There is only so much a President who honors the Constitution can do unilaterally to reduce gun violence, especially faced with a radical, activist, reactionary Supreme Court and a paralyzed Congress. President Joe Biden has already achieved a landmark, bipartisan Safer Communities Act, but acknowledges that much more has to be done. Nonetheless Biden has signed 21 executive actions to reduce gun violence. Not enough? Elect more legislators at local, state and federal level who will pass sensible gun violence reform, including banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammo clips: This is from the White House:
President Biden has made historic progress on actions to reduce gun violence. To implement his comprehensive strategy to reduce gun crime, the Biden Administration has taken more executive action to reduce gun violence than any other president’s at this point in their Administration. Today, the President is celebrating the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant gun violence reduction legislation to pass Congress in 30 years.
The Biden Administration will continue to use all of the tools at its disposal to address the epidemic of gun violence. The President’s FY 2023 budget proposes $32 billion in additional funding to fight crime, including $20.6 billion in discretionary funding for federal law enforcement and state and local law enforcement and crime prevention programs, an increase of 11% over FY22 enacted ($18.6 billion) and 18% over FY21 enacted ($17.5 billion).
But there is so much more that can and must be done to save lives. The President will continue to urge Congress to take further legislative action to keep dangerous guns out of dangerous hands, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, strengthening background checks, and enacting safe storage laws.
Below are 21 ways the Biden Administration has already used executive action to make our communities safer:
Keeping Especially Dangerous Weapons and Repeat Shooters Off Our Streets
1. The Justice Department issued a final rule to rein in the proliferation of ghost guns, which are unserialized, privately made firearms that are increasingly being recovered at crime scenes.
3. The Justice Department issued a proposed rule to better regulate when devices marketed as firearm stabilizing braces effectively turn pistols into short-barreled rifles subject to the National Firearms Act.
5. The Justice Department issued the first volume of its new, comprehensive report on firearms commerce and trafficking.
6. The Justice Department announced a new policy to underscore zero tolerance for willful violations of the law by federally licensed firearms dealers that put public safety at risk.
7. The Justice Department launched five new law enforcement strike forces focused on addressing significant firearms trafficking corridors that have diverted guns to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and Washington, D.C.
8. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched a new paid media campaign featuring a series of public service announcements to reinforce the key message that a simple gun lock can save lives.
9. The Departments of Defense (DOD), Health and Human Services (HHS), Homeland Security (DHS), Justice (DOJ), and Veterans Affairs (VA), as well as the Office of Emergency Medical Services within the Department of Transportation (DOT), announced that they will jointly create a plan for addressing lethal means safety awareness, education, training, and program evaluation.
10. ATF issued a final rule clarifying firearms dealers’ statutory obligations to make available for purchase compatible secure gun storage or safety devices.
Making Additional Progress to Reduce Community Violence
11. The President called for cities and states to use American Rescue Plan funding to reduce gun crime and other violent crime, including by investing in community violence interventions and prevention. Through May 2022, $10 billion in American Rescue Plan funds had been committed to public safety and violence prevention – including at least $6.5 billion in State and Local funds committed by more than half of states and more than 300 communities across the country.
12. Five federal agencies made changes to 26 different programs to direct vital support to community violence intervention programs as quickly as possible. For example:
• The National Institutes of Health announced funding through its Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention Research grants for four community violence programs – including a place-based strategy involving repurposing vacant lots in Detroit, an evaluation of READI Chicago, a burnout prevention program for violence interrupters in Chicago, and a hospital-based violence intervention program focused on youth in Virginia.
• The Justice Department announced $187 million for states and $85 million for localities through the Byrne JAG Program to support coordinated violence prevention and intervention; the Department explicitly encouraged the use of these funds for CVI.
• The Department of Housing and Urban Development published a guide explaining to localities how Community Development Block Grants – a $3.4 billion annual funding stream –can be used to fund CVI strategies.
• The Department of Education released a letter to state school associations on how 21st Century Learning Centers funds and Student Support and Academic enrichment programs – both billion-dollar formula grant funding streams – can be used to fund CVI strategies in schools.
13. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services hosted a webinar and published information to educate states on how they can use Medicaid to reimburse certain community violence intervention programs, like Hospital-Based Violence Interventions. Last year, Connecticut and Illinois enacted legislation that allows Medicaid to reimburse providers for hospital-based violence prevention services – the first two states in the country to pursue this approach. According to reporting by USA Today, “[t]he idea has been in the works for years, advocates say, but not until the Biden administration signaled that states could – and should – use Medicaid dollars to support these violence prevention programs have state lawmakers stepped up.”
14. Senior White House staff established The White House Community Violence Intervention Collaborative, a 16-jurisdiction cohort of mayors, law enforcement, CVI experts, and philanthropic leaders committed to using American Rescue Plan funding or other public funding to increase investment in their community violence intervention infrastructure.
Providing Law Enforcement with the Tools and Resources They Need to Reduce Gun Violence
15. The Justice Department announced $139 million in grants to local law enforcement that will put over 1,000 police officers on the beat through the COPS Office Hiring Program.
16. The Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) expanded the Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Firearms Technical Assistance Project (FTAP).
Addressing the Root Causes of Gun Violence
17. The Department of Labor awarded $89 million through its Youth Build program to provide pre-apprenticeship opportunities for young people ages 16-24.
18. The Department of Labor awarded $20 million through its Workforce Pathways for Youth program to expand workforce development activities that serve youth ages 14-21 during “out of school” time (non-school hours).
19. The Department of Labor awarded $85.5 million to help formerly incarcerated adults and young people in 28 communities transition out of the criminal justice system and connect with quality jobs.
20. The Department of Labor awarded $25.5 million in Young Adult Reentry Partnership grants to organizations that will help provide education and training services to young adults between 18-24 who were previously involved with the justice system or who left high school before graduation.
21. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program, awarded nearly $1 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) supplemental funding to support services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children.
President Joe Biden, with former President Barack Obama at his side, signed an Executive Order to expand access to the Affordable Care Act, which he said was fittingly dubbed “Obamacare”, fix the “family glitch” and lower health care costs for one million Americans. Recalling the difficulty of passing Obamacare, Biden remarked on Obama’s unwavering commitment toward the goal of universal health care, where a medical emergency wouldn’t bankrupt a family and people did not live with the insecurity of being denied coverage. Obama reflecting on the strong opposition from Republicans – who have attempted to repeal the ACA more than 70 times, and only last week, vowed to repeal it when they regain control of Congress – said that compromises had to be made in order to achieve what presidents had failed to do for 100 years in providing access to health care. As Biden said, it was the most consequential legislation since Medicare of 1965. Obama said it was always recognized that the law would need to be improved. That’s what Biden did today.
From day one of his presidency, Biden has worked to expand access to health care, and now, some 30 million have health insurance coverage because of Obamacare, while 100 million Americans with pre-existing conditions are assured of having health insurance (a number that will be vastly expanded with over 75 million having contracted COVID-19 and millions suffering effects of Long-COVID), children can stay on their parents’ plan until age 26, and there are no longer lifetime caps on coverage. Here’s a Fact Sheet from the White House on how Biden-Harris Administration proposes to fix the “family glitch” and lower health care costs – the most significant administrative action to improve implementation of Obamacare since its enactment 12 years ago. “The ACA is stronger now than it has ever been and today we are strengthening it further,” Biden declared.
President Biden and Vice President Harris believe that health care is a right, not a privilege. They promised to protect and build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), lowering costs and expanding coverage so that every American has the peace of mind that health insurance brings.
The Biden-Harris Administration continues to deliver on that promise. Thanks to the landmark American Rescue Plan, ACA premiums are at an all-time low, while enrollment is at an all-time high. Four out of five Americans can find quality coverage for under $10 a month, and families are saving an average of $2,400 on their annual premiums—$200 in savings every month back to families. The Administration has lowered costs and increased enrollment to a record high of 14.5 million Americans—including nearly 6 million who newly gained coverage. With the addition of Missouri and Oklahoma, two states that expanded Medicaid last year, nearly 19 million low-income Americans are enrolled in the ACA’s Medicaid expansion coverage, adding up to a record nearly 80 million children, pregnant women, seniors, people with disabilities, and other low-income Americans covered by Medicaid.
PROPOSING TO FIX THE “FAMILY GLITCH”
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is proposing a rule to strengthen the ACA by fixing the “family glitch,” which would save hundreds of thousands of families hundreds of dollars a month.
Under the ACA, people who do not have access to “affordable” health insurance through their jobs may qualify for a premium tax credit to purchase affordable, high-quality coverage on the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces. Current regulations define employer-based health insurance as “affordable” if the coverage solely for the employee, and not for family members, is affordable, making family members ineligible for a premium tax credit even though they need it to afford high-quality coverage through the Marketplace. For family members of an employee offered health coverage through an employer, the cost of that family coverage can sometimes be very expensive and make health insurance out of reach. The “family glitch” affects about 5 million people and has made it impossible for many families to use the premium tax credit to purchase an affordable, high-quality Marketplace plan.
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are proposing to eliminate the “family glitch.” Should today’s proposed rule be finalized, family members of workers who are offered affordable self-only coverage but unaffordable family coverage may qualify for premium tax credits to buy ACA coverage. Should the proposed change be made, it’s estimated that 200,000 uninsured people would gain coverage, and nearly 1 million Americans would see their coverage become more affordable. Many families would be able to save hundreds of dollars a month thanks to lower premiums. This proposed rule would amount to the most significant administrative action to improve implementation of the ACA since its enactment.
EXECUTIVE ORDER CONTINUING TO STRENGTHEN AMERICANS’ ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE, QUALITY HEALTH COVERAGE
Last January, President Biden signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies to take action to strengthen Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. Today, President Biden is building on that directive with a new Executive Order directing federal agencies to continue doing everything in their power to expand affordable, quality health coverage. This includes:
Making it easier for people to enroll in and keep their coverage.
Helping people better understand their coverage options so they can pick the best one for them.
Strengthening and improving the generosity of benefits and improving access to health care providers.
Improving the comprehensiveness of coverage and protecting Americans from low-quality coverage.
Continuing to make health coverage more accessible and affordable by expanding eligibility and lowering costs for Americans with ACA, Medicare, or Medicaid coverage.
Connecting people to health care services by improving access to health care providers and linkages between the health care system and communities to help Americans with health-related needs.
Taking steps to help reduce the burden of medical debt that far too many Americans experience.
ADDITIONAL EFFORTS TO STRENGTHEN THE ACA AND MEDICAID
These latest actions build on months of work to strengthen the ACA and Medicaid by lowering costs and expanding coverage.
Lowered premiums and out of pocket costs for millions of Americans. As the biggest expansion of affordable health care since the ACA, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) included enhanced subsidies that lowered premiums for 9 million Americans by an average of $50 per month per person. The enhanced subsidies helped expand the availability of free and low-cost health plans to millions of consumers with nearly half of existing consumers able to enroll in a silver level plan with no premium and 70 percent of existing able to enroll in a low-premium silver plan. In addition, the Administration lowered the cap on total out-of-pocket costs by $400 in 2022.
