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17 Feb, 2021 03:10

Small businesses saved? Biden helped struggling firms ‘first & foremost’ with female nominee, press sec Psaki says

Small businesses saved? Biden helped struggling firms ‘first & foremost’ with female nominee, press sec Psaki says

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki kicked off a wave of criticism after suggesting the Joe Biden administration was helping out struggling companies “first and foremost” by tapping a woman to lead the Small Business Administration.

Psaki was asked what the president intended to do to assist small business during a virtual Q&A on Tuesday, as many independent companies continue to languish under a raft of state-level shutdown policies and other restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“First and foremost, he nominated a woman to lead the Small Business Administration, who formerly worked there,” Psaki said, referring to Isabel Guzman, who Biden named to head up the SBA last month.

While the press secretary also cited the $60 billion devoted to small companies under Biden’s ‘American Rescue Plan’ and noted that he had signed an executive order to “make it easier for minority-owned small businesses to get access to the funding that they need,” critics honed in on her comments about the gender of the SBA administrator, asking how that had any relevance to struggling mom-and-pops. 

“Can you give the intersectionality a rest for 5 freaking minutes and give answers that we actually need?” one user said. “If my business is going to stay closed forever, I frankly don’t care if the small business admin is [led by] a woman or not.”

Another commenter observed that, with the exception of the George W. Bush administration, every president since his father, George HW Bush, has appointed at least one female SBA head – including Donald Trump. The elder Bush tapped the first, Susan Engeleiter, in 1989.

Some netizens pushed back at Psaki’s detractors, however, accusing them of ignoring part of the press secretary’s answer that stressed Guzman’s prior tenure at the SBA, as well as her reference to the billions in aid set aside for small companies. The last SBA administrator under Trump, Jovita Carranza, had also entered the role after a lengthy stint at the agency, serving as its number-two under George W. Bush from 2006 to 2009.

The Biden administration has nonetheless made it a point to highlight its female nominees to cabinet and other senior positions at every opportunity, often prompting gushing coverage in the US corporate press. A series of reports after the November 3 presidential race hailed Biden’s female-led communications team as “history-making” and a “first” – claims disputed at the time by Trump’s own press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany (not a man), who noted that the ex-president’s comms team was also led by women. 

Also on rt.com MSM heralds Biden’s female-led communications team as major breakthrough... despite Trump already having one in place

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