Presidential Actions

A Proclamation on Human Rights Day and Human Rights Week, 2023

Fri, 12/08/2023 - 12:30

     Seventy-five years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights captured a remarkable act of collective hope.  Drafted by a committee representing different regions, faiths, and philosophies and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, the rights enumerated in the declaration are universal and enduring.  On Human Rights Day and during Human Rights Week, we reaffirm our commitment to upholding the equal and inalienable rights of all. 

     The United States was founded on an idea, at once the simplest and the most powerful idea in the history of the world:  that we are all created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights.  Generations later, in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust, the United States joined countries around the world to create the United Nations and enshrine that same idea in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

     Today, the United States — together with our partners and allies — continues to defend fundamental freedoms and human rights wherever they are under threat.  We stand with people everywhere defending their rights against the forces of autocracy — demonstrating to the world that the flame of liberty still lights the souls of free people everywhere.

     This year, we also affirmed our commitment to democratic renewal globally at the second Summit for Democracy, bringing together nearly 100 government leaders and hundreds of representatives from civil society and the private sector as well as journalists, technologists, and youth leaders from around the world.  The Summit galvanized progress to protect human rights, bolster democratic reforms, fight corruption, support free and independent media, advance technology that works for democracy, combat the misuse of technology, and defend free and fair elections and political processes. 

     I have often said that one of America’s greatest strengths is that we lead not by the example of our power but by the power of our example.  We are strongest in the world when we live by our values at home, and we must never cease working to uphold the dignity and protect the rights of every person in this country and promote protection of those same rights globally.  That is why my Administration has established the White House Gender Policy Council, which works to ensure women and girls enjoy equal rights and equal participation in society by advancing the women, peace and security agenda, preventing and responding to gender-based violence, and more.  We have worked to strengthen civil rights for LGBTQI+ people at home and around the world and to protect same-sex marriage.  We have led an intensive effort to counter the proliferation and misuse of commercial spyware that has enabled human rights abuses around the world.  We are working to address systemic racism, advance racial equity, bolster support for underserved communities throughout the Federal Government, address inequities in our law enforcement and criminal justice systems, and expand accessibility for people with disabilities.  As we look at today’s global challenges online and offline, from conflict, democratic backsliding, and global pandemics to misinformation, the misuse of technology, the climate crisis, and food insecurity, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a bedrock upon which we must tackle these issues and promote the full enjoyment of all human rights.

     Today, as we celebrate Human Rights Day, the start of Human Rights Week, and the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, may we all recommit to securing the equal rights of every member of the human family and working together for the advancement of all humankind.  Together, we can — and we will — bend the arc of history toward a freer and more just world for all.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 10, 2023, as Human Rights Day and the week beginning December 10, 2023, as Human Rights Week.  I call upon the people of the United States to mark these observances with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.
 

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President pro tempore of the Senate regarding the War Powers Report

Thu, 12/07/2023 - 16:01

Dear Mr. Speaker:   (Dear Madam President:)

I am providing this supplemental consolidated report, prepared by my Administration and consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), as part of my efforts to keep the Congress informed about deployments of United States Armed Forces equipped for combat.

MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS

In furtherance of counterterrorism efforts, the United States continues to work with partners around the globe, with a particular focus on the United States Central and Africa Commands’ areas of responsibility.  In this context, the United States has deployed forces to conduct counterterrorism operations and to advise, assist, and accompany security forces of select foreign partners on counterterrorism operations.  In the majority of these locations, the mission of United States military personnel is to facilitate counterterrorism operations of foreign partner forces and does not include routine engagement in combat.  In many of these locations, the security environment is such that United States military personnel may be required to defend themselves against threats or attacks, and, to that end, the United States may deploy United States military personnel with weapons and other appropriate equipment for force protection.  Specific information about counterterrorism deployments to select countries is provided below, and a classified annex to this report provides further information.

Military Operations Conducted Pursuant to the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force and in Support of Related United States Counterterrorism Objectives

Since October 7, 2001, United States Armed Forces, including Special Operations Forces, have conducted counterterrorism combat operations, including against al-Qa’ida and associated forces.  Since August 2014, these operations have included targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which was formerly known as al-Qa’ida in Iraq.  In support of these and other overseas operations, the United States has deployed combat-equipped forces to several locations in the United States Central, European, Africa, Southern, and Indo-Pacific Commands’ areas of responsibility.  Such operations and deployments have been reported previously, consistent with Public Law 107-40, Public Law 107-243, the War Powers Resolution, and other statutes.  These ongoing operations, which the United States has carried out with the assistance of numerous international partners, have been successful in seriously degrading ISIS capabilities in Syria and Iraq.  If necessary, in response to terrorist threats, I will direct additional measures to protect the people and interests of the United States.  It is not possible to know at this time the precise scope or the duration of the deployments of United States Armed Forces that are or will be necessary to counter terrorist threats to the United States.

Afghanistan.  United States military personnel remain postured outside Afghanistan to address threats to the United States homeland and United States interests that may arise from inside Afghanistan.

Iraq and Syria.  As part of a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS, United States Armed Forces are working by, with, and through local partners to conduct operations against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria and against al-Qa’ida in Syria to limit the potential for resurgence of these groups and to mitigate threats to the United States homeland.  A small presence of United States Armed Forces remains in strategically significant locations in Syria to conduct operations, in partnership with local, vetted ground forces, to address continuing terrorist threats emanating from Syria.  United States Armed Forces in Iraq continue to advise, assist, and enable select elements of the Iraqi security forces, including Iraqi Kurdish security forces.  United States Armed Forces also provide limited support to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization mission in Iraq.  United States Armed Forces, as part of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, remain present in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq.

As reported on October 27, 2023, November 10, 2023, and November 14, 2023, I directed United States forces to conduct precision strikes on October 26, 2023, November 8, 2023, and November 12, 2023, against facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and IRGC-affiliated groups for command and control, munitions storage, training, weapons storage, and other purposes.  As reported on November 22, 2023, I directed United States forces to conduct discrete strikes on the night of November 21, 2023, against facilities in Iraq used by the IRGC and IRGC-affiliated groups for command and control, logistics, and other purposes.  These strikes followed attacks against United States personnel and facilities in Iraq and Syria that threatened the lives of United States personnel and Coalition forces operating alongside United States forces, and that were perpetrated by the IRGC and militia groups affiliated with the IRGC.  A United States contractor suffered a fatal cardiac incident while moving to shelter during one of these attacks.  I directed these discrete military actions consistent with my responsibility to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad and in furtherance of United States national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive and to conduct United States foreign relations.

Arabian Peninsula Region.  A small number of United States military personnel are deployed to Yemen to conduct operations against al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS.  The United States military continues to work closely with the Republic of Yemen government and regional partner forces to degrade the terrorist threat posed by those groups.

United States Armed Forces, in a non-combat role, continue to provide military advice and limited information to the Saudi-led Coalition for defensive and training purposes only as they relate to territorial defense.  Such support does not involve United States Armed Forces in hostilities with the Houthis for the purposes of the War Powers Resolution.

