its kind in the brain tumor space. This work will foster strong patient, clinician, researcher, and industry partnerships to support future QoL research, and NBTS will formally launch its QoL research funding agenda in early 2024.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) will launch a national initiative to increase skin cancer awareness and early detection among firefighters. To protect first responders from the impacts of their unique exposure to carcinogenic chemicals, AAD will partner with fire stations and firefighter support organizations to educate them on the importance of early detection. To date, volunteer dermatologists have conducted screenings with over 2,700 local firefighters and volunteers in six states, including California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, with the program expanding nationwide in 2024.
The National LGBT Cancer Network is making tailored tobacco cessation materials more readily available. LGBTQIA+ communities use commercial tobacco products at rates 49 percent higher than the general population, but there is a dearth of tailored cessation materials for these communities. Building on its community tailored website and a series of social media shareables, the National LGBT Cancer Network is creating at least six LGBTQIA+ tailored, print-based tobacco cessation materials, and will launch a print-on-demand store with all these materials available in the next year. The National LGBT Cancer Network will work with stakeholders like the North American Quitline Consortium, NCI-designated cancer centers, and community members to ensure these materials are compelling and motivational, and widely promote their availability.
Major US manufacturers committing to new investments and hiring in response to historic $50B investment in water infrastructure from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda
Senior executives from major U.S.-based manufacturers and distributors of water infrastructure parts joined senior Biden-Harris Administration officials at the White House to announce new private sector investments spurred by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a more than $50 billion investment in the nation’s water infrastructure – including $15 billion set-aside for lead service line replacement. This historic investment represents a transformational increase in federal investment in the nation’s drinking water infrastructure over the next five years. By requiring Made in-America products when using federal funding to rebuild infrastructure, President Biden is not only investing in fixing our country’s water systems and replacing lead pipes, but also creating good-paying jobs and new domestic manufacturing.
To meet the increased demand for American-made water products, American manufacturers are stepping up their production capacity with new investments, creating jobs and American industrial capacity in the process. Administration officials have also emphasized the importance of collaborating with unions to ensure these investments build the middle class from the middle out and bottom up, not top-down.
This week, the following firms announced tens of millions in new manufacturing investments and hiring commitments:
A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co. is an Iowa-based 167-year-old 5th generation family business with three manufacturing locations in Iowa, and Tennessee, with plans underway to build a state-of-the-art brass foundry in Wisconsin. Since the beginning of 2019, A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co. has doubled the manufacturing space of their Tennessee facility with a 100,000 square feet addition and has undertaken the largest capacity expansion in the company’s history having invested millions of dollars in new machinery and automation. Their production workforce has grown 45% since the end of 2020. In addition, parent company A.Y. McDonald Industries built a 100,000 square foot warehouse to house finished goods and maintenance supplies to free up additional manufacturing space in the 3 existing A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co. factories.
Cerro Flow Products, an Illinois-based pipe manufacturer that is part of the Marmon/Berkshire Hathaway Group – has 100% domestic manufacturing facilities and is currently looking to hire 23 individuals for good-paying union jobs as soon as possible at their Sauget facility. Cerro is also standing ready to add additional shifts at their primary mill, as well as utilize additional manufacturing capabilities at other Cerro sites as demand for water products increases due to federal investments. Cerro has also invested in new workforce development programs, additional upskilling for maintenance and electrical staff, and sponsors a tuition reimbursement program unique to the industry.
Commercial Forged Products, an Illinois based company that does not normally make water parts, plans to invest $9 million in additional forging and ancillary equipment, while adding 15 new United Steelworker positions across multiple shifts, as well as hire 4 additional skilled machinists in its Bedford Park facility.
The Ford Meter Box Company, an Indiana-based company, is expanding its production capacity to meet private and public waterworks infrastructure demand in the long term, as well as lead service line replacement project needs in the near term. Ford has hired 40 new employees already this year, added new shifts, and invested in new equipment, all of which will increase production by 20%. The construction of a new 300,000 sq. ft. state of the art foundry will be announced this summer, pending final site selection. The new facility, along with committed downstream manufacturing investment, will increase production an additional 42%. This nine-figure manufacturing investment is the largest expansion project in the company’s 125-year history. Additionally, the continued pursuit of a complementary “investment in people” includes a Manufacturing Support Specialist Program, a two-year training program to advance employees into salaried manufacturing, support, and administrative positions.
Mueller Water Products, an Atlanta-based company, has invested approximately $150 million in three capital projects in recent years, expanding its U.S. production capacity due in part to the billions of dollars in water infrastructure investments made in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The largest capital project is a new brass foundry located in Decatur, Illinois, which will significantly expand its capacity to produce products, including those commonly used in lead service line replacements. The new foundry, which will replace an existing aging facility, uses a state-of-the-art brass alloy to eliminate dependence on imported Bismuth from China and increases recyclability. The new foundry – expected to be fully online by 2024 and employ United Steelworkers – and other production improvements are also expected to increase Mueller’s production capacity for brass and other water infrastructure products. Mueller already employs about 465 United Steelworkers in Decatur, and the firm’s investments will help replace 100% of lead service lines and deploy the largest single investment in U.S. water infrastructure.
Quality Steel Products, a Michigan-based firm that previously did not make components in the water space, has committed to expand its business to meet upcoming demand by adding employees and additional shifts, investing millions of dollars in new forging presses and equipment, induction furnaces, transformers and capital improvement process.
Through historic levels of funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and American Rescue Plan, annual appropriations, and harnessing a variety of tools across federal, state, and local government, the Biden-Harris Administration is delivering tangible progress on the groundbreaking Biden-Harris Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan to replace all lead service lines in America in the next decade.
All Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments are subject to the Build America, Buy America Act, which requires iron, steel, manufactured products and construction materials used in infrastructure projects to be produced in the United States. President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is revitalizing American manufacturing, including in once hollowed out communities, and creating good-paying jobs across the country. Under President Biden’s manufacturing boom, nearly 800,000 new manufacturing jobs have been created, and private sector companies have announced over $480 billion in manufacturing and clean energy investments since President Biden took office. This week’s announcements provide further evidence his approach to industrial policy is creating good jobs and rebuilding our manufacturing capacity while ensuring every family can access clean, safe drinking water.
With all the hullabaloo and unceasing scandals perpetrated, promulgated, manufactured by Trump, MAGA radical right wing extremists, and Republicans (debt crisis, border crisis), people are completely unaware of the important achievements President Biden and the Biden Administration are making globally. We again have someone in the White House worthy of the moniker, “Leader of the Free World” who is doing his damnedest to make the world a safer place. Here is a Fact Sheet summarizing the results of the 2023 G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, provided by the White House: –Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Since President Biden took office, revitalizing our alliances and partnerships and reestablishing America’s leadership around the world has been one of his top priorities. The G7 Summit in Hiroshima showed that the G7 are more united than ever: united on Ukraine, united on China, united on economic security, united on building the clean energy economies of the future, united on nuclear disarmament, and united on fighting poverty and responding to global challenges like the climate crisis around the world.
United on Ukraine
G7 Leaders set forth a powerful statement of unity strength and commitment in our response to Russia’s war of aggression. Leaders announced a set of concrete actions to intensify the G7’s diplomatic, financial, humanitarian and security support for Ukraine, to increase the costs to Russia and those supporting its war efforts, and to continue to counter the negative impacts of Russia’s war on the rest of the world, particularly on the most vulnerable people.
New sanctions and export controls. G7 Leaders announced new steps to economically isolate Russia and weaken its ability to wage its war. They announced new efforts to further disrupt Russia’s ability to source inputs for its war; close evasion loopholes; further reduce reliance on Russian energy and limit its future extractive capacity; and squeeze Russia’s access to the international financial system. G7 leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to keep Russia’s sovereign assets immobilized until Russia pays for the damage it has caused. To implement these commitments, the Departments of Treasury, State, and Commerce rolled out new sanctions packages including by expanding our broad restrictions, cutting off over 70 companies from Russia and other countries from receiving U.S. exports, and sanctioning upwards of 300 individuals, entities, vessels, and aircraft, including actors across the globe.
Discussing peace with a broad range of partners. The G7 leaders met with the leaders of Ukraine, Australia, Brazil, the Cook Islands, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, and Vietnam to discuss international peace and security. The leaders issued an Action Plan on Food Security that notes, “Especially in light of its impact on food security and the humanitarian situation around the world, we support a just and durable peace based on respect for international law, principles of the UN charter and territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
United on China
G7 Leaders affirmed that G7 countries are not decoupling from China or turning inwards. At the same time, G7 Leaders recognized the need to respond to concerns and to stand up for our core values.
Economic security issues. The G7 will push for a level playing field for their workers and companies and seek to address the challenges posed by China’s non-market policies and practices and foster resilience to economic coercion. They recognized the necessity of protecting certain advanced technologies that could be used to threaten our national security.
Indo-pacific. Leaders reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and called for a peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues. They highlighted that there is no change in the basic positions of the G7 members on Taiwan. They registered their serious concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and reaffirmed their strong opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion.
Core values. G7 Leaders voiced concerns about the human rights situation in China, and called on China not to conduct interference activities or undermine the integrity of our democratic institutions.
United on Economic Resilience and Economic Security
G7 Leaders took steps to enhance strategic coordination on economic resilience and economic security by strengthening supply chains, reducing vulnerabilities and countering malign practices that exploit and reinforce them.
