Related video: Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says he hasn’t spoken with Biden since inauguration
Joe Biden will give his first press conference as president on Thursday, 64 days into his reign, with questions on immigration, the coronavirus vaccine rollout, infrastructure and gun control likely to be forthcoming.
His vice president, Kamala Harris, is meanwhile already facing criticism from Republicans Ted Cruz and Doug Ducey, Arizona’s governor, after being appointed to lead the country’s response to the latest surge in asylum seekers arriving at the US border with Mexico as the administration struggles to find temporary housing for hundreds of unaccompanied children.
The White House is also reportedly mulling new executive orders to reform firearm ownership laws in the wake of two deadly mass shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, and Boulder, Colorado, within the last week. Mr Biden is “not waiting for anything to fail” in Congress, his press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday.
Kayleigh McEnany claims Biden ‘in hiding’ from the media
Another Trumpista with a conveniently short memory is the ex-president’s former press secretary, now a pundit at Fox News, who was accused of lying several times at the podium during her White House tenure despite overtly promising the lobby she would never do so.
Here she is with the bare-faced cheek to attack Biden for a lack of transparency ahead of his press conference.
Joe Sommerlad25 March 2021 12:05
Ted Cruz and Arizona governor attack Harris appointment to border
The Texas senator and Cancun holidaymaker has sneered at Joe Biden tasking Kamala Harris with tackling the immigration crisis at the US-Mexico border, picking up on a almost two-year-old tweet to challenge her to allow the media “to film the empty cages” when children have been released from US Custom and Border Protection facilities.
Cruz’s attack is part of a predictable bad faith attack from Republicans calling for greater transparency from the administration on temporary containment facilities – as though the “zero tolerance” policies of Donald Trump never happened.
Doucy Ducey, Arizona’s governor, has meanwhile called her “the worst possible choice” to take on the situation.
Joe Sommerlad25 March 2021 11:45
Biden likely to run for second term
The president looks likely to run for two terms after all, according to one of his advisers, despite campaigning on being a “transitional” president and wresting power away from Donald Trump with the aim of handing it over to a younger successor.
On the campaign trail in March 2020, Biden said: “Look, I view myself as a bridge, not as anything else. There’s an entire generation of leaders you saw stand behind me. They are the future of this country.”
That bridge now appears to have been extended.
One longtime adviser was asked byThe Hill whether the president had had second thoughts about the duration of his tenure and answered: “I don’t think there’s any reason to say that he won’t.”
This is particlarly good news for comedy legend Dana Carvey, who has just perfected his Biden impersonation and debuted it on Stephen Colbert’s chat show.
Gustaf Kilander has more on the prospect of Biden running again in 2024 at the age of 81.
Joe Sommerlad25 March 2021 11:15
McConnell says he and Biden aren’t talking
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says he hasn’t spoken with the president since his inauguration on 20 January.
McConnell complained that Democrats are not interested in bipartisan cooperation (which is pretty rich coming from the Grim Reaper himself) during an interview with Bill Hemmer on Fox News on Wednesday in which he revealed: “I don’t believe I have spoken with him since he was sworn in. We had a couple of conversations before that.”
But that appears not to be true.
Oliver O’Connell was watching.
Joe Sommerlad25 March 2021 10:45
White House mulling new gun control orders
The Biden administration is reportedly mulling new executive orders to reform firearm ownership laws in the wake of two deadly mass shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, and Boulder, Colorado, within the last week.
The president is “not waiting for anything to fail” in Congress, his press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday.
Alex Woodward has the latest.
Joe Sommerlad25 March 2021 10:15
Biden to host first presidential press conference
The president will hold the first press session of his reign later today, 64 days on from his inauguration, with questions on immigration, the coronavirus vaccine rollout, infrastructure and gun control likely to be forthcoming.
Griffin Connolly has this on the key issues.
Joe Sommerlad25 March 2021 09:45
Harris to lead immigration response as border crisis deepens
US vice president Kamala Harris will lead the country’s response to the latest surge in asylum seekers arriving at the US border with Mexico from Central America as it struggles to find temporary housing for hundreds of unaccompanied children.
The immigration portfolio is the first specific assignment Joe Biden has delegated to his deputy.
The president’s decision signals the administration is redoubling its efforts to address concerns about the thousands of migrant children in US government care, as the overwhelmed Homeland Security and Health and Human Services Departments manage a rapid increase in arrival numbers.
“I asked her, the VP, today, because she’s the most qualified person to do it, to lead our efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle, and the countries that can help, need help in stemming the movement of so many folks, stemming the migration to our southern border,” Biden told reporters on Wednesday.
The veep had this to say about the immigration crisis on Monday – before (somewhat unwisely) laughing when asked whether she would visit the border, allowing conservative commentators to accuse her of refusing to take the issue seriously.
Griffin Connolly has this report.
Joe Sommerlad25 March 2021 09:15
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of the Joe Biden administration.
Joe Sommerlad25 March 2021 09:05