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White House holds daily press briefing as House prepares to send Trump impeachment to Senate

Jen Psaki white house press secretary
Posted at 11:33 AM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 14:16:21-05

White House press secretary Jen Psaki will held another briefing on Monday as President Joe Biden continues to try to implement stark policy changes amid a packed agenda.

During his first days in office, Biden is pushing for a new COVID-19 stimulus package, attempting to shift major policy agendas like immigration and foreign policy through executive orders and seeking the confirmation of his Cabinet, all while Congress deals with the second impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Psaki fielded several questions regarding a potential COVID-19 stimulus package. While she declined to get into specifics about the negotiation process with whom the president was working, she reiterated that she hopes that if the bill does pass that it has bipartisan support.

While she didn't put a deadline on the passage of the bill, Psaki said that the Biden administration foresees an unemployment "cliff" occurring in March, and she hopes a bill will be ready for passage by then.

The COVID-19 stimulus negotiations come amid an impending impeachment trial in the Senate. When asked if she felt that censuring Trump instead of holding an impeachment trial, Psaki said that Biden would allow Congress to deal with impeachment as it saw fit.

Psaki also added that the press would soon begin to receive regular, "science-baded" briefings regarding the COVID-19 pandemic from the briefing room "about three times a week."

The press briefing occurred just hours after Biden issued an order that eliminated a Trump-era policy that prevented transgender people from serving in the military.

"President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service," Psaki said.

Finally, Psaki was asked about widespread protests in Russia last weekend linked to the arrest of Alexei Navalny, a frequent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Psaki said the Biden administration is calling for Navalny's immediate release and was troubled by reports of police violence in Russia linked to the protests.

In her short time as press secretary, Psaki has restored the routine daily press briefing for the White House press corps — something that had been widely done away with during the final years of the Trump administration. Psaki has also kept animosity between the current administration and the news media to a minimum thus far.

Psaki also noted that Monday's briefing was the first of the administration to feature an American Sign Language interpreter and that future briefings would include ASL translation moving forward.