Protecting critical and emerging technologies. President Biden has taken action in the United States to protect certain dual use technologies from falling into the hands of strategic rivals. In Hiroshima, G7 Leaders affirmed that this is a common interest across G7 countries. To this end, the Leaders further recognized that addressing risks from outbound investment could be important to complement existing tools of targeted controls on exports and inbound investments.
Launching the G7 Coordination Platform on Economic Coercion. G7 Leaders launched the Coordination Platform on Economic Coercion to increase collective assessment, preparedness, deterrence and response to economic coercion.
United on Building the Clean Energy Economies of the Future
At home, President Biden has delivered on an ambitious clean energy agenda that is centered around bold public investment and working with partners to build secure and resilient supply chains. In Hiroshima, G7 Leaders outlined the way that G7 partners are working to meet the moment in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, to build secure and resilient supply chains, and to ensure strong industrial bases across G7 countries.
Maximizing the impact of incentives. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, this was the first G7 Summit where the President of the United States could unambiguously say that the United States is on a path to meet our Paris Climate commitments. G7 Leaders recognized that achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement urgently requires significant new incentives, industrial policies, and public as well as private investments. Leaders committed to work together to ensure regulations and investments will make clean energy technologies more affordable for all nations and help drive a global, just energy transition for workers and communities that will leave no one behind.
United on an Affirmative and Ambitious Development Agenda
President Biden has championed an affirmative and ambitious agenda to support developing countries, including through reaffirming our support for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and working to create fiscal space for increased domestic investments in key development priorities. In Hiroshima, G7 Leaders emphasized the need to unlock investments and policy reforms to accelerate progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), including by investing in more resilient food and health systems, and by addressing the effects of climate change.
Tackling rising levels of debt. G7 Leaders highlighted their concern that serious challenges to debt sustainability are undermining the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. They reiterated the urgency of addressing debt vulnerabilities in low- and middle-income countries and their full support of the G20’s effort to improve the implementation of the Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) in a predictable, timely, orderly and coordinated manner, providing clarity to participants.
Promoting the evolution of the multilateral development banks (MDBs). G7 Leaders noted their strong support for the efforts underway by multilateral development banks to review and transform their business models to better address global challenges such as climate change, pandemics, fragility and conflict, which are integral to achieving poverty reduction and shared prosperity. They encouraged MDBs to expedite this ongoing work. They looked to further progress on the World Bank’s evolution agenda toward the 2023 WBG and IMF Annual Meetings and beyond.
Reversing the first global decline in life expectancy in nearly a century. G7 leaders committed to work with global partners to restore access to essential health services to better than pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2025, and to strengthen primary health care delivery, including by investing in health workers, in order to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage. The United States is providing approximately $10 billion in global health program funding with Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 funds, much of which supports essential health services, including addressing HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, expanding access to water and sanitation, and supporting maternal and child health. One year ago, the President also launched the Global Health Worker Initiative, which aims to address the global shortage of health workers.
Investing in health security with U.S. contribution of $250 Million to the Pandemic Fund. The President announced that the United States plans to provide a $250 million contribution in Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations, subject to Congressional notification, to the Pandemic Fund to demonstrate the United States’ ongoing commitment to strengthening global health security around the world. This planned investment in the Pandemic Fund will continue to serve as a catalyst for additional contributions from other donors. The United States is committed to providing greater investments in health security to help break the cycle of panic and neglect in the wake of health emergencies.
Launching the Hiroshima Action Statement for Resilient Global Food Security with partner countries to address needs today and into the future. G7 Leaders reaffirmed their continued commitment to address global food insecurity and the need to build more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive food systems. G7 leaders have exceeded the $14 billion commitment announced at the 2022 G7 Elmau Summit, mobilizing $14.9 billion for food security. The United States remains the global leader on food security. Since the beginning of 2022, the United States has provided over $13.5 billion in acute and medium to long term assistance for food security.
Showing Tangible Progress at the PGII One-Year Mark
One year after G7 Leaders announced PGII as the G7’s collective infrastructure initiative, G7 Leaders demonstrated that PGII is making concrete progress.
Collaborating with partners. During the Summit, G7 Leaders were joined by leaders of [Australia, Brazil, Comoros, Cook Islands, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Republic of Korea, and the World Bank]. They were also joined by private sector executives of Citi, Global Infrastructure Partners, Japan Foreign Trade Council, and Nokia to reaffirm their commitment to opening a serious, sustainable channel for unlocking public and private capital for these projects in the developing world.
Launching new projects. To date, the United States has mobilized $30 billion through grants, federal financing, and leveraging private sector investments towards PGII. President Biden announced new projects and highlighted the impact of several projects announced since PGII’s launch at the 2022 G7 Summit.
Announcing a PGII Investor Forum. The President announced that the United States will seek to launch an annual Investor Forum to enable the United States Government to more comprehensively de-risk capital, play a matchmaking role between investors and opportunities that advance PGII, and hear feedback on how it can continue to refine the PGII model to maximize its effectiveness.
Today, in Monterey Park, California, President Biden announced an Executive Order with the goal of increasing the number of background checks conducted before firearm sales, moving the U.S. as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation. The Executive Order will also keep more guns out of dangerous hands by increasing the effective use of “red flag” laws, strengthen efforts to hold the gun industry accountable, and accelerate law enforcement efforts to identify and apprehend the shooters menacing our communities. President Biden is also encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to issue a public report analyzing how gun manufacturers market firearms to minors.
President Biden traveled to Monterey Park to grieve with the families and community impacted by the mass shooting that claimed 11 lives and injured nine others in January. Monterey Park is part of a growing list of communities all across the country that are forever changed due to gun violence—not only mass shootings, but also daily acts of gun violence that may not make national headlines.
Last year, President Biden signed into the law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant gun violence reduction legislation enacted in nearly 30 years. When celebrating the Act’s passage, he called on Congress to seize the bipartisan momentum and advance additional commonsense steps to reduce gun violence. Again and again, he has called for Congress to act, including by banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requiring background checks for all gun sales, requiring safe storage of firearms, closing the dating violence restraining order loophole, and repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability.
As he continues to call on Congress to act, President Biden will do everything he can to reduce gun violence and save lives. That is why, over the past two years, President Biden has taken more executive action to reduce gun violence than any other president at this point in their presidency.
The President’s new Executive Order to reduce gun violence includes the following additional actions, all of which fall within existing executive authority and outside of the right protected by the Second Amendment:
Keeping guns out of dangerous hands
The Executive Order directs the President’s Cabinet to:
Increase the number of background checks by ensuring that all background checks required by law are conducted before firearm purchases, moving the U.S. as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation. A large majority of Americans support background checks and agree it’s common sense to check whether someone is a felon or domestic abuser before allowing them to buy a gun. The President will continue to call on Congress to pass universal background check legislation. In the meantime, he is directing the Attorney General to do everything he can to ensure that firearms sellers who do not realize they are required to run background checks under existing law, or who are willfully violating existing law, become compliant with background check requirements. Specifically, the President is directing the Attorney General to move the U.S. as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation by clarifying, as appropriate, the statutory definition of who is “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms, as updated by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. This move would mean fewer guns will be sold without background checks, and therefore fewer guns will end up in the hands of felons and domestic abusers. The President is also directing the Attorney General to develop and implement a plan to prevent former federally licensed firearms dealers, whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered, from continuing to engage in the business of dealing in firearms.
Improve public awareness and increase appropriate use of extreme risk protection (“red flag”) orders and safe storage of firearms. 19 states and the District of Columbia have enacted red flag laws, allowing trusted community members to petition a court to determine whether an individual is dangerous, and then to temporarily remove an individual’s access to firearms. However, these laws are only effective if the public knows when and how to use red flag orders. President Biden is directing members of his Cabinet to encourage effective use of extreme risk protection orders, including by partnering with law enforcement, health care providers, educators, and other community leaders. In addition, President Biden is directing members of his Cabinet to expand existing federal campaigns and other efforts to promote safe storage of firearms.
Address the loss or theft of firearms during shipping. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) data indicates an over 250% increase in the number of firearms reported as lost or stolen during shipment between federally licensed firearms dealers, from roughly 1,700 in 2018 to more than 6,100 in 2022. President Biden is directing the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Department of Justice, to work to reduce the loss or theft of firearms during shipment and to improve reporting of such losses or thefts, including by engaging with carriers and shippers.
Holding the gun industry accountable
The Executive Order directs the President’s Cabinet to:
Provide the public and policymakers with more information regarding federally licensed firearms dealers who are violating the law. Gun dealers violating federal law put us all at risk by increasing the likelihood that firearms will fall into dangerous hands. The President is directing the Attorney General to publicly release, to the fullest extent permissible by law, ATF records from the inspection of firearms dealers cited for violation of federal firearm laws. This information will empower the public and policymakers to better understand the problem, and then improve our laws to hold rogue gun dealers accountable.
Use the Department of Defense’s acquisition of firearms to further firearm and public safety practices. The Department of Defense buys a large number of firearms and other weapons to protect and serve our country. The President is directing the Secretary of Defense to develop and implement principles to further firearm and public safety practices through Department of Defense acquisition of firearms, consistent with applicable law.
President Biden is also encouraging the independent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue a public report analyzing how gun manufacturers market firearms to minors and how such manufacturers market firearms to all civilians, including through the use of military imagery.
Additional steps to make our communities safer and support communities impacted by gun violence
The Executive Order will direct the President’s Cabinet to:
Help catch shooters by accelerating federal law enforcement’s reporting of ballistics data. The National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) allows federal, state, and local law enforcement to match fired cartridge casings to the guns from which they were fired, making it easier for law enforcement to connect multiple crime scenes and catch shooters. In order to maximize NIBIN’s effectiveness, federal, state, and local law enforcement all have an important role to play in ensuring timely submission of ballistics data to NIBIN. Today, the President is directing all federal law enforcement agencies to issue rigorous requirements regarding NIBIN data submission and use of this tool.
