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White House press secretary holds briefing with economic council director

Jen Psaki
Posted at 8:16 AM, Jan 22, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki hosted her third press briefing of Joe Biden's presidency on Friday.

Psaki was joined by National Economic Council Director Brian Deese who discussed the actions the administration is taking to improve the ailing economy amid the coronavirus crisis.


The remarks from Psaki and Deese came shortly before President Joe Biden was set to deliver a speech on his administration’s response to the economic crisis spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden is also expected to sign more executive orders Friday. The administration says one of those orders will launch an “all-of-government effort” to provide “equitable emergency economic relief to working families, communities, and small businesses across the nation.”

Specifically, the administration says that effort will seek to do the following:

  • Address the growing hunger crisis by asking the Department of Agriculture to consider expanding and extending federal nutrition assistance programs
  • Ensure equitable and effective delivery of direct payments by asking the Treasury Department to consider changing its delivery structure
  • Help veterans maintain their financial footing by asking the Department of Veterans Affairs to consider pausing federal collections on overpayments and debts
  • Help ensure the jobless don’t have to choose between paying bills and keeping themselves safe from COVID-19 by asking the Department of Labor to consider clarifying that workers who refuse unsafe working conditions can still receive unemployment insurance
  • Enable effective and equitable distribution of government assistance by establishing an interagency benefit coordination structure

Biden is also asking the Department of Agriculture to consider increasing access to nutritious food for millions of children missing meals due to school closures, allowing largest emergency SNAP allotments for low-income households, and updating food assistance benefits to reflect the true cost of a basic healthy diet.