Biden's Cabinet will stay through 2024, top aide says

President Joe Biden can count on one thing this tumultuous election year, his top aide says: his supporting cast.

White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients said in an interview Wednesday that the Cabinet and senior White House staff will remain in place for the balance of Biden’s first term — confirming reporting last year that Zients had requested senior personnel stay on through 2024.

“We’ve had extraordinary retention and people who are committed to this president,” he said. “So, yes, we have the team in place.”

Zients’ comments came as part of a preview interview for Thursday’s State of the Union address, where Biden will have to confront dismal polling in a likely re-election matchup against Donald Trump and widespread voter doubts about Biden’s age.

Zients acknowledged the pressure: “States of the Union are big moments. You could argue that this is a particularly big moment, and I think there’s no one better at handling high stakes than President Biden.”

“You’re going to see a very energized president,” he added. “This is a big moment. And this president rises to those big moments.”

Previewing the themes and some of the particular policy proposals in the address, Zients said Biden would highlight “tax fairness and making sure the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share” as well as “big progress on lowering costs, fighting inflation.”

“But at the same time, we need to do more,” he added.

Biden, Zients said, will also squarely tackle reproductive rights, calling for a restoration of Roe v. Wade as his campaign targets moderate voters who have repeatedly rejected abortion bans at the ballot box and more recently have express outraged at the myriad ways the fight has seeped into other areas — including the Alabama Supreme Court’s recent ruling effectively banning in vitro fertilization in the state.

Viewers can also expect Biden to call on Congress to act on border security and the stalled funding bill that would send military aid to Ukraine and Israel, Zients said: “You’ll see the president fighting back, in certain areas, like, the Republican House’s refusal to take up the bipartisan national security bill. The president feels there’s real urgency there.”

Biden will also address the Israel-Hamas war “head-on,” Zients said, among rising frustration inside Democratic circles — and the White House itself — about Israel’s military campaign in Gaza and the ongoing humanitarian crisis there.

“The president is working hour by hour to negotiate an immediate and sustained cease-fire in Gaza over a period of at least six weeks as part of a deal that would release hostages, and get significantly more humanitarian aid in,” he said. “And he wants enduring peace in the region so that Palestinians and Israelis can live with security, dignity in two states — something he is actively working towards every day.”

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