United States Armed Forces are deployed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to protect United States forces and interests in the region against hostile action by Iran and Iran-backed groups.  These forces, operating in coordination with the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, provide air and missile defense capabilities and support the operation of United States military aircraft.  The total number of United States forces in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is approximately 2,088.

Jordan.  At the request of the Government of Jordan, approximately 3,188 United States military personnel are deployed to Jordan to support Defeat-ISIS operations, to enhance Jordan’s security, and to promote regional stability.

Lebanon.  At the request of the Government of Lebanon, approximately 76 United States military personnel are deployed to Lebanon to enhance the government’s counterterrorism capabilities and to support the counterterrorism operations of Lebanese security forces.

Turkey.  United States Armed Forces remain deployed to Turkey, at the Turkish government’s request, to support Defeat-ISIS operations and to enhance Turkey’s security.

East Africa Region.  United States Armed Forces continue to counter the terrorist threat posed by ISIS and al-Shabaab, an associated force of al-Qa’ida.  Since the last periodic report, United States Armed Forces have conducted a number of airstrikes in Somalia against al-Shabaab in defense of our Somali partner forces.  United States Armed Forces remain prepared to conduct airstrikes in Somalia against ISIS and al-Shabaab terrorists.  United States military personnel conduct periodic engagements in Somalia to train, advise, and assist regional forces, including Somali and African Union Transition Mission in Somalia forces, in connection with counterterrorism operations.  United States military personnel are deployed to Kenya to support counterterrorism operations in East Africa.  United States military personnel continue to partner with the Government of Djibouti, which has permitted use of Djiboutian territory for basing of United States Armed Forces.  United States military personnel remain deployed to Djibouti, including for purposes of staging for counterterrorism and counter-piracy operations in the vicinity of the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and to provide contingency support for embassy security augmentation in East Africa, as necessary.

Lake Chad Basin and Sahel Region.  United States military personnel in the Lake Chad Basin and Sahel Region continue to conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations and to provide support to African and European partners conducting counterterrorism operations in the region, including by advising, assisting, and accompanying these partner forces.  Approximately 648 United States military personnel remain deployed to Niger.

Cuba.  United States Armed Forces continue to conduct humane and secure detention operations for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, under the authority provided by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40), as informed by the law of war.  There are 30 such detainees as of the date of this report.

Philippines.  United States military personnel deployed to the Philippines are providing support to the counterterrorism operations of the armed forces of the Philippines.

MILITARY OPERATIONS IN EGYPT IN SUPPORT OF THE MULTINATIONAL FORCE AND OBSERVERS

Approximately 416 United States military personnel are assigned to or are supporting the United States contingent of the Multinational Force and Observers, which have been present in Egypt since 1981.

UNITED STATES AND NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION OPERATIONS IN KOSOVO

The United States continues to contribute forces to the Kosovo Force (KFOR), led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in cooperation with local authorities, bilateral partners, and international institutions, to deter renewed hostilities in Kosovo.  Approximately 578 United States military personnel are among KFOR’s approximately 4,487 personnel.

UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES IN NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION COUNTRIES

Approximately 80,000 United States Armed Forces personnel are assigned or deployed to North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries in Europe, including those deployed to reassure our allies and to deter further Russian aggression.

I have directed the participation of United States Armed Forces in all of the above-described operations pursuant to my constitutional and statutory authority as Commander in Chief and as Chief Executive (including the authority to carry out Public Law 107-40, Public Law 107-243, and other statutes), as well as my constitutional and statutory authority to conduct the foreign relations of the United States.  Officials of my Administration and I communicate regularly with congressional leadership, relevant congressional committees, and other Members of Congress with regard to these deployments, and we will continue to do so.

                                 Sincerely, 

                             JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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Memorandum on the Delegation of Certain Functions and Authorities Under the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 and Public Law 117-78

Thu, 12/07/2023 - 11:14

December 7, 2023

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
                THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
               THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY

SUBJECT:      Delegation of Certain Functions and Authorities
              Under the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020
              and Public Law 117-78


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 301 of title 3, United States Code, I hereby order as follows:

Section1.  (a)  I hereby delegate to the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the functions and authorities vested in the President by the following provisions of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 (Public Law 116-145) (UHRPA) and Public Law 117-78:

     (i)    section 6(a)(1) of the UHRPA, with respect to submitting the report;

     (ii)   section 6(e) of the UHRPA; and

     (iii)  section 5(c)(1) of Public Law 117-78, with respect to submitting the report.

(b)  I hereby delegate to the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the functions and authorities vested in the President by the following provisions of the UHRPA and Public Law 117-78:

     (i)    section 6(a)(1) of the UHRPA, with respect to making the determinations;

     (ii)   section 6(g) of the UHRPA, with respect to terminating the sanctions described in section 6(c)(1) of the UHRPA and imposed under section 6(b) of the UHRPA; and

     (iii)  section 5(c)(1) of Public Law 117-78, with respect to making the determinations.

(c)  I hereby delegate to the Secretary of the Treasury the functions and authorities vested in the President by the following provisions of the UHRPA and Public Law 117-78:

     (i)    section 6(b) of the UHRPA, with respect to imposing the sanctions described in section 6(c)(1) of the UHRPA;

     (ii)   section 6(c)(1) of the UHRPA;

     (iii)  section 6(d) of the UHRPA; and

     (iv)   section 5(c)(2) of Public Law 117-78, with respect to imposing the sanctions described in section 6(c)(1) of the UHRPA.

(d)  I hereby delegate to the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the functions and authorities vested in the President by the following provisions of the UHRPA and Public Law 117-78:

     (i)    section 6(b) of the UHRPA, with respect to imposing the sanctions described in section 6(c)(2) of the UHRPA;

     (ii)   section 6(g) of the UHRPA, with respect to terminating the sanctions described in section 6(c)(2) of the UHRPA and imposed under section 6(b) of the UHRPA; and

     (iii)  section 5(c)(2) of Public Law 117-78, with respect to imposing the sanctions described in section 6(c)(2) of the UHRPA.

Sec. 2.  The delegations in this memorandum shall apply to any provisions of any future public laws that are the same or substantially the same as those provisions referenced in this memorandum.

Sec. 3.  The Secretary of State is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.



                                  JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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President Biden Announces Presidential Delegation to the Argentine Republic to Attend the Inauguration of His Excellency Javier Milei

Wed, 12/06/2023 - 17:00

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. today announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to attend the Inauguration of His Excellency Javier Milei on December 10, 2023, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
 
The Honorable Jennifer M. Granholm, Secretary of the United States Department of Energy, will lead the delegation.
 