Made it easier to sign up for affordable coverage, including opening a Special Enrollment Period in 2021. In addition to opening a Special Enrollment Period last year, which enabled nearly 3 million Americans to newly sign up for coverage under the ACA, the Administration extended HealthCare.gov’s Open Enrollment period by one month, giving people more time to sign up for coverage The Administration operated the most successful Open Enrollment Period in history last year, with a historic 14.5 million Americans signing up for ACA coverage and another million people signing up for the Basic Health Program, an alternative coverage program created by the ACA. The Administration also eliminated unnecessary paperwork and increased outreach, quadrupling the number of trained Navigators to help Americans sign up for coverage on HealthCare.gov. These efforts helped reach communities that have historically been left behind, with the HealthCare.gov enrollment rate increasing by 26 percent for Hispanic Americans and 35 percent for Black Americans.
Facilitated the expansion of Medicaid in Missouri and Oklahoma. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) helped Missouri and Oklahoma become the 38th and 39th states to expand Medicaid, which will cover nearly half a million more low-income Americans in those two states. Missouri and Oklahoma are also taking advantage of the ARP’s financial incentive to expand Medicaid, which is expected to provide an extra $968 million and $500 million in federal dollars to these states, respectively.
Expanded and strengthened access to home care for millions of older Americans and people with disabilities. The ARP provided states with increased Medicaid funding to help expand access to home care services, furthering the Administration’s commitment to ensuring people can get the care they need in their homes and communities. The additional Medicaid funding will also help states strengthen their home- and community-based services programs by investing in the home care workforce and other innovations to improve the delivery of care.
Provided new options to help people experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Thanks to the ARP, states can now receive enhanced Medicaid funding to establish mobile crisis intervention services teams to help provide services to Medicaid beneficiaries experiencing a behavioral health crisis. This new option is a key component in the Administration’s strategy to address the Nation’s mental health crisis by ensuring that Medicaid beneficiaries experiencing a behavioral health crisis can get connected to the care they need.
Tackled the maternal health crisis. Medicaid covers more than 40 percent of births in the United States. Thanks to the ARP and the Vice President’s leadership, the Biden-Harris Administration partnered with Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia, and Louisiana to make sure new moms can keep their Medicaid coverage for a year after they deliver. Another 9 states are in the process of seeking CMS approval to expand postpartum coverage to their states as well. Based on HHS estimates, more than 83,000 beneficiaries across five states will benefit from this extended post-partum coverage during the critical first year after delivery.
This is President Joe Biden’s statement about his FY2023 budget proposal:
Budgets are statements of values, and the budget I am releasing today sends a clear message that we value fiscal responsibility, safety and security at home and around the world, and the investments needed to continue our equitable growth and build a better America.
My Administration is on track to reduce the federal deficit by more than $1.3 trillion this year, cutting in half the deficit from the last year of the previous Administration and delivering the largest one-year reduction in the deficit in U.S. history. That’s the direct result of my Administration’s strategy to get the pandemic under control and grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out. We spent less money than the last Administration and got better results: strong economic growth, which has increased revenues and allowed us to responsibly scale back emergency spending. My budget will continue that progress, further reducing the deficit by continuing to support the economic growth that has increased revenues and ensuring that billionaires and large corporations pay their fair share.
At the same time, my budget will make investments in securing our nation and building a better America. We will secure our communities by putting more police on the street to engage in accountable community policing, hiring the agents needed to help fight gun crime, and investing in crime prevention and community violence intervention.
I’m calling for one of the largest investments in our national security in history, with the funds needed to ensure that our military remains the best-prepared, best-trained, best-equipped military in the world. In addition, I’m calling for continued investment to forcefully respond to Putin’s aggression against Ukraine with US support for Ukraine’s economic, humanitarian, and security needs.
My budget also makes the investments needed to reduce costs for families and make progress on my Unity Agenda – including investments to cut the costs of child care and health care; help families pay for other essentials; end cancer as we know it; support our veterans; and get all Americans the mental health services they need.
All told, it is a budget that includes historic deficit reduction, historic investments in our security at home and abroad, and an unprecedented commitment to building an economy where everyone has a chance to succeed.
And here’s what in the Biden budget:
FACT SHEET: The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2023
Under the President’s leadership, America is on the move again. We created more than 6.5 million jobs in 2021, the most our country has ever recorded in a single year. Our economy grew at 5.7 percent, the strongest growth in nearly 40 years. And the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8 percent, the fastest decline in recorded history. At the same time, the deficit fell last year—by around $300 billion. This progress was a direct result of the President’s strategy to grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out and his effective management of the American Rescue Plan—a strategy that was built on smart, fiscally prudent investments that helped jumpstart our economy.
As our historic economic and labor market recovery continues, the President’s Budget projects that the deficit in 2022 will be more than $1.3 trillion lower than last year’s—the largest ever one-year decline in our country’s history. The strongest economic growth in four decades, powered by the American Rescue Plan, has also contributed to a historic decline in the deficit—by fueling strong revenue growth and allowing the Administration to responsibly phase down emergency pandemic-related spending.
Today, the President released a Budget that details his vision to expand on our economic and fiscal progress—investing in our economy and our people while cutting deficits, improving our country’s long-term fiscal outlook, and keeping the economic burden of debt low.
As he made clear in his State of the Union address, the President is committed to working with Congress to enact legislation that lowers costs for American families, expands the productive capacity of the American economy, and further reduces the deficit: by reducing prescription drug costs and fixing the tax code to ensure corporations and wealthy people pay the taxes they already owe and close loopholes they exploit.
The President’s FY 2023 Budget also proposes additional smart, targeted investments designed to spur durable economic growth, create jobs, reduce cost pressures, and foster shared prosperity. These investments are more than fully paid-for through tax reforms that ensure corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share, while also fulfilling the President’s ironclad promise that no one earning less than $400,000 per year will pay an additional penny in new taxes. Overall, the Budget reduces deficits by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years and deficits under the Budget policies would fall to less than one-third of the 2020 level the President inherited.
The Budget improves our country’s long-term fiscal outlook while also delivering on the ambitious agenda the President laid out in his State of the Union address—to build a better America, reduce costs for families, advance equity, and grow our economy from the bottom up and the middle out. It proposes significant new investments in proven strategies to reduce gun crime and keep our communities safe. It makes additional investments in the American people that will help lay a stronger foundation for shared growth and prosperity. It advances a bipartisan unity agenda through proposals to take on the mental health crisis, combat the opioid epidemic, support our veterans, and accelerate progress against cancer. And during what will be a decisive decade, it strengthens our military and leverages America’s renewed strength at home to meet pressing global challenges, deepen partnerships and alliances, and manage crises as they arise.
PUTTING THE NATION ON A SOUND FISCAL AND ECONOMIC COURSE
The Budget proposes smart, targeted, fully-offset investments while also cutting deficits, improving our country’s long-term fiscal outlook, and keeping the economic burden of debt low. The Budget’s investments are more than paid for with tax reforms focused on making sure the rich and the largest corporations pay their fair share, reducing deficits by over $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
Proposes a New Minimum Tax on Billionaires. The tax code currently offers special treatment for the types of income that wealthy people enjoy. This special treatment, combined with sophisticated tax planning and giant loopholes, allows many of the very wealthiest people in the world to end up paying a lower tax rate on their full income than many middle-class households. To finally address this glaring problem, the Budget includes a minimum tax on multi-millionaires and billionaires who so often pay indefensibly low tax rates. This minimum tax would apply only to the wealthiest 0.01 percent of households—those with more than $100 million—and over half the revenue would come from billionaires alone. It would ensure that, in any given year, they pay at least 20 percent of their total income in Federal income taxes.
Ensures Corporations Pay Their Fair Share. The Budget also includes an increase to the rate that corporations pay in taxes on their profits. Corporations received an enormous tax break in 2017. While their profits have soared, their investment in our economy did not: the tax breaks did not trickle down to workers or consumers. Instead of allowing some of the most profitable corporations in the world to avoid paying their fair share, the Budget raises the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, still the lowest tax rate faced by corporations since World War II except in the years after the 2017 tax cut. This increase is complemented by other changes to the corporate tax code that incentivize job creation and investment in the United States and ensure that large corporations pay their fair share.
Prevents Multinational Corporations from Using Tax Havens to Game the System. For decades, American workers and taxpayers have paid the price for a tax system that has rewarded multinational corporations for shipping jobs and profits overseas. Last year, the Administration rallied more than 130 countries to agree to a global minimum tax that will ensure that profitable corporations pay their fair share and will incentivize U.S. multinationals to create jobs and invest in the United States. The Budget contains additional measures to ensure that multinationals operating in the United States cannot use tax havens to undercut the global minimum tax.
Advancing Legislation to Lower Costs, Reduce the Deficit, and Expand Productive Capacity
The President is committed to working with Congress to sign legislation that lowers costs for American families, reduces the deficit, and expands the productive capacity of the American economy. That means cutting costs for prescription drugs, healthcare premiums, child care, long-term care, housing, and college; reducing energy costs by combatting climate change and accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy; supporting families by providing access to free, high-quality preschool, up to two years of free community college, nutritious food at school and resources to purchase food over the summer months, and paid family and medical leave and by continuing the enhanced Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit; and providing health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. The President believes these proposals must be paired with reforms that ensure corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share, including ensuring that they pay the taxes they already owe.
Because discussions with Congress continue, the President’s Budget includes a deficit neutral reserve fund to account for a future agreement, preserving the revenue from tax and prescription drug reforms the President proposed last year for this legislation for the investments needed to bring down costs for American families and expand our productive capacity.
BUILDING A BETTER AMERICA
The Budget includes smart, targeted investments in the American people that will help build a better America. It will keep our communities safe and combat violent crime; promote job creation and expand the productive capacity of our economy; improve our public health infrastructure; ensure America leads the world in combating the climate crisis; and advance equity and opportunity for all. It strengthens our military and leverages America’s renewed strength at home to meet pressing global challenges, deepen partnerships and alliances, and manage crises as they arise.
Combating Crime to Keep Our Communities Safe
Puts More Police Officers on the Beat. The Budget provides $3.2 billion in discretionary resources for State and local grants, and $30 billion in mandatory resources to support law enforcement, crime prevention, and community violence intervention, including putting more officers for community policing on the beat across the Nation.
Provides More Tools to Tackle Gun Violence. The Budget provides $1.7 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to expand multijurisdictional gun trafficking strike forces with additional personnel, increase regulation of the firearms industry, enhance ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, and modernize the National Tracing Center.
Increases Federal Law Enforcement Capacity to Combat Violent Crime. Under the President’s Budget, key Federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service will have the resources they need fight violent crime, including through fugitive apprehension and enforcement operations. The Budget also ensures U.S. Attorneys have the necessary support to prosecute violent crimes.
