President Biden will hold his first Cabinet meeting Thursday, finally gathering the full group as he gears up to push his mammoth infrastructure package through Congress.
The meeting, confirmed by the White House Wednesday afternoon, will take place in the East Room as opposed to the Cabinet Room, in order for all 25 expected guests to be able to maintain social distancing guidelines.
Once confirmed, getting all members of a president’s cabinet together in a room is not usually an easy feat, given the typically hectic travel schedules of cabinet secretaries.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, however, all members have been based in the nation’s capital, making it easy to lock down a date so early on in Biden’s presidency.
Former President Trump’s first cabinet meeting didn’t take place until June 2017.
The meeting comes at an ideal time for the current commander-in-chief, one day after unveiling the administration’s massive infrastructure bill that cabinet secretaries will soon be dispatched nationwide to promote.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday aboard Air Force One, White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the American Jobs Plan and the American Rescue Plan would be “key” topics of discussion at Thursday’s gathering.
“The focus of the meeting will be working together to continue implementing and communicating about the American Rescue Plan and how it continues to deliver for working families, discussing the role Cabinet members will play in advocating for the American Jobs Plan, and ensuring we accelerate our federal COVID-19 response,” Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard the aircraft.
As of Thursday, the Senate has confirmed nearly all of Biden’s nominees that required approval.
Acting Office of Management and Budget director Shalanda Young, who was confirmed as deputy director, will attend the meeting for her department as the administration decides how to proceed on filling the position after original nominee Neera Tanden withdrew her candidacy.
Vice President Harris and White House chief-of-staff Ron Klain will also be in attendance.
In order to pay for Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs package, the federal government would impose a slew of new taxes, the administration revealed alongside the plan.
The “Build Back Better” proposal will be split into two tax-and-spend packages for Congress to weigh, with the first focusing on infrastructure and the second focusing on funding Democrats’ domestic policy platform.
On Wednesday, the president repeated his claim that “no one making under $400,000 will see their federal taxes go up, period” — despite uncertainty on that point.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the $400,000 mark would apply to individual filers as well as families.
The problem, however, is that doing so could hit individuals who make less than $400,000, such as two adults making $200,000 each who are filing jointly.
In addition, Biden’s proposal would impose a global minimum tax on profits from foreign organizations, increase capital gains taxes, and raise corporate tax.