President Biden marked his first year in office with an address and news conference from the White House.
Biden highlighted his administration's accomplishments as well as the challenges that lie ahead as many priorities in his agenda remain stalled, including the Build Back Better Act and voting rights legislation.
The President said he thinks his report card going into the midterms is "pretty good," and is confident his administration will be able to sign into law "good chunks" of his agenda.
Biden took questions from reporters and spoke for more than 90 minutes.
Here are the key take aways:
- Build Back Better Act: Biden signaled he's willing to break up the Build Back Better Act and pass sections of the law separately. “I think we can break the package up, get as much as we can now, come back and fight for the rest later,” the President said. The economic package was stalled last month, when a deal with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin could not be reached.
- Voting rights: The President admitted that the current voting rights legislation will likely not pass. He added that it will be "difficult" to have fair elections if voting rights laws aren't passed. "It's going to be difficult. I make no bones about that, it's going to be difficult, but we're not there yet. We've not run out of options yet and we'll see how this moves," he said. The Senate is scheduled to vote on procedures later tonight in an effort to clear a path to pass voting rights legislation, but those efforts are expected to fail.
- Russia and Ukraine: During his news conference, Biden suggested a "minor incursion" by Russia would elicit a lesser response than a full-scale invasion of the country.
- Inflation: Biden acknowledged Americans are struggling with the high cost of living and threw his weight behind the Federal Reserve’s efforts to fight inflation.
- Pandemic: The President admitted that more should have been done in terms of Covid-19 testing availability. "Look, we're also increasing testing. Should we have done more testing earlier? Yes. But we're doing more now," he said.