Members of the Presidential Delegation:

The Honorable Marc R. Stanley, United States Ambassador to the Argentine Republic

The Honorable Carlos Monje, Undersecretary of Transportation for Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation

The Honorable Andrew E. Light, Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy

The Honorable Juan Sebastian Gonzalez, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere, National Security Council, The White House

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Executive Order on Reforming Federal Funding and Support for Tribal Nations to Better Embrace Our Trust Responsibilities and Promote the Next Era of Tribal Self-Determination

Wed, 12/06/2023 - 16:52

     By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

     Section 1.  Policy.  My Administration is committed to protecting and supporting Tribal sovereignty and self-determination, and to honoring our trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations.  We recognize the right of Tribal Nations to self-determination, and that Federal support for Tribal self-determination has been the most effective policy for the economic growth of Tribal Nations and the economic well-being of Tribal citizens.  Federal policies of past eras, including termination, relocation, and assimilation, collectively represented attacks on Tribal sovereignty and did lasting damage to Tribal communities, Tribal economies, and the institutions of Tribal governance.  By contrast, the self-determination policies of the last 50 years — whereby the Federal Government has worked with Tribal Nations to promote and support Tribal self-governance and the growth of Tribal institutions — have revitalized Tribal economies, rebuilt Tribal governments, and begun to heal the relationship between Tribal Nations and the United States.

     Despite the progress of the last 50 years, Federal funding and support programs that are the backbone of Federal support for Tribal self-determination are too often administered in ways that leave Tribal Nations unduly burdened and frustrated with bureaucratic processes.  The Federal funding that Tribal Nations rely on comes from myriad sources across the Federal Government, often with varying and complex application and reporting processes.  While Tribal Nations continue to rebuild, grow, and thrive, some Tribal Nations do not have the capacity and resources they need to access Federal funds — and even for those that do, having to repeatedly navigate Federal processes often unnecessarily drains those resources. 

     My Administration has taken steps to meaningfully reform existing Federal processes for Tribal Nations.  Executive Order 14058 of December 13, 2021 (Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government), directed executive departments and agencies (agencies) to reduce administrative burdens and improve efficiency in public-facing and internal Federal processes, while the Presidential Memorandum of January 26, 2021 (Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships), and the Presidential Memorandum of November 30, 2022 (Uniform Standards for Tribal Consultation), reiterated our commitment to, and established uniform standards for, Tribal consultation.  These previous actions have laid an important foundation for the policies and procedures set forth in this order.

     Now is the time to build upon this foundation by ushering in the next era of self-determination policies and our unique Nation-to-Nation relationships, during which we will better acknowledge and engage with Tribal Nations as respected and vital self-governing sovereigns.  As we continue to support Tribal Nations, we must respect their sovereignty by better ensuring that they are able to make their own decisions about where and how to meet the needs of their communities.  No less than for any other sovereign, Tribal self-governance is about the fundamental right of a people to determine their own destiny and to prosper and flourish on their own terms.  

     This order solidifies my Administration’s commitment to this next era of Tribal self-determination policies that are rooted in prioritizing partnerships with Tribal leaders, respect for Tribal sovereignty, trust in Tribal priorities, and dignity for Tribal Nations.  In keeping with our trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations, and our commitment to advancing Tribal sovereignty, it is the policy of the United States to design and administer Federal funding and support programs for Tribal Nations, consistent with applicable law and to the extent practicable, in a manner that better recognizes and supports Tribal sovereignty and self-determination.  To realize this policy, the Federal Government must improve how it approaches the work of administering Tribal programs and supporting Tribal communities.

     We must ensure that Federal programs, to the maximum extent possible and practicable under Federal law, provide Tribal Nations with the flexibility to improve economic growth, address the specific needs of their communities, and realize their vision for their future.  We must improve our Nation-to-Nation relationships by reducing administrative burdens and by administering funding in a manner that provides Tribal Nations with the greatest possible autonomy to address the specific needs of their people.  We must make it easier for Tribal Nations to access the Federal funding and resources for which they are eligible and that they need to help grow their economies and provide their citizens with vital and innovative services.  We must promote partnerships with Tribal Nations, recognizing that they bring invaluable expertise on countless matters from how to more effectively meet the needs of their citizens to how to steward their ancestral homelands.  We must promote effective consideration of the unique needs of Tribal Nations from the very beginning of our design, update, or review of processes and throughout every step of administering Federal funding and support programs.  We must implement laws, policies, and programs in ways that allow Tribal Nations to take ownership of resources and services for their communities.  We need to identify any statutory and regulatory changes that are necessary or may be helpful to ensure that Federal funding and support programs effectively address the needs of Tribal Nations, and recommend legislative changes, where appropriate.  Finally, we must, through Tribal consultation, continually improve our understanding of the funding and programmatic needs of Tribal Nations.  The foregoing is not only good policy, but is also consistent with our commitment to fulfilling the United States’ unique trust responsibility to Tribal Nations and the deep respect we have for Tribal Nations.

     Sec. 2.  Definitions.  For purposes of this order:

     (a)  The term “agency” means any authority of the United States that is an “agency” under 44 U.S.C. 3502(1), other than those considered to be independent regulatory agencies, as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5).

     (b)  The term “Federal funding and support programs for Tribal Nations” includes funding, programs, technical assistance, loans, grants, or other financial support or direct services that the Federal Government provides to Tribal Nations or Indians because of their status as Indians.  It also includes actions or programs that do not exclusively serve Tribes, but for which Tribal Nations are eligible along with non-Tribal entities.  It does not include programs for which both Indians and non-Indians are eligible.

     (c)  The terms “Tribes” and “Tribal Nations” mean any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community considered an “Indian Tribe” under section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, 25 U.S.C. 5304.

     Sec. 3.  Agency Coordination on Better Supporting Tribal Nations and Identifying Opportunities for Reform.  Agencies shall work with the White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA) to coordinate implementation of this order, share leading practices, and identify potential opportunities for Federal policy reforms that would promote accessible, equitable, and flexible administration of Federal funding and support programs for Tribal Nations.  The WHCNAA shall assist agencies in coordinating the Tribal consultations required by section 4 of this order to minimize the burden on Tribal Nations in participating.

     Sec. 4.  Embracing Our Trust Responsibilities by Assessing Unmet Federal Obligations to Support Tribal Nations.  The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Assistant to the President and Domestic Policy Advisor (Domestic Policy Advisor) shall lead an effort, in collaboration with WHCNAA, to identify chronic shortfalls in Federal funding and support programs for Tribal Nations, and shall submit recommendations to the President describing the additional funding and programming necessary to better live up to the Federal Government’s trust responsibilities and help address the needs of all Tribal Nations, as follows:

     (a)  Within 240 days of the date of this order, the Director of OMB and the Domestic Policy Advisor shall, in consultation with the head of each agency that is a member of WHCNAA, and in consultation with Tribal leaders or their designees, develop guidance for assessing the additional funding each agency needs for its existing Federal funding and support programs for Tribal Nations to better live up to the Federal Government’s trust responsibilities and help address the needs of all Tribal Nations.  

     (b)  Within 540 days of the date of this order, the head of each agency that is a member of WHCNAA shall consult the guidance developed under subsection (a) of this section and submit a report to the Director of OMB and the Domestic Policy Advisor that identifies the funding needed for each agency’s existing Federal funding and support programs for Tribal Nations to better live up to the Federal Government’s trust responsibilities and help address the needs of Tribal Nations in the agency’s areas of responsibility.

