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Domestic policy adviser Susan Rice previews Biden's racial equity orders ahead of remarks

Susan Rice Biden domestic police adviser
Posted at 11:38 AM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 13:45:26-05

Susan Rice, a White House domestic policy adviser, joined the White House press briefing Tuesday to preview two executive orders that President Joe Biden will be signing in the hopes of addressing racial equity throughout the country.

Rice, a daughter of immigrant parents from Jamaica, said Biden's plans to establish a police oversight commission and re-institute Obama era restrictions regarding the sale of military equipment to local police departments address important needs in establishing equity for people of color.

"I believe we all rise and fall together. Advancing equity is a critical part of healing and restoring unity in our nation," Rice said.

Biden is also slated to take action against the federal use of private prisons. Rice later clarified that the order only applies to Department of Justice facilities, meaning private facilities used by Homeland Security that house undocumented immigrants at the border will not be included in the order.

The administration is also slated to provide an update on the COVID-19 pandemic later this afternoon. White House press secretary Jen Psaki was repeatedly asked by the press corp where the current level of vaccine supply stands. Psaki did not provide a direct answer but added that Biden would address the supply levels during his address later this afternoon.

Reports in recent days indicate that the federal supply of COVID-19 vaccines is extremely low, or potentially already depleted.

The briefing also comes hours ahead of Senators being sworn in as jurors in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. On Monday, House Democrats delivered one article of impeachment to the Senate, accusing Trump of inciting riots at the Capitol building on Jan. 6.

While Senators will be sworn in on Tuesday, trial proceedings won't begin until the week of Feb. 8. During that time, the Senate will focus on considering Biden's cabinet appointments for confirmation and negotiations on another round of COVID-19 stimulus.

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

Monday's press briefing marked the first time during Psaki's short term as press secretary that a briefing was translated live into American Sign Language. She also announced the administration was looking into ways to speed up the process of introducing a new $20 bill into circulation that would feature a portrait of Harriet Tubman.