[The press briefing resumes] I am -- I am back by popular demand. Appreciate it. Thank you. Oh, absolutely. I'm -- and look, I just want to be very clear here -- you know, sorry about that. There are times where briefings get delayed for reasons outside of our control, and we wanted to make sure you all had the opportunity to cover the President signing those bills for -- to support veterans, which is incredibly important, as you all know. And so, taking your questions is very important to us and -- which is why we do it almost every day and -- when we can. And it's why we strive to be responsive to your questions here in the briefing room; on TV, as I did this morning; and in individual conversations with administration officials. And our team does this on a daily basis. So, with that, I wanted to just come in and take additional questions for a few more minutes. And, you know, I know a lot -- a lot of you have deadlines yourselves and have to do evening TV. So I won't be here for too long, but I did want to come out and take some -- and take some questions. Okay. Let's see. All right. I'm going to try and call on people I haven't called and start in the back, but there is like all these -- Go ahead. Go ahead. I don't think I've called on you yet. Not lately, so thank you. Listen, Matthew McConaughey was banging on that podium just a few minutes ago before he left, and he had some specific policy asks. And a lot of them were -- not all of them, but a lot were about guns. He wanted to raise the age from 18 to 21 for AR-15s. He talked about a waiting period for AR-15s. And he talked about red-flag laws and background checks. So my question is: You and the President have made very generalized comments lately about doing something. Why won't he demand one of those things be in an overall package? You're talking about the President -- why won't he demand -- I know he supports the policies, but -- Yeah. -- is his message to these negotiators that those gun measures needs to be -- need to be in the package? His message to the negotiators is that we have to do something. His message is, to the American people: We have to do something. He went to Uvalde, as you know. He went to Buffalo. And when he was in Uvalde -- and I was there with him, and we -- and some of you were there with him as well -- the thing -- the two words that he heard over and over again is please -- is: Do something. And so, he is very encouraged by the engagement that he's seeing on the Senate side with the bipartisan group. And he wants to give them the space. We're not going to negotiate from here on what should be in the package, what should not be in the package. But we believe it's a step forward. The President is going to continue to -- continue to call for and fight for all of the comprehensive components for -- to prevent gun violence that he talked about on Thursday. That will not stop. He's going to continue to do that. But we're just not going to negotiate from here. And John Cornyn, in his public comments, was talking today on the Senate floor about really hardening doors at schools and these sort of items. If the package only has that and not one of these specific gun measures, will it be a success? Again, I'm not going to negotiate from here. We're going to let them -- give them some space. It's a bipartisan -- it's a bipartisan conversation that's happening. It's going to be a bipartisan agreement, we -- we see or we feel. And you know, Senator Murphy is very optimistic. And we're -- and he has said this is the most optimistic that he has been in some time. And he came in, as you know, and gave an update to the President. So we're going to see how this -- this conversation continues to go. Go ahead. Thank you, Karine. Why do you think it is that 83 percent of people polled by The Wall Street Journal say the economy is "poor" or "not so good"? So, when it comes to consumer confidence -- is what you're talking about there -- we know that can reflect concern and uncertainty about higher prices. People feel the effect of high prices when they go to the grocery store and they fill up their gans- -- gas tank, which the President understands very personally -- when he was growing up and understanding how -- how when prices elevate even just a bit, how much that can hurt a family, how much that can really affect, you know, someone's household. But the fact is: We are in a fundamentally different place compared to when the President took office and compared to this time a year ago. And so, you know, during this President -- during his pres- -- this presidency, people felt uncertainty -- uncertain about the economy generally, but they actually felt as good about their personal financial situations as they ever have, according to the Federal Reserve survey, with nearly 80 percent of adults reporting that they are financially comfortable. So, that matters as well. But to the point about the -- you're saying that people feel good about their personal financial situation. High gas prices, people can't get baby formula, the supply chain is messed up, everything is more expensive. Where's the good part? So, the survey that I just read off started in 2013. And that is the first time that we saw numbers like this since 2013. So that does -- no, that does mean something. Just like you gave me 83 percent, I'm giving you -- And I understand that. Another number then -- I -- -- newer than 2013, 61 percent are saying now, in this Wall Street Journal poll, they are generally pessimistic about people having an