     (c)  The Director of OMB and the Domestic Policy Advisor shall develop, based on the agency reports provided under subsection (b) of this section and in consultation with Tribes and WHCNAA, recommendations for the Federal Government to take steps toward better living up to its trust responsibilities and helping address the needs of all Tribal Nations.  These recommendations should identify any budgetary, statutory, regulatory, or other changes that may be necessary to ensure that Federal laws, policies, practices, and programs support Tribal Nations more effectively.  These recommendations shall be submitted to the President, and shall be considered by agencies and OMB in developing the President’s Budget beginning with the next regular President’s Budget development cycle.

     (d)  After submission of the reports and recommendations described in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the Executive Director of WHCNAA shall annually convene appropriate representatives of WHCNAA member agencies to share best practices, track progress on implementing the recommendations, and evaluate the need for reassessment of funding.

     (e)  Following submission of the recommendations described in subsection (c) of this section, WHCNAA member agencies shall report annually to the Director of OMB on progress made in response to such recommendations.  The Director of OMB shall provide a summary of agencies’ progress and any new recommendations to Tribal leaders at the annual White House Tribal Nations Summit.

     Sec. 5.  Agency Actions to Increase the Accessibility, Equity, Flexibility, and Utility of Federal Funding and Support Programs for Tribal Nations.  Agency heads shall take the following actions to increase the accessibility, equity, flexibility, and utility of Federal funding and support programs for Tribal Nations, while increasing the transparency and efficiency of Federal funding processes to better live up to the Federal Government’s trust responsibilities and support Tribal self-determination:

     (a)  Agencies shall design, revise, provide waivers for, and otherwise administer Federal funding and support programs for Tribal Nations to achieve the following objectives, to the maximum extent practicable and consistent with applicable law:

          (i)     promote compacting, contracting, co-management, co-stewardship, and other agreements with Tribal Nations that allow them to partner with the Federal Government to administer Federal programs and services;

          (ii)    identify funding programs that may allow for Tribal set-asides or other similar resource or benefits prioritization measures and, where appropriate, establish Tribal set-asides or prioritization measures that meet the needs of Tribal Nations;

          (iii)   design application and reporting criteria and processes in ways that reduce administrative burdens, including by consolidating and streamlining such criteria and processes within individual agencies;

          (iv)    take into account the unique needs, limited capacity, or significant barriers faced by Tribal Nations by providing reasonable and appropriate exceptions or accommodations where necessary;

          (v)     increase the flexibility of Federal funding for Tribal Nations by removing, where feasible, unnecessary limitations on Tribal spending, including by maximizing the portion of Federal funding that can be used for training, administrative costs, and additional personnel;

          (vi)    improve accessibility by identifying matching or cost-sharing requirements that may unduly reduce the ability of Tribal Nations to access resources and removing those burdens where appropriate;

          (vii)   respect Tribal data sovereignty and recognize the importance of Indigenous Knowledge by, when appropriate and permitted by statute, allowing Tribal Nations to use self-certified data and avoiding the establishment of processes that require Tribal Nations to apply to, or obtain permission from, State or local governments to access Federal funding or to be part of a Federal program;

          (viii)  provide Tribal Nations with the flexibility to apply for Federal funding and support programs through inter-Tribal consortia or other entities while requiring non-Tribal entities that apply for Federal funding on behalf of, or to directly benefit, Tribal Nations to include proof of Tribal consent; and

          (ix)    provide ongoing outreach and technical assistance to Tribal Nations throughout the application and implementation process while continually improving agencies’ understanding of Tribal Nations’ unique needs through Tribal consultation and meaningful partnerships.

     (b)  Agencies, in coordination with OMB and consistent with applicable law, should assess Tribal Nations’ access to competitive grant funding by tracking applications from Tribal Nations to competitive grant programs and their funding award success rate.

     (c)  Agencies should proactively and systematically identify and address, where possible, any additional undue burdens not discussed in this order that Tribal Nations face in accessing or effectively using Federal funding and support programs for Tribal Nations and their root causes, including those causes that are regulatory, technological, or process-based.

     (d)  Agencies’ implementation efforts shall appropriately maintain or enhance protections afforded under existing Federal law and policy, including those related to treaty rights and trust obligations, Tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction, civil rights, civil liberties, privacy, confidentiality, Indigenous Knowledge, and information access and security.

     (e)  The WHCNAA, with support from the Secretary of the Interior as appropriate, shall ensure that Tribal Nations can easily identify in one location all sources of Federal funding and support programs for Tribal Nations, and all agencies that provide such funding shall coordinate with the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary’s designee to compile and regularly update the necessary information to support this resource.

     (f)  Agencies shall identify opportunities, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to modify their respective regulations, internal and public-facing guidance, internal budget development processes, and policies to include responsiveness to and support for the needs of Tribal Nations as part of their respective agencies’ missions.

     (g)  Agencies shall issue internal guidance or directives, and provide additional staff training or support, as needed and as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to promote the implementation of the leading practices identified in this section and their integration into agencies’ processes for developing policies and programs.

     Sec. 6.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

          (i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

          (ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

     (b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

     (c)  Agencies not covered by section 2(a) of this order, including independent agencies, are strongly encouraged to comply with the provisions of this order.

     (d)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right, benefit, or trust responsibility, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

                             JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

THE WHITE HOUSE,
 December 6, 2023.

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A Proclamation on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 2023

Wed, 12/06/2023 - 14:26

     On this day 82 years ago, 2,403 service members and civilians were killed in a painful and unprovoked attack on our Armed Forces.  On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we remember these women and men, who gave their last full measure of devotion to our Nation.  We honor the brave service members who — with the horrors of Pearl Harbor weighing on their hearts and the hopes of humanity resting on their shoulders — answered the call to defend freedom against the forces of fascism during World War II.

     The stories of the Greatest Generation’s ultimate courage and commitment continue to inspire an enduring sense of unity and purpose throughout our Nation.  They remind us that, in the darkest of moments, we have the power to bend the arc of history toward a freer and more just future.  They remind us that, from death, destruction, and division, we can build a better world — one grounded in peace and security.  They remind us that the forces of tyranny and terrorism are no match for the flame of liberty that burns in the hearts of free people everywhere.  Above all, they remind us that every generation can — and must — defeat democracy’s mortal foes.

     Together, we must continue to answer that call.  We must continue to honor our sacred obligation to care for our service members; veterans; and their families, caregivers, and survivors — including our World War II veterans, who dared all and risked all for our country.  With bipartisan support in the Congress, my Administration is meeting that obligation — including now welcoming all World War II veterans to enroll in Veterans Affairs health care services, regardless of length of service or financial status.

     As we honor the patriots who perished on this tragic day 82 years ago and the service members who defended democracy in the days and years that followed, let us carry forward their mission of forging a better future for humankind, one of greater dignity, opportunity, and security for all.  Let us remember that we are the United States of America — and there is nothing beyond our capacity if we do it together.

     The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as “National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.”  Today, let us commemorate the patriots who were wounded and who perished on December 7, 1941, and continue to fulfill our sacred obligation to care for our service members; veterans; and their families, caregivers, and survivors.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2023, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.  I encourage all Americans to reflect on the courage shown by our brave service members that day and remember their sacrifices.  I ask us all to give sincere thanks and appreciation to the survivors of that unthinkable day.  I urge all Federal agencies, interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff on December 7, 2023, in honor of those American patriots who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.
 

