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Biden to convene first Cabinet meeting on Thursday

▶ Watch Video: Biden to share $2 trillion infrastructure plan that would fix roads, ensure clean water access

Washington — President Biden is scheduled to hold his first full Cabinet meeting on Thursday, according to the White House.

Aides have spent the last several days making arrangements for what would be one of the larger in-person meetings the president has held since taking office during the pandemic. Twenty-five people are set to attend the meeting, which will take place in the East Room at the White House. 

The president’s inaugural convening of his Cabinet comes as his administration begins its push for Congress to pass a $2 trillion infrastructure package that funds improvements for aging schools, rebuilds the nation’s highways, roads and bridges, and updates or builds 2 million affordable housing units.

Mr. Biden is poised to formally unveil the first of his two-part plan during a visit to a carpenter’s training facility in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The second part, focused on so-called “human infrastructure” proposals, is expected to be revealed next month.

“One day after unveiling the American Jobs Plan in Pittsburgh, the president will highlight how it will rebuild our infrastructure, strengthen American manufacturing, and position us to out-compete China,” a White House official said. 

The president is also expected to address the American Rescue Plan and, following the Senate confirmations of most of his Cabinet members, will “use this first gathering to empower his deeply qualified, barrier-breaking, historically diverse Cabinet to carry out and be key voices for his agenda as the administration works to defeat the pandemic, turn our economy around, and bring the country together.”    

If passed by Congress, the massive infrastructure plan would be the second sweeping measure approved by lawmakers in Mr. Biden’s first year in office. The president signed this month a $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package focused on swiftly providing relief to families, jobless Americans and state and local governments grappling with the economic fallout of the pandemic.

Debate over Mr. Biden’s infrastructure proposal is likely to be a top priority of Washington heading into the summer, though Republicans have already spoken out against the plan.

While the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump slowed confirmation of Mr. Biden’s picks, the Senate has now confirmed nearly all 23 Cabinet-level nominees. Shalanda Young, tapped for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, is serving as the acting director of the budget office after Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination for its director amid opposition from key senators.

Young is among the administration officials set to attend the Cabinet meeting, as are Vice President Kamala Harris and White House chief of staff Ron Klain, members of the Cabinet.



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