Posted 54 days ago
President Biden hacked his way through remarks before signing a $280 billion bill to boost domestic semiconductor chip production and compete with China on Tuesday morning.
The president, 79, who finally tested negative for Covid-19 on Saturday after a rebound infection with the illness, touted the bill as a national security and jobs creation measure in between phlegmy coughs.
'It's no wonder the Chinese Communist Party actively lobbied US business against this,' he said.
The White House press office said after the speech that Biden had tested negative Tuesday morning and on Monday.
Biden first tested positive for COVID July 21. He took Paxlovid anti-viral treatment for the condition, and tested negative on July 27. He then returned to the West Wing masked-up but suffered a rebound on July 30, with another positive test result.
'We face an inflection point in our nation and around the world,' Biden said during remarks outside the White House. 'Fundamental changes are taking place today, politically, economically and technologically, change that can either strengthen our sense of control and security, of dignity and pride in our lives in our nation or or change that weakens us.'
Biden was accompanied on stage by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi - who wrangled all of her members on board to vote for the bill, Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who led the bill through the Senate. A number of lawmakers from both parties, Cabinet secretaries and electric vehicle and tech industry leaders were spotted in the crowd.
At one point Schumer went down a line shaking hands with those on stage after his remarks. He shook hands with the president and then moved on to others, and moments later Biden stuck out his hand again, leading Republicans on Twitter to question whether the president 'forgot' Schumer had already greeted him.
Biden thanked the Republicans who worked on the bill, including Sens. Todd Young, Ind., and Rob Portman, Ohio, both of whom crowded around the president as he signed the bill, before apologizing for getting them 'in trouble.'
'Vice President Harris second gentlemen, members of the Cabinet, White House team members, United States Congress of both parties, Majority Leader, Senators Cantwell, Young, Portman, I don't want to get you in trouble but you did a hell of a job. That's a different story.
'Just probably cost you - my apologies. Thank you. Thank you. And along with Senators Cornyn and Wicker, who helped keep this bill on track, beginning to end in the House.'
On Monday the president had a sloppy exit from Marine One on Monday in Kentucky as he walked toward Air Force One - he struggled to get his blazer on as the jacket sleeves flopped around in the wind. First Lady Jill had to step in and hold his sleeves. Moments later he dropped his aviator sunglasses on the tarmac, though they remained in one piece despite the fall.... (Read more)