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FULL INTERVIEW: News Center 7 talks one-on-one exclusively with President Joe Biden

In an exclusive one-on-one interview with President Joe Biden Tuesday afternoon, News Center 7 discussed some key issues facing those living in the Miami Valley.

INFLATION:

Inflation has been a topic many have been discussing as prices continue to surge.  On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported prices at the wholesale level jumped by a record 9.6 percent in November.

>> RELATED: Wholesale inflation jumps record 9.6% over past 12 months

JOHN BEDELL: “Our viewers feel it at the grocery store, at the gas pumps, paying their bills and while they’re doing their holiday shopping… Mr. President, people in the Miami Valley want to know what are you doing to bring down prices for them and their families and soon?”

Biden said for working and middle-class people, the impacts from inflation are “a big hit.”

“The inflation, at least for the time being, is real. I’ve done a couple things. One, inflation is way up in terms of energy prices. Particularly at the gas pump. And what I did was, I was able to under my authority, release 50 million – or five million barrels of oil from the petroleum reserve which means putting more oil on the market reducing the price of gasoline,” Biden said.

GasBuddy.com data showed the average price for a gallon of gasoline today in the Dayton region is $2.97 a gallon, down from $3.18 a month ago.

“Inflation hurts badly for the things you need. If inflation in diamonds went up, it wasn’t going to cost a lot of people in the Miami Valley a whole lot of money. But inflation in food going up, inflation in gasoline going up, and energy going up makes a big difference,” Biden told News Center 7′s John Bedell.

VACCINE MANDATES:

JOHN BEDELL: “Your vaccine mandates have suffered some setbacks in court recently. Federal judges have halted three of those COVID vaccine mandates.  Are you going to back down or are you going to continue to fight those in court?”

In the last two weeks, federal judges have put a temporary hold on multiple federal vaccine mandates that stemmed from actions made by Biden or his Administration after different lawsuits were filed against the President.

>> Healthcare-related vaccine mandate put on hold by federal judge

>> Federal judge halts vaccine mandate for federal contractors, subcontractors in Ohio

Biden told News Center 7 today he intends to continue fighting the lawsuits that have been filed against him.

“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Not the vaccinated, the unvaccinated. That’s the problem,” Biden said.  “Everybody talks about freedom about not to have a shot or have a test. Well guess what? How about patriotism? How about you make sure you’re vaccinated, so you do not spread the disease to anyone else.”

NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT:

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act last week.  If passed in a formal vote by the Senate as early as this week, the bill would authorize nearly $770 billion in Pentagon spending.

The bill also includes tens of millions of dollars for military construction at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and other military facilities across Ohio.

Biden says he plans to sign the bill should it pass Congress.

“We have to begin to focus on the change the defense needs so we can invest in research and development, super computers, the ability to deal with things we haven’t dealt with before because the world’s changing,” Biden told Bedell.  “It’s changing in a significant way. We have the finest military in the history of the world, we have to keep it that way.”

>> RELATED: House passes National Defense Authorization Act; How it would impact WPAFB

The bill includes funding for Miami Valley projects like the $4.7 million for construction to enhance capabilities at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, $24 million for a new child development center at WPAFB and $19 million for the construction of an Army Reserve training center on the base.

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