February 25 – Pennsylvania Congressman John Joyce gave a run-down on the Oval Office meeting with President Biden yesterday with Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen on News Talk 103.7FM this morning.
“I was a Trump supporter from the beginning,” Joyce noted. “President Trump did so much for Pennsylvania and for all of America. He opened the doors to energy independence. He fought for the people. I was campaigning with President Trump. I supported him. And yet this was an opportunity to visit the sitting President of the United States. An invitation to the Oval Office was taken quite seriously.”
The discussion in the Oval Office involved creating jobs and securing the supply chain.
The meeting lasted about 90-minutes and included eight Senators from both parties and three members of the House of Representatives.
Joyce said he went with a specific purpose – to be the voice for Pennsylvanians and the voice of Pennsylvania values.
Jansen said the meeting was described as very friendly. “I think the supply chain is something that’s a little less controversial than other things because people agree we want to make sure we are able to have the technology for the microchips and things that support the 5G network.”
“It was the first bipartisan, bicameral meeting that President Biden held in the White House,” Joyce pointed out. “I was honored to be part of that discussion.”
Strong supply chains are needed for the success of businesses, the defense industry, the health care industry and pharmaceuticals.
The way we strengthen that is with microchips.
“Instead of relying on the Chinese Communist Party, we need to bring those jobs back to the United States,” Joyce said. “I pressed that issue hard with President Biden and he listened to us. I was allowed to present my case. He acknowledged our common respect. And I pushed for jobs in Pennsylvania.”
Currently, 90% of the prescriptions written in this country are for generic drugs and most of them are coming from China.
“I referenced my work on the China Task Force and talked about how we have a framework of what needs to be done when we address taking these jobs back into America or into the hands of friendly allies,” Joyce said. “That became the focus of why I was involved in this meeting.”
Additionally, most of the rare earth metals the US has come from China.
“We should be sourcing these vital metals from mineral-rich Pennsylvania and other regions across the United States,” Joyce noted. “There is advancing technology where you can capture many of the rare earth elements out of the acid mine run-off from coal mines. Out of the sludge that is left behind from some of the mining industry. We need to be advancing that technology. We’re an innovative country. We pride ourselves on that innovation.”
President Biden seemed to “like that discussion point.”
He also seemed receptive to the idea of bringing supply jobs to Pennsylvania.
Ryan noted that President Biden doesn’t seem interested in putting “shovels to the ground,” so to speak to get these minerals here. Instead he’s focused on climate change and the environment.
“He has to realize that we need to bring these jobs here,” Joyce stressed. “Of course he didn’t address how important it is to have an ‘all of the above’ approach to the energy industry. We need to use coal. We need to use oil. We need to use natural gas, every different form. That wasn’t part of the discussion yesterday.”
The discussion was specific to microchips, medications and rare earth elements.
“I really think this is a test and that’s how I put it out there in my mind,” Joyce said. “He was very congenial, listened to all the ideas, actually reiterated some of the ideas that I presented. But talk is talk it’s now time to show us the walk. Bring these jobs home. I want to see the follow up. I requested that. What are our next steps moving forward? Are we going to continue this discussion and come up with ways to return these jobs to Pennsylvania?”
Jansen noted that President Biden immediately passed executive orders for studies and there was also talk of trying to develop some legislation. “How much do you think Republicans will be welcomed to be a part of that?” she questioned.
“In the China Task Force we outlined over 100 bipartisan pieces of legislation that will bring these jobs home,” Joyce said. “It wasn’t a day to reinvent the wheel. It was a day that I could present the case to bring these jobs back to America. I’m hoping that we can re-up that into the discussion and once the executive team recognizes that this is work that’s already been done, we can build on that work. And I am willing to work to see that get done.”
“That is amazing,” Jansen said. “But didn’t they pull out of allowing Democrats to participate in this task force? You invited democrats, but Nancy Pelosi said no.”
“You have a great memory,” Joyce noted. “The weekend before the first meeting, Nancy Pelosi said she would not allow Democrats to participate in this. Hopefully this is a different message from the President. Hopefully he’s willing to realize that Republicans have worked hard on this issue.”