Accelerate and intensify implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA). BSCA is the most significant gun safety legislative accomplishment in nearly 30 years, and the Biden-Harris Administration is treating it as such by making the most of every opportunity it provides to reduce gun violence. President Biden is directing each agency responsible for the law’s implementation to send a report to him, within 60 days, on progress toward full implementation of BSCA and additional steps they will take to maximize the benefits of the law, including by increasing public awareness and use of the resources made available by BSCA.
Improve federal support for gun violence survivors, victims and survivors’ families, first responders to gun violence, and communities affected by gun violence. When a hurricane overwhelms a community, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinates federal, state, local, and non-profit organizations in order to assess and meet community needs. However, when a mass shooting overwhelms a community, no coordinated U.S. government mechanism exists to meet short- and long-term needs, such as mental health care for grief and trauma, financial assistance (for example, when a family loses the sole breadwinner or when a small business is shut down due to a lengthy shooting investigation), and food (for example, when the Buffalo shooting closed down the only grocery store in the neighborhood). The President is directing members of his Cabinet to develop a proposal for how the federal government can better support communities after a mass shooting, and identify what additional resources or authorities the executive branch would need from Congress to implement this proposal.
Advance congressional efforts to prevent the proliferation of firearms undetectable by metal detectors. In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of technology that allows guns to be made with polymers and other materials that are increasingly capable of avoiding detection by metal detectors. President Biden is directing the Attorney General to help Congress modernize and make permanent the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988, which is currently set to expire in December 2023.
New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, who had to rejigger 100-year old gun regulation law after the radical rightwing majority on the Supreme Court overturned the law, commented, “Too many families in this country have experienced loss due to gun violence. Too many communities, including my hometown of Buffalo, have been devastated by weapons of war. We have a moral obligation to act — and that’s why New York strengthened our nation-leading gun safety laws, expanding the use of red flag laws to prevent domestic abusers and other dangerous individuals from causing harm to themselves or others.
“President Biden’s new Executive Order brings New York’s approach to a national scale. The Executive Order strengthens rules around individuals with a “red flag” by requiring federally licensed gun dealers to check if an individual is a domestic abuser or convicted felon. It increases federal resources for proven crime-fighting tools, like the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network we are utilizing in Crime Analysis Centers across New York. This EO builds on the major success last year, when President Biden worked closely with Leader Schumer and bipartisan members of Congress to pass the first new gun safety legislation in a generation. This Executive Order is the significant next step our country needed.”
Just days before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden made a historic visit to Ukraine and then delivered a speech in Warsaw recommitting United States, NATO and allied support for Ukraine, in an existential battle for freedom, democracy and sovereignty against Putin’s unprovoked, brutal assault. Here is a fact sheet from the White House listing the past year’s efforts to support Ukraine, which like David and Goliath, has managed to stand up to one of the strongest military forces on earth:
Nearly one year ago, Russia launched its unjust, brutal assault against Ukraine. Putin’s invasion was a test of Ukraine’s commitment to freedom, and a test for America and the world. Putin sought to subjugate Ukraine, but the free people of Ukraine stood strong—bravely defending their sovereignty and democracy. The United States, alongside our allies and partners, did not hesitate to stand with them.
Over the last year, the United States has provided critical support to the people of Ukraine, working in close coordination with the government of Ukraine to get them what they need. President Biden has spoken regularly with President Zelenskyy, hosting him at the White House and visiting Kyiv to send powerful messages of the United States’ unwavering support. We have led the world in providing security assistance—from the Javelins that halted the Russian tanks assaulting Kyiv, to the air defense systems that have intercepted Russian strikes against Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, to the armored vehicles that Ukraine needs for the next phase of this conflict. We also stepped up to provide financial and humanitarian assistance—helping Ukrainians maintain access to fundamental services, like healthcare and heat, as they fight for their liberty and sovereignty.
The United States has not acted alone. Since first exposing Russia’s plans to launch this invasion, we ensured that Ukraine’s resilience has been matched with global resolve. We rallied the international community to speak out and stand against Russia’s brutal war, including at the United Nations, where the world has repeatedly and overwhelmingly voted to condemn Russia’s aggression. We have led unprecedented efforts to isolate and impose costs on Russia—including the largest coordinated sanctions and export control actions taken against a major economy. In response to the global economic disruptions caused by the Kremlin, we have launched initiatives that have stabilized energy markets and food supplies. And we supported our partners as they opened their homes and communities to millions of Ukrainians seeking refuge.
One year ago, Putin thought he could quickly topple Ukraine. He thought he could divide our allies and partners. He was wrong. Ukraine still stands. The international coalition in support of Ukraine is stronger and more united than ever. And President Biden’s visit to Kyiv yesterday sent a clear and powerful message to the world: we remain committed to standing with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes.
Actions we have taken to support Ukraine and hold Russia accountable over the last year include:
Over the past year, the United States and our allies and partners provided critical security assistance that made a real difference on the battlefield, and helped the people of Ukraine defend their country from Russian attacks and advances.
At the start of the war, the anti-armor and anti-air systems we provided—like the 8,000 Javelin and 1,600 Stingers—enabled Ukraine to win the Battle for Kyiv. The artillery and ammunition we have sent—such as the 160 howitzers and 38 High Mobility Artillery Rocket systems—enhanced Ukraine’s ability to defend its territory in the Donbas region and launch successful counteroffensives in Kharkiv and Kherson, reclaiming hundreds of kilometers of territory and liberating towns and villages subjected to unimaginable Russian brutality. The air defense systems and counter-drone capabilities that we provided help Ukraine protect its people and infrastructure against continued Russian attacks. The armored capabilities we are sending—including 109 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and tanks—will prepare Ukraine for future counteroffensives and help Ukraine adapt to changing conditions on the ground and defend against future Russian assaults.
We have provided more than one million rounds of artillery ammunition; more than 100,000 rounds of 125mm tank ammunition; and 100,000 rounds of small arms ammunition. We have provided helicopters; Unmanned Coastal Defense Vessels, and counter-UAV systems and equipment. And the Departments of Defense and State have released a plan to prevent and counter the potential of illicit diversion of weapons and equipment.
Working with European partners and Ukraine, the United States also launched the Ukraine Defense Contact Group—a coalition of 50 partner nations that has enhanced our coordination of security assistance deliveries to help the people of Ukraine as they continue to defend themselves against Russia’s unjust and unprovoked assault. Together, members of this group already committed $50 billion security assistance, including nearly 700 tanks and thousands of other armored vehicles, more than 1000 artillery systems, more than two million rounds of artillery ammunition, more than 50 advanced multiple rocket launch systems, and anti-ship and air defense systems.
A comprehensive list of security assistance is available here.
When Russia launched its invasion, the United States responded quickly to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine—providing more than $1.9 billion to Ukrainians in need of assistance, including more than 13 million people forced to flee their homes.
We brought together partners across the United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations to address Ukrainian’s critical needs—including food, safe drinking water, shelter, and emergency health care. When winter approached and Putin turned his assault to critical infrastructure, a U.S.-led coalition provided supplies to restore emergency power and heat across the country. In addition to welcoming over 267,000 Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes to the United States and creating the Uniting for Ukraine program, we have provided $340 million in refugee assistance to our European partners who continue to host millions of Ukrainians, representing the largest population outflow in Europe since World War II.
A comprehensive list of humanitarian assistance is available here.
Democracy, Human Rights, and Anti-Corruption Assistance
To defend human rights in Ukraine and its neighbors, President Biden launched the European Democratic Resilience Initiative (EDRI) in March 2022. Through EDRI, we have provided nearly $220 million for Ukraine to support media freedom and enable Ukrainian media outlets to continue operating during the war, to counter disinformation, increase the safety and security of activists and vulnerable groups, strengthen democratic and anti-corruption institutions, and support accountability for human rights abuses and violations of international law.
Holding Russia Accountable
Justice and accountability are central pillars of the United States’ policy on Ukraine. Russia chose this war, and the United States and our partners are holding it accountable for its attacks and atrocities against the people of Ukraine — ensuring that perpetrators, human rights violators, and war criminals are brought to justice.
Based on a careful analysis of the law and available facts, the Secretary of State recently determined that members of Russia’s forces and other Russian officials have committed crimes against humanity in Ukraine.
Working with partners, we have supported Ukrainian domestic authorities, international efforts, and strategic litigation to ensure that Russia’s crimes do not go unpunished. Along with many of our allies and partners, we imposed new sanctions on those engaged in human rights abuses and exercising illegitimate authority in occupied areas of Ukraine, including proxy authorities, military units, and those involved in the forced deportation of children.
The United States has also imposed expansive visa restrictions on members of the Russian military and others committing human rights abuses related to Russia’s war. The United States continues to support a range of international accountability mechanisms—including the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Moscow Mechanism, and the Joint Investigative Team on Ukraine.
Economic Measures Against Russia
The United States and over 30 allies and partners developed the largest set of sanctions and export control actions ever imposed on a major economy. These actions are disrupting Russia from accessing critical inputs and advanced technologies — undercutting its ability to fund and fight its unjust war.
