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President Joe Biden on Wednesday held the first White House press briefing of his presidency.

Certain reporters asked ‘soft’ questions, including ones about the administration’s plans for taking on China, immigration reform, and gun control.

In order of appearance, here is every question Biden was asked Wednesday by a pool of pre-selected White House reporters:

  1. Zeke Miller of the Associated Press:

“One of the defining challenges you face in the coming months is how to deliver on your promise to Americans on issues like immigration reform, gun control, voting rights, climate change. All of those right now are facing stiff, united opposition from Republicans on Capitol Hill. How far are you willing to go to achieve those promises you made to the American people?”

“Can your presidency be a success if you can’t make progress on those four challenges: climate change, immigration reform, gun control, voting rights?”

  1. Yamiche Alcindor of PBS NewsHour:

“You’ve said over and over again that immigrants shouldn’t come to this country right now, [that] this isn’t the time to come. That message is not being received. Instead, the perception of you that got you elected as a moral, decent man is the reason why a lot of immigrants are coming to this country and trusting you with unaccompanied minors. How do you resolve that tension, and how are you choosing which families can stay and which can go given the fact that even though, with Title 42, there are some families that are staying and is there a timeline for when you won’t be seeing these overcrowded facilities run by [Customs and Border Protection] when it comes to unaccompanied minors?”

“If you could talk a little bit about which families, why they’re being allowed to stay, what the families that are being allowed to stay, why they’re being allowed to stay. In addition to that, when it comes to the filibuster, which is what Zeke was asking about, there’s — immigration is a big issue, of course, when it relates to the filibuster, but there’s also Republicans who are passing bill after bill trying to restrict voting rights. [Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer] is calling it an existential threat to democracy. Why not back a filibuster rule that at least gets around issues including voting rights or immigration? [Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina], someone who, of course, you know very well, has backed the idea of a filibuster rule when it comes to civil rights and voting rights.”

  1. Seung Min Kim of the Washington Post:

“Do you believe it should take 60 votes to end a filibuster on legislation or 51?”

  1. Celia Vega of ABC News:

“You blame the last administration [on immigration reform], but is your messaging in saying these children are and will be allowed to stay in this country and work their way through this process encouraging families … to come?”

“Do you want to see these unaccompanied minors staying in this country, or should they be deported eventually?”

“The Customs and Border Protection in Donna, Texas — I was there — is at 1556% capacity right now with mostly unaccompanied minors. There are kids that are sleeping on floors. They’re packed into these pods. I’ve spoken to lawyers who say some of these children have not seen the sun in days. What is your reaction to these images that have come out of that particular facility? Is what’s happening inside acceptable to you? And when is this going to be fixed?”

  1. Ken Thomas of the Wall Street Journal:

“Can you commit to the American people that, by May 2, the U.S. will no longer have forces in Afghanistan?”

“Do you believe, though, it’s possible we could have troops there next year?”

  1. Kristen Welker of NBC News:

“Given the conditions that were just laid out at the migrant facilities at the U.S. border, will you commit to allowing journalists to have access to the facilities that are overcrowded moving forward?”

“How soon will journalists be able to have access to the facilities? We’ve, obviously, been allowed to be inside one, but we haven’t seen the facilities in which children are packed together to really give the American people a chance to see that. Will you commit to transparency on this issue?”

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“How soon will that be, Mr. President?”

“Did you move too quickly to roll back some of the [immigration] executive orders of your predecessor?”

“Overnight, we learned that North Korea tested two ballistic missiles. What, if any, actions will you take and what is your red line on North Korea?”

“Diplomacy. Can you define what you mean? And former President Obama warned the incoming President Trump that North Korea was the top foreign policy issue that he was watching. Is that how you assess the crisis in North Korea?”

  1. Nancy Cordes of CBS News:

“Republican legislators across the country are working to pass bills that would restrict voting, particularly, Democrats fear, impacting minority voters and young voters, the very people who helped to get you elected in November. Are you worried that if you don’t manage to pass voting rights legislation that your party is going to lose seats and possibly lose control of the House and the Senate in 2022?”

“Is there anything else you can do about it besides passing legislation?”

“On a related note, have you decided whether you are going to run for reelection in 2024? You haven’t set up a reelection campaign yet as your predecessor had by this time.”

“Your old friend, [Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell], says you have only spoken to each other once since you took office and that you have moved far-left since taking office. Do you see it the same way he does? Have you rejected bipartisanship?”

  1. Kaitlan Collins of CNN:

“Regarding the filibuster, at John Lewis’s funeral, President Barack Obama said he believed the filibuster was a relic of the Jim Crow era. Do you agree?”

“Why not abolish it if it’s a relic of the Jim Crow era?”