opportunity to achieve the American Dream. How's that going look on a -- on a bumper sticker? So, what I'm -- I guess what I'm trying to say, Peter, is that we understand that people are feeling -- feeling this. They are feeling the increase of prices, which -- with food, in particular, right now, and gas. That is -- that is something that we understand. What we're trying to say, what I'm trying to say to you is that the economy is in a better place than it has been historically. And so, we feel, here at this administration and other experts as well, is that -- we feel that we are in a good position to take on inflation. We are in a good position to really start really working on lowering prices. We leave that piece to the Federal Reserve. They have the monetary policies to deal with the best -- to have the best tools to make sure that we bring down inflation. That's the -- that's the pain that the American family is feeling. And so, that's what we're saying. We're trying to -- what we're saying is that we were in a different place a year ago, and now we are in a much better place economically. But there's still work to do, and we understand that. Okay. And then, just quickly, on gas prices. The Energy Secretary, Granholm, is saying, "Oh, well, if you went to Canada, you'd be paying $6.25 a gallon. If you went to Germany, you'd be paying over $8.80. In the UK, it's almost $8 a gallon." What kind of an argument is that: "Just be happy you don't live in Munich"? I think what she was -- what she's trying to say and what we have all been trying to say is this is a global challenge. This is not just in the United States that people are feeling inflation or people are seeing elevated gas prices. This is a global challenge. And isn't it the President's job to protect Americans from global challenges? He's doing -- he's doing his part in trying to make sure that we -- the American people feel the impact less. But here's the thing, and we've talked about this: Since Russia invaded Ukraine, we have seen gas prices -- these are the facts -- go up by $1.51. We have seen food prices go up because of what -- of what Ukraine and Russia represent when it comes to wheat and corn. This is just a fact. This is what we have seen for the past several months. The President has done -- he's tapped into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a historic way with a million -- a million barrels of oil a month for six months. We did -- we made the announcement of the E15, the homegrown biofuels that is going to help families in the Midwest. So, we know there is more to do. We're not disagreeing here. We know that there is more to do, and we're going to continue to do the work. Does the President have any plans to invite any Republican senators to the White House before he leaves for Los Angeles? I -- I don't have any -- I don't have any meetings to preview for you at this point. Has he spoken to any Republicans as it comes to gun legislation? I don't have -- I don't have any meetings to -- or calls to read out. Okay, go ahead. Karine, thank you. I know you don't want to negotiate from the podium. I just want to try one more time. It seems as though talks are coalescing around more funding for mental health, school safety, and then expanded background checks and encouraging states to adapt red-flag laws. Is that the type of compromise legislation the President would sign? Would he sign that? Well, I -- again, I'm not going to negotiate from here. We don't want to -- I'm not going to talk through the contours of the plan. They're still having those conversations on the other side of the Hill. I guess the question is -- But I can say -- but no, no. Let me -- Okay. Let me finish. I'll get to -- hopefully this will answer it, which is: He supports red-flag laws. That is something that he has supported for some time. He even talked about the red-flag law that is in Delaware -- is named after his son, Beau Biden, who was, as you know, the Attorney General of -- in Delaware. He has talked about expanding background checks. I have talked about it. He has talked about it. We've all talked about it. So, clearly, those are two things that we know are popular. The red-flag law -- red-flag law we saw -- I read a poll here last -- yesterday that has 72 percent for the red-flag laws. We know that expanding background check is overwhelmingly popular as well. So, clearly, those are two things that he support. But I just don't -- we do not want to get -- give them some space, don't want to get in the middle of their negotiation. I guess what I'm asking, Karine -- Yeah, sure. -- is, particularly as it relates to the red-flag laws, what it seems to be coalescing around is a deal that would encourage states to adapt red-flag laws. Is that good enough for President Biden? I think it's a step. It's -- when red-flag laws are actually enacted, it saves lives. We have seen that in Florida. We've seen that in other states across the country. In California, there's been cases where the red-flag law has actually saved lives. And we know, we understand not every component of what the President is calling for is going to stop every tragedy, but we have to take the steps, and we have to move forward, and we have to do something. There's been so much focus on the legislation. Is President Biden considering any new executive actions on the [inaudible] guns? You know, the President said this himself: If there is any way or any other new actions that he can take, he will. His team -- Is he actively considering any? There's