The United States has implemented or expanded more than 2,000 sanctions listings and more than 375 export control Entity Listings, including major state-owned enterprises and third-country actors supporting Russia’s war machine. We imposed sanctions on Russia’s largest financial institutions and imposed increasingly expansive restrictions on military and industrial goods that could support Russia’s defense industrial base. As a result, Russia has been forced to turn to rogue regimes to try to source weapons and equipment because of their inability to make enough parts to resupply Putin’s war at home. Additionally, Congress has revoked Russia’s permanent normal trade relations status — removing Russia’s privileges in international trade and increasing tariffs on hundreds of Russia products imported into the United States.
These sanctions and export controls will cut even deeper into Russia’s economy as time progresses. And at the same time, our economic measures have been specifically designed to shield low- and middle-income countries from their impact — including protecting the exports of food, allowing the provision of humanitarian assistance, and carving out agriculture, medicine, and energy payments from our sanctions.
Energy Assistance and Security
When Russia attacked Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, trying to use winter as a weapon against the Ukrainian people, the United States and its allies and partners provided energy assistance: restoring power, heating homes, and enabling the people of Ukraine to focus on the defense of their sovereignty.
Together with our allies and partners, we provided critical electricity equipment to help Ukraine make emergency repairs to its power system and strengthen the stability of Ukraine’s grid in the face of Russia’s targeted attacks. We also worked with Ukraine to advance its energy transition and build a system decoupled from Russian energy. And we worked to stabilize global energy markets, limit Russia’s revenue, and blunt the impacts of Russia’s war on energy security. Through the U.S.-EU Task Force on Energy Security, we ensured Europe had enough gas for the winter. The United States also released 180 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, ensured international energy payments continue to flow under our sanctions, and implemented a G7+ price cap on seaborne Russian oil and petroleum products.
We also took steps to reduce nuclear risks posed by Russia’s reckless actions at and around Ukraine’s nuclear power plants to support energy infrastructure, including through training for emergency responders, radiation sensor monitoring, and the provision of emergency diesel fuel and other nuclear safety supplies.
The United States has disbursed $13 billion in grant financing for budget support for Ukraine —and will soon begin disbursing another $9.9 billion that Congress recently approved — to ensure the Ukrainian government can continue to meet the critical needs of its citizens and provide basic services as it confronts Russia’s continued aggression. Through the World Bank’s Public Expenditures for Administrative Capacity Endurance mechanism, the United States has used it to provide budget support on a reimbursement basis — ensuring funding is disbursed to Ukraine only after expenses have been verified.
In its leadership role in international financial institutions, the United States has also worked closely with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to support Ukraine — including to strengthen energy security, food security, and support for vulnerable populations and internally displaced persons across the country. Together with the G7, we have launched the Multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform for Ukraine, to enhance our coordination of economic support for Ukraine’s immediate financing needs and future economic recovery and reconstruction efforts.
Further evidence that President Joe Biden’s economic plan – essentially building the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, and creating longterm, sustainable, stable growth – is working. Despite the manufactured hysteria over inflation and impending recession, the data shows otherwise – in terms of record 12 million jobs created, lowest unemployment in 50 years, real increase in wages.
Biden is also able to show progress in slowing inflation – which has been much more crippling throughout the world – and has been able to demonstrate that while his economic policies will address the national debt (a record reduction in the budget deficit), Republicans’ agenda would worsen the national debt (largely caused by the Trump/GOP tax plan that reduced taxes on the wealthiest individuals and corporations, and which added $7.4 trillion, or 25% of the national debt, in the four-year term). The Republican plan would actually add $3 trillion MORE to the national debt.
President Biden, commenting on the January CPI Report, said:
“Inflation in America is continuing to come down, which is good news for families and businesses across the country. Today’s data confirm that annual inflation has fallen for seven straight months. Inflation for food at the grocery store came down again last month. Gas prices are down about $1.60 from their peak last year. And real wages for working Americans are up over the last seven months, delivering welcome breathing room for American families. We are seeing this progress even as unemployment remains at its lowest level since 1969 and job growth remains resilient.”
“There is still more work to do as we make this transition to more steady, stable growth, and there could be setbacks along the way. That is why my unwavering focus is on continuing to lower costs for families, rebuild our supply chains, and invest in America. Right now, because of the Inflation Reduction Act we passed last year, we are lowering prescription drug costs, health care costs, and home energy costs for tens of millions of Americans all while lowering our deficits. My administration is eliminating junk fees which make it harder for American families to make ends meet at the end of the month. And we are creating manufacturing jobs all across the country, which will lower costs and rebuild our supply chains.”
“Unfortunately, many of my Republican friends in Congress seem intent on taking us in the opposite direction. They have proposed repealing the Inflation Reduction Act, which would make inflation worse, shower billions of dollars on Big Pharma, and increase the deficit. They are threatening to raise costs for seniors by threatening to cut Medicare and Social Security, and other critical programs that American seniors and families count on. And some are threatening to default on the full faith and credit of the U.S., which would raise costs and create economic chaos. I will stand firmly against any effort to make inflation worse and increase costs for families. Today’s data reinforces that we have made historic progress and are on the right track, and now we need to finish the job. “
The Congressional Republican Agenda to Increase the Debt by Over $3 Trillion
CongressionalRepublicanleaders insist that the national debt is among our nation’s greatest challenges, and reducing it is among their highest priorities. In fact, they claim that reducing the debt is so urgent it warrants endangering the entire U.S. economy through debt limit brinksmanship. But their legislative agenda to date points in a very different direction—with proposals that would increase the debt by over $3 trillion.
The first bill passed by the new Republican House majority increased the debt by $114 billion by allowing wealthy people and corporations to continue to cheat on their taxes.
Congressional Republicans proposed repealing—and are even running ads attacking—reforms President Biden signed to lower prescription drug costs. Repealing these policies would increase the amount of money Medicare pays Big Pharma, raise costs for seniors, and add $159 billion to the debt.
House Republicans have advocated and proposed repealing tax increases on large corporations that President Biden has signed into law, adding $296 billion to the debt.
Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, exposed the political logic of Congressional Republicans’ fiscal hypocrisy. He told Republicans their focus should be “not the deficit” after all: it’s to shift public discussion to cutting spending, paving the way for more tax cuts for the wealthy.
That trickle-down economic theory has never worked. President Trump and President Bush’s tax cuts addedtrillions to the debt and failed to deliver their promised benefits for the economy or American workers. And taking revenues—and even savings from cutting corporate subsidies—off the table means Congressional Republicans consistently propose deep cuts to programs seniors and middle-class and working families count on.
That’s why the American people deserve to see Congressional Republicans’ full and detailed budget plan and compare it with the President’s Budget plan to invest in America, bring down costs for families, protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and reduce the deficit, which he will release March 9.
Congressional Republicans’ Commitment to Debt Increases
The fiscal consequences of the debt increases Congressional Republicans have put at the top of their agenda are stark. After a decade, these policies, if enacted, would add over $3 trillion to the debt (accounting for debt service costs), increasing debt as a share of the economy by almost 10 percentage points. Congressional Republicans’ debt increases include:
The Tax Cheats Protection Act: House Republicans’ first bill in the new Congress would add $114 billion to the Federal debt by repealing President Biden’s legislation that cracks down on wealthy tax cheats. While working people pay 99% of taxes on their income from wages and salaries, the top 1% hides about 20% of their income from tax, including by funneling it through offshore accounts and tax havens that do not report earnings. President Biden passed a law to make our tax system fairer by cracking down on wealthy tax cheats, while protecting middle-class taxpayers and small businesses and improving taxpayer service. But 221 House Republicans voted to enable tax fraud by wealthy Americans and large corporations.
Increase Spending With a Handout to Big Pharma: House Republicans have introduced a bill to repeal the entire Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), including the reforms President Biden signed into law to lower prescription drug costs. Congressional Republicans and Big Pharma have launched a concertedattack on the IRA’s prescription drug reforms, advocating to increase both Federal spending and seniors’ costs to increase Big Pharma’s profits. Thanks to the new prescription drug law, Medicare will finally be able to negotiate drug prices, and drug companies will pay rebates to Medicare if they try to hike their prices faster than the rate of inflation. Congressional Republicans want to repeal these policies, giving a $159 billion handout to Big Pharma, raising costs for seniors, and driving up the Federal debt.
Enrich Multi-Billion Dollar Corporations: In 2020, 55 of the largest, most profitable corporations paid $0 in taxes. The President signed into law legislation to level the playing field for companies and small businesses that are already paying their fair share in taxes. Under his corporate minimum tax, the largest, most profitable corporations—those with over $1 billion in profits—have to pay a 15% minimum tax on the profits they report to their shareholders. But House Republicans—through their Inflation Reduction Act repeal bill and other statements—have made clear that they want to enrich large corporations that don’t pay their fair share. That would add $222 billion to the debt.
Increase the Tax Subsidy for Stock Buybacks: President Biden signed into law a surcharge on corporate stock buybacks, which reduces the differential tax treatment between buybacks and dividends and encourages businesses to invest in their growth and productivity as opposed to paying out corporate executives or funneling tax-preferred profits to foreign shareholders. The President in his State of the Union address proposed quadrupling the stock buybacks tax to 4% to address the continued tax advantage for buybacks and encourage long-term investment over giveaways to executives. House Republicans instead want to repeal the stock buybacks tax and let corporations continue to funnel tax-preferred profits to shareholders instead of investing in productivity and the broader economy. That would add $74 billion to the Federal debt.