                             JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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Letter to the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate on an Agreement with the Republic of the Marshall Islands

Tue, 12/05/2023 - 16:28

December 5, 2023

Dear Mr. Speaker:   (Dear Madam President:)

Consistent with section 101(f) of title I of the Compact of Free Association Amendments Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-188), I transmit herewith the Agreement Concerning Procedures for the Implementation of United States Economic Assistance Provided in the 2023 Amended Compact Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (2023 FPA), the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands Regarding the Compact Trust Fund (2023 TFA), and the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to Amend the Compact of Free Association, as Amended (2023 Amended Compact).  The 2023 FPA, the 2023 TFA, and the 2023 Amended Compact (Agreements) were signed at Honolulu on October 16, 2023.

These Agreements with the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) serve the important purpose of assisting in the RMI’s development and maintaining our close relationship.  The 2023 Amended Compact would obligate the United States to provide $1.6 billion over 20 years in grant assistance and $700 million in new Compact Trust Fund contributions.  The 2023 FPA would maintain oversight and accountability for United States taxpayer funds provided to support essential government services.  The 2023 TFA would restructure the current Compact Trust Fund in order to provide either sector support or distributions to eligible recipients.  New contributions to the Compact Trust Fund would be directed to support extraordinary needs distributions for people in the RMI.    

Extending such assistance is a critical component of my Administration’s Indo-Pacific, Pacific Partnership, and National Security Strategies.  These Agreements demonstrate our long-term commitment to and strengthen our broader bilateral relationship with the RMI, fostering economic prosperity and stability that form the foundation of our strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific region.

I transmit herewith the 2023 Amended Compact, the 2023 FPA, and the 2023 TFA for the implementation of these Agreements related to the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

                              Sincerely,

                             JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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Letter to the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate on an Agreement with the Federated States of Micronesia

Tue, 12/05/2023 - 16:11

December 5, 2023

Dear Mr. Speaker:   (Dear Madam President:)

Consistent with section 101(f) of title I of the Compact of Free Association Amendments Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-188), I transmit herewith the Agreement Concerning Procedures for the Implementation of United States Economic Assistance Provided in the 2023 Amended Compact Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia, signed at Palikir on May 23, 2023 (2023 FPA), and the 2023 Federal Programs and Services Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia with Annexes, signed at Washington, D.C., on September 28, 2023 (2023 FPSA).

The 2023 FPA and the 2023 FPSA (Agreements) with the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) serve the important purpose of assisting in the FSM’s development and maintaining our close relationship.  The 2023 FPA would maintain oversight and accountability for United States taxpayer funds provided to support essential government services by preserving an oversight role for the Joint Economic Management Committee (JEMCO) and United States Government control of the same, while giving the FSM a greater voice on the JEMCO.  The 2023 FPA would streamline but generally maintain the FSM’s reporting and audit requirements, while giving the FSM more autonomy in setting budget priorities within mutually decided upon sectors. 

Under the 2023 FPSA, most of the programs and services would continue as they have over the last 20 years, with some technical updates.  The 2023 FPSA includes more substantive modifications to the provision of postal services, disaster assistance, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance.  Significant changes to postal services include giving the United States Postal Service more flexibility to reduce the minimum level of service it is required to provide for certain categories of service, including commercial mail services.  Significant changes to disaster assistance include a revision to the process for declaring disasters and increased contributions to the Disaster Assistance Emergency Fund, as well as changes to promote disaster preparedness.  The FDIC agreed to expand its insurance to other eligible banks in the FSM in addition to the already-insured Bank of the Federated States of Micronesia.  The 2023 FPSA’s general provisions that apply to all United States executive departments and agencies in the FSM — not just those providing programs and services under the 2023 FPSA — would last in perpetuity unless terminated by mutual agreement.  This ensures that benefits for United States executive departments and agencies, personnel, and contractors — including certain privileges and immunities, tax exemptions, and claims and dispute settlement procedures — would continue beyond 20 years.

Extending such assistance, including Federal programs and services, is a critical component of my Administration’s Indo-Pacific, Pacific Partnership, and National Security Strategies.  These Agreements demonstrate our long-term commitment to and strengthen our broader bilateral relationship with the FSM, fostering economic prosperity and stability that form the foundation of our strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific region.

I transmit herewith the 2023 FPA and the 2023 FPSA for the implementation of these Agreements related to the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia.

                              Sincerely,


                              JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR

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Nominations Sent to the Senate

Mon, 12/04/2023 - 17:04

Kristen Sarri, of Maryland, to be Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, vice Monica P. Medina, resigned.

     Douglas Craig Schmidt, of Tennessee, to be Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Department of Defense, vice Nickolas Guertin.


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A Proclamation on the Death of Sandra Day O’Connor

Mon, 12/04/2023 - 15:45

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was an American icon, the first woman on our Nation’s highest court.  She spent her career committed to the stable center, pragmatic and in search of common ground.  Defined by her no-nonsense Arizona ranch roots, Justice O’Connor overcame discrimination early on, at a time when law firms too often told women to seek work as secretaries, not attorneys.  She gave her life to public service, even holding elected office, and never forgot those ties to the people whom the law is meant to serve.  She sought to avoid ideology, and was devoted to the rule of law and to the bedrock American principle of an independent judiciary.  Justice O’Connor never quit striving to make this Nation stronger, calling on us all to engage with our country and with one another, and her institute’s work to promote civics education and civil discourse has touched millions.  She knew that for democracy to work, we have to listen to each other, and remember how much more we all have in common as Americans than what keeps us apart.

As a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding service of Sandra Day O’Connor, retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that on the day of her interment, the flag of the United States shall be flown at half‑staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on such day.  I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.

                             JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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A Proclamation on International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 2023

Fri, 12/01/2023 - 12:44

On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we recommit to building a world where disabled people everywhere are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve and are afforded an equal shot at achieving their dreams.

     Many Americans can still recall when — just over three decades ago — a person could legally be denied service in a restaurant and employers could refuse to hire them on the basis of their disability.  Since the beginning of my career, I have worked hard to change that.  One of my earliest acts as a United States Senator was co-sponsoring the Rehabilitation Act, which banned discrimination on the basis of disability by any entity funded by the Federal Government.  Years later, I was proud to co-sponsor the Americans with Disabilities Act — a landmark piece of legislation that banned discrimination against disabled people in workplaces, schools, public transit, and more.

     In the years since, over 180 nations around the world have passed similar laws, delivering justice to millions of people with disabilities worldwide.  But there is still more to do at home and abroad to ensure they have equal opportunities.  Too often, disabled Americans are unable to vote, get to and from school, and enjoy public spaces, and are paid less for doing the same work.  Around the world, disabled people continue to face discrimination, harassment, exploitation, abuse, and violence, which inhibits their full participation in society.

