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President Biden Delivers Key Remarks in White House Press Gaggle


Q    Mr. President, when is the debt meeting with the leaders? 
 
THE PRESIDENT:  In about 10 minutes. 
 
Q    Seriously?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  (Inaudible.)  You’re holding it up.
 
Q    When is it actually happening, sir?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  We’re working on it right now, the exact —
 
Q    Will it be on Tuesday? 
 
THE PRESIDENT:  I think so.
 
Q    It’s been reported it will be Tuesday. 
 
THE PRESIDENT:  I think so.
 
Q    Do you have an update on how talks have gone this weekend, sir?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  I have.
 
Q    Can you share that with us?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  No.  (Laughs.)
 
Q    Okay.
 
Q    What’s your level of optimism about them?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  That’s sharing it, isn’t it?
 
Q    Well, it’s giving us a clue.
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Look —
 
Q    Do you think you’ll be able to leave for the G7?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  That’s my plan as it stands now. 
 
Q    Mr. President, are you open to tougher work requirements for certain government aid programs like Republicans are proposing as part of these discussions?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  I voted for tougher aid programs that’s in the law now, but for Medicaid it’s a different story.  And so I’m waiting to hear what their exact proposal is.  
 
Q    Do you have any comment on the Turkish elections?  It’s looks like there might be a dispute for President Erdoğan’s results.
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, is that right?  I didn’t get any (inaudible).
 
Q    The opposition party are claiming they are leading.  And the state media are saying Erdoğan is leading. 
 
THE PRESIDENT:  It sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
 
No, look, I just hope it goes — whoever wins, wins.  I mean, there’s enough problems in that part of the world right now without that happening.
 
Q    How are you — I’m going to try you again on debt ceiling.  How do you feel about the Republicans in terms of —
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Look, I —
 
Q    — their position and where they’re going?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I’ve learned a long time ago, and you know as well as I do: It never is good to characterize a negotiation in the middle of a negotiation.  
 
I remain optimistic because I’m a congenital optimist.  But I really think there’s a desire on their part, as well as ours, to reach an agreement, and I think we’ll be able to do it.
 
Okay?
 
Q    How do you think things are going at the border, sir —
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Much better than —
 
Q    — with Title 42 lifted?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Much better than you all expected.  (Laughs.)
 
Q    Do you have any plans —
 
THE PRESIDENT:  No, I think —
 
Q    — to visit the border?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Pardon me?
 
Q    Do you have any plans to visit the border?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Not in the near term, no.  No, it would just be disruptive, not anything else.
 
And, by the way, on — when I went up to Beau’s bench, you know, at the other — about four miles up — I met two — two people come up to me — there were a bunch of people.  That’s why I was little late.  I was taking a lot of pictures. 
 
But came up and said, “We went to St. Paul’s in Scranton.”  They went — (laughs) — to the same little grade school that I went to.  And so I was up there with — there’s Scranton people everywhere. 
 
Q    Mr. President —
 
THE PRESIDENT:  It’s just (inaudible) better.
 
Q    Yeah.
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.  (Laughs.)
 
Q    Secretary Mayorkas said this morning that the numbers at the border have gone down since Title 42 was lifted.  Are you confident that the numbers have peaked, that they’ll continue to go down?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Well, look, they are — they have gone down.  My hope is they’ll continue to go down, but we have more — a lot more work to do.  And we need some more help from the Congress as well in terms of funding and legislative changes.
 
Anyway, thank you all.
 
Q    Are you looking forward to your trip on Wednesday?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  I am.  I hope it’s — hopefully we’ll make it.
 
Q    Was it a nice Mother’s Day?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  It was. 
 
Q    What did you do for the First Lady?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I — since she’s not my mom, I got her her favorite thing: an orchid on — for — a wrist corsage. 
 
And my daughter came down.  She’s with us now, and she brought some things for her mom. 
 
And I’m heading up tomorrow morning to see my number three grandchild graduate from Penn. 
 
Q    Did — is she watching the game right now — the First Lady?  The basketball.  The Sixers. 
 
THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t think so.
 
Q    They’re losing, as a warning.  (Laughter.) 
 
THE PRESIDENT:  I’m get- — I’m getting the hell out of here then.
 
Q    Yeah, I’m sorry to say. 
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, guys.

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Source: Remarks by President Biden in Press Gaggle | The White House

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