President Joe Biden is “eager” to get a police reform bill on his desk, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki said what legislation is passed and when is the responsibility of Congress.
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Senior leaders of Biden’s leadership team are consulting with members of Congress, as is the president, who has held separate Oval Office meeting with Black, Hispanic and Asian American and Pacific Islander members of Congress, Psaki said. Aides are also working with civil rights organizations and other outside groups to pressure Congress to act.
“We need to put in place police reform measures,” Psaki said, adding that events of recent weeks show that such measures are “long overdue.”
Biden will speak about policing issues in his address to Congress next Wednesday, Psaki said.
The White House is giving lawmakers “space” to hash out details privately and would review legislation when, and if, Democrats and Republicans reach an agreement, Psaki said. She would not say whether Biden would sign a bill that included a repeal of qualified immunity for police officers. Psaki also suggested that Biden would not move to end the Senate filibuster to pass policing legislation.
Psaki said the seriousness with which the president is treating global warming should be measured by “within a 100 days of his presidency he is convening the world’s largest economies to have a discussion about that.”
Biden will pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at least in half by 2030 as he convenes a virtual climate summit with 40 world leaders. That’s according to three people with knowledge of the plans who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss them.
The 50% target would nearly double the nation’s previous commitment and help the Biden administration prod other countries for ambitious emissions cuts as well. The nonbinding but symbolically important pledge is a key element of the two-day summit, which begins Thursday as world leaders gather online to share strategies to combat climate change.