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First Lady Jill Biden spoke at UNICEF Champions for Children Event

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Good evening.

I’ve been an educator for 39 years. This past week I started teaching writing at a community college near the White House. So, I’ve seen how one moment can change the trajectory of a student’s learning – when their eyes light up as an idea clicks into place. Education is the key that unlocks the possibilities of the future. It changes lives.

But, in the United States, as in the rest of the world, COVID and its aftermath have had a devasting impact on children’s learning.

I know we all have been working hard to rebuild the systems that were broken, to bring divided communities back together, to put us on a path to a better, brighter future.

Every leader, and every country, must make the world a better place for children.

Children are the smartest investment we can make in eliminating poverty, boosting economic growth, strengthening democracy, and promoting global peace and prosperity.

This is why children must be at the center of the Sustainable Development Goals.

When children are born, we look into their wide eyes and see every possibility.
Infinite dreams. Limitless bounds. As a mother and a nana, I know that feeling well.

But children don’t grow into adults overnight.

Every parent knows that it’s a process – long and winding and sometimes challenging.
When they’re babies, they cry and we meet their needs: food if they’re hungry, sleep if they’re tired, comfort if they’re scared or hurt.

But as they grow, they need schools and educators who can teach them to read and write and think.

And as teens, they need an even larger village: patient ears to listen, strong shoulders to lean on, steady hands to hold and guide them.

They need an education that prepares them for adulthood and the jobs of the future.

It’s a continuum of care and support to ensure that children can grow into healthy and successful adults, so they can create peaceful and stable societies.

Making sure that every child in every corner of the world has access to the support they need to reach their full potential, to thrive, is what UNICEF does.

Cathy, thank you for your leadership and for what you do for children around the world. UNICEF’s work is absolutely critical to making our world safer and more prosperous.

As Second Lady and now as First Lady, I’ve traveled from Latin America to the Middle East, from Asia to Africa, I have seen children and young people in dire circumstances – families displaced by drought, children living in sprawling, urban informal settlements, and children who have survived unspeakable violence.

Yet, despite these truly heartbreaking challenges, I have seen young people who don’t give up, who are optimistic and hopeful and believe that tomorrow will be a brighter day.

Last year, in Ecuador, I talked with teenagers whose families had fled brutal violence in Venezuela, but who dreamed of returning home to rebuild their country.

They were so strong and smart and confident – they were determined to make a difference. And with our help they will.

More than ten years ago, in Kenya, I met a young woman – Aliyah.

At just 25, she was raising a son in a one-room, tin-roof home in Kibera. There was no electricity – no running water. She spent her day teaching girls about teen pregnancy – about sexual abuse and rape. The topic was taboo – but the conversations were powerful.

I asked her if she wanted to leave Kibera. But she said, “No, this is my home. I want to make a difference here.”

Earlier this year, when I returned to Kibera, I met Aliyah again – and I saw her son, now 18, and a young daughter too. All still living in Kibera, where Aliyah now owns and operates a restaurant.

Aliyah continues to make a difference there.

Young people inspire us to greater heights.

They remind us that hope can always overcome cynicism, and that we can achieve anything if we work together.

I know all of you in this room have worked so hard for children and young people across the globe. I know that you’ve given your time, your voice, and your resources.

And I know that despite this, progress on the Sustainable Development Goals has stalled, and the way forward looks steep.

Yet, I also know that you can do miraculous things. In the wake of the pandemic, you operationalized the fastest and largest immunization effort in history. You have nearly eliminated polio across the globe. And, you’ve helped hundreds of millions of out-of-school children continue their education.

And, I promise you that the United States will continue to be a partner with you every step of the way.

The United States has made unprecedented investments in clean technology and delivered more COVID vaccines internationally than any other nation. We have led the fight against HIV/AIDS through PEPFAR, which, in 20 years has saved more than 25 million lives and ensured that 5.5 million babies have been born HIV-free.

And, last year, we made the single largest contribution ever to address acute malnutrition in children – $200 million – and rallied the world to raise an additional half billion dollars.

Those babies we hold just after being born, their eyes wide like saucers, with the tiniest fingers – grow up in a blink of an eye – and they will be our leaders sooner than we think. They will be the ones to keep us out of war.

They will be the ones to cure cancer. They will be the ones who will have to continue fighting climate change.

But they need us – all of us – right now. Yes, young people are our future, but they are also our present. And when we give them the support they need, when we invest in them from the very beginning and every step along the way, we help them become the people they want to be…and they help us build a more peaceful, stable world.

Thank you, UNICEF, for being heroic partners in this effort. Cathy, the President and I miss you in our day-to-day but we know this is the work of your life and we are so grateful for your service.

And thank you, everyone in this room. You’ve saved untold lives. You’ve helped so many children reach for their dreams. But there is more to do, together. And we can’t stop now.

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US NATIONAL NEWS

THE HOUSE WHITE: Vice President Kamala Harris to Return to Charlotte, NC June 12

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On Wednesday, June 12, Vice President Kamala Harris will return to Charlotte, NC for the fourth stop on her nationwide Economic Opportunity Tour. This will be her fifth visit to the state this year and her 13th since being sworn in.

During each stop of the Vice President’s Economic Opportunity Tour, she is highlighting how the Biden-Harris Administration has built economic opportunity, supported communities, and delivered historic investments for the American people. This includes making unprecedented investments in small businesses, creating a record number of jobs, and increasing access to capital for underserved communities. It also includes erasing medical debt, forgiving more student loan debt than any administration in history, boosting investments in education, making housing more affordable, lowering child care costs, and increasing the wealth of American families.