Extend President Trump’s Unpaid-for Tax Giveaway to the Wealthy and Large Corporations: President Trump and Congressional Republicans deliberately sunset portions of their tax giveaway to the wealthy and large corporations. They did this to conceal how much their plan added to the debt as well as how large the tax breaks were for multi-millionaires and large corporations. Now, House RepublicanLeadership has made clear that extending President Trump’s tax giveaway to the wealthy and large corporations is one of their top priorities. An analysis by the Tax Policy Center found that doing so would mean an average tax cut of $175,000 for the top 0.1%—Americans making more than $4 million per year. That average tax cut is more than 2.5 times a typical family’s annual income. Meanwhile, extending the expiring Trump tax cuts would add $2.7 trillion to the Federal debt over 10 years.
The President supports a fiscally responsible approach to continuing current tax policies for people making less than $400,000 per year, and opposes any tax increase for this group. Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans—including the more than three quarters of them who are signatories to Grover Norquist’s tax pledge—have made clear they will oppose paying for middle-class tax cuts by raising taxes on the wealthy and large corporations.
Even Without a Budget, Congressional Republicans Are Already Showing Who Will Pay the Price
The proposals Congressional Republicans have put forward show that, even as they commit to massive tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, they are more than ready to raise taxes on middle-class and working families. The House Republican IRA repeal bill would cut premium tax credits that are helping an estimated 14.5 million people pay for health insurance. And the House Budget Committee last week doubled down on eliminating Affordable Care Act premium tax credits for middle-income people with high health insurance premiums: a tax increase of $7,600 per year for a typical 62-year old earning $55,000.
In addition, some Congressional Republicans continue to push a national retail sales tax bill that would repeal most existing taxes and impose a new 30% sales tax on American families. The legislation would increase debt by trillions—and cut taxes for a couple making a million dollars a year by more than $200,000—and at the same time would raise taxes by at least $7,000 for a retired couple with $60,000 in Social Security income and at least $6,000 for a single mom making $38,000, a recent analysis found.
The bottom line is: having committed to over $3 trillion in debt increases and also insisted they are committed to reducing the debt, Congressional Republicans owe the American public a complete and transparent accounting of who will foot the bill. Will it be middle-class and working families, seniors, students, or all of the above?
House Republican agenda amounts to a death panel for Medicare and Social Security:
The contrast in agendas for America between President Joe Biden and the Democrats and the Congressional Republicans could not be more stark.
While President Biden, in his State of the Union address, described his plans for building on the historic job creation he has achieved, making more progress against inflation, reducing the deficit by making the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share, and protecting Medicare and Social Security benefits from cuts, in contrast, House Republicans opened the week by announcing the latest in a long succession of attempts to undermine Medicare and Social Security.
Bloomberg reports that as part of a ransom demand for not triggering a financial meltdown, top House Republicans want an agreement that both earned benefits programs are put on track for cuts.
As The Washington Post reported in late January, House Republicans have continuously pressed for slashing Medicare and Social Security benefits in exchange for not actively harming the American economy with the first debt default in our history.
Republicans have also introduced legislation to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, which would be one of the biggest Medicare benefit cuts in history, depriving seniors of lower insulin costs, the $2,000 cap on out of pocket expenses for prescription drugs, and Medicare’s new ability to negotiate lower drug costs.
Today’s news is even more confirmation that House Republicans are taking direct aim at programs that are critical to the middle class, even as they vote for tax giveaways to the rich that would manage to increase taxes on working families while raising the deficit at the same time, the White House stated.
“With the President poised to announce new plans to keep making our economy works from the bottom up and the middle out – not the top down – House Republicans are dead-set on the opposite,” said White House spokesperson Andrew Bates. “They’re opening the week unveiling their latest in a long line of ultimatums about how they’ll act to kill jobs, businesses, and retirement accounts if they can’t cut Medicare and Social Security benefits. Meanwhile, they’re voting to worsen the deficit with tax welfare for the rich and big corporations. Think about that: they’re targeting the Medicare and Social Security benefits that middle class families pay in to earn their whole lives, then turning around and giving tax handouts to big corporations. The American people want more jobs and lower costs, not a death panel for Medicare and Social Security.”
“While President Biden shows the American people his plan to build on the unprecedented deficit reduction his leadership has already delivered, by having the richest taxpayers and big corporations pay their fair share and lowering prescription drug prices, House Republicans’ only plan is to make the deficit skyrocket by over $3 trillion with unaffordable tax giveaways to wealthy special interests,” stated White House spokesperson Andrew Bates. “They’ve even proposed raiding Medicare so that the ultra-rich can enjoy new tax welfare. Meanwhile, House Republicans are threatening to actively throw our economy into a tailspin with a default – which they have a non-negotiable, Constitutional duty to prevent – unless they can further cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It’s utterly backwards. The President is delivering on his commitment to build an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out – not from the top down. The House GOP seems determined to pull the American economy in the opposite direction, increasing taxes on working families while giving $3 trillion in new handouts for the rich.”
The chart below is based on the record:
10-Year Deficit Increase
Republican House-passed bill to make it easier for billionaires to cheat on their taxes
Deficit increases from Republican proposals to date
Over $3 trillion
Congressional Republicans keep calling for earned benefits on the one hand, but more tax giveaways for the rich on the other
After President Biden put Republicans on the defensive over their long-public intentions to slash Medicare and Social Security benefits, a continuing list of congressional Republicans ranging from Ron Johnson last week to Senator Mike Rounds yesterday, keep proving his point.
Whether it’s a large number of House Republicans and Rick Scott pushing to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act in what would be one of the worst Medicare benefit cuts of all time, or the Republican Study Committee proposing benefit cuts and the privatization of Social Security of last year, the receipts are undeniable. Formonths, congressional Republicans have indicated they would even use the threat of a catastrophic default to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits.
Republicans in Congress justify these intentions under the guise of fiscal responsibility. However, at the same time, they are advocating for enormous tax giveaways to rich special interests that, combined, would add over $3 trillion to the debt. Those two positions are irreconcilable.
The first vote the Republican-controlled House took was to help wealthy individuals and multinational corporations worsen inflation by cheating on their taxes. They broadly support renewing the Trump tax giveaways for the rich. And in addition to being a Medicare benefit cut, repealing the Inflation Reduction Act would at the same time be more tax welfare for the rich and a giant windfall for Big Pharma. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“It’s irreconcilable to support Medicare and Social Security benefit cuts in the name of supposed ‘fiscal responsibility,’ while at the same time adding $3 trillion to the national debt with a seemingly endless gravy train for rich special interests,” said White House spokesperson Andrew Bates. “Prioritizing tax giveaways for the wealthy and specific handouts for Big Pharma over the Medicare and Social Security benefits that middle class families pay to earn throughout their lives is a recipe for making our economy work from the top-down. The last thing that Americans who’ve felt invisible want is cuts to lifeline programs in exchange for permanent trickle-down economics.”
The White House issued this fact sheet on new initiatives President Joe Biden announced at COP27 to strengthen US leadership in tackling climate change:
Today at the 27th U.N. Climate Conference (COP27), President Biden announced new initiatives to strengthen U.S. leadership tackling the climate crisis and galvanize global action and commitments. President Biden demonstrated that the United States is following through on its existing commitments and initiatives while also accelerating new and expanded domestic and global efforts. As President Biden said at last year’s COP in Glasgow, this is a decisive decade – and the United States is acting to lead a clean energy future that leverages market forces, technological innovation, and investments to tackle the climate crisis. The initiatives the President announced today also reflect the global imperative to support vulnerable developing country partners in building resilience to a changing climate, helping them cope with a problem they did not create.
In less than 18 months, President Biden has renewed United States leadership in the fight against climate change. The President is delivering on his Day One promises, positioning the United States to achieve our ambitious climate goals. President Biden has spearheaded the most significant domestic climate action in U.S. history, including passing the historic Inflation Reduction Act, signing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, spurring a new era of clean American manufacturing, enhancing energy security at home and abroad, and driving down the costs of clean energy for consumers in the U.S. and around the world.
These efforts reflect President Biden’s belief that climate security, energy security, food security, and water security go hand-in-hand. As Russia’s unjust war in Ukraine disrupts energy markets, strains economies with rising prices, and threatens vulnerable countries with severe food shortages, efforts to accelerate climate action, growing clean energy economies, climate smart agriculture, and global resilience have become all the more urgent.
The initiatives the President is announcing and that the U.S. delegation will highlight throughout COP27 include:
Bolstering Global Climate Resilience – including doubling the U.S. pledge to the Adaptation Fund to $100 million and announcing over $150 million in new support to accelerate the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE) efforts across Africa. These build on the over $20 million that President Biden has announced this year to accelerate PREPARE’s work in Small Island Developing States.
Accelerating Global Climate Action – including launching a new initiative to support Egypt in deploying 10 GW of new wind and solar energy while decommissioning five GW of inefficient natural gas generation, strengthening proposed domestic methane regulations in the oil and gas sector that would reduce U.S. methane from covered sources by 87 percent below 2005 levels as well as other domestic and international action to tackle methane emissions and advance the Global Methane Pledge, and announcing new actions that would make the United States the first national government to require major suppliers to set Paris Agreement-aligned emissions reduction goals – leveraging the Federal Government’s over $630 billion in annual purchasing power.
Catalyzing Investment at The Scale Required to Tackle the Climate Crisis – including launching new and innovative approaches that strategically use public finance to unlock billions in private investment, such as the “Climate Finance +” initiative that will support developing countries in issuing green bonds; launching the Sustainable Banking Alliance to deepen developing countries’ sustainable financial markets; and making strategic investments that help to mobilize billions in private finance and facilitate the export of U.S. clean technologies.
Engaging All of Society in Tackling the Climate Crisis – including launching a Climate Gender Equity Fund, an Indigenous Peoples Finance Access Facility, and new exchanges to empower youth across the world to be leaders on resilience and clean energy in their communities.
