President Joe Biden claimed during a CNN town hall on Thursday that he would call out the National Guard to solve America’s supply chain crisis, but the White House later said he is planning no such thing.
During the event, he was asked what policies or plans his administration had to ensure small businesses get what they need.
“We have a significant supply chain problem,” Biden said.
He then harkened back to the good old days of his vice presidency.
“In the Obama-Biden administration, all of American business — and it made sense — it was just on time. You wanted to make sure that you didn’t waste any money and/or time between producing whatever you’re producing and having it done. You didn’t — so that’s how you saved money. You didn’t buy the material six months ahead of time and then keep it in your inventory and then move it. It was on time,” he said.
“Now, that’s a big problem. You can’t — people can’t do it. They want to get out ahead. What I’ve recently done — and people said — doubted we could get it done. I was able to go to the private por- — 40 percent of all products coming into the United States of America on the West Coast go through Los Angeles and — and — oh, what am I doing here?” he said, before moderator Anderson Cooper told him that the other port was Long Beach.
Anderson then asked if Biden would consider using the National Guard.
“Yes, absolutely, positively, I would do that. But in addition to that, what you got to do is you got to get these ships in and unloaded,” he said, touting the infrastructure bill fellow Democrats have held hostage in Washington before discussing the impact of COVID-19 on Asian suppliers.
Cooper tried to bring Biden back to the subject of the National Guard. Biden continued to agree that he wanted to call out the Guard.
“Do you have a timetable for that?” Cooper asked.
“Well, I had a timetable to — first of all, I want to get the ports up and running, and get the railroads and the railheads and the trucks in port ready to move,” Biden replied.
“So, are you — but you’re actually talking about having National Guardsmen and women driving trucks?” Cooper said as Biden mumbled.
“The answer is yes, if we can’t move the — increase the number of truckers, which we’re in the process of doing,” he said.
A White House official later said Biden got it wrong.
“Requesting the use of the National Guard at the state level is under the purview of governors and we are not actively pursuing the use of the National Guard on a federal level,” a White House official told CNN.
Although Biden said Thursday he had a plan for increasing the number of truck drivers, last week, when Biden announced that the ports would be open, he made one reference to truck drivers, according to a White House transcript of his comments then.
“It means more opportunities to join a union, especially for truckers,” he said then.
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