Vice President Harris launched her Economic Opportunity Tour in April with a moderated conversation in Atlanta, GA. She continued it last month with a speech in Detroit, MI and a moderated conversation in Milwaukee, WI. She is being joined along the way by Administration officials, members of Congress, local leaders, and small business owners.

The Vice President was last in Charlotte back in April to announce $20 billion in Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund grants that will mobilize private capital and deliver clean energy and climate solutions. In March, she was in Raleigh with President Biden to highlight their ongoing work to lower prescription drug costs, protect Medicare and Medicaid, and fight for reproductive freedom. Vice President Harris also visited Black Wall Street in Durham to announce investments in strengthening entrepreneurship, increasing access to capital, and supporting small businesses. She began 2024 by visiting Eastway Middle School in Charlotte to announce $285 million in funding to help schools across the nation hire and train mental health counselors.

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US NATIONAL NEWS

RECORD AMOUNT RAISED FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN IN MAY ALONE – $141 MILLION IN SMALL DONATIONS, ALMOST $300 MILLION OVERALL!

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Today, President Trump’s Campaign, together with the RNC, announced a massive $141 million fundraising haul in May, a response of support for President Trump while facing the sham Biden trial and verdict that outraged and motivated Americans from every walk of life. This overwhelming financial success is the result of over 2 million donations, A RECORD, which came in at an average of $70.27. In addition to the staggering amount, 25% of May’s donors were brand new to the 2024 campaign, making the month the best ever recorded for any Campaign in History. Additionally, organizations supporting President Trump raised another $150 million in May. Taken together, the Campaign, and other Trump supporting organizations, raised almost $300 million during the month of May alone, ALSO A RECORD!

“We are moved by the outpouring of support for President Donald J. Trump. The American people saw right through Crooked Joe Biden’s rigged trial, and sent Biden and Democrats a powerful message – the REAL verdict will come on November 5th,” said Trump Campaign senior advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles. “President Trump raised $141 million in small donations alone this month because Americans remember the Roaring Economy, Secure Border, and Peace through Strength at home and abroad under President Donald J. Trump, and want us to return to prosperity and success when he is re-elected in November.”

This total comes after the Campaign raised $53 million online in the 24 hours - 37.6% OF THE TOTAL HAUL AND MORE THAN $2 MILLION PER HOUR – since Crooked Joe Biden and his New York henchmen secured their rigged verdict in hopes of swaying the election.

“The American people saw the Biden Trials for what they are, a Political Hoax and Election-Interfering attempt to keep President Trump away from voters and confined to a freezing courtroom, THE ICEBOX. Based on these record contribution numbers, and Polling, it didn’t work because voters understand the clear contrast between Donald J. Trump’s record of success, and Joe Biden’s failures,” said RNC Chairman Michael Whatley and Co-Chairman Lara Trump. “Unfortunately for Democrats, their rigged political operation has backfired in a historic way, and Republicans are in a stronger position than ever to FIRE Crooked Joe Biden and Make America Great Again by electing President Trump on November 5.”

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US NATIONAL NEWS

Chairman Williams: “Weaponizing Federal Resources: Exposing the SBA’s Voter Registration Efforts”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Small Business is holding a full committee hearing titled Weaponizing Federal Resources: Exposing the SBA’s Voter Registration Efforts.”

Chairman Williams’ opening statement as prepared for delivery:

Good morning, and welcome to today’s hearing which will focus on the SBA’s Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Michigan to register voters.

I’d like to start off by thanking our witnesses for being here with us today. Your input on these important issues is greatly appreciated.

This Committee is charged with oversight of the Small Business Administration. This is a responsibility that we do not take lightly, and today we will look into how much this agency has deviated from the core mission of helping Main Street America. The SBA is tasked with aiding, counseling, and protecting the interests of small businesses across our great nation. Instead of fulfilling these goals, the SBA has entangled itself in electioneering activities that not only lack a constitutional basis, but also betray the trust and purpose for which the Agency was established.

This MOU with Michigan demonstrates a gross misalignment of the SBA’s priorities. Small businesses have been crushed the past few years with stubborn inflation, high interest rates, and a significant labor shortage. And while all of these issues have been hurting Main Street’s ability to thrive, the SBA has decided to dedicate their staff’s time and resources to register voters in a key swing seat ahead of the 2024 election.

Not only does this agreement turn its back on the entrepreneurs that are struggling, but it opens up a whole host of potential conflicts of interest.

If a president and their agencies were permitted to freely involve themselves in elections, they could misuse this influence to stay in power. The American people need to have confidence that Agencies are acting to carry out their duties without the fear of political interference. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case, and as the SBA is planning events around Michigan, the American people are going to be left wondering if the event is only being held to register President Biden’s target voting blocks.

Because of the potential to misuse this new power to register voters, the Committee immediately sent letters and started asking questions about how the SBA is carrying out these orders. And as we started asking questions, the lack of transparency was astounding. It took the SBA over 6 weeks to even show us the MOU after their initial press release announcing the new electioneering agreement. Additionally, after an SBA employee was caught on tape bragging about the Administrator’s campaign activities, they failed to make him available to speak with the Committee until we issued the first subpoenas in more than a decade.

This Committee will not stop calling out this misuse of power and will use every tool at our disposal to get the answers we need from the SBA.

I want to thank you all again for being here with us today, and I am looking forward to today’s important conversation.

With that I will yield to our distinguished Ranking Member from New York, Ms. Velázquez.

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