The comprehensive list of announcements by the U.S. delegation at COP27 includes:
BOLSTERING GLOBAL CLIMATE RESILIENCE:
President Biden announced additional efforts to further accelerate the implementation of his Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), which aims to help more than half a billion people in developing countries adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change this decade. These initiatives reflect the fact that a dollar invested in adaptation can result in $4-10 or more in benefits. These additional efforts, as well as those announced by the United States during COP27, subject to Congressional notification and the completion of domestic procedures, include:
Doubling Our Pledge to the Adaptation Fund to $100 million– In Glasgow, we announced our intent to make our first-ever contribution to the Adaptation Fund through an initial pledge of $50 million. Today, President Biden announced that the United States will double this multi-year pledge to $100 million.
Accelerating Adaptation in Africa – President Biden announced over $150 million to accelerate PREPARE’s work across the continent, in support of the Adaptation in Africa initiative he and President El-Sisi announced in June. This includes U.S. support for:
Expanding access to early-warning systems for all of Africa – According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, better early-warning systems and adaptation can cut the number of people who need emergency assistance in half by 2030 — and from 200 million to just 10 million by 2050. Today, President Biden announced new U.S. support to accelerate these efforts, including through a $13.6 million contribution to the Systematic Observations Financing Facility that will help fill weather, water, and climate observation gaps in Africa. The United States will also invest $15 million to support the co-development and deployment of early-warning systems in Africa, leveraging the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s long-standing relationships with national and regional weather services across Africa. Our scientists and emergency preparedness experts will work side by side with African partners to bring early warnings to Africa and support communities, leaders, businesses, and people in applying this information to reduce impacts and save lives.
Building the capacity of African decision makers of today and tomorrow to accelerate adaptation across the continent for years to come – This includes contributing $10 million to support the launch of a new adaptation center in Egypt – the Cairo Center for Learning and Excellence on Adaptation and Resilience, announced by Egypt, which will build adaptation capacity across the African continent. As part of our support for the Cairo Center, we are also working with African universities and central ministries to raise awareness of climate risk and strengthen capacity to apply adaptation solutions to manage those risks, especially when it comes to fiscal policy, budgeting and planning. The United States is contributing an additional $2 million to the Resilience and Adaptation Mainstreaming Program to build the capacity of governments to manage climate risks and access finance.
Supporting locally-led efforts to adapt to climate impacts – This includes an additional $3.5 million in support for the Least Developed Countries Initiative for Effective Adaptation & Resilience, which is helping African countries like Uganda, Malawi, Gambia, and Burkina Faso to enhance access to adaptation finance for the most vulnerable.
Expanding access to risk-based insurance for the most vulnerable – This includes working with multilateral development banks and supporting the G7 Global Shield against Climate Risks to protect vulnerable people — in Africa as well as the Caribbean, Central America, and the Pacific. In this context, the United States is enhancing its support for regional risk insurance pools, including contributing $12 million to the Africa Disaster Risk Financing Program and $12 million to ARC Ltd, helping countries cope with extreme weather events, food insecurity, and other issues exacerbated by climate change.
Mobilizing the private sector for adaptation and resilience – – The United States is contributing an additional $25 million to the African Union’s flagship Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI), which is hosted by the Egyptian government, to launch the AAI Food Security Accelerator, which will dramatically speed- and scale-up private sector investments in climate resilient food security in Africa. With U.S. support, the Accelerator will help identify, structure and de-risk a pipeline of transformative adaptation investments in food security, helping to unlock private capital that is already standing ready to invest in these innovative solutions, ranging from cold storage logistics to climate resilient agriculture and post harvesting processes. The United State is also launching a Call to Action to the private sector to tap into their ability to develop innovative adaptation solutions in ways that the public sector cannot, providing an additional $3.8 million to CRAFT TA Facility, and $2 million to launch an adaptation window of the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance to help develop new financial instruments and mechanisms to harness private investment in adaptation.
Further supporting climate smart food systems in Africa – This includes helping countries and communities to adapt their food systems to climate impacts, through at least $100 million in adaptation funding in FY 2022. USAID also invested more than $300 million in Resilient Food Security Activities in FY 2022 across Africa that supports agricultural development and food security. This year, Feed the Future expanded to eight additional African countries, the new Global Food Security Strategy further elevated inclusive and climate-resilient food systems, and climate information services work was expanded. These efforts are yielding results. For example, in 2022 in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, climate-resilient maize varieties were planted on seven million hectares across 13 African countries. These heat, drought, and flood resistant maize varieties provided a 25% yield advantage, benefiting more than 44 million people.
Advancing Climate Security Through Sahel-Climate Advocacy and Peacebuilding with Pastoralists – This initiative aims to reduce the risk of farmer-herder climate change-related conflict in communities spanning the border of Niger and Benin by concurrently increasing herders’ access to political participation in local and national government and improving herders’ and farmers’ access to climate forecasts of rainfall, droughts, and other environmental factors.
Accelerating Adaptation in SIDS – The United States has also announced over $20 million to accelerate PREPARE’s work in SIDS. This includes:
Expanding early-warning systems in the Pacific SIDS – This includes $15 million to increase the capacity of developing countries to understand, anticipate and prepare for climate impacts to public health and safety, food security, water resources, and coastal areas, which President Biden announced at the historic U.S.- Pacific Island Leaders Summit. NOAA will also provide university scholarships to five individuals from the region to communication increase the pipeline of qualified forecasters able to deliver climate-smart decision support. Additionally, NOAA will install roughly 20 satellite units across the region ensuring these forecasts and products reach the last mile.
Supporting climate resilience and sustainable development in SIDS through the Local2030 Islands Network – This includes advancing island-led resilience through engagement and technical support through the Network, which currently includes 20 island economies representing diverse geographical regions across the globe, with the largest concentration of members currently in the Pacific and Caribbean. NOAA will expand its support for the Network to foster peer-to-peer learning opportunities, such as communities-of-practice, and support capacity-building activities, including training, research, extension and engagement, leveraging $4.5 million in new funding.
Supporting storm surge mapping – Starting with the Federated States of Micronesia, NOAA and USAID will develop storm surge risk maps to improve understanding of storm surge flooding vulnerability from landfalling tropical cyclones, providing critical information to save lives and avoid climate impacts.
Supporting Climate Affected Vulnerable Migrants – The United States announced a contribution of $5 million to the Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund to support climate-affected vulnerable migrants. This program underscores our commitment to the vision of the Global Compact for Migration, including improving cooperation on international migration. It also advances the Biden Administration’s climate strategy, reflected in the 2021 White House Report on the Impact of Climate Change on Migration, to address the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations across the globe.
ACCELERATING GLOBAL CLIMATE ACTION:
President Biden believes that tackling the climate crisis and keeping the 1.5-degree C temperature goal within reach requires “all hands on deck” – demanding the mobilization of local, state, and national governments, the private sector, and philanthropies. At COP27, President Biden and his Administration announced new initiatives to advance this objective, including:
Accelerating Egypt’s Clean Energy Economy, Enhancing Climate Ambition, and Supporting Energy Security – Germany and the United States announced over $250 million in resources to unlock $10 billion in commercial investment to support Egypt’s clean energy economy. The program will deploy 10 GW of new wind and solar energy while decommissioning five GW of inefficient natural gas generation. This program, coordinated by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, will support Egypt’s Country Platform for the Nexus of Food, Water, and Energy (NWFE). Egypt committed to enhance its Nationally Determined Contribution to incorporate a commitment to quadruple its installed renewables capacity share to 42% by 2030. Egypt also committed to adopt an ambitious 2050 long-term strategy with a view to explore a net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target and kick-start the development of green hydrogen. Additionally, Egypt committed to expand the use of zero-emission vehicles, sustainable public transport, and other solutions for reducing GHG emissions from transport. The three countries committed to cooperate on reducing methane emissions from Egypt’s oil and gas sector. These commitments will yield major climate benefits by reducing Egypt’s power sector emissions by about one fifth and cutting methane pollution. They will also enhance energy security by freeing up over two billion cubic meters of gas.
Expanding the Global Methane Pledge to Rapidly Reduce Global Temperatures While Boosting Energy Security – Reducing methane emissions is the fastest way to lower global temperatures in the near term, avoid dangerous climate tipping points, and alleviate global adaptation burdens. Limiting warming to 1.5°C will require dramatic reductions in global methane emissions of at least 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels, as called for in the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) launched by the United States and European Union at COP26. The GMP has now been endorsed by over 130 countries representing over half of global methane emissions.
The oil and gas sector represents the fastest and deepest methane emissions reductions opportunities to achieve the GMP target. Capturing flared and leaked gas in the oil and gas sector is also a critical near-term solution to boost global gas supplies and support energy security, as 260 billion cubic meters of gas are currently wasted every year from flaring and methane emissions within the sector. This is why President Biden launched the GMP Energy Pathway at the Major Economies Forum in June 2022, alongside the European Union and 11 other countries, to accelerate global reductions in fossil energy methane.
Today, President Biden announced major new U.S. actions and welcomed new international actions to rapidly reduce methane emissions, particularly in the energy sector, including:
Strengthening proposed domestic methane standards in the oil and gas sector that would reduce wasted energy and harmful emissions from covered sources by 87 percent below 2005 levels while delivering economic benefits – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is strengthening the agency’s proposed standards to cut methane and other harmful air pollutants from the oil and natural gas industry. If finalized, these standards will protect workers and communities, maintain and create high-quality, union-friendly jobs, and promote U.S. innovation and manufacturing of critical new, all while delivering significant economic benefits through increased recovery of wasted gas. The new proposal also includes a ground-breaking “Super-Emitter Response Program” that would require operators to respond to credible third-party reports of high-volume methane leaks.
