At her first White House briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s desire to have his Cabinet confirmed and in place is “front and center for the president” and he will be “quite involved” in negotiations over the COVID relief package.
Watch the briefing in the player above.
In a first vote Wednesday evening, the Senate confirmed Biden’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines. Senators worked into the evening and overcame some Republican opposition to approve his first Cabinet member, in what’s traditionally a show of good faith on Inauguration Day to confirm at least some nominees for a new president’s administration.
Haines’ nomination was temporarily blocked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Okla., as he sought information about the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is holding back the Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas over Biden’s proposed immigration changes.
Congress is being called on to consider Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID recovery package, to distribute vaccines and shore up an economy as more than 400,000 Americans have died from the virus.
Biden is “no stranger to the process of bill making,” Psaki said and will remain heavily involved in negotiations over his proposed COVID relief package.
Psaki said the process for the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord would take 30 days.
Psaki also said that discussions with foreign allies would include Iran and it’s nuclear capabilities.
Biden “had an incredible sense of calm,” Psaki said about returning to the White House. “He also said he felt like he was coming home.”