Strengthens Civil Rights Enforcement. The Budget makes important investments to support law enforcement while addressing longstanding inequities and strengthening civil rights protections. The Budget invests $367 million, an increase of $101 million over the 2021 enacted level, at the Department of Justice to support police reform, the prosecution of hate crimes, enforcement of voting rights, and efforts to provide equitable access to justice.
Supports Criminal Justice System Reform. The Budget includes $100 million for a historic multi-agency collaboration to provide comprehensive workforce development services to people in the Federal prison system and proposes $106 million to support the deployment of body-worn cameras to DOJ’s law enforcement officers.
Promoting Job Creation, Reducing Cost Pressures, and Boosting Productive Capacity
Increases Affordable Housing Supply. In communities throughout the country, rents are skyrocketing and homeownership is becoming increasingly out of reach. This strains family budgets and holds back our economy – making it harder for workers to afford to live near good jobs and good transportation options. To address the critical shortage of affordable housing in communities throughout the Nation, the Budget proposes $50 billion for housing construction and supply – addressing existing market gaps and helping to stabilize housing prices over the long-term. This includes funding, via the Department of Housing and Urban Development, for state and local housing finance agencies and their partners to provide grants, revolving loan funds, and other streamlined financing tools to boost housing supply, with a particular focus on housing types that have traditionally been difficult to finance using existing Federal financing but have the potential to boost supply and density in supply-constrained communities. The Budget also includes grants to advance and reward state and local jurisdictions’ efforts to remove barriers to affordable housing development. It also includes modifying Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to better incentivize new unit production, and funding for the Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund to support financing of new construction and substantial rehabilitation that creates net new units of affordable rental and for sale housing.
Accelerates Efforts to Move More Goods Faster through American Ports and Waterways. The Budget continues support for the historic levels of Federal investment to modernize America’s port and waterway infrastructure provided under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It includes $230 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program to strengthen maritime freight capacity, as well as $1.7 billion in spending for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to facilitate safe, reliable, and environmentally sustainable navigation at coastal ports.
Strengthens the Nation’s Supply Chains through Domestic Manufacturing. To help ignite a resurgence of American manufacturing and strengthen domestic supply chains, the Budget provides $372 million, an increase of $206 million over the 2021 enacted level, for the National Institutes of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) manufacturing programs to launch two additional Manufacturing Innovation Institutes in 2023 and continue support for the two institutes funded in 2022. The Budget includes a $125 million increase for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to make America’s small and medium manufacturers more competitive. The Budget also invests $200 million for a new Solar Manufacturing to build domestic capacity in solar energy supply chains while moving away from imported products.
Expands Access to Registered Apprenticeships and Equips Workers with Skills They Need to Obtain High-Quality Jobs. The Budget invests $303 million, a $118 million increase above the 2021 enacted level, to expand Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in high growth fields, such as information technology, advanced manufacturing, health care, and transportation, while increasing access for historically underrepresented groups, including people of color and women. In addition, the Budget invests $100 million to help community colleges work with the public workforce development system and employers to design and deliver high-quality workforce training programs. The Budget also provides $100 million for a new Sectoral Employment through Career Training for Occupational Readiness program, which will support training programs focused on growing industries, enabling disadvantaged workers to enter on-ramps to middle class jobs, and creating the skilled workforce the economy needs to thrive.
Fosters Competitive and Productive Markets and Targets Corporate Concentration. The Budget reflects the Administration’s commitment to vigorous marketplace competition through robust enforcement of antitrust law by including historic increases of $88 million for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (ATR) and $139 million for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Restoring American Leadership and Confronting Global Threats
Supports United States’ European Allies and Partners. The Budget includes $6.9 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and countering Russian aggression to support Ukraine, the United States’ strong partnerships with NATO allies, and other European partner states by bolstering funding to enhance the capabilities and readiness of U.S. Forces, NATO allies, and regional partners in the face of Russian aggression.
Defends Freedom Globally. To support American leadership in defending democracy, freedom, and security worldwide, the Budget includes nearly $1.8 billion for the State Department and USAID to support a free and open, connected, secure, and resilient Indo-Pacific Region and the Indo-Pacific Strategy, and $400 million for the Countering the People’s Republic of China Malign Influence Fund. In addition, the Budget provides nearly $1 billion in assistance to Ukraine for State Department, USAID, and Department of Defense to counter Russian malign influence and to meet emerging needs related to security, energy, cyber security issues, disinformation, macroeconomic stabilization, and civil society resilience.
Promotes Integrated Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific and Globally. The Budget proposes $773 billion for the Department of Defense. To sustain and strengthen deterrence, the Budget prioritizes China as the Department’s pacing challenge. DOD’s 2023 Pacific Deterrence Initiative highlights some of the key investments the Department is making that are focused on strengthening deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region. DOD is building the concepts, capabilities, and posture necessary to meet these challenges, working in concert with the interagency and our allies and partners to ensure our deterrence is integrated across domains, theaters, and the spectrum of conflict.
Renews America’s Leadership in International Institutions. The Budget continues the Administration’s efforts to lead through international organizations by meeting the Nation’s commitments to fully fund U.S. contributions and to pay United Nations peacekeeping dues on time and in full. The Budget also provides $1.4 billion for the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA). This investment restores the United States’ historical role as the largest World Bank donor to support the development of low- and middle-income countries, which benefits the American people by increasing global stability, mitigating climate and health risks, and developing new markets for U.S exports.
Advances Equity and Equality Globally. The Budget provides $2.6 billion to advance gender equity and equality across a broad range of sectors. This includes $200 million for the Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund to advance the economic security of women and girls. This total also includes funding to strengthen the participation of women in conflict prevention, resolution, and recovery through the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security Act.
Advances American Leadership in Global Health, Including Global Health Security and Pandemic Preparedness. The Budget includes $10.6 billion to bolster U.S. leadership in addressing global health and health security challenges. Within this total, the Budget supports a $2 billion contribution to the Global Fund’s seventh replenishment, for an intended pledge of $6 billion over three years, to save lives and continue the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and to support the Global Fund’s expanding response to COVID-19 and global health strengthening. This total also includes $1 billion to prevent, prepare for, and respond to future infections disease outbreaks, including the continued expansion of Global Health Security Agenda capacity-building programs and a multilateral financial intermediary fund for health security and pandemic preparedness
Strengthening America’s Public Health & Advancing Cures for Cancer and Other Diseases
Prepares for Future Pandemics and Other Biological Threats. In addition to combatting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the United States must catalyze advances in science, technology, and core capabilities to prepare for future biological threats. The Budget makes transformative investments in pandemic preparedness across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—$81.7 billion available over five years—to enable an agile, coordinated, and comprehensive public health response to protect American lives, families, and the economy.
Builds Advanced Public Health Systems and Capacity. The Budget includes $9.9 billion to build capacity at CDC and state and local levels to improve the core immunization program, expand public health infrastructure in States and Territories, strengthen the public health workforce, support efforts to modernize public health data collection, increase capacity for forecasting and analyzing future outbreaks, including at the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics, and conduct studies on Long COVID to inform diagnosis and treatment options.
Transforms Mental Health Care. The United States faces a mental health crisis that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Budget proposes reforms to health coverage and invests in the behavioral health workforce. It provides sustained and increased funding for community-based centers and clinics, and mental health staff in schools, makes historic investments in youth mental health and suicide prevention programs, and strengthens access to crisis services by building out the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and crisis services infrastructure. These resources will help build system capacity, connect more Americans to care, and create a system of support to improve mental health for all.
Advances Maternal Health and Health Equity. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations, with an unacceptably high mortality rate for Black and American Indian and Alaska Native women. The Budget includes $470 million to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates, expand maternal health initiatives in rural communities, implement implicit bias training for healthcare providers, create pregnancy medical home projects, and address the highest rates of perinatal disparities. The Budget also expands maternal and other health initiatives in rural communities to improve access to high-quality care.
Accelerates Innovation through the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). The Budget proposes a major investment of $5 billion for ARPA-H, significantly increasing direct Federal research and development (R&D) spending in health to improve the health of all Americans. With an initial focus on cancer and other diseases such as diabetes and dementia, this major investment will drive transformational innovation in health technologies and speed the application and implementation of health breakthroughs.
Taking Historic Steps to Combat the Climate Crisis and Advance Environmental Justice
Invests in Clean Energy Infrastructure and Innovation. The Budget invests $3.3 billion to support clean energy projects that will create good paying jobs, continue to cut to cost of clean energy, and drive progress toward President Biden’s climate goals. Investments include $502 million to weatherize and retrofit low-income homes, including $100 million for a new LIHEAP Advantage pilot to electrify and decarbonize low-income homes, and $260 million to support energy efficiency improvements to USDA-assisted multifamily homes. In addition, the Budget provides $150 million to electrify Tribal homes and transition Tribal colleges and universities to renewable energy, and $80 million for a new Grid Deployment Office to build the grid of the future.
Strengthens Climate Resilience. The Budget provides more than $18 billion for climate resilience and adaptation programs across the Federal Government. These critical investments will reduce the risk of damages from floods and storms, restore the Nation’s aquatic ecosystems, and make HUD-assisted multifamily homes more climate resilient. In line with President Biden’s commitment to ensure the American’s fighting wildfires earn $15 an hour, the Budget includes $1.8 billion in the Forest Service and Department of the Interior to strengthen the Federal firefighting workforce, increase capacity, and improve firefighter compensation.
Advances Equity and Environmental Justice. The Budget provides historic support for underserved communities, and advances the President’s Justice40 commitment to ensure 40 percent of the benefits of Federal investments in climate and clean energy reach disadvantaged communities. The Budget includes $1.45 billion to bolster the EPA’s environment justice efforts that will help create good-paying jobs, clean up pollution, implement Justice40, advance racial equity, and secure environmental justice for communities that too often have been left behind
Achieves the President’s Historic Climate Pledge. The Budget includes over $11 billion in international climate finance, meeting the President’s pledge to quadruple international climate finance a year early. This funding will accelerate the global energy transition to net zero emissions by 2050; help developing countries build resilience to the growing impacts of climate change, including through the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience and other programs; and support the implementation of the President’s Plan to Conserve Global Forests. Among these critical investments are $1.6 billion for the Green Climate Fund, a critical multilateral tool for financing climate adaptation and mitigation projects in developing countries and support for a $3.2 billion loan to the Clean Technology Fund to finance clean energy projects in developing countries.
