President Biden to seek reelection with Harris in 2024
US President Biden on Thursday called efforts to limit voting rights “sick” and “un-American,” saying that even Republican voters view actions that make it harder for people to cast ballots as “despicable” attempts to undermine democracy.
Speaking to reporters in his first formal news conference, Biden said the filibuster — which requires 60 votes to pass legislation in the Senate — was being “abused in a gigantic way” and signaled that he would be open to more aggressive steps to limit or abolish it, starting with a proposal that would require senators to keep talking in order to block legislation.
“I strongly support moving in that direction,” he said. “If there’s complete lockdown and chaos as a consequence of the filibuster, then we’ll have to go beyond what I’m talking about.”
During a question-and-answer session that lasted more than an hour, Biden said that it was his “expectation” that he will run for re-election in 2024, with Vice President Kamala Harris as his running mate.
He reiterated that it will be hard to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by May 1. And he touted his administration’s progress in fighting the pandemic, vowing to deliver 200 million vaccinations by the end of April — twice his previous pledge.
But even as he promised that “hope is on the way,” Biden was barraged with questions about his handling of the migrant surge at the U.S. border with Mexico.
He insisted that officials are doing everything they can to treat migrant children humanely and repeatedly blamed former President Donald J. Trump for the overcrowding in facilities at the border.
“He in fact shut down the number of beds available,” Biden said of Trump. “He did not fund HHS to get the children out of those border patrol facilities where they should not be.”
“He dismantled all that,” Biden said.
The president insisted that his administration will accelerate efforts to move migrant children out of crowded conditions on the border, saying that he had directed his top immigration officials this week to accelerate the pace at which migrant children are placed with relatives already living in the United States.
“It’s going to get a whole hell of a lot better real quick or we’re going to hear some people leaving,” he said. “We can get this done. We’re going to get it done.”
The news conference was Biden’s first extended grilling by journalists since taking office more than two months ago. Since then, his advisers have carefully controlled his interactions with the press, which have included one-on-one interviews and some limited opportunities for reporters to ask questions during brief appearances.