WASHINGTON — Joe Biden will hold his first solo press conference as president Thursday afternoon – his 64th full day in the White House – as new challenges on gun control and an influx of migrants at the southern U.S. border add to an already busy agenda.
Biden has taken longer than his predecessors, Donald Trump and Barack Obama, to formally address the White House press corps, fueling extra intrigue and turning the outing into a highly anticipated event.
Over his long political career, Biden has made his fair share of gaffes. But he’s stayed largely on script during his young presidency with a focus on leading the nation out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That discipline will be tested Thursday as reporters, for the first time besides brief interactions with the president, have an open arena to question Biden.
In the wake of two deadly mass shootings in the last week, in Georgia and Colorado, Biden has said “we have to act” to pass gun background checks and ban assault weapons. That agenda is already facing resistance from Republicans.
Biden is also facing increasing heat over the increase of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Republicans have called the situation a “crisis” of Biden’s doing while the White House has resisted that term.
Both issues are likely to come up Thursday.
— Joey Garrison