Expanding Economic Opportunity, Advancing Equity, and Strengthening our Democracy
Makes Historic Investments in K-12 Schools and Education Beyond High School. The Budget more than doubles funding for Title I compared to the 2021 enacted level through a combination of discretionary and mandatory funding. This substantial funding, which serves 25 million students in nearly 90 percent of school districts across America, is a major step toward fulfilling the President’s commitment to addressing long-standing funding disparities between under-resourced schools—which disproportionately serve students of color—and their wealthier counterparts. The Budget increases support for children with disabilities by providing a $3.3 billion increase for IDEA Grants to States – the largest two-year increase ever for the program. The budget also doubles funding for IDEA Grants for Infants and Families and proposes to reforms to increase equitable access to early intervention services with a proven record for improving academic and developmental outcomes. The Budget also provides $1 billion in sustainable funding to help schools increase the number of school counselors, psychologists, social workers and other health professionals. The Budget provides an additional $438 million for Full Service Community Schools, ramping up the mental health and wraparound supports in schools for students and their families. The Budget proposes to double the maximum Pell Grant by 2029, beginning with a historic $2,175 increase over the 2021-2022 school year, thereby expanding access and helping nearly 6.7 million students afford college.
Advances Child and Family Well-Being in the Child Welfare System. The Budget proposes to expand and incentivize the use of evidence-based foster care prevention services to keep families safely together and to reduce the number of children entering foster care, while also targeting resources to reduce the overrepresentation of children and families of color in the child welfare system. For children who do need to be placed into foster care, the Budget provides States with support to place more children with relatives or other adults who have an existing emotional bond with the child and fewer children in group homes and institutions while also providing additional funding to improve the educational outcomes of foster youth and support youth who age out of care without a permanent caregiver.
Guarantees Adequate and Stable Funding for the Indian Health Service (IHS). The Budget significantly increases IHS’s funding over time, and shifts it from discretionary to mandatory funding. For the first year of the proposal, the Budget includes $9.1 billion in mandatory funding, an increase of $2.9 billion above 2021. After that, IHS funding would automatically grow to keep pace with healthcare costs and population growth and gradually close longstanding service and facility shortfalls. Providing IHS stable and predictable funding will improve access to high quality healthcare, rectify historical underfunding of the Indian Health system, eliminate existing facilities backlogs, address health inequities, and modernize IHS’ electronic health record system.
Protects Our Elections and the Right to Vote. As our democracy faces threats across the country—and to provide state and local election officials with a predictable funding stream for critical capital investments and increased staffing and services—the Budget proposes $10 billion in new elections assistance funding to be allocated over ten years. The Budget also proposes to fund an expansion of U.S. Postal Service delivery capacity in underserved areas and support for vote-by-mail, including making ballots postage-free and reducing the cost of other election-related mail for jurisdictions and voters.
Letter from the President on the Implementation of the Global Fragility Act
The world stands today at the dawn of a decisive decade — a moment of consequence and peril, of profound pain and extraordinary possibility. Perhaps now more than ever, we have seen how the most urgent challenges of our time do not confine themselves within national borders. A global pandemic that has claimed more than six million lives. A climate crisis that threatens the future of every continent. An emboldening of autocrats who believe that democracy and multilateralism cannot deliver in the 21st century. These tests, and more, are among the sternest that the world has ever faced.
It is against this backdrop — at this inflection point in history — that America must lead. We know all too well that today’s most pressing challenges — their root causes as well as their impacts — are global in nature. We know that America’s security and success hinge in no small measure on the peace and stability of the world beyond our borders. We know that beneath the global crises we face lie breathtaking opportunities for our Nation and the world — if we can summon the will to seize them.
This document — a prologue to the U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability — represents an assertion of American leadership to take on the defining global challenges of our time. Driven in large part by the tireless commitment of humanitarian advocates and civil society organizations working on the front lines of conflict, this Strategy is the product of a bipartisan vision, manifested by the passage of the Global Fragility Act in December 2019 with overwhelming bipartisan majorities. It provides a roadmap: a 10-year effort to strengthen the security and prosperity of people everywhere by helping to fortify the footing of parts of the world that continue to grapple with challenges that can lead to destabilizing conflict and violence. It is, in short, an investment in global peace and security — one which will deliver critical returns not only in the nations with whom we’ll be working, but, most of all, here in the United States.
The heartbreaking images we are seeing in Ukraine — the result of a vicious and unprovoked attack by Vladimir Putin — are only the latest reminder of the tragic consequences of global conflict and the need to avert violence before it erupts. We know that working broadly, strategically, and cooperatively to prevent conflict and instability is the greatest investment we can make in America’s future, and in the future of the entire world. In Ukraine, as in Ethiopia, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere around the world, the incalculable toll of lives lost, families separated, economies destroyed, and social fabrics torn threatens to spiral whole regions into cycles of violence and loss that can linger for generations. Doing all that we can to assist communities around the world in their conflict prevention efforts is more than just the right thing to do. It saves lives, safeguards Americans’ own security and prosperity, and establishes the United States as a trusted partner — a force for peace and stability in the world, and a nation that can be counted on to work and learn productively alongside the nations of every region to tackle common challenges and strengthen our shared future.
This Strategy lays out a whole-of-government approach to advancing America’s national interests on the world stage. This means tapping into the expansive expertise and resources that reside across our Government, sharpening and updating those tools where needed, humbly applying the costly and painful lessons from the past, and transforming the way we work with each other. Our diplomats, officers, and experts in the State Department, the United States Agency for International Development, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Treasury, and others across Government, as well as members of the Foreign Service and Armed Forces, will work in close cooperation with multilateral organizations and a wide variety of local partners in each nation where these efforts will be pursued — including civil society organizations, community leaders, businesses, and government officials.
Those who are closest and most vulnerable to these challenges know best where the opportunities for peace and stability lie — they represent the strongest source of promise and immunity from destabilizing forces, and we must support their strength and resilience. From strengthening social institutions and state-society relations, to mitigating the spread of extremist ideologies, to confronting the corrosive impact of gender inequality, to cultivating greater trust between security forces and citizens, to guarding against the destabilizing threat of climate change — we will help foster locally led, locally owned solutions grounded in mutual trust and long-term accountability.
Prevention is hard work — measured not in days and weeks, but in years and generations. Its successes are never as evident as its failures, and it requires us to remain focused on lasting peace and stability over the allure of easier, more temporary gains that may not strengthen our position in the long term. But, with this Strategy, we are committing ourselves to the effort. As we implement this Strategy, my Administration looks forward to working closely with the Congress on a bipartisan basis, and in close consultation with civil society institutions and stakeholders on every level. United in our vision, America can and must lead this essential new effort to interrupt potential pathways to conflict, alleviate threats before they escalate and arrive on our shores, and help safeguard the economy, health, and security of our Nation for generations to come. –Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Addressing the Collective Challenges of our Time:
Implementing the U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability
Every country, including our own, experiences risks and challenges related to stability and conflict. The international community grapples with issues that cut across borders, societies, ways of life, and economies. As the world has witnessed too often, the effects of conflict and instability are not constrained by borders or technologies. Cooperation and long-term investments in conflict prevention and stabilization are needed now more than ever to build peace across divided communities and boundaries. We must collectively bolster societal resilience to prevent and reduce the heavy human and financial costs of conflicts that undermine global peace, security and sustainable development.
On March 24, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration launched the implementation of the U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability with partner countries across the globe. The Strategy outlines a ten-year, evidence-based, whole-of-government effort to foster peace and long-term stability through integrated U.S. diplomacy, development, and security-sector engagement with dual goals of strengthening national and regional peace, resilience and stability and enhancing the way our government operates in a variety of contexts.
Through collective action and partnership, the United States seeks to advance the vision and goals of the landmark Global Fragility Act through this Strategy in four diverse countries and one sub-region facing a wide variety of challenges to peace and stability. This Strategy advances U.S. national security and interests. The work now underway represents an important milestone, and next step, in the implementation of the Global Fragility Act, which continues to enjoy strong support within the U.S. Congress and among civil society. Through a spirit of partnership, we can and will build on strengths of communities, governments, and nations to rebound from shocks, confront negative global trends and create new paradigms for broader cooperation. The Strategy and Prologue chart a new path toward positive results that strengthen democracy, rule of law, security, good governance, gender equity and equality, health, education, and respect for human rights all aligned to fuel reservoirs of peace, strength and recovery and extinguish potential discord before it is sparked.
The United States will partner with Haiti, Libya, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, and Coastal West Africa (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, and Togo) guided by these principles:
Work collaboratively with government and civic partners on an integrated approach to prevent conflict, promote resilience and stability, and advance economic development;
Look beyond urgent crises and near-term needs to focus on mutually determined strategic goals and interests through whole-of-government ten-year plans;
Utilize development, diplomacy, and security-sector means in a coordinated way to support the pursuit of goals, foster an enabling environment, and solidify progress;
Provide new tools and insights to strengthen democratic institutions, for example in the areas of rule of law, anti-corruption, law enforcement, and fiscal transparency, and to promote human rights and gender equity and equality;
Adapt to and learning from changing conditions, anchor efforts in local communities, and make strategic adjustments based on joint analyses, research, and monitoring and evaluation; and
Take a multifaceted approach to address other current and emerging challenges, such as the climate crisis, global pandemics and declining democratic practices.
The U.S. Congress authorized up to $200 million a year for these efforts and appropriated $125 million in Fiscal Year 2022 for the Prevention and Stabilization Fund, which supplements existing bilateral U.S. assistance to these partner countries. This funding will support the development of ten-year implementation plans and related regional and multilateral activities.
The Biden-Harris Administration will closely monitor progress, milestones, and accomplishments under the Strategy. These efforts will endure across future U.S. Administrations and advance much needed innovative approaches to peace and stability.
This week, President Biden signed into law the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022, bipartisan legislation passed by Congress as part of the Omnibus appropriations package. In remarks at the signing, President Biden reflected on having authored the original VAWA, and during Women’s History Month, when Republican-led states are passing cruel and unconstitutional restrictions on women’s reproductive rights and their rights to self-determination, said:
It really wasn’t so long ago this country didn’t want to talk about violence against women, let alone as being a national epidemic, something the government had to address.
As a society, we literally looked away. We looked away. In many places, it wasn’t a crime. And I don’t recall — I don’t recall how many times I was told in the prelude to writing the legislation that it’s a “family affair.” “You don’t understand, Biden. It’s a family affair.”
When I began, along with others, to pursue this legislation to change this — this issue, we were told that we would literally be responsible for the “disintegration” of American families in the major press. It wasn’t just the wackos; it was in the mainstream press.
And we talked about creating shelters to give survivors a way out because so many don’t have a way out, and their children — by the way, the vast majority of children on the street with their mothers are there because she’s a victim of domestic violence….
This law broke the dam of congressional resistance and cultural resistance. And it brought this hidden epidemic out of the shadows. You know, its introduction — it introduced our nation to so many brave survivors who those stories changed the way America saw the issue. I mean, in the literal sense, it’s hard to believe — even when I go back and think of when — how it started and where it was.
As a practical matter, things began to shift — the legal and social burdens — away from survivors and onto perpetrators and where they belonged. It made addressing general — excuse me — gender violence a shared priority with a determined, coordinated response. It created a hotline, as I said, for millions of women who have used the hotline. And again, I’ll never forget being told the first time — I said, “What did you do?” She said, “I got behind the drapes and I held the phone. And I prayed to God — prayed to God — don’t let him hear this. Pray God. Pray God.”