     That is why my Administration has worked to ensure that the dignity and rights of disabled Americans are lifted in every policy we pursue.  Through my American Rescue Plan, we have taken action to improve access to health care for disabled Americans, including providing billions of dollars to all 50 States to expand home- and community-based services under Medicaid so that more people with disabilities can live independently at home.  Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we have invested billions of dollars more in building a country that works for everyone — from repairing and improving accessibility in airports and transit stations to expanding access to high-speed internet so more disabled Americans can work, study, and stay connected from home.  Additionally, the Department of Justice proposed standards for State and local governments to make their internet content and mobile apps more accessible to disabled Americans so that they can easily do things like travel to and from work and school, care for themselves and their loved ones, and vote.

     My Administration is also working to uphold the dignity and freedom of disabled people worldwide.  For example, I released the first-ever memorandum on Advancing Worker Empowerment, Rights, and High Labor Standards Globally, which directed departments and agencies to account for the particular needs of persons with disabilities in promoting labor rights. At the United Nations General Assembly in September, I met with leaders from Central Asia at the first-ever C5+1 Presidential Summit and launched a joint disability rights initiative aimed at integrating disability rights, promoting inclusive education, and increasing infrastructure accessibility.  At the Department of State, I reestablished the role of Special Advisor on International Disability Rights so that the needs of disabled people are consistently represented in foreign policy.  Through our participation as a co-chair of the Global Action on Disability Network and a participant in the Global Disability Summit, the United States continues to stand for the equal rights of people with disabilities around the world.

     Today, as we celebrate the dignity, resilience, and immense contributions of disabled people everywhere, we recognize that our progress is not just about protecting disability rights — it is about promoting disability pride.  For many of the over one billion disabled people around the world, disability is a source of identity and power — and it is our responsibility to ensure everyone has equal opportunities to reach their full potential.  

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 3, 2023, as International Day of Persons with Disabilities.  I call on all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.

                                                                                                          JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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A Proclamation on National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, 2023

Thu, 11/30/2023 - 17:27

This holiday season, too many American families will have an empty seat at their table after losing a loved one in a drunk or drug-impaired driving accident.  More than 10,000 Americans die every year in these preventable crashes.  During National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, we call on everyone to help save a life by planning ahead, calling for a ride, only driving when sober, and helping friends and loved ones do the same every time.

     Nearly a third of deadly car wrecks in America involve alcohol, and some 26 million people drove under the influence in 2020, endangering themselves, passengers and passersby, and the law enforcement officers who work to keep our roads safe.  Just one drink or pill can destroy a cascade of lives.

     The best way to reduce the deadly cost of impaired driving is prevention, which starts by raising awareness of its risks and consequences and by working to treat substance misuse in the first place.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has invested in media campaigns like “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different”; “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”; and “Drive High, Get a DUI,” but it is on all of us to help spread the word, offer to be a designated driver for others when we can, and call a ride or ask for help when we need it.  Meanwhile, for Fiscal Year 2024, my Administration asked the Congress for $26 billion more to fund prevention, treatment, and recovery support services for substance misuse and $20 billion to reduce the supply of illicit substances entering our country to help keep communities safe.  Since taking office, my Administration has committed to provide over $169 billion in drug control funding to end the overdose crisis.

     My Administration is advancing new tools that can help prevent driving under the influence and improve road safety.  Our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests in technologies that can detect and prevent impaired driving, and it requires all new passenger cars to include features like collision warnings and automatic emergency braking, which can help to avoid accidents.  The Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy works to eliminate traffic deaths and make crashes less destructive.  For example, their Safe Streets and Roads for All program offers more than $800 million in grants to help cities, counties, Tribes, and other organizations plan and implement measures improve the safety of our Nation’s roadways.

     As we head into the holiday seasons, we urge Americans everywhere to do the right thing.  If you plan on drinking, arrange a sober ride home in advance; ride-sharing apps have made getting home safely easier than ever.  If you have used any substance, never get behind the wheel.  If you see someone — a friend, loved one, colleague, or anyone else — putting themselves or others at risk, offer to help.  It matters.  You could save a life.  

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 2023 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.  I urge all Americans to make responsible decisions and take appropriate measures to prevent impaired driving.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
thirtieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.


                                                                                                    JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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A Proclamation on World AIDS Day, 2023

Thu, 11/30/2023 - 17:15

On World AIDS Day, my message is simple:  Let us finish the fight.

Since recognizing the first World AIDS Day 35 years ago, we have made enormous progress in preventing, detecting, and treating HIV — greatly reducing annual HIV diagnoses and transmission.  But despite these advancements, about 39 million people continue to live with HIV, including more than one million people in the United States.  Far too often, people living with HIV face discrimination that prevents them from accessing the care they need.  So, as we reflect on our progress today, we must also come together to renew our promise to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

At home, my Administration has taken historic steps to achieve this goal.  During my first year in office, I reestablished the White House Office of National AIDS Policy and launched a new National HIV/AIDS Strategy — a roadmap for using innovative community-driven solutions to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States by 2030.  This year, my Administration also ended the disgraceful practice of banning gay and bisexual men from donating blood.  We continue to work with State and community leaders to repeal or reform so-called HIV criminalization laws, which wrongly punish people for exposing others to HIV.  I have asked the Congress for $850 million for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative to aggressively reduce new HIV cases, fight the stigma that stops many people from getting care, and increase access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) — a critical drug that can help prevent the spread of HIV. 

We are also focused on ending HIV/AIDS as a public health threat worldwide by 2030 under the bipartisan President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  PEPFAR has reduced transmissions, expanded testing, and saved more than 25 million lives in over 50 partner countries over the last two decades.  Further, PEPFAR is focusing on forging a future where every HIV infection is prevented, every person has access to treatment, and every generation can live free from the stigma that too often surrounds HIV.  My Administration is committed to working with the Congress to pass a clean PEPFAR reauthorization bill to extend this lifesaving bipartisan program for 5 years and end HIV/AIDS by 2030.

We are within striking distance of eliminating HIV-transmission.  We have the science.  We have the treatments.  Most of all, we have each other.  On this 35th World AIDS Day — let us honor all the families who have lost a loved one to this disease and all the people currently living with HIV/AIDS.  Let us remember the activists, scientists, doctors, and caregivers who have never given up in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  Let us recommit to finishing this fight — together.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 1, 2023, as World AIDS Day.  I urge the Governors of the United States and its Commonwealths and Territories, the appropriate officials of all units of government, and the American people to join the HIV community in activities to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS and to provide support, dignity, and compassion to people with HIV.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.

                              JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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Nominations Sent to the Senate

Thu, 11/30/2023 - 15:39

NOMINATIONS SENT TO THE SENATE:

     Juan Carlos Iturregui, of Maryland, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Dominican Republic.

     Deven J. Parekh, of New York, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the United States International Development Finance Corporation for a term of three years.  (Reappointment)

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Message to the Congress on the Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

Thu, 11/30/2023 - 12:50

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
 
 
     I am pleased to transmit to the Congress, pursuant to subsections 123 b. and 123 d. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2153(b), (d)) (the “Act”), the text of an Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (the “Agreement”).