nothing that I can -- that I can preview for you at this time. I know that the team is looking at that. We just don't have anything for you -- to share at this time. Let me ask you on Roe v. Wade, if I might. We are anticipating the Supreme Court will render its final decision on Roe v. Wade. And based on, of course, that leaked draft report, it appears as though the Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. What, if any, groundwork is the President, is this administration laying to ensure that women who want or need abortions can still have access to them? Look, protecting the constitutional rights of Americans afforded by Roe for -- for nearly 50 years, ensuring that women can make their own choices about their lives and bodies and families, is something that the President and the Vice President support. For -- for we've -- we've taken actions over the past -- the past year and a half on making sure that -- making sure that women have the protection that they need, issuing a presidential memorandum to protect and expand access to comprehensive repre- -- reproductive healthcare and to revoke the Mexico City policy, a global gag rule that prohibits federal funding for organizations that provide abortion, counseling, and/or referrals; issuing a final rule to strengthen the Title 10 Family Planning Program, fulfilling the administration's commitment to restore access to equitable, affordable, client-centered quality family planning services. So, we have done -- we have done an array of things over the past year and a half to give the protection that women need. Obviously, the decision, it was a draft decision. We don't want to get into hypotheticals and we don't want to get ahead of of what is actually going to come forth. But it's something that it concerns us. All of the pieces of legislation that we see coming out of the states that are incredibly radical, we've called them that and it does give us concern. Are there any tangible actions that the administration will take if it's overturned on that day or that week to ensure that women who need abortions can have access to them or that they can cross state lines to access an abortion? So, one thing that I can say -- I don't have anything to preview or to announce or to lay out at this time. What I can say is that our team here -- the Gender Policy Council, the Domestic Policy Council, and the agencies who are involved, like HHS -- have been in constant communication with -- with groups on what we can do from here. I just don't have anything to preview. Karine, the January 6th Committee is going to hold its first public hearing on Thursday while the President is in California. Do you expect the President to get briefed on what the committee has found in its investigation, if he hasn't already? And how is he looking at these hearings? Does he see this as something that will move the needle in how the public perceives what happened on that day? So, as you know, we're leaving, as you were kind of alluding to, tomorrow, and we're going to go to LA. The President is going to have a very busy week. And, you know, of course, will be keeping up on the committee's work, as he has been. And I'm sure he'll be following the news from the hearing as well. I don't have anything else to -- in particular to share here. The President has been consistent voicing his support for the vital work of the bipartisan January 6th Select Committee. And he and his team have said many times it is critical that we have a full investigation into the events of January 6th to ensure something like what we saw that day can never happen again. And the work of this committee is crucial to that effort. And we will continue to speak out as appropriate or to defend our democracy and the rule of law, and to support those who are doing work to protect our democracy. Just one more. Senator Romney and Senator Ossoff have asked for a full investigation into the death of Shireen Abu Akleh. She was a Palestinian American journalist with Al Jazeera. She was killed last month while reporting in the West Bank. Will the White House be supporting an investigation into her death? So, we're in close touch with both Israeli and Palestinian authorities. The United States is not currently conducting an official investigation. As you know, we are working to bridge cooperation between the two parties. We have made clear our view to both Israeli and Palestinian officials the administration's call for thorough, transparent, and impartial investigation of her -- of her killing. We expect full accountability for those responsible. We have also urged that both sides share their evidence with each other. We continue to call on all sides to maintain calm and avoid any further escalation. Karine, thanks so much. Secretary Yellen said over the weekend to CNN that she was "wrong" in predicting that inflation was transitory. And shortly afterward, Treasury walked back the statement. I'm just curious if the White House or any senior aides here were involved in walking back that -- those comments. What I can tell you is that she -- she was -- even when you look at the transcript, she was clear on exactly what she meant by that. And she -- she -- the Secretary, you know, spoke to this herself to clarify her remarks. And it's true that nobody at the time foresaw the extent of the global challenges that have caused record inflation all around the world. In fact, even Wall Street and the private sector broadly thought that inflation would come down faster than it has. I cannot speak