It supported shelters and rape crisis centers, housing and legal assistance, creating lifesaving options for women and children all across the country. And it helped train police officers, advocates, prosecutors, judges, court personnel to make the entire justice system fair and more responsive to the needs of survivors. ..
Even in 1994, we knew that there was much more we had to do — you know, that it was only the beginning. That’s why, because of all of you in this room, every time we’ve reauthorized this law, it’s been improved. It’s not like we didn’t know we wanted to do these other things in the beginning. It’s we did as much as we could and keep trying to add to it.
Broadening from domestic violence to include stalking and sexual assault in 2000. That was the change made.
Expanding access to services for immigrants and communities of color in 2005. That was a change.
Restoring jurisdiction of Tribal courts — (applause) — over non-Native domestic violence offenders who abuse women in Indian Country. We did that in 2013.
Extending protections to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, in 2013. ..
The law kept growing stronger. It’s not like we didn’t know in 2005 we should be dealing with the things we dealt with in 2013. It was getting it done.
Each link in the chain that we’re building made a difference — makes a difference.
Yesterday, I signed the Bipartisan Government Funding Bill…And, consequentially, we forged the next link in the chain…
So we established a new civil rights — a new civil rights cause of action for those whose intimate images were shared on the public screen. How many times have you heard — I’ll bet everybody knows somebody somewhere along the line that in an intimate relationship, what happened was the guy takes a revealing picture of his naked friend, or whatever, in a compromising position, and then literally, in a sense, blackmails or mortifies that person — sends it out, put it online.
We’re giving survivors real resources against abuse now. Ex-partners and stalkers who seek to humiliate and hurt them.
We’ve created — you created new programs to help end the backlog of the rape kits. And those rape kits, by the way, I don’t know — you ought to go to your major cities, those of you in the House and Senate — this group probably has — which I have done. And this backlog is so significant. You could solve literally a significant portion of —
Look, the only thing I learned that’s worse than — for a woman — worse than a woman who is abused or raped and says, “It’s Charlie who did it,” and no one believes her — him against her. And when — you can take a look. If you take a look at those rape kits and you went through them all, you could identify and arrest probably 40, 50 percent of the rapists in America. They’re all there. Their DNAs are there. It’s all in line. And run it against the whole panoply. Very few rapists rape only once.
So, look, that — you know, there’s a lot that goes unprocessed. And we have to make sure survivors get compensation, and if there have been delays in their cases — you know, we’ve made improvements in the National Criminal Background Check System to help states investigate and prosecute cases when abuses — when abusers who are barred from purchasing firearms attempt to do so. That, we’ve done federally. Quite frankly, this held — that’s one of the things that held up this bill for much too long. Much too long…
Through the American Rescue Plan, the administration directed $1 billion in supplemental funding for domestic violence and sexual assault services — (applause) — because they’re badly needed.
And we’ve worked with local public housing authorities to make sure that survivors trapped in a bad situation can find safe new housing options in public housing. (Applause.) Because they don’t have (inaudible) to go. You.
And we also made landmark reforms in military justice to help end the epidemic of sexual violence and harassment in our armed forces — (applause) — fundamentally changing how the military investigates, prosecutes sexual assault, domestic violence, and other related crimes…
Earlier this month, I signed a bar- — bipartisan bill that ends what we know as forced arbitration. That’s wonderful, isn’t it? (Applause.) No, no, but I mean the small print to sign a contract, and the small print says you can’t do anything if your boss, male or female — if you end up getting abused and if you end up doing something — you know, you can’t — you have to do it internally. No more. (Applause.) No more. Really.
And 80 percent of the people who sign those don’t even know what’s in the — in the contract.
The mechanism has prevented too many survivors of abuse and harassment in the workplace from having the choice to get their day in court.
Look, these are just a few of the steps you’ve all taken and how much you’ve improved this legislation. But as everyone in this room knows, this work is not going to stop. It never stops.
Today, one year since a gunman killed eight people in Atlanta, six of whom were women of Asian descent, these horrific murders are a reminder that we still have work to do to put an end to misogyny and racism and all forms of hate we have.
We’re never going to get it all done, but we can’t ever stop trying. As long as there are women in this country and around the world who live in fear of violence, there’s more we have to do to fulfill this sacred commitment. No one — no one, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, should experience abuse. Period. And if they do, they should have the services and support they need to get through it. And we’re not going to rest.
But in the meantime, all of you should be enormously proud of what you’ve accomplished. This reauthorization is testament to the power of your voices and your tireless dedication to changing things for the better.
Fact Sheet: Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
One of the driving forces of President Biden’s career has been fighting back against abuses of power. That force led him to write and champion the groundbreaking Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) as a U.S. Senator, landmark legislation that first passed in 1994. In the nearly three decades since, he has worked with Members of Congress from both parties to pass legislation to renew and strengthen VAWA three times: in 2000, 2005, and 2013. Each time, he worked to expand access to safety and support for all survivors and increase prevention efforts. Preventing and responding to gender-based violence wherever it occurs, and in all of its forms, has remained a cornerstone of the President’s career in public service—from VAWA reauthorization to a national campaign to combat campus sexual assault to reforms to address sexual assault and harassment in the military.
While incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault have declined significantly since VAWA first took effect—and efforts to increase access to services, healing, and justice for survivors have improved with each iteration of VAWA—much work remains.
The 2022 reauthorization of VAWA strengthens this landmark law, including by:
Reauthorizing all current VAWA grant programs until 2027 and, in many cases, increasing authorization levels.
Expanding special criminal jurisdiction of Tribal courts to cover non-Native perpetrators of sexual assault, child abuse, stalking, sex trafficking, and assaults on tribal law enforcement officers on tribal lands; and supporting the development of a pilot project to enhance access to safety for survivors in Alaska Native villages.
Increasing services and support for survivors from underserved and marginalized communities—including for LGBTQ+ survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking; funding survivor-centered, community-based restorative practice services; and increasing support for culturally specific services and services in rural communities.
Establishing a federal civil cause of action for individuals whose intimate visual images are disclosed without their consent, allowing a victim to recover damages and legal fees; creating a new National Resource Center on Cybercrimes Against Individuals; and supporting State, Tribal, and local government efforts to prevent and prosecute cybercrimes, including cyberstalking and the nonconsensual distribution of intimate images.
Improving prevention and response to sexual violence, including through increased support for the Rape Prevention and Education Program and Sexual Assault Services Program; expansion of prevention education for students in institutions of higher education; and enactment of the Fairness for Rape Kit Backlog Survivors Act, which requires state victim compensation programs to allow sexual assault survivors to file for compensation without being unfairly penalized due to rape kit backlogs.
Strengthening the application of evidence-based practices by law enforcement in responding to gender-based violence, including by promoting the use of trauma-informed, victim-centered training and improving homicide reduction initiatives.
Improving the healthcare system’s response to domestic violence and sexual assault, including through enhanced training for sexual assault forensic examiners.
Updating the SMART Prevention Program and the CHOOSE Youth Program to reduce dating violence, help children who have been exposed to domestic violence, and engage men in preventing violence.
Enacting the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Denial Notification Act to help state law enforcement investigate and prosecute cases against individuals legally prohibited from purchasing firearms who try to do so.
Over the past year, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken significant steps to prevent and respond to gender-based violence at home and abroad:
Increased funding for domestic violence and sexual assault services. Directed $1 billion in supplemental funding for domestic violence and sexual assault services through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) in response to the pandemic, including $49.5 million for culturally-specific community-based organizations that help survivors from historically marginalized communities access the services and support they need. The ARP also provided approximately 70,000 housing choice vouchers to local Public Housing Authorities in order to assist individuals and families, including those who are fleeing, or attempting to flee, from domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking.
Reformed the military justice system to address sexual assault, harassment, and related crimes. Signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, which included sweeping reforms to the military justice system—the most significant since the Uniform Code of Military Justice was established more than seventy years ago—and implemented the President’s campaign promise to address the scourge of sexual assault in our armed forces. In conjunction with the President’s Executive Order on military justice reform, this bipartisan, historic law adopts core recommendations of the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault, as called for by President Biden, and fundamentally shifts how the military prosecutes and investigates sexual assault, domestic violence, sexual harassment, and other serious crimes, and increases prevention initiatives and support for survivors.
Ended forced arbitration for sexual assault and harassment. Signed into law the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021—bipartisan legislation that empowers survivors of sexual assault and harassment by giving them a choice to go to court instead of being forced into arbitration.
Directed action to protect students from campus sexual assault. Directed the Department of Education to review Title IX regulations and other agency actions to ensure that all students have an educational environment that is free from discrimination on the basis of sex. The Department is developing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking currently under review that will address the need for protection for students who experience campus sexual assault while treating all students fairly.
Increased resources for survivors of crime, including gender-based violence. Signed into law the Amendments to the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), which passed Congress with strong bipartisan support and expands the allocation of resources for the Crime Victims Fund. This has already resulted in an increase of hundreds of millions of dollars of non-taxpayer funding for essential and lifesaving services to crime victims around the country, including survivors of gender-based violence.
Led multinational effort to address online harassment and abuse. Launched the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse during the 2022 meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, together with the governments of Denmark, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. This multinational initiative will align countries, international organizations, and civil society to better prioritize, understand, and address the growing scourge of technology-facilitated gender-based violence.
Prioritized the crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous People, including gender-based violence. Issued an executive order directing the Departments of Justice, Interior, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to create a strategy to improve public safety and justice for Native Americans and to address the epidemic of missing or murdered Indigenous peoples, which disproportionately affect Native women, girls, and LGBTQI+ individuals; the Department of the Interior established the Missing and Murdered Unit to pursue justice for missing or murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Strengthened regional leadership on violence against Indigenous women and girls. Re-launched the United States’ leadership and participation in the Trilateral Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls with the Governments of Mexico and Canada. The White House will host the Fourth Convening of the Trilateral Working Group this summer to improve and reaffirm our respective national and regional commitments to prevent and respond to violence against Indigenous women and girls through increased access to justice and prevention services.
On International Women’s Day in 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order creating the White House Gender Policy Council and calling for the development of the first-ever government-wide National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, as well as an update to the 2016 United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally. These strategies will provide a roadmap to guide the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government effort to end gender-based violence—and in so doing, create a society where survivors are supported and all people can live free from abuse.
With the Russian invasion of Ukraine likely to take up a large measure of President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union speech, he is unlikely to have enough time or space to detail his accomplishments and his agenda going forward. Here are more details from the White House about what the President will say about clean energy manufacturing, strengthening the US energy sector, and cutting consumer costs and creating good-paying jobs:
President Biden campaigned on a bold vision of tackling the climate crisis with the urgency that science demands by seizing the opportunity to build a strong domestic energy sector that can manufacture and deploy clean energy for the benefit of all Americans—with lower costs for families, good-paying jobs for workers, and healthier air and cleaner water for communities.
