Biden holds rare cabinet meeting and talks Ukraine, Jan 6 and economy

Biden says he ‘prays to God’ January 6, doesn’t happen again, insists his economy IS working and vows to keep sending aid to Ukraine with another $3 billion weapons package in rare cabinet meeting at the White House

  • President Joe Biden held his first cabinet meeting of the new year insisting the economy is working and vowing to keep sending weapons to Ukraine 
  • He stayed tight-lipped on plans Friday to mark the anniversary of January 6, though the White House announced a ceremony honoring 12 individuals 
  • ‘Pray God it never happens again,’ Biden said about the Capitol attack, straining to hear a reporter’s questions on why certain honorees were chosen 
  • Biden detailed his call earlier Thursday with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the weapons the U.S. and Germany would give Ukraine
  • He touted ‘really bright spots’ in the economy, saying inflation had improved and more cost reductions were coming from legislation passed last year 

President Joe Biden held his first cabinet meeting of the new year Thursday insisting the economy is working and vowing to keep sending weapons to Ukraine – but staying tight-lipped on his plans Friday to mark the anniversary of January 6. 

‘Pray God it never happens again,’ he said about January 6, straining to hear a reporter’s question about the thought process that went into determining who would receive awards at a ceremony Friday marking two years since the Capitol attack.

The White House announced earlier Thursday that 12 individuals would be honored with the Presidential Citizens Medal for their roles on January 6 – including the late Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and former D.C. Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone. 

‘After a rough few years, we’re seeing really bright spots, I believe, and – and across our entire nation. And I think we’ve made some real progress in the last going on two years now. Almost two,’ Biden said at the top of the meeting, seated between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. 

He noted that he had spoken with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz earlier Thursday, with the U.S. planning to provide Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles to Ukraine and the Germans giving Ukrainian forces Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicles. 

President Joe Biden held his first cabinet meeting of the new year Thursday insisting the economy is working and vowing to keep sending weapons to Ukraine - but staying tight-lipped on his plans Friday to mark the anniversary of January 6

President Joe Biden held his first cabinet meeting of the new year Thursday insisting the economy is working and vowing to keep sending weapons to Ukraine – but staying tight-lipped on his plans Friday to mark the anniversary of January 6

The president wouldn't expand Thursday on the White House's announcement that 12 individuuals, including the late Brian Sicknick, would be awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for their roles on January 6

The president wouldn’t expand Thursday on the White House’s announcement that 12 individuuals, including the late Brian Sicknick, would be awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for their roles on January 6 

The president said he had spoken with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and outlined what weapons the U.S. and Germany would be sending the Ukrainians. Ukrainian soldiers are pictured Thursday in their continued fight against the Russians

The president said he had spoken with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and outlined what weapons the U.S. and Germany would be sending the Ukrainians. Ukrainian soldiers are pictured Thursday in their continued fight against the Russians 

The full U.S. weapons package, which is expected to be announced Friday according to Reuters, will total about $2.8 billion in assistance. 

‘Right now the war in Ukraine is at a critical point,’ Biden said. ‘We have to do everything we can to help the Ukrainians resist Russian aggression.’ 

Both the U.S. and Germany also committed another Patriot air defense system to Ukraine.

‘They work, and the Russians are beginning to realize that. They function well, and they’re helping a lot,’ Biden said. 

On the economy, Biden touted good news but said there was more work to do. 

‘We’re seeing signs inflation is easing,’ the president said. ‘It doesn’t mean it’s all over, it means we’re off to a pretty good darn start.’ 

He also said that part of what the White House needed to do in 2023 was to make Americans aware of the goodies found in legislation passed last year and the year before. 

‘The big laws we passed were consequential, but they’re basically promises,’ Biden outlined. ‘They’re now the law, they’re going to happen, but they didn’t take effect.’ 

‘Details matter and being responsive to the American public obviously matters a great deal,’ he continued.   

Biden pointed out how Americans can now get up to $3,200 in tax credits for making their homes more energy efficient, which was part of the Inflation Reduction Act, which Democrats passed in August. 

He noted how some of some of the prescription druge cost reductions, llke insulin being capped at $35, was just now going into effect. 

‘And folks need to know how to take advantage of these benefits that we passed – we’ve gotten passed,’ Biden said. 

He also pushed back on the GOP complaint that the Democrats were carelessly spending. 

‘This idea that we’re big spenders and just blew the deficit is wrong,’ Biden said. 

The president also said that the Federal Trade Commission was going to start going after non-compete agreements that are designed to keep wages low. 

‘It’s one thing to say you have – you can’t work at a – inside, in a technology company on a special project that has scientific consequences and move to another company without a non-compete agreement,’ Biden said. ‘It’s another thing to say you’re working for Subway and you can’t walk across the street and go to Jimmy John’s and get a 20-cent raise.’ 

‘What the hell is that all about other than keeping wages down?’ he fumed. 

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