President Joe Biden proposed more federal spending on education Wednesday when asked how to end the gas shortage on the East coast.
“I think that this shows that I think we have to make a greater investment in education as it relates to being able to train and graduate more people proficient in cybersecurity,” Biden said when asked how to alleviate the crisis.
The president spoke about the gas shortage — sparked by a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline — after delivering remarks about fighting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“I think that one of the most important things we have to do to reclaim our place as the leading innovator in the world is to have a better-educated workforce,” Biden said, admitting his answer was not a “direct response” to the question.
Biden expressed sympathy for Americans suffering from spiking gas prices but did not offer any immediate solutions.
“Gasoline. Price is going up. Exactly right. And it matters if you make $40,000 a year, it matters if you’re a two-family person making $80-$90,000, two fam.. wage earners, it matters,” he said.
The president said his administration was working closely with the executives of the Colonial Pipeline to get it back online and previewed good news in the next 24 hours.
The White House struggled to respond to the crisis after initially resisting acknowledging a gas shortage. By Tuesday, Biden officials said there was not a shortage but a “crunch.”
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki struggled to explain the administration’s evolving understanding of the problem.
“On Monday afternoon — so 48 hours ago — we said ‘at this moment there is not a supply shortage’ that was accurate, ‘at this moment.’” she told reporters. “We also said that we are continuing to monitor very closely what the impact will be.”
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