Since Day One, he has delivered. After rejoining the Paris Agreement, restoring scientific integrity, and reinvigorating U.S. leadership on the world stage, President Biden mobilized every federal agency to achieve groundbreaking goals: reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels in 2030, reaching 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035, and delivering 40% of the benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. The President formed the first-ever National Climate Task Force, bringing together Cabinet leaders to drive decisive action toward those goals.
Alongside historic executive actions, President Biden also made climate action and environmental justice a centerpiece of his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—which includes the largest federal investments ever in upgrading the power grid, improving public transit and investing in zero-emission transit and school buses, installing a nationwide EV charging network, cleaning up legacy pollution, delivering clean water and replacing lead pipes, demonstrating innovative climate technologies, and increasing climate resilience to safeguard against extreme weather, which last year caused more than $145 billion in damages from the biggest 20 disasters alone.
CALLING ON CONGRESS TO DELIVER
President Biden knows that we need to move even faster to combat climate change—and that to meet the moment and fully seize the economic opportunity in front of us, Congress must act. In his first State of the Union address, the President will call on Congress to deliver on a legislative agenda for clean energy and climate action that has overwhelming support from the American people—Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.
Specifically, the President will lift up the benefits we can secure for American consumers, companies, and communities by enacting critical investments and tax credits for domestic clean energy manufacturing and deployment. He will also highlight how the investments and tax credits would cut energy costs for American families an average of $500 per year.
As part of the President’s unwavering support for climate solutions, these investments will reduce emissions, lower costs for families, create good-paying jobs for workers, and advance environmental justice.
BOLD ACTIONS TWO MONTHS INTO 2022
As the President works with Congress to deliver on this legislative agenda, he will continue taking decisive and bold action—building on the surge of momentum he has spearheaded to tackle the climate crisis. During just the first two months of 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration:
Announced actions from seven agencies on clean energy deployment, including new investments and partnerships to advance offshore wind; steps to fast-track solar, onshore wind, and geothermal energy on public lands; and the “Building a Better Grid” initiative to build out long-distance transmission lines and unlock clean energy resources.
Launched the Building Performance Standards Coalition with more than 30 state and local governments to reduce emissions, create good-paying union jobs in energy efficiency and electrification, and lower energy bills, with federal assistance for policy design and implementation.
Built on the Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan by announcing an initial $1.15 billion to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells, $725 million to reclaim abandoned mine lands, a new interagency initiative on measurement and monitoring of methane and other greenhouse emissions, enforcement efforts to minimize methane emissions from pipeline systems, and more.
Advanced America’s electric vehicle future, standing with CEOs to announce new manufacturing facilities for electric vehicles, batteries, and chargers and issuing state allocations and guidance for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program.
Convened a roundtable of electric utility CEOs to discuss their support for Congressional investments in clean energy to reduce costs for families, make the power grid more resilient and reliable, and advance American innovation, job creation, and economic competitiveness.
Took major steps to reduce industrial emissions and advance clean manufacturing, including clean hydrogen investments, the first Buy Clean Task Force for federal purchasing of low-carbon construction materials, progress on carbon-based trade policies to reward clean steel and aluminum manufacturing, guidance on responsible deployment of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration technologies, and new initiatives to ensure that industrial innovation benefits American workers and communities.
Released the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool for public feedback, to help agencies deliver benefits to disadvantaged communities and fulfill the President’s Justice40 commitment.
Announced major investments to secure a Made in America supply chain for critical minerals and sustainably source key inputs (including lithium and rare earth elements) for clean energy technologies like batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels. This includes taking action to update outdated mining regulations and laws to ensure that extraction and production adheres to strong environmental, labor, and community and Tribal engagement standards.
ReleasedAmerica’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy Transition,a first-of-its-kind energy sector industrial base strategy, which includes the creation of a new Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains Office at the Department of Energy to strengthen, secure, and modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure and support clean energy manufacturing jobs.
Held a record-shattering offshore wind auction in the New York Bight, with winning bids for six lease areas totaling $4.37 billion, signaling the arrival of a strong American industry that’s here to stay. Innovative lease stipulations will promote projects built with union labor and Made in America materials, and these projects will generate clean electricity to power millions of homes.
HISTORIC YEAR OF PROGRESS This wave of climate action to kick off 2022 builds on historic progress President Biden achieved during his first year in office, when he:
For the first time, set an official target to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050 and cut greenhouse gas pollution by more than half in 2030.
Fast-tracked clean energy, setting national records with hundreds of new solar, wind, and storage projects—which are creating good-paying, union jobs and lowering energy costs.
Jumpstarted an electric transportation future that’s Made in America, uniting automakers and autoworkers to get to 50% electric vehicle sales share in 2030 and spurring investments of over $100 billion in the American EV and battery manufacturing industry.
With the Russian invasion of Ukraine likely to take up a large measure of President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union speech, he is unlikely to have enough time or space to detail his accomplishments and his agenda going forward. Here are more details from the White House about the President’s plan to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure over the next year:
The historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will rebuild crumbling road and bridges, replace lead pipes, help make available reliable, affordable high-speed internet to every family in America, and produce concrete results that change people’s lives for the better. It will also support American manufacturing jobs by making sure taxpayer dollars are spent purchasing American made goods. Rebuilding our infrastructure and supply chains here at home, and making more here in America, means we can create more good jobs, move what we make more efficiently, and ultimately lower prices for the American people. By reaching all communities all across the country – including rural communities and historically underserved populations – these once-in-a-generation investments will position the United States to win the 21st century.
In the first 106 days since President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the White House Infrastructure Implementation Team has hit the ground running to deliver concrete results for the American people. Nearly $100 billion of dedicated funding has been announced and is headed to states, territories, Tribes and local governments, with another nearly $50 billion of notices of funding opportunity released. To date, over 4000 projects have been announced, from airport improvements to port upgrades to superfund cleanup sites. Over 90 percent of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will be spent by non-federal partners, meaning the Biden-Harris administration will be partnering with states, territories, Tribes, local governments and others to deliver the crucial infrastructure projects and the good-paying jobs created by these investments.
In his first State of the Union Address, President Biden will highlight how our historic federal investments in infrastructure will create a visible impact in the lives of American families this year by committing to start repair on 65,000 miles of roads and 1,500 bridges. The President will also commit to rapid progress across every facet of the law.
Roads & Bridges: As a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Department of Transportation announced $52.5 billion for highways and more than $5.3 billion for bridges for fiscal year 2022. Over the next year, states, territories, Tribes and local governments will start to improve 65,000 miles of roads and 1,500 bridges with federal funding, representing at 44% and 50% increase respectively from average annual improvement levels over the past six years.
Airports: In December, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at USDOT announced $3 billion for 3,075 airports across the country that can use investments to upgrade critical infrastructure. Over the next year, FAA will be able to invest in over 600 airport infrastructure projects, including preserving 400 pavement projects on taxiways and runways.
Transit: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes the largest Federal investment in public transit in history. Over the next year, communities will be investing in an estimated 15,000 new buses, ferries and subway cars, improving commutes for working Americans, families, and students across the country and reducing greenhouse emissions.
Rail: The Federal Railroad Administration and Amtrak are transforming the nation’s transportation system. In the next year, Amtrak is investing Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding in 75 new, Made-in-America locomotives, at least 73 Made-in-America Intercity Trainsets, and major improvements to facilities in the Northeast Corridor.
Ports, Waterways, and Flood Mitigation: With $14 billion in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other appropriations, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will advance over 500 projects across 52 states and territories to strengthen supply chains, improve waterways, and reduce flooding. Additional projects will be funded by the Port Infrastructure Development Program.
Broadband Access & Deployment: In the next year, the Department of Commerce will issue final guidance and notices of funding opportunity for the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program and the Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program, which together will distribute more than $43 billion in broadband funding. The Department of Agriculture will issue a new funding opportunity notice for the ReConnect program which will provide nearly $2 billion in funding for rural broadband deployment.
Broadband Affordability: Over the next year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will build on the more than 10 million lower-income households already receiving subsidized internet service through the Affordable Connectivity Program. The FCC will also adopt rules requiring broadband providers to display easy-to-understand labels to allow consumers to more effectively comparison shop for broadband services.
CLIMATE, CLEAN ENERGY, AND ENVIRONMENT
Clean Water: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $7.4 billion for Fiscal Year 2022 in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will be available to states to upgrade America’s aging water infrastructure, sewerage systems, lead pipes and service lines, and more through their State Revolving Fund programs. By this time next year, using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding alone, EPA will have worked with state and local governments to fund more than 400 new water projects from replacing lead service lines to improving drinking water systems.
Abandoned Mine Lands: The Department of the Interior (DOI) announced nearly $725 million in Fiscal Year 2022 funding for 22 states and the Navajo Nation to create good-paying union jobs and catalyze economic opportunity by reclaiming abandoned mine lands. Over the next year, DOI expects states, Tribes, and other partners to reclaim over 15,000 acres of abandoned mine lands, as well as launch new reclamation efforts that will ultimately address tens of thousands of additional acres across the country using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds. This investment delivers on President Biden’s historic commitment to investing in the revitalization of the energy communities that have powered our country for generations.
Orphan Wells: The first $1.15 billion in funding is now available to 26 states to create good-paying jobs cleaning up orphaned oil and gas wells across the country. Over the next year, we expect the DOI’s new Orphan Well Program will start work plugging, capping, and remediating over 8,000 abandoned oil & gas well sites in communities across the country.
Superfund: EPA announced $1 billion to initiate cleanup and clear the backlog of 49 previously unfunded Superfund sites and accelerate cleanup at dozens of other sites across the country, with work expected at more than 80 Superfund cleanup projects in the next year.
Great Lakes Restoration: EPA announced $1 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, including $200 million in Fiscal Year 2022, to accelerate progress in the clean-up and restoration of the Great Lakes’ most environmentally degraded sites, securing clean water and a better environment for millions of Americans in the Great Lakes region. In the next year, EPA will work across more than 20 sites across the Great Lakes basin targeting open areas of concern.
Wildfire Resilience: In the next year, the DOI will increase its work to reduce the risk of wildfires to communities by more than 30 percent– removing over 300,000 acres of burnable fuels in the places where communities and wildlands meet – as well as the start of work to reduce wildfire risk on an additional 250,000 acres across the country. With BIL funding and existing appropriations, the US Forest Service at the Department of Agriculture also expects to execute hazardous fuels reduction work on more than 4 million acres over the next year, including reforesting up to 400,000 acres to create new carbon sinks on previously burned lands.
Critical Mineral Refinery: The Department of Energy (DOE) released a Request for Information for the construction and operation of a first-of-its kind $140 million demonstration facility to extract and separate rare earth elements and other critical minerals from coal ash, mine tailings, acid drainage, and other legacy fossil fuel waste to sustainably produce materials key to next-generation clean energy technologies. This facility will support good-paying manufacturing jobs and help secure a sustainable domestic supply chain to fight the climate crisis.
