President Joe Biden said a recession is not inevitable and he will make a decision on a federal gas tax holiday by the end of the week as he took a stroll in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, during his four-day Juneteenth break.
He walked along the sand with his daughter Ashley and granddaughters Natalie and Naomi just 48 hours after he fell over on his bike.
The president posed for pictures and selfies with beachgoers while wearing a polo shirt, shorts and his trademark aviators before talking to reporters.
Biden said that he talked to Larry Summers, a former economist for President Barack Obama, and rejected his suggestion that a recession is inevitable and said he will make a decision on whether to impose a federal gas tax holiday later this week.
‘There is nothing inevitable about a recession,’ the president told reporters.
A journalist had said that people were saying a recession was more inevitable than ever.
‘No the majority of them aren’t saying that. Don’t make things up. Now you sound like a Republican politician,’ Biden replied. ‘That’s a joke, that was a joke,’ he added.
The White House has been weighing different options that can ease the pain at the pumps for Americans after the average price of a gallon rose over $5.
He also suggested there was a possibility of sending out gas rebate cards, similar to those proposed in states such as California.
President Joe Biden said a recession is not inevitable and he will make a decision on a federal gas tax holiday this week as he took a stroll in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, during his four-day Juneteenth break. He walked along the sand with daughter Ashley (right) and granddaughter Naomi (left)
Biden said that he talked to Larry Summers, a former economist for President Barack Obama, and rejected his suggestion that a recession is inevitable and said he will make a decision on whether to impose a federal gas tax holiday later this week
Biden, Natalie and Ashley smiled at people watching them as they walked alongside the waves with their Secret Service detail behind them
President Joe Biden (left) greets beachgoers on Monday as he strolls down Rehoboth Beach, Delaware with members of his family
He also insisted he was ‘fine’ after he fell off his bike and assured the media that he got his foot stuck in the toe cage.
‘What happened was, do any of you guys ride bikes? Well, they have some that have this thing you put your toe in — holds your foot so it doesn’t slip out. I was getting off the bike, and it got stuck on the right side,’ the president explained.
‘I’m feeling great,’ he added.
Asked whether he was going to visit Ukraine during his trip to Europe for the G7 and NATO summits, he said it wasn’t likely.
‘On this trip, not likely,’ he said.
Biden is now only one of two G7 leaders – along with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida – who haven’t visited the war-torn country since Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
‘I have been meeting with Zelensky – I talk to him three, four times a week. But I’ll be heading to Germany, and I’m going to Spain.’
‘I’m going to Israel, and I’m going to Saudi Arabia for a larger meeting of the community there. And then I’ll be coming home probably, direct.’
President Joe Biden among the throngs of beach-goers who gathered trying to get a look at him at Rehoboth Beach on Monday
Biden also said he was ‘proud’ of Apple workers in Maryland who voted on Saturday to join a union, becoming the first retail employees of the tech giant to unionize in the United States.
‘I am proud of them. Workers have a right to determine under what condition they are going to work or not work.’
Summers, who served as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under Barack Obama, warned this weekend that ‘by the end of next year, we would be seeing a recession in the American economy.’
He argues Biden’s administration needs to take action to ‘reduce the inflation’ and ‘provide some relief’ to the American consumer.
‘Look, nothing is certain and all economic forecasts have uncertainty. My best guess is that a recession is ahead,’ he told Meet the Press on Sunday.
‘I base that on the fact that we haven’t had a situation like the present with inflation above 4 percent and unemployment beyond 4 percent without a recession following within a year or two.
‘And so I think the likelihood is that in order to do what’s necessary to stop inflation the Fed is going to raise interest rates enough that the economy will slip into recession.’
‘If you look at a whole range of indicators, if you look at what’s happened in markets, if you look at the relative levels of interest rates of different durations, if you look at surveys of consumer expectations, and if you look at the simple fact that what drives inflation is supply and demand, supply doesn’t change that fast. And so mostly what you need to do to reduce inflation is reduce demand. And that is a very hard process to control. And so it usually leads to a recession,’ he explained.
‘All of that tells me that, while I wouldn’t presume to be able to judge the timing, the dominant probability would be that by the end of next year we would be seeing a recession in the American economy.’
Biden also told reporters that his staff would be meeting with oil CEOs to discuss the nation’s high gas prices.
‘My team is going to be sitting down with the CEOs of major oil companies this week and deciding to get an explanation on how they justify making 35 billion dollars in the first quarter,’ Biden said.
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The president posed for selfies with beachgoers while wearing a polo short, shorts and his trademark aviators before talking to reporters
Biden smiles as he greets members of the public enjoying a day at the beach. He also assured the media he is fine after he tumbled on his bike on Saturday
Biden speaks to a family playing on the beach and enjoying the newly-formed federal holiday
Biden addresses reporters on the beach during his walk in the sun in Delaware
Biden was able to hoist himself up with help from his security detail – yielding a round of applause from the onlookers – after he fell off his bike on Saturday morning