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Oval Office

2:11 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. I appreciate you being here. We have a number of bills that we’re signing and things that we’re doing today. It’s a busy day. And then I guess tonight will be a rather busy night. We look forward to it.

I want to thank Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has been a tremendous friend to a lot of people. He’s done an amazing job. And, Kevin, I want to thank you for being here. I very much appreciate it. You had so much to do with this.

I also want to thank everyone else who’s with us today. In fact, I have some names, and I’ll read some of them off, because not everybody knows everybody. But we have Leader McCarthy. Representative Barbara Comstock. Lamar Smith — thank you, Lamar, very much. I appreciate it. Joni Ernst, who’s been a terrific, terrific senator. A very talented woman, and a very good military person. A very good military person. And, Deb Fischer, thank you very much. Thanks. We also have Senator Barrasso and Senator Boozman. Joni, we said hello. Deb, we said hello. Heidi Heitkamp — thank you, Heidi. Senator Jim Inhofe. Senator Pat Roberts. Senator Dan Sullivan. Representative Bob Gibbs. Bill Shuster. And Representative Lamar Smith. We really appreciate you being here.

Of course, we have our new SBA Director, Linda McMahon, and Secretary DeVos. (Applause.) So we have a lot of great talent.

Today I’m signing two bills that promote women entering and leading the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, and math. Currently, only 1 in every 4 women who gets a STEM degree is working in a STEM job, which is not fair and it’s not even smart for the people that aren’t taking advantage of it. It’s unacceptable that we have so many American women who have these degrees but yet are not being employed in these fields. So I think that’s going to change. That’s going to change very rapidly.

Protecting women with STEM degrees, and all Americans with STEM degrees is very important, but it also means you have to crack down on offshoring, because the offshoring is a tremendous problem that displaces many of our best American workers and brains — the brain power.

So I just want to thank you all for being here. Vice President Pence always felt very, very strongly about this issue and many others. And I appreciate — Mike, I appreciate that very much.

And I’m going to sign this right now, and I want congratulate everybody in the room. And we have to sign it today. I know we have a lot of things coming on later on, but if we don’t sign this one and the next one today, we have to start the process all over again, Joni, right? (Laughter.) So that’s why we’re here.

Okay, thank you very much. (Applause.)

Q Big speech tonight?

THE PRESIDENT: We look forward to it.

Okay, I think we all know what this is. Even though somebody took my notes, it makes no difference. (Laughter.)

AIDE: It’s the second bill you just read.

THE PRESIDENT: It really makes no difference. But this is the second bill that was signed, and that’s the H.R. 321, the INSPIRE Women Act. It ensures that the existing NASA programs recruit women to STEM-related jobs and aerospace careers. Great news. Really the way to go. Very heavy into the whole NASA situation. So women will be a big, big part of it.

H.R. 255, the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act, enables the National Science Foundation to support women inventors — which there are many — researchers, and scientists in bringing their discoveries to the business world, championing science and entrepreneurship, and creating new ways to improve people’s lives. So important.

We need policies that help support women in the workforce, and that’s really very much going to be addressed by my administration over the years, and to get more and more of these bills coming out, and address the barriers faced by female and those in STEM fields. We want American women who graduate from college with STEM degrees to be able to get STEM jobs that can support their families and help these American women to live out the American Dream, which they are so qualified to live out.

So again, I want to thank you all for being here. Fantastic. This is so important. Thank you all for being here.

2:17 P.M. EST