Updating the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan – Building upon the first-ever U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan released at COP26, President Biden today unveiled an updated plan showcasing enhanced ambition and progress to achieve deep methane reductions in the United States, while cutting consumer costs, spurring job creation, and securing economic gains. The plan includes more than $20 billion of new investments to reduce methane emissions from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, and annual appropriations. The updated plan outlines how the Administration is taking over 50 actions to tackle methane emissions at home.
Welcoming over 130 countries which have now endorsed the Global Methane Pledge – The GMP now covers over half of global methane emissions and over two-thirds of the global economy. In its first year, the GMP has spurred implementation including significant progress on national methane action plans and new landmark policies and initiatives across all major sectors.
Launching a Joint Declaration from Energy Importers and Exporters on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Fossil Fuels – Launched alongside the European Union, Japan, Canada, Norway, and the United Kingdom, the declaration unites major energy importers and exporters to minimize flaring, methane, and CO2 emissions across the fossil energy value chain to the fullest extent practicable. These countries will support enhanced policy action, cooperation on methane measurement, and public and private sector engagement to achieve these goals.
Welcoming the launch of the Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) – Today, the UN Environment Programs’ International Methane Emissions Observatory launched MARS, a new system to tackle methane “super-emitters” by providing countries and companies with data to enable action on major emissions sources.
Welcoming enhanced action on methane mitigation from international partners, including Nigeria, Canada, and Mexico– All of these countries are among the 20 largest emitters of methane in the oil and gas sector. Nigeria celebrated the finalization and publication of its first-ever methane regulations in its oil and gas sector. Canada reaffirmed its commitment to reduce oil and gas methane emissions by at least 75% by 2030 below 2012 levels through strengthened regulatory action and industry partnerships. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and PEMEX also launched cooperation to reduce methane emissions in Mexico’s oil and gas sector, tackling an emissions source that rivals the emissions from Mexico’s entire power sector. The U.S Trade and Development Agency is also supporting partners in methane abatement by leveraging the best-in-class technical expertise of U.S. industry in this area, including by funding a series of three reverse trade missions in 2023 to familiarize partners with the latest U.S. methane abatement technologies and services.
Launching the Green Shipping Challenge – Following President Biden’s call to action at his June 2022 MEF, the United States and Norway launched the Green Shipping Challenge at COP27, with more than 40 major announcements from countries, ports, and companies on the actions they are taking to help align the shipping sector with the goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C. For our part, the United States announced initiatives including: three new bilateral workstreams focused on facilitating green shipping corridors with the Republic of Korea, Canada, and the United Kingdom, the development of a U.S. maritime decarbonization strategy, and the launch of a Green Shipping Corridors Initiation Project with $1.5 million, subject to Congressional notification and the completion of domestic procedures, to support feasibility studies for green shipping corridors involving developing countries. These efforts build on U.S. leadership in zero-emission shipping, including $3 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act to support zero-emission port equipment, technology, and climate action plans; more than $700 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make U.S. ports more efficient and resilient; and U.S. efforts at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to advance a goal of phasing out greenhouse gas emissions from the international shipping sector to zero no later than 2050.
Accelerating Zero Emissions Solutions in Ukraine and the EU Through Advanced Nuclear: This announcement launches two projects that showcase the use of innovative small modular reactor (SMR) technologies for powering global decarbonization efforts and providing options to achieve net-zero economies in hard-to-abate energy sectors. These include (i) commencing a 2-year Ukraine Clean Fuels from SMRs Pilot demonstration project in Ukraine to efficiently produce clean hydrogen fuels from SMR and cutting-edge electrolysis technologies and to establish new avenues to achieve food security through production of clean ammonia for fertilizer production, and (ii) launching a new initiative, Project Phoenix, to move Europe from coal-fired plants to SMRs while retaining and retraining local jobs through U.S. support for coal-to-SMR feasibility studies and supporting activities.
Establishing an International Climate Hub for Climate-Smart Agriculture – Modeled after USDA domestic Climate Hubs, USDA intends to create an International Climate Hub to further support global science-based, climate-informed decision-making. USDA Climate Hubs serve as the premier model for developing and delivering science-based, region-specific information and technologies to U.S. agricultural and natural resource managers that enable climate-informed decision-making. By creating a new International Climate Hub, USDA will help support goals set out in PREPARE, the Global Methane Pledge, and the Global Fertilizer Challenge. By sharing the best practices and research on climate-smart agriculture and forestry, including those gained from international coalitions and research consortia, we can help address climate change on a global-scale, build out new and better markets for U.S. products and make agriculture production more efficient and productive everywhere.
Announcing New Initiatives for Governments to Lead by Example
Engaging U.S. Federal Government suppliers – Today, President Biden announced historic new action that would make the United States the first national government to require major suppliers to set Paris Agreement-aligned emissions reduction goals. This action would reduce GHGs and protect the Federal Government’s supply chains from climate-related financial risks. As the world’s single largest buyer of goods and services – with over $630 billion in spending last year alone, climate change poses significant financial risks to the Federal Government. Through the Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Proposed Rule, major Federal Government contractors would be required to publicly disclose their GHG emissions and climate-related financial risks and set science-based emissions reduction targets.
Launching the Net-Zero Government Initiative – This initiative leverages the catalytic role of national governments in accelerating the implementation and achievement of countries’ climate targets. Participating countries commit to achieving net-zero emissions from national government operations by no later than 2050, developing a roadmap and interim targets by COP28 that outlines their pathway for getting there, and publishing the roadmap upon completion. Over 15 countries will join the United States in this Initiative.
Launching the Subnational Climate Action Leaders’ Exchange – The U.S. State Department and Bloomberg Philanthropies are supporting a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Subnational Climate Action Leaders Exchange (SCALE), to help cities, states, and regions develop and implement net-zero, climate-resilient targets and roadmaps. SCALE will empower subnational champions to drive ambition at the national and international level and will leverage action and advocacy organized around a set of high-level goals needed to keep a 1.5-aligned, climate-resilient future within reach. In its first phase, SCALE will focus on accelerating implementation of the Global Methane Pledge and its call for a 30 percent reduction in methane emissions by 2030.
Launching the Net-Zero Game Changers Initiative – This initiative accelerates game-changing climate innovations and supercharges the public and private climate innovation ecosystem to help the United States meet President Biden’s goal of reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050. To launch the initiative, the White House Climate Policy Office, Office of Management and Budget, and Office of Science and Technology Policy released a new report, U.S. Innovation to Meet 2050 Climate Goals, which describes 37 game-changing R&D opportunities identified across U.S. Federal agencies. With inclusive and intentional innovation, these innovations can help propel the United States and the rest of the world towards an affordable, equitable, net-zero energy system.
CATALYZING INVESTMENT AT THE SCALE REQUIRED TO TACKLE THE CLIMATE CRISIS
The United States is committed to not only meeting President Biden’s ambitious goal to quadruple U.S. climate finance to over $11 billion a year and working with other countries to meet the goal of mobilizing $100 billion, but also to using public finance in new and innovative ways to unlock the much larger pools of capital that will be required to tackle the climate crisis. These efforts are in direct support of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. These efforts include:
Launching “Climate Finance +” – The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and USAID are collaborating to accelerate the use of innovative finance mechanisms that aim to leverage billions in new public and private investment in low and lower-middle income countries. This Climate Finance + effort will support potential green bonds and other climate-related financing through MCC technical assistance in Indonesia, Mozambique, and Zambia and USAID support for the development of green bonds in at least five additional countries via public-private partnerships.
Investing over $2.3 billion in Innovative Financing for Climate in 2022 through the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation – The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 it invested more than $2.3 billion to combat the climate crisis through mitigation and resilience projects that have a positive developmental impact. Recognizing the urgent need to scale up private-investment in adaptation efforts in developing countries, DFC has announced a major push to accelerate its investments in this area. In FY 2022, more than $390 million of the agency’s investments went to projects that helped to bolster developing countries’ resilience, and an additional $200 million went to deals that will generate adaptation co-benefits. Building on this momentum, DFC is accepting climate adaptation business proposals for financing to support resilience in developing countries, with an emphasis on four sectors: agriculture, water, built environment, and health. DFC’s investments also helped support clean energy solutions that provide reliable, affordable energy to help developing countries meet rising demand and support economic development.
Unlocking Billions in Finance and Facilitating U.S. Clean Technology Exports Through Strategic Investments by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and U.S. Export-Import Bank – In April 2021, President Biden announced the launch of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency’s (USTDA) Global Partnership for Climate-Smart Infrastructure to connect U.S. industry to major clean energy and transportation infrastructure projects in emerging economies. At COP27, USTDA announced that it has already funded more than 50 activities through the Partnership that will help its partners in developing and middle-income countries achieve their energy and transportation sector climate mitigation and adaptation goals. These activities are designed to help unlock more than $65 billion in climate finance and support more than $15 billion in U.S. exports. Additionally, the U.S. Export-Import Bank announced that it has provided over $175 million in financing to support U.S. exports of climate friendly technologies, its highest volume of authorizations for clean technology exports in years.
Launching the Sustainable Banking Alliance –USAID will help deepen the sustainable financial sectors in developing countries by partnering with community financial institutions and banking associations across the globe to develop tools and capacity focused on climate financing, climate risk, and carbon accounting and will encourage climate finance target-setting for community banks. The activity will be launched with two pilot countries, Colombia and Rwanda, with an initial total budget of just over $1 million. The Alliance supports USAID’s Action Plan for Climate and SDG Investment.