Battery Manufacturing: This Spring, DOE will make available nearly $3 billion to bolster domestic manufacturing of advanced batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage. This includes refining and production of battery materials, manufacturing of battery cells and packs, and end-of-life recycling to create good-paying manufacturing jobs and support growing demand for electric vehicles and energy storage to meet the Administration’s ambitious net-zero climate goals.
Today, in response to Vladimir Putin increasing hostilities against Ukraine, deploying Russian forces into Ukraine and giving a speech in which the Russian President dismissed Ukraine’s right to exist as a free and sovereign nation, President Joe Biden issued a tranche of new sanctions.
“Who in the Lord’s name does Putin think gives him the right to declare new so-called countries on territory that belonged to his neighbors? This is a flagrant violation of international law, and it demands a firm response from the international community…. He directly attacked Ukraine’s right to exist. He indirectly threatened territory formerly held by Russia, including nations that today are thriving democracies and members of NATO. He explicitly threatened war unless his extreme demands were met. And there is no question that Russia is the aggressor. So we’re clear-eyed about the challenges we’re facing.“
Here is a transcript of his remarks:
Yesterday, Vladimir Putin recognized two regions of Ukraine as independent states and he bizarrely asserted that these regions are no longer part of Ukraine and their sovereign territory. To put it simply, Russia just announced that it is carving out a big chunk of Ukraine.
Last night, Putin authorized Russian forces to deploy into the region — these regions. Today, he asserted that these regions are — actually extend deeper than the two areas he recognized, claiming large areas currently under the jurisdiction of the Ukraine government.
He’s setting up a rationale to take more territory by force, in my view. And if we listen to his speech last night — and many of you did, I know — he’s — he’s setting up a rationale to go much further.
This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, as he indicated and asked permission to be able to do from his Duma.
I’m going to begin to impose sanctions in response, far beyond the steps we and our Allies and partners implemented in 2014. And if Russia goes further with this invasion, we stand prepared to go further as — with sanction.
Who in the Lord’s name does Putin think gives him the right to declare new so-called countries on territory that belonged to his neighbors? This is a flagrant violation of international law, and it demands a firm response from the international community.
Over the last few months, we have coordinated closely with our NATO Allies and partners in Europe and around the world to prepare that response. We’ve said all along and I’ve told Putin to his face more than a month ago that we would act together and the moment Russia moved against Ukraine.
Russia has now undeniably moved against Ukraine by declaring these independent states.
So, today, I’m announcing the first tranche of sanctions to impose costs on Russia in response to their actions yesterday. These have been closely coordinated with our Allies and partners, and we’ll continue to escalate sanctions if Russia escalates.
We’re implementing full blocking sanctions on two large Russian financial institutions: V.E.B. and their military bank.
We’re implementing comprehensive sanctions on Russian sovereign debt. That means we’ve cut off Russia’s government from Western financing. It can no longer raise money from the West and cannot trade in its new debt on our markets or European markets either.
Starting tomorrow [today] and continuing in the days ahead, we will also impose sanctions on Russia’s elites and their family members. They share in the corrupt gains of the Kremlin policies and should share in the pain as well.
And because of Russia’s actions, we’ve worked with Germany to ensure Nord Stream 2 will not — as I promised — will not move forward.
As Russia contemplates its next move, we have our next move prepared as well. Russia will pay an even steeper price if it continues its aggression, including additional sanctions.
The United States will continue to provide defensive assistance to Ukraine in the meantime. And we’ll continue to reinforce and reassure our NATO Allies.
Today, in response to Russia’s admission that it will not withdraw its forces from Belarus, I have authorized additional movements of U.S. forces and equipment already stationed in Europe to strengthen our Baltic Allies — Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Let me be clear: These are totally defensive moves on our part. We have no intention of fighting Russia. We want to send an unmistakable message, though, that the United States, together with our Allies, will defend every inch of NATO territory and abide by the commitments we made to NATO.
We still believe that Russia is poised to go much further in launching a massive military attack against Ukraine. I hope I’m wrong about that — hope we’re wrong about that. But Russia has only escalated its threat against the rest of Ukrainian territory, including major cities and including the capital city of Kyiv.
There are still well over 150,000 Russian troops surrounding Ukraine. And as I said, Russian forces remain positioned in Belarus to attack Ukraine from the north, including war planes and offensive missile systems.
Russia has moved troops closer to Ukraine’s border with Russia. Russia’s naval vessels are maneuvering in the Black Sea to Ukraine’s south, including amphibious assault ships, missile cruisers, and submarines.
Russia has moved supplies of blood and medical equipment into position on their border. You don’t need blood unless you plan on starting a war.
And over the last few days, we’ve seen much of the playbook that Secretary Blinken laid out last week at the United Nations Security Council come to pass: a major increase in military provocations and false-flag events along the line of contact in the Donbas; dramatically staged, conveniently on-camera meeting of Putin’s Security Council to grandstand for the Russian public; and now political provocation of recognizing sovereign Ukrainian territory as so-called independent republics in clear violation, again, of international law.
President Putin has sought authorization from the Russian parliament to use military force outside of Russian territory. And this set the stage for further pretexts and further provocations by Russia to try to justify further military action.
None of us — none of us should be fooled. None of us will be fooled. There is no justification.
Further Russian assault into Ukraine remains a severe threat in the days ahead. And if Russia proceeds, it is Russia, and Russia alone, that bears the responsibility.
As we respond, my administration is using every tool at our disposal to protect American businesses and consumers from rising prices at the pump. As I said last week, defending freedom will have costs for us as well, here at home. We need to be honest about that.
But as we do this, I’m going to take robust action and make sure the pain of our sanctions is targeted at the Russian economy, not ours.
We are closely monitoring energy supplies for any disruption. We’re executing a plan in coordination with major oil-producing consumers and producers toward a collective investment to secure stability and global energy supplies.
This will be — this will blunt gas prices. I want to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump. This is critical to me.
In the last few days, I have been in constant contact with European leaders, including with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. Vice President Harris met in person with leaders in Germany over the weekend at the Munich Conference, including President Zelenskyy.
At every step, we have shown that the United States and our Allies and partners are working in unison — which he hasn’t been counting on — Mr. Putin. We’re united in our support of Ukraine. We’re united in our opposition to Russian aggression. And we’re united in our resolve to defend our NATO Alliance. And we’re united in our understanding of the urgency and seriousness of the threat Russia is making to global peace and stability.
Yesterday, the world heard clearly the full extent of Vladimir Putin’s twisted rewrite of history, going back more than a century, as he waxed eloquently, noting that — well, I’m not going to go into it, but nothing in Putin’s lengthy remarks indicated any interest in pursuing real dialogue on European security in the year 2022.
He directly attacked Ukraine’s right to exist. He indirectly threatened territory formerly held by Russia, including nations that today are thriving democracies and members of NATO. He explicitly threatened war unless his extreme demands were met.
And there is no question that Russia is the aggressor. So we’re clear-eyed about the challenges we’re facing.
Nonetheless, there is still time to avert the worst-case scenario that will bring untold suffering to millions of people if they move as suggested.
The United States and our Allies and partners remain open to diplomacy if it is serious. When all is said and done, we’re going to judge Russia by its actions, not its words.
And whatever Russia does next, we’re ready to respond with unity, clarity, and conviction.
We’ll probably have more to say about this as we — if it moves on. I’m hoping diplomacy is still available.
FACT SHEET: United States Imposes First Tranche of Swift and Severe Costs on Russia
U.S. joined by Allies and partners to hold Putin accountable; Will impose additional costs if Russia goes further with this invasion
Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin of Russia recognized two regions of Ukraine as independent states and today claimed that recognition to include all of the Donbas region. The Russian Parliament also authorized the deployment of additional Russian forces into this Ukrainian territory.
As President Biden and our Allies and partners have made clear, we will impose significant costs on Russia for Russia’s actions. Today, the Administration is implementing the first tranche of sanctions that go far beyond 2014, in coordination with allies and partners in the European Union, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and Australia. And as President Biden promised, we worked with Germany to ensure the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will not move forward.
The President has directed the following measures:
Full blocking sanctions on two significant Russian financial institutions. The Secretary of the Treasury will impose full blocking sanctions on two large state-owned Russian financial institutions that provide key services crucial to financing the Kremlin and the Russian military: Vnesheconombank and Promsvyazbank and their subsidiaries. Collectively, these institutions hold more than $80 billion in assets and finance the Russian defense sector and economic development. These measures will freeze their assets in the United States, prohibit U.S. individuals and businesses from doing any transactions with them, shut them out of the global financial system, and foreclose access to the U.S. dollar.
Expanded sovereign debt prohibitions restricting U.S. individuals and firms from participation in secondary markets for new debt issued by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. These prohibitions will cut off the Russian government from a key avenue by which it raises capital to fund its priorities and will increase future financing costs. It denies Russia access to key U.S. markets and investors.
Full blocking sanctions on five Russian elites and their family members: Aleksandr Bortnikov (and his son, Denis), Sergei Kiriyenko (and his son, Vladimir), and Promsvyazbank CEO Petr Fradkov. These individuals and their relatives directly benefit from their connections with the Kremlin. Other Russian elites and their family members are on notice that additional actions could be taken against them.
Today,the Secretary of the Treasury will determine that any institution in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy is a target for further sanctions. Over 80% of Russia’s daily foreign exchange transactions globally are in U.S. dollars and roughly half of Russia’s international trade is conducted in dollars. With this action, no Russian financial institution is safe from our measures, including the largest banks.
These actions come in addition to steps being taken by our Allies and partners and represent our first response to Russia’s actions. As President Biden made clear, Russia will pay an even steeper price if it continues its aggression
I feel so much more secure with President Joe Biden managing the Russia crisis – it’s threat to invade Ukraine. Russia is threatening the worst violence in Europe since World War II, and this bit of brinksmanship is the worst since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Biden is using just the right measure of carrots and sticks and showing extraordinary leadership in keeping the allies together, on the same page. Putin miscalculated Biden, incorrectly assessing the Afghanistan exit as weakness and lack of resolve instead of fortitude and competence (the largest air lift in that short amount of time remarkably). In his speech, Biden spoke directly to Americans and the allies in stating the importance in defending democracy and Ukraine’s self-determination and sovereignty against Russian imperialistic, autocratic aggression, recognizing that just like Chamberlain and Hitler, appeasement (as after Russia invaded Georgia and then took Crimea), would not stop with Ukraine.
Biden spoke directly to the Russian people, too, noting that they are not the enemy, but Putin acting out of ego and selfish obsession with power, putting their lives and economy at risk. He was firm and clear about what Russia would face if Putin stepped a foot into Ukraine territory – releasing declassified intel to take away Putin’s ability to mount a false-flag operation or cyberattack. And he spoke to Americans as well, to prepare us for the fall-out – such as higher energy prices. Preserving democracy has a cost, he said, while giving assurances his administration was doing what it could to mitigate the bad impacts. And he has been on top of the planning – with table-top exercises to react to whatever happens.
He was firm that while he is interested in a diplomatic, rather than military, solution, he has no interest in appeasement.
