White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC's John Kirby hold a briefing — 1/17/24

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC's John Kirby hold a briefing — 1/17/24

The Biden administration has proposed a rule to end excessive overdraft fees charged by banks, which often impact vulnerable Americans the most. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates that the average overdraft fee would be reduced by more than half, saving families an average of $150 per year. The administration is working to lower costs and strengthen the economy.

In other news, Admiral John Kirby discussed the United States' response to the ongoing attacks by the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea. The United States has designated the Houthis as a specially designated global terrorist group, holding them accountable for their reckless and indiscriminate attacks on ships. The designation will take effect in 30 days, allowing time for aid organizations to understand the ramifications and continue providing humanitarian assistance.

The White House also held a meeting with Congressional leaders to discuss the situation in Ukraine. The focus of the meeting was to emphasize the urgent need for weapons and capabilities for Ukraine to defend against Russian aggression. There was no mention of negotiations on other topics such as the border security or immigration.

Additionally, the White House expressed concern over the trial of pro-democracy advocate Jimmy Lai in Hong Kong. The United States strongly condemns his prosecution under the National Security Law and calls for his immediate and unconditional release. The administration will continue to closely monitor developments in Hong Kong and other prosecutions under the National Security Law.

The White House has not made any statements regarding the trial of the Palestinian college students in Vermont or their families. The focus of the meeting was on Ukraine, and there was no mention of the border wall or potential concessions on border security. The administration reiterated its condemnation of House Republicans for their proposed reduction in the number of border patrol agents in the Save, Grow, and Limit Act.

There was no mention of the White House reaching out to the families of the college students in Vermont or any action taken regarding the recent statement regarding Texas officials. The White House apologized to Governor Hutchinson for a statement made by a DNC spokesperson that did not represent the president's views.

The White House is closely monitoring the situation in the Red Sea and its impact on supply chains and energy prices. So far, there has been limited impact on US supply chains and energy prices due to diversions of vessels from the Suez Canal to the Cape of Good Hope.

The president's visit to a coffee shop in Pennsylvania highlighted the success of small businesses and the confidence they have in the economy due to the American Rescue Plan. The president joked about the $6 smoothie but emphasized the importance of small business growth. The administration believes that Republicans are not interested in supporting small businesses or reducing healthcare costs for Americans.

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