to private conversation. But all I can say is she put out a -- as you know, put out a statement clarifying what she said. And just one more question. On Friday, senior White House staff met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus to talk about some of the President's ideas for forgiving student debt. I'm wondering: What was the purpose of that meeting, as the President considers it? And was there any outcome from it? I don't have any readout from that meeting from Friday night. Thank you. Based on what you know about the situation in both Uvalde and Buffalo, is there anything that the Senate negotiators are considering now that would have stopped those two shootings, or even one of them? Well, I -- look, I -- you know, I'm no expert here, but one thing that I do know that we all know is that both the shooters were 18. And one of the things that are -- that's on the table is raising the age limit. Are you sure that's on the table? What -- I'm so sorry -- Raising the age limit from 18 to 21 to buy AR-15s? Because John Cornyn has said that's not on the table. Okay. I'm just saying it's been discussed. I don't -- Oh, I see. Okay. I'm -- Okay. If that was on the table, that would have affected these. Yeah, I -- Okay. But -- You're -- you're asking me a question of when I thought -- what I think may have helped or -- stopped this awful [inaudible]. Certainly it would have been. But in terms of what's on the table in the Senate? I don't -- I'm just saying that's been one of the conversations that's been out there. I do not know. Again, we're not negotiating from here. I'm just trying to make a point. This is something that the President supports -- raising the age from 18 to 21. Because one of the things that we do know is both of the shooters were 18 years old. The one in Uvalde, in particular, when he was 17, he asked his sister to buy him a gun. She said, "No." And as soon as he turned 18, he went and bought -- he bought -- he bought a gun. And so, that is something that we have heard about, that's out there, and that is something the President talked about on Thursday. And so, I was just speaking to your question on what you -- what I -- what, potentially, could have helped. Well, I'm actually asking what the sen- -- what among the things the senators are considering could have prevented this? And, again, I'm not going to negotiate from here. I'm just trying to help in a way to show, "Hey, this is something that we know is out there." This is something that the President talked about. I'm not going to negotiate from here. They're working through the contours of the plan, and we're going to let them figure that out. Can I just ask one quick one on red-flag laws? So does the -- does the President prefer a federal red-flag law? Or does he think it's better on a state-by-state level and the government -- or the federal government should incentivize states instead? Well, he supports a red- -- he supports -- I want to be really careful here because he's not going to -- we're not going to negotiate from here. Right? We are going to allow the -- we're going to give them the space to come up with the contours of -- of the deal. And we're just going to give them that space. What we're saying is: We support the red-flag law. The Pre- -- the President has talked about it. I'm not going to go into the nitty-gritty of what that looks like. We're going to let the negotiators figure that out. Go ahead, Karen. Thanks, Karine. First -- or two questions. First, can you commit that going forward, if there was a guest or a celebrity here that you would ensure that they would stay at the podium and take questions from reporters -- Oh, I -- -- after they speak? That -- they're a guest. That is not for me to ensure. Can you try to have them stay and take questions? I -- they're -- Karen, they're a guest of ours. It is up to them if they want to take questions or not. We respect them and what they want to do. Matthew was here. And when he was done, he said thank you and he walked away. That is -- that really is up to -- is up to him. And on COVID: Last week, a guest, Dr. Jha, was here. But he did take questions after -- [Laughs] Yeah, well that's a little different. He works here. [Laughs] Absolutely. We appreciated him taking questions, but -- Yes. He said that what keeps them awake at night is that the U.S. would run out of vaccines, not have enough of the next generation of vaccines, run out of treatments and tests in the fall. And this is something he has been saying a lot in interviews recently. But can you give us an update on where the COVID funding talks stand on the Hill, in terms of what the White House is doing right now? What officials are meeting with lawmakers up there? Has there been any progress? Has the President talked with lawmakers about this? And is this getting overshadowed with the conversations that are happening right now on gun talks? Yeah, it's a very good question. You know, look, just to kind of reiterate a little bit of what Dr. Jha has said is: Without additional funding, you know, we are unable to purchase li- -- lifesaving treatments for the American people, including our most vulnerable. We're already -- we've already cut down on our purchase of treatments for high-risk Americans. Imagine an -- a 13-year-old with a heart condition who may not be able to access preventive treatment to stay safe from a life-threatening illness. We're losing our spot in line while other countries are moving forward and buying next-generation vaccines for all Americans