     I am also pleased to transmit my written approval, authorization, and determination concerning the Agreement and an unclassified Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement (NPAS) concerning the Agreement.  In accordance with section 123 of the Act, a classified annex to the NPAS, prepared by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, summarizing relevant classified information, will be submitted to the Congress separately.  The joint memorandum submitted to me by the Secretaries of State and Energy and a letter from the Chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission stating the views of the Commission are also enclosed.  An addendum to the NPAS containing a comprehensive analysis of the export control system of the Republic of the Philippines with respect to nuclear-related matters, including interactions with other countries of proliferation concern and the actual or suspected nuclear, dual­use, or missile-related transfers to such countries, pursuant to section 102A(w) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3024(w)), is being submitted separately by the Director of National Intelligence.

     The Agreement has been negotiated in accordance with the Act and other applicable law.  In my judgment, it meets all applicable statutory requirements and will advance the nonproliferation and other foreign policy interests of the United States of America.

     The Agreement contains all of the provisions required by subsection 123 a. of the Act.  It provides a comprehensive framework for peaceful nuclear cooperation with the Republic of the Philippines based on a mutual commitment to nuclear nonproliferation.  It would permit the transfer of material, equipment (including reactors), components, and information for peaceful nuclear purposes.  It would not permit the transfer of Restricted Data or sensitive nuclear technology.  Any special fissionable material transferred could only be in the form of low enriched uranium, with the exception of small quantities of material for use as samples, standards, detectors, or targets, or for such other purposes as the parties may agree.

     Through the Agreement, the Republic of the Philippines would affirm its intent to rely on existing international markets for nuclear fuel services rather than acquiring sensitive nuclear technology (i.e., for enrichment and reprocessing), and the United States would affirm its intent to support the supply of reactors, material, and equipment in order to ensure a reliable supply of low enriched uranium fuel to the Republic of the Philippines.

     The Agreement has a term of 30 years, although it can be terminated by either party upon providing 1 year’s advance written notice.  In the event of termination or expiration of the Agreement, key nonproliferation conditions and controls will continue in effect as long as any material, equipment, or components subject to the Agreement remain in the territory of the party concerned or under its jurisdiction or control anywhere, or until such time as the parties agree that such material, equipment, or components are no longer usable for any nuclear activity relevant from the point of view of safeguards.

     The Republic of the Philippines has an excellent track record on nonproliferation and has consistently reiterated its commitment to nonproliferation.  Through its constitution, the Republic of the Philippines has adopted and pursued a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.  It is a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and has concluded a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency.  The Republic of the Philippines was also among the early sponsors of and is a State Party to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone.  A more detailed discussion of the Republic of the Philippines’ domestic civil nuclear activities and its nuclear nonproliferation policies and practices is provided in the NPAS and its classified annex.

     I have considered the views and recommendations of the interested departments and agencies in reviewing the Agreement and have determined that its performance will promote, and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to, the common defense and security.  Accordingly, I have approved the Agreement and authorized its execution and urge that the Congress give it favorable consideration.

     This transmission shall constitute a submittal for purposes of both subsections 123 b. and 123 d. of the Act.  My Administration is prepared to begin immediately consultations with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, as provided in subsection 123 b.  Upon completion of the 30 days of continuous session review provided for in subsection 123 b., the 60 days of continuous session review provided for in subsection 123 d. shall commence.
 
                                         JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
 
THE WHITE HOUSE,
November 30, 2023.

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Nominations Sent to the Senate

Mon, 11/27/2023 - 16:44

Amy M. Baggio, of Oregon, to be United States District Judge for the District of Oregon, vice Marco A. Hernandez, retiring.

     Sherri Malloy Beatty-Arthur, of the District of Columbia, to be an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for the term of fifteen years, vice Carol A. Dalton, retired.

     Nicole G. Berner, of Maryland, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit, vice Diana Gribbon Motz, retired.

     Cristal C. Brisco, of Indiana, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Indiana, vice Theresa Lazar Springmann, retired.

     Erin Camille Johnston, of the District of Columbia, to be an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for the term of fifteen years, vice Peter Arno Krauthamer, retired.

     Gretchen S. Lund, of Indiana, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Indiana, vice Jon E. DeGuilio, retired.

     Adeel Abdullah Mangi, of New Jersey, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit, vice Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr., retired.

     Ray D. McKenzie, of the District of Columbia, to be an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for the term of fifteen years, vice Hiram E. Puig-Lugo, retired.

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Executive Order on Interagency Security Committee

Mon, 11/27/2023 - 10:18

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to enhance the quality and effectiveness of security in and protection of buildings and facilities in the United States occupied by Federal employees or Federal contractor workers for nonmilitary activities, and to provide an ongoing entity to address continuing Government-wide security for Federal facilities, it is hereby ordered as follows:

     Section 1.  Establishment.  There is hereby established the Interagency Security Committee (Committee).  The Committee shall consist of: 

     (a)  the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary);

     (b)  representatives from the following executive departments and agencies (agencies), designated by the heads of such agencies:

          (i)      the Department of State;

          (ii)     the Department of the Treasury;

          (iii)    the Department of Defense;

          (iv)     the Department of Justice;

          (v)      the Department of the Interior;

          (vi)     the Department of Agriculture;

          (vii)    the Department of Commerce;

          (viii)   the Department of Labor;

          (ix)     the Department of Health and Human Services;

          (x)      the Department of Housing and Urban Development;

          (xi)     the Department of Transportation;

          (xii)    the Department of Energy;

          (xiii)   the Department of Education;

          (xiv)    the Department of Veterans Affairs;

          (xv)     the Environmental Protection Agency;

          (xvi)    the Office of Management and Budget; 

          (xvii)   the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; and

          (xviii)  the General Services Administration;

     (c)  the following officials or their designees:

          (i)    the Director of the United States Marshals Service;

          (ii)   the Director of the Federal Protective Service;

          (iii)  the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency;

          (iv)   the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; and 

          (v)    the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and 

     (d)  such other Federal officials as the President may from time to time designate.   

     Sec. 2.  Chair.  The Committee shall be chaired by the Secretary or the designee of the Secretary.
 
     Sec. 3.  Working Groups.  The Committee is authorized to establish interagency working groups to perform such tasks as may be directed by the Committee.   

     Sec. 4.  Consultation.  The Committee may consult with officials in other Federal Government entities, including the Administrative Office of the United States Courts and the United States Postal Service, to perform its responsibilities under this order, and, at the discretion of the Committee, officials from other Federal Government entities may participate in the interagency working groups.
    
     Sec. 5.  Duties and Responsibilities.  The Committee shall: 

     (a)  establish policies and standards for security in and protection of Federal facilities;

     (b)  evaluate existing security standards for Federal facilities and develop a strategy to monitor the implementation of such standards to ensure compliance by agencies;

     (c)  take such actions as may be necessary to enhance the quality and effectiveness of security in and protection of Federal facilities, including:

          (i)    encouraging agencies with security responsibilities to share security-related intelligence in a timely and cooperative manner; 

          (ii)   assessing technology and information systems as means of providing cost-effective improvements to security in Federal facilities; 

          (iii)  developing long-term construction standards for those locations with threat levels or missions that require blast-resistant structures or other specialized security requirements;

          (iv)   evaluating standards for the location of, and special security related to, child care centers in Federal facilities;

          (v)    assisting the Secretary in developing and maintaining a centralized security database of all Federal facilities; and

          (vi)   providing best practices for securing a mobile Federal workforce; and

     (d)  no later than 1 year after the date of this order and biennially thereafter, prepare and provide to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs a summary report describing the results of compliance under subsection 6(c) of this order.