ENGAGING ALL OF SOCIETY IN TACKLING THE CLIMATE CRISIS:
President Biden believes that tackling the climate crisis must take an inclusive approach, engaging all members of society. At COP27, the United States announced new initiatives to advance this objective, including:
Launching the Climate Gender Equity Fund – With initial seed funding of $6 million, USAID is co-launching a new Climate Gender Equity Fund in, partnership with Amazon, which will leverage private sector contributions to help provide women climate leaders with technical skills, networks, and capital to develop and scale climate solutions. The Fund is enabled by USAID’s commitment to gender-responsive climate action, including its allocating more than $21 million from the Gender Equity and Equality Action (GEEA) Fund, surpassing its $14 million COP26 commitment.
Investing in Climate Leadership for Egyptian Women – USAID is spurring climate action by investing in education and skills building for women and youth. USAID has made a $23 million initial investment in a new nine-year program that aims to build a more inclusive Egyptian workforce, with an emphasis on sectors with the potential to contribute to climate goals such as environment and energy.
Launching the Indigenous Peoples Finance Access Facility – This Facility will enable the continued climate stewardship by Indigenous peoples and local communities improving their access to climate finance. This three-year, $2 million-dollar program, implemented by Indigenous peoples within Conservation International, will provide trainings, tools, and workshops to build long-term capacity and enhance access to climate finance.
Empowering Youth as Resilience and Clean Energy Leaders – The U.S. State Department is launching two three-week, in-person On-Demand Youth Leadership Program exchanges for approximately 40 high school-aged youth and adult mentors from the United States and countries across Africa to develop a deeper understanding among young leaders about climate adaptation and clean energy and to foster their ability to provide solutions to the climate crisis in their home communities. The exchanges are scheduled for spring 2023.
The White House released this fact sheet outlining the Biden-Harris Administration National Security Strategy:
President Biden’s National Security Strategy outlines how the United States will advance our vital interests and pursue a free, open, prosperous, and secure world. We will leverage all elements of our national power to out-compete our strategic competitors; tackle shared challenges; and shape the rules of the road.
The Strategy is rooted in our national interests: to protect the security of the American people, to expand economic opportunity, and to realize and defend the democratic values at the heart of the American way of life. In pursuit of these objectives, we will:
Invest in the underlying sources and tools of American power and influence;
Build the strongest possible coalition of nations to enhance our collective influence to shape the global strategic environment and to solve shared challenges; and
Modernize and strengthen our military so it is equipped for the era of strategic competition.
COOPERATION IN THE AGE OF COMPETITION In the early years of this decisive decade, the terms of geopolitical competition will be set while the window of opportunity to deal with shared challenges will narrow. We cannot compete successfully to shape the international order unless we have an affirmative plan to tackle shared challenges, and we cannot do that unless we recognize how heightened competition affects cooperation and act accordingly.
Strategic Competition.The most pressing strategic challenge we face as we pursue a free, open, prosperous, and secure world are from powers that layer authoritarian governance with a revisionist foreign policy.
We will effectively compete with the People’s Republic of China, which is the only competitor with both the intent and, increasingly, the capability to reshape the international order, while constraining a dangerous Russia.
Strategic competition is global, but we will avoid the temptation to view the world solely through a competitive lens, and engage countries on their own terms.
Shared Challenges. While this competition is underway, people all over the world are struggling to cope with the effects of shared challenges that cross borders—whether it is climate change, food insecurity, communicable diseases, or inflation. These shared challenges are not marginal issues that are secondary to geopolitics. They are at the very core of national and international security and must be treated as such.
We are building the strongest and broadest coalition of nations to enhance our collective capacity to solve these challenges and deliver for the American people and those around the world.
To preserve and increase international cooperation in an age of competition, we will pursue a dual-track approach. On one track, we will work with any country, including our competitors, willing to constructively address shared challenges within the rules-based international order and while working to strengthen international institutions. On the other track, we will deepen cooperation with democracies at the core of our coalition, creating a latticework of strong, resilient, and mutually reinforcing relationships that prove democracies can deliver for their people and the world.
INVESTING AT HOME The Biden-Harris Administration has broken down the dividing line between domestic and foreign policy because our strength at home and abroad are inextricably linked. The challenges of our age, from strategic competition to climate change, require us to make investments that sharpen our competitive edge and bolster our resilience.
Our democracy is at the core of who we are and is a continuous work in progress. Our system of government enshrines the rule of law and strives to protect the equality and dignity of all individuals. As we strive to live up to our ideals, to reckon with and remedy our shortcomings, we will inspire others around the world to do the same.
We are complementing the innovative power of the private sector with a modern industrial strategy that makes strategic public investments in our workforce, strategic sectors, and supply chains, especially in critical and emerging technologies.
A powerful U.S. military helps advance and safeguard vital U.S. national interests by backstopping diplomacy, confronting aggression, deterring conflict, projecting strength, and protecting the American people and their economic interests. We are modernizing our military, pursuing advanced technologies, and investing in our defense workforce to best position America to defend our homeland, our allies, partners, and interests overseas, and our values across the globe.
OUR ENDURING LEADERSHIP The United States will continue to lead with strength and purpose, leveraging our national advantages and the power of our alliances and partnerships. We have a tradition of transforming both domestic and foreign challenges into opportunities to spur reform and rejuvenation at home. The idea that we should compete with major autocratic powers to shape the international order enjoys broad support that is bipartisan at home and deepening abroad.
Our alliances and partnerships around the world are our most important strategic asset that we will deepen and modernize for the benefit of our national security.
We place a premium on growing the connective tissue on technology, trade and security between our democratic allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific and Europe because we recognize that they are mutually reinforcing and the fates of the two regions are intertwined.
We are charting new economic arrangements to deepen economic engagements with our partners and shaping the rules of the road to level the playing field and enable American workers and businesses—and those of partners and allies around the world—to thrive.
As we deepen our partnerships around the world, we will look for more democracy, not less, to shape the future. We recognize that while autocracy is at its core brittle, democracy’s inherent capacity to transparently course-correct enables resilience and progress.
AFFIRMATIVE ENGAGEMENT The United States is a global power with global interests; we are stronger in each region because of our engagement in the others. We are pursuing an affirmative agenda to advance peace and security and to promote prosperity in every region.
As an Indo-Pacific power, the United States has a vital interest in realizing a region that is open, interconnected, prosperous, secure, and resilient. We are ambitious because we know that we and our allies and partners hold a common vision for the region’s future.
With a relationship rooted in shared democratic values, common interests, and historic ties, the transatlantic relationship is a vital platform on which many other elements of our foreign policy are built. To effectively pursue a common global agenda, we are broadening and deepening the transatlantic bond.
The Western Hemisphere directly impacts the United States more than any other region so we will continue to revive and deepen those partnerships to advance economic resilience, democratic stability, and citizen security.
A more integrated Middle East that empowers our allies and partners will advance regional peace and prosperity, while reducing the resource demands the region makes on the United States over the long term.
In Africa, the dynamism, innovation, and demographic growth of the region render it central to addressing complex global problems.
President Joe Biden reacted to the June inflation report saying that while inflation is still unacceptably high, the report is out-of-date, failing to take into account that gas prices – which accounts for a significant amount of the inflation rate – have gone down for nearly 30 days, reducing the price at the pump by 40 cents since mid-June. Still, he said, “inflation is our most pressing economic challenge,” just as it is around the world. Here is his statement the June CPI Inflation report as provided by the White House:
While today’s headline inflation reading is unacceptably high, it is also out-of-date. Energy alone comprised nearly half of the monthly increase in inflation. Today’s data does not reflect the full impact of nearly 30 days of decreases in gas prices, that have reduced the price at the pump by about 40 cents since mid-June. Those savings are providing important breathing room for American families. And, other commodities like wheat have fallen sharply since this report.
Importantly, today’s report shows that what economists call annual “core inflation” came down for the third month in a row, and is the first month since last year where the annual “core” inflation rate is below six percent. Inflation is our most pressing economic challenge. It is hitting almost every country in the world. It is little comfort to Americans to know that inflation is also high in Europe, and higher in many countries there than in America. But it is a reminder that all major economies are battling this COVID-related challenge, made worse by Putin’s unconscionable aggression.
Tackling inflation is my top priority – we need to make more progress, more quickly, in getting price increases under control. Here is what I will do:
First, I will continue to do everything I can to bring down the price of gas. I will continue my historic release of oil from our strategic petroleum reserve. I will continue working with our European allies to put a price cap on Russian oil – sapping Putin of oil revenue. And, I will continue to work with the U.S. oil and gas industry to increase production responsibly — already, the U.S. is producing 12.1 million barrels of oil per day and is on track to break records.
But I will also continue to insist – as I have with urgency recently – that reductions in the price of oil must produce lower gas prices for consumers at the pump. The price of oil is down about 20% since mid-June, but the price of gas has so far only fallen half as much. Oil and gas companies must not use this moment as an excuse for profiting by not passing along savings at the pump.
Second, I will urge Congress to act, this month, on legislation to reduce the cost of everyday expenses that are hitting American families, from prescription drugs to utility bills to health insurance premiums and to make more in America.
Third, I will continue to oppose any efforts by Republicans – as they have proposed during this campaign year — to make things worse by raising taxes on working people, or putting Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every five years.
Finally, I will continue to give the Federal Reserve the room it needs to help it combat inflation.