“It sounds like you’re moving closer to eliminating the filibuster. Is that correct?”

“You just made some news by saying you are going to run for reelection … so, is that a yes? That you are running for reelection?”

  1. Justin Sink of Bloomberg News:

“Are you more likely than you were when you came into office to maintain tariffs on China? Are you considering banning imports of forced-labor products? Would you consider cutting off U.S. investment or Chinese access to international payments systems?”

“Just to follow-up on the meeting of democracies, is that where you expect in a multilateral way to make these decisions about sanctions or — ”

“I know you have another chance to address the [mass shootings] in Georgia and Colorado. You had said to stay tuned for actions that you might take on gun control. I’m wondering if you’ve made a decision either about sending the manufacturing liability that you had promised on day one to Capitol Hill or executive actions, like going after ghost guns or giving money to cities and states to battle gun control.”

  1. Janet Rodriguez of Univision:

“When can we can expect your promise of things getting better [on the border] with contacting and expediting the process — ”

“Treating the root causes in Latin America doesn’t change things overnight. How do you realistically and physically keep these families from coming to the U.S. when things will not get better in their countries right away?”

“Have you had any talks with Senate Republicans who are threatening this administration with not considering the immigration legislation that was passed in the House until the situation at the border has been resolved?”
The president offered a brief response before concluding abruptly, “But folks, I’m going.”

He then made a beeline for the exit, ignoring, all the while, the questions shouted at him.

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VIDEO: Biden administration faces lawsuit from Texas, Missouri

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Texas AG Ken Paxton tells newsmen that he believes the states will win in court and discusses the debate over reforming the Supreme Court.

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Border Crisis

Sen. Blackburn asks Biden admin why U.S. spending $284K per migrant family to keep them in hotels

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“The cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” the Tennessee senator says.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn has done the math.

The Tennessee Republican’s interest was piqued after the Biden administration announced its intention to spend nearly $87 million to house 1,200 foreigners who illegally cross the border in hotel rooms in the U.S.

“As the current contract stands, the cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” Blackburn wrote in a letter Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Tae Johnson. “For a family of four, that amounts to a shocking $284,000 – enough to buy a small house.”

Earlier this month, the administration awarded ICE an $86.9 million contract through Texas-based nonprofit Endeavors, which will provide hotel rooms near the border for temporary shelter. But Blackburn also questions how the group spends its money.

She said Endeavors in 2018 collected more than $38 million in contributions and grants but noted that “IRS filings show that nearly $22 million or almost half of those contributions went to salaries.”

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“This raises questions if half of the $86.9 million in ICE contract proceeds will likewise be allocated toward employee and executive compensation instead of migrant services or housing,” Blackburn wrote in her letter.

She also expressed concerns that Endeavors’ CEO Jon Allman has not provided “specific details about the contract.”

“It is unclear whether this nonprofit has ever previously managed a contract of this magnitude, housed a migrant population of this size or served vulnerable children without putting them at further risk,” Blackburn wrote. “DHS and ICE must provide commitments to assure Congress and the American public that Endeavors is up for the task of securely and efficiently housing illegal immigrants without resulting in waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars, or worse, harming vulnerable migrant children.”

Blackburn asked for answers by April 15.

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Border Crisis

Joe Biden: ‘I Don’t Care’ if Donald Trump Visits the Border

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President Joe Biden dismissed the news that former President Donald Trump is considering a visit to the southern border.

A reporter questioned Biden about the border crisis, and reports about Trump’s possible visit, as he returned to Washington from a weekend at his home in Delaware.

“We are putting in place a plan that I feel very confident about,” Biden replied. “And I don’t care what the other guy does.”

Biden did not answer a question about when he would make his own trip to visit the border.

Former President Trump confirmed he is interested in visiting the border to highlight Biden’s border crisis in the “next couple of weeks,” during an interview Saturday on Fox News.

“Thousands and thousands of people are coming up right now as we speak,” Trump said. “And you’re going to have millions of people pouring into our country. And it’s going to destroy our country.”

Biden continues struggling to manage the border crisis, despite publicly delegating Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday to lead the administration’s efforts to secure the border.

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But on Friday, Harris’s team clarified that the vice president “was not doing the border” but only leading the “diplomatic efforts” with Latin American countries to address the root causes of migration.

Both Biden and Harris refuse to commit to visiting the border, despite record numbers of unattended child migrants crossing into the U.S. and overwhelming Border Patrol detention facilities.

Despite the Biden administration repeatedly telling migrants the border is closed, the president makes it clear that unattended migrant children are not getting sent back.

“The only people we’re not going to let sitting there on the other side of the Rio Grande by themselves with no help are children,” Biden said during his press conference on Sunday.

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