that may be needed in the fall and winter. So I think that's what he's talking about when he says he's losing -- he's losing sleep. You know, when we think about the path forward and how we're going to get to where we need to be -- you know, we are working closely with members of Congress on a bipartisan basis to drive a path forward on COVID funding, and the President is committing to get -- committed to getting that -- getting it done. And so, Dr. Jha and OMB Director have been -- have been on the Hill having those meetings. So, you know, the President deals with multiple things at a time. So this is still a -- very much a priority. So we will continue doing our part to protect the American people. We'll use the few funds we have remaining to continue getting testing, treatments, and vaccine out to the -- to Americans for as long as we can. We will continue to work the phones, hold briefings, and make our case public -- publicly and privately with lawmakers, imploring Congress to act immediately [inaudible] on our long-overdue COVID -- to act on our long-overdue COVID needs. And at the end of the day, it's Republicans in Congress -- they need to act. They have to answer to the American people if they can't get the vaccine treatments and tests that we will need come fall. So, you know, we're going to continue doing the work. The work doesn't stop. [Crosstalk by reporters] Oh, my gosh. S.V. Yeah, thank you. Yeah. Following up on the January 6th question: There have been Republicans -- prominent Republicans, as well as outside groups, who are already making a concerted effort to downplay the entire thing before a single word has been said about -- in the hearings. Has the President -- what are his thoughts about that? And has he made any efforts to reach out to Kevin McCarthy, to Mitch McConnell about, "Hey, this is important. We ought to be on the same page with this"? So the President has been really clear -- right? -- he supports the bipartisan effort -- the January 6th Select Committee bipartisan effort. But we're not going to get involved. That is something that is independent and needs to stay independent. You know, it is important to protect our democracy. That is something that the President -- what happened on January 6th was a very dark day in our democracy. And so, we have to continue to find ways to protect it. So he supports what they're doing. We're not going to get involved. It's an independent committee. Karine? Karine? Back here. Yeah, so you said that we're in a stable economic -- or we're transitioning into a stable economic growth. The Treasury Secretary also testified today we're going to a stable economic growth. What exactly is a "stable economic growth"? I think the way that we're looking at it is just the data, just what we have seen in this past year. I think people forget what the President inherited when he walked in. You had 20 million people who were collecting unemployment benefits. You -- you had -- unemployment was at more than 6 percent. And the work that he did with the American Rescue Plan, getting that done, and the Democrats -- only Democrats voting for it, helped get the economy moving, helped get the economy growing. And so, the way we see it is that we are in a strong place. The U.S. economy may grow faster this year than China's economy for the first time since 1976. With -- with the right policies, we are confident that the U.S. can transition from recovery to stable, steady growth and bring down inflation without giving all of these historic gains that I just laid out -- 8.7 million new jobs in this past year and a half. And so, one of the things that we've been very clear about is giving the Federal Reserve the independence to deal with inflation. And they are committed to it; we are committed to it. And they have the strongest tools to come up with monetary policy to get that done. So -- but is that -- is that GDP growth, like under the Obama administration, 1.5 percent, 1.8 percent for the year? I mean, I'm not going to get into, like, the specifics of GDP growth. But what I can say is the numbers -- the data that we have seen just on job growth -- 390,000 jobs in the month of May -- what we have seen is historic numbers, is a his- -- we are in a historic place in history -- historic place right now, as we have -- as we look at where we are with the economy. Very, very different than where we were a year ago. And that is because of what the President has been able to do with a comprehensive plan to get people vaccinated, with a plan to get people back to work. Remember -- and I know some of you know this -- schools were closed when he -- when he entered the administration. Businesses were closed when he entered the administration. The economy was in crisis. We are in a different place. That's what -- that's how we see this. One quick one. Are we in a recession then? Because the Atlanta Fed GDP now looks at a snapshot, and it's 0.9 percent. It's gone down from 1.9 to 1.3 for the second quarter. Two quarters in a row of negative growth is a recession. So are we there? And how close -- Look, the way that we see it is we have the right tools, and we are in a strong place to continue to get -- to get our -- to be in this transition where we have stable -- stable growth. And that is what's important. And so, that's going to be our focus. Thank you. Will you follow up? Thank you. Thank you, guys. I actually -- I do have to go. I really do have to go. Thanks for coming back out. Thank you. I appreciate that. Thanks, guys. Thank you.