Biden to hold first press conference in months, Psaki says

President Biden announces how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will rebuild America

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Friday that President Biden will be conducting a press conference next week, the first held in months.

Biden has faced criticism for largely eschewing press conferences that include taking questions from reporters. The president has held fewer press conferences than his five predecessors at the same point in their presidencies, an Associated Press tally found. 

“Another little bit of news for all of you, and we’ll have more in the week ahead, I expect, in the coming days,” Psaki announced. “But next Wednesday, the president will hold a formal press conference at 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon. So we’ll look forward to seeing you there and to the press and looks forward to speaking directly to the American people.”

Psaki faced an eager gaggle of reporters in the press room after allotting time for FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell to speak on developing cooperation between states and the National Guard to manage healthcare resources and labor.

One reporter, having missed the brief announcement at the beginning, asked Psaki about future presidential press conferences.

“We’ve just caught you,” Psaki joked from the podium. “I now relate to your teachers in high school and what they may have experienced, but it’s OK. But, yeah, there you go. To be fair – it is a Friday in a very busy news week.”

The Friday conference came after a series of Democratic Party policy losses both in the legislature and Supreme Court. 

“[R]ight now we’re dealing with the realities of the fact that we have a very slim majority in the Senate and in the House that makes things more challenging than they have been in the past,” Psaki told reporters after being questioned on the administration’s latest series of setbacks. 

She continued, “I would also note, and I bet a lot of Americans who have conveyed their advocacy for a lot of those issues, issues the president cares deeply about, have also cared deeply about getting the pandemic under control.”

Two of the biggest blows to the White House this year came on Thursday – one at the hands of two Democratic senators and another from the Supreme Court. 

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., went to the Senate floor Thursday afternoon to detail her opposition to partisan changes to the Senate filibuster, essentially killing Democrats’ plan to pass two major elections bills. 

That story could have dominated the news cycle for several days. It only lasted a couple of hours before the next batch of bad news for the Biden administration: The Supreme Court blocked the president’s vaccine mandate for large private employers. 

The twin losses within a few hours of each other came as the White House was already reeling to start the new year. 

President Biden, flanked by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan and senior aide Steve Ricchetti, holds a meeting on infrastructure with labor and business leaders at the White House in Washington, D.C., July 22, 2021. 
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst )

The president’s approval rating stands at just 33% and disapproval at 53% among Americans in a Quinnipiac University national poll conducted Jan. 7-10 and released Wednesday. Biden’s approval is down three points from Quinnipiac’s previous survey, which was conducted in November, with disapproval remaining unchanged.

According to the Quinnipiac poll, the president is deeply underwater on his handling of three top issues – the economy (34%), foreign policy (35%), and the coronavirus pandemic (39%).

Fox News’ Tyler Olson and reporting from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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