Imagine if Trump were in the Oval Office – he’d shut down NATO, shut down United Nations and give his puppetmaster a green light (What did Trump react to, today? His accounting firm, Mazar’s, firing the Trump Organization as a client, saying they couldn’t vouch for the reliability of its tax returns from 2011-2020.)
Here’s a highlighted transcript of Biden’s speech—Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. Today, I’d like to provide an update on the crisis involving Russia and Ukraine.
From the beginning of this crisis, I have been absolutely clear and consistent: The United States is prepared no matter what happens.
We are ready with diplomacy — to be engaged in diplomacy with Russia and our Allies and partners to improve stability and security in Europe as a whole.
And we are ready to respond decisively to a Russian attack on Ukraine, which is still very much a possibility.
Through all of the events of the last few weeks and months, this has been our approach. And it remains our approach now.
So, today I want to speak to the American people about the situation on the ground, the steps we’ve taken, the actions we’re prepared to take, and what’s at stake for us and the world, and how this may impact on us here at home.
For weeks now, together with our Allies and partners, my administration has engaged in non-stop diplomacy.
This weekend I spoke again with President Putin to make clear that we are ready to keep pursuing high-level diplomacy to reach written understandings among Russia, the United States, and the nations of Europe to address legitimate security concerns if that’s what — his wish. Their security concerns and ours.
President Putin and I agreed that our teams should continue to engage toward this end along with our European Allies and partners.
Yesterday, the Russian government publicly proposed to continue the diplomacy. I agree. We should give the diplomacy every chance to succeed. I believe there are real ways to address our respective security concerns.
The United States has put on the table concrete ideas to establish a security environment in Europe.
We’re proposing new arms control measures, new transparency measures, new strategic stability measures. These measures would apply to all parties — NATO and Russia alike.
And we’re willing to make practical, results-oriented steps that can advance our common security. We will not sacrifice basic principles, though.
Nations have a right to sovereignty and territorial integrity. They have the freedom to set their own course and choose with whom they will associate.
But that still leaves plenty of room for diplomacy and for de-escalation. That’s the best way forward for all parties, in our view. And we’ll continue our diplomatic efforts in close consultation with our Allies and our partners.
As long as there is hope of a diplomatic resolution that prevents the use of force and avoids the incredible human suffering that would follow, we will pursue it.
The Russian Defense Ministry reported today that some military units are leaving their positions near Ukraine.
That would be good, but we have not yet verified that. We have not yet verified that Russian military units are returning to their home bases. Indeed, our analysts indicate that they remain very much in a threatening position. And the fact remains: Right now, Russia has more than 150,000 troops encircling Ukraine in Belarus and along Ukraine’s border.
An invasion remains distinctly possible. That’s why I’ve asked several times that all Americans in Ukraine leave now before it’s too late to leave safely. It is why we have temporarily relocated our embassy from Kyiv to Lviv in western Ukraine, approaching the Polish border.
And we’ve been transparent with the American people and with the world about Russia’s plans and the seriousness of the situation so that everyone can see for themselves what is happening. We have shared what we know and what we are doing about it.
Let me be equally clear about what we are not doing:
The United States and NATO are not a threat to Russia. Ukraine is not threatening Russia.
Neither the U.S. nor NATO have missiles in Ukraine. We do not — do not have plans to put them there as well.
We’re not targeting the people of Russia. We do not seek to destabilize Russia.
To the citizens of Russia: You are not our enemy. And I do not believe you want a bloody, destructive war against Ukraine — a country and a people with whom you share such deep ties of family, history, and culture.
Seventy-seven years ago, our people fought and sacrificed side by side to end the worst war in history.
World War Two was a war of necessity. But if Russia attacks Ukraine, it would be a war of choice, or a war without cause or reason.
I say these things not to provoke but to speak the truth — because the truth matters; accountability matters.
If Russia does invade in the days or weeks ahead, the human cost for Ukraine will be immense, and the strategic cost for Russia will also be immense.
If Russia attacks Ukraine, it’ll be met with overwhelming international condemnation. The world will not forget that Russia chose needless death and destruction.
Invading Ukraine will prove to be a self-inflicted wound.
The United States and our Allies and partners will respond decisively. The West is united and galvanized.
Today, our NATO Allies and the Alliance is as unified and determined as it has ever been. And the source of our unbreakable strength continues to be the power, resilience, and universal appeal of our shared democratic values.
Because this is about more than just Russia and Ukraine. It’s about standing for what we believe in, for the future we want for our world, for liberty — for liberty, the right of countless countries to choose their own destiny, and the right of people to determine their own futures, for the principle that a country can’t change its neighbor’s borders by force. That’s our vision. And toward that end, I’m confident that vision, that freedom will prevail.
If Russia proceeds, we will rally the world to oppose its aggression.
The United States and our Allies and partners around the world are ready to impose powerful sanctions on [and] export controls, including actions we did not pursue when Russia invaded Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014. We will put intense pressure on their largest and most significant financial institutions and key industries. These measures are ready to go as soon and if Russia moves. We’ll impose long-term consequences that will undermine Russia’s ability to compete economically and strategically.
And when it comes to Nord Stream 2, the pipeline that would bring natural gas from Russia to Germany, if Russia further invades Ukraine, it will not happen.
While I will not send American servicemen to fight Russia in Ukraine, we have supplied the Ukrainian military with equipment to help them defend themselves. We have provided training and advice and intelligence for the same purpose.
And make no mistake: The United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power. An attack against one NATO country is an attack against all of us. And the United States commitment to Article 5 is sacrosanct.
Already, in response to Russia’s build-up of troops, I have sent additional U.S. forces to bolster NATO’s eastern flank.
Several of our Allies have also announced they’ll add forces and capabilities to ensure deterrence and defense along NATO’s eastern flank.
We will also continue to conduct military exercises with our Allies and partners to enhance defensive readiness.
And if Russia invades, we will take further steps to reinforce our presence in NATO, reassure for our Allies, and deter further aggression.
This is a cause that unites Republicans and Democrats. And I want to thank the leaders and members of Congress of both parties who have forcefully spoken out in defense of our most basic, most bipartisan, most American principles.
I will not pretend this will be painless. There could be impact on our energy prices, so we are taking active steps to alleviate the pressure on our own energy markets and offset rising prices.
We’re coordinating with major energy consumers and producers. We’re prepared to deploy all the tools and authority at our disposal to provide relief at the gas pump.
And I will work with Congress on additional measures to help protect consumers and address the impact of prices at the pump.
We are not seeking direct confrontation with Russia, though I have been clear that if Russia targets Americans in Ukraine, we will respond forcefully.
And if Russia attacks the United States or our Allies through asymmetric means, like disruptive cyberattacks against our companies or critical infrastructure, we are prepared to respond.
We’re moving in lockstep with our NATO Allies and partners to deepen our collective defense against threats in cyberspace. Two paths are still open. For the sake of the historic responsibility Russia and the United States share for global stability, for the sake of our common future — to choose diplomacy.
But let there be no doubt: If Russia commits this breach by invading Ukraine, responsible nations around the world will not hesitate to respond.
If we do not stand for freedom where it is at risk today, we’ll surely pay a steeper price tomorrow.
On the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris issued a statement asserting their commitment to protecting women’s reproductive freedom:
The constitutional right established in Roe v. Wade nearly 50 years ago today is under assault as never before. It is a right we believe should be codified into law, and we pledge to defend it with every tool we possess. We are deeply committed to protecting access to health care, including reproductive health care—and to ensuring that this country is not pushed backwards on women’s equality.
In recent years, we have seen efforts to restrict access to reproductive health care increase at an alarming rate. In Texas, Mississippi, and many other states around the country, access to reproductive health care is under attack. These state restrictions constrain the freedom of all women. And they are particularly devastating for those who have fewer options and fewer resources, such as those in underserved communities, including communities of color and many in rural areas.
The Biden-Harris Administration strongly supports efforts to codify Roe, and we will continue to work with Congress on the Women’s Health Protection Act. All people deserve access to reproductive health care regardless of their gender, income, race, zip code, health insurance status, immigration status, disability, or sexual orientation. And the continued defense of this constitutional right is essential to our health, safety, and progress as a nation.
We must ensure that our daughters and granddaughters have the same fundamental rights that their mothers and grandmothers fought for and won on this day, 49 years ago—including leaders like the late Sarah Weddington, whose successful arguments before the Supreme Court led to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
At this pivotal moment, we recommit to strengthening access to critical reproductive health care, defending the constitutional right established by Roe, and protecting the freedom of all people to build their own future.
The Vice President recorded a video message reiterating our administration’s commitment to protecting constitutional rights. “Roe v. Wade advanced women’s equality and that case saved women’s lives,” Harris says in the video. Read the Full Exclusive Here
HHS Secretary Becerra Takes Action to Protect Reproductive Health Care
New Task Force Launched on Eve of Roe v. Wade Anniversary
The task force includes subject matter experts from across the department. The HHS Assistant Secretary for Health and the HHS Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs will serve as the co-chairs of this coordinating body. The task force’s primary goal is to facilitate collaborative, innovative, transparent, equitable, and action-oriented approaches to protect and bolster sexual and reproductive health.
“As we commemorate the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we recommit to protecting and strengthening access to reproductive health care, including the right to safe and legal abortion care that the Supreme Court has recognized for decades,” said Secretary Becerra. “Patients have the right to make decisions about their own bodies. In light of restrictive laws across the nation, HHS will evaluate the impact on patients and our communities. That’s why today, I have launched the first Intra-agency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access. Once again, we are telling health care providers and patients, we have your back.”
“Across America, we must protect access to sexual and reproductive health,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine, MD. “Establishing a new task force dedicated to this critical public health topic will advance policies that improve reproductive health care access within Federal programs and services, eliminate health disparities, and expand access to culturally competent health care services for underserved communities, including people of color, people with disabilities, young people, LGBTQI+ people, and others.”
“Advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights is central to our core global health goals, including our focus on addressing health inequities and expanding access to universal health coverage,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs Loyce Pace. “In order to build back better in the U.S. and around the world, we must ensure that all people can access high quality health care, including sexual and reproductive health care services.”
HHS has taken several meaningful actions under the Biden-Harris Administration to protect and bolster reproductive health, rights, and justice, including:
The Department issued a new final rule for Title X, the nation’s family planning program, to ensure access to equitable, affordable, client-centered, quality family planning services.
The Department announced $6.6 million through the Title X family planning program to address the demand for family planning services where restrictive laws and policies have impacted reproductive health access, or in states where there is a lack of or limited Title X access.
The Department has advanced maternal health priorities, including expanding access to postpartum Medicaid coverage, rural health care services, and implicit bias training.
The Department has issued guidance on both nondiscrimination requirements of the Church Amendments protecting health care providers through its Office for Civil Rights and providers’ legal obligations and protections under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide medical treatment to a pregnant patient who presents to the emergency department regardless of conflicting state laws or mandates that might seek to prevent such treatment.