     Sec. 6.  Agency Support and Cooperation.  (a)  To the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary shall provide the Committee such administrative services, funds, facilities, staff, and other support services as may be necessary for the performance of its functions under this order.

     (b)  Each agency shall cooperate and comply with the requirements of this order and the policies and standards of the Committee issued pursuant to this order, except in situations in which the Director of National Intelligence, or other United States Intelligence Community official within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence designated by the Director of National Intelligence, determines that compliance would jeopardize intelligence sources and methods.  To the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, agencies shall provide such cooperation and compliance as may be necessary to enable the Committee to perform its duties and responsibilities under this order. 

          (i)   Each agency shall designate a senior official who shall be responsible for agency implementation of, and compliance with, this order.

           (ii)  The senior official shall ensure that the official’s agency supports Facility Security Committees, as applicable, in the performance of the official’s duties.

     (c)  The Secretary shall monitor agency compliance with the policies and standards of the Committee.  Monitoring compliance shall consist, at a minimum, of the following: 

          (i)    maintaining compliance benchmarks to measure compliance progress;

          (ii)   requiring periodic compliance reporting by all relevant agencies; and

          (iii)  conducting risk-based compliance verification.

     (d)  In situations in which a Federal facility is occupied by multiple agencies for both military and nonmilitary activities, and each such occupancy is substantial, those occupants shall coordinate on the security of the facility.  

     Sec. 7.  Administrative Provision.  This order supersedes Executive Order 12977 of October 19, 1995 (Interagency Security Committee), which is hereby revoked.  To the extent that this order is inconsistent with any provision of any previous Executive Order or Presidential Memorandum, this order shall control.  All policies and standards implemented by the Interagency Security Committee that was established pursuant to Executive Order 12977 shall remain in effect until rescinded or replaced by the Committee established pursuant to this order.   

     Sec. 8.  Definitions.  For purposes of this order: 

     (a)  “Agency” means an executive agency, as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code. 

     (b)  “Federal facility” means a federally owned or leased building, structure, or the land it resides on, in whole or in part, that is regularly occupied by Federal employees or Federal contractor workers for nonmilitary activities.  The term “Federal facility” also means any building or structure acquired by a contractor through ownership or leasehold interest, in whole or in part, solely for the purpose of executing a nonmilitary Federal mission or function under the direction of an agency.  The term “Federal facility” does not include public domain land, including improvements thereon; withdrawn lands; or buildings or facilities outside of the United States.

     (c)  “Federal employee” means an employee, as defined in section 2105 of title 5, United States Code, of an agency.

     (d)  “Federal contractor worker” means any individual who performs work for or on behalf of any agency under a contract, subcontract, or contract-like instrument and who, in order to perform the work specified under the contract, subcontract, or contract-like instrument, requires access to space, information, information technology systems, staff, or other assets of the Federal Government in buildings and facilities of the United States.  Such contracts include the following: 

          (i)    personal service contracts;

          (ii)   contracts between any non-Federal entity and any agency; and

          (iii)  subcontracts between any non-Federal entity and another non-Federal entity to perform work related to the primary contract with an agency.

     (e)  “Facility Security Committee” means a committee that is established in accordance with an Interagency Security Committee standard, and that is responsible for addressing facility-specific security issues and approving the implementation of security measures and practices in multi-tenant facilities.  

     Sec. 9.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

          (i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or 

          (ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

     (b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

     (c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

                                                                                                       JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

THE WHITE HOUSE,
    November 27, 2023.

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A Proclamation on Thanksgiving Day, 2023

Wed, 11/22/2023 - 15:39

 As families, loved ones, and friends across the country come together to celebrate Thanksgiving, let us be grateful for all the blessings of this Nation and its limitless possibilities.

     Throughout our country’s history, this season of reflection and giving thanks comes in good times and tough ones.  Before there was a United States of America, the Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving in honor of their first successful harvest and the support and generosity of the Wampanoag people who made it possible.  Amid the fierce battle for our Nation’s independence, General George Washington and his troops celebrated Thanksgiving on the way to Valley Forge.  During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday to honor the blessings of our country, even as he fought to preserve our Union. 

     This week, Americans will gather with their loved ones and families, celebrating the love they share and the traditions they built together.  To those who are also enduring hard times or grieving the loss of a loved one, know that we are thinking of you.

     We are truly a good Nation because we are a good people — the First Lady and I see it every time we travel the country because we meet so many incredible people doing the most extraordinary things.  We have met with service members, veterans, and their families, who have selflessly served and sacrificed for our country.  We have witnessed the resolve of firefighters, police officers, and first responders, who risk their lives every day to protect us.  We have seen the best of our character in the doctors, nurses, scientists, public servants, union workers, and teachers, who ensure everyone is taken care of and no one is left behind.  We have seen all the possibilities this Nation holds in the mothers, fathers, and caregivers, who work hard to build a future worthy of their children’s greatest dreams, and in young people across the country, who are the most talented, engaged, and educated generation in history.

     This Thanksgiving we are grateful for our Nation and the incredible soul of America.  May we all remember that we are the United States of America — there is nothing beyond our capacity if we do it together.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 23, 2023, as a National Day of Thanksgiving.  I encourage the people of the United States of America to join together and give thanks for the friends, neighbors, family members, and strangers who have supported each other over the past year in a reflection of goodwill and unity.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.

                               JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves California Disaster Declaration

Tue, 11/21/2023 - 20:34

Today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that a major disaster exists in the State of California and ordered Federal aid to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by Tropical Storm Hilary from August 19 to August 21, 2023.

Federal funding is available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Tropical Storm Hilary in the counties of Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Riverside, and Siskiyou.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Mr. Andrew F. Grant of FEMA has been appointed to coordinate Federal recovery operations in the affected areas. 

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION MEDIA SHOULD CONTACT THE FEMA NEWS DESK AT (202) 646-3272 OR FEMA-NEWS-DESK@FEMA.DHS.GOV.

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A Proclamation on the Death of Rosalynn Carter

Tue, 11/21/2023 - 14:04

     Throughout her life as First Lady of Georgia and First Lady of the United States, Rosalynn Carter exemplified hope, warmth, and a steadfast commitment to doing all she could to address many of our society’s greatest needs.  She was a champion for equal rights and opportunities for women and girls; an advocate for mental health and wellness for all; and a supporter of the often unseen and uncompensated caregivers of our children, aging loved ones, and people with disabilities.  Above all, the deep love shared between Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter is the definition of partnership, and their humble leadership is the definition of patriotism.   

     As a mark of respect for the memory of Rosalynn Carter, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions from November 25, 2023, until sunset, on the day of interment.  I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.
 

                             JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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