POTUS spoke briefly before signing HR 321 and 255 while seated at his desk in the Oval Office. About a dozen people surrounded him. including members of Congress.
He signaled out House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who was standing to his left and then began to read a list of others who were in the room. He listed some people accurately, but he mentioned people who were not there (and appeared to be those who were to attend the WOTUS executive order signing, which was the next event on his list).
"I'm signing two bills that promote women entering and leading the STEM field; science, technology, engineering and math."
"Currently, only one in four women who gets a STEM degree is working in a STEM job, which is not fair and it's not even smart that people 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 gonna change, it's gonna change very rapidly."
"Protecting women with STEM degrees and all Americans with STEM degrees, very important, and it also means you have to crack down on offshoring because 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 to congratulate everybody in the room and we have to sign it today. I know we have a lot of things coming on, but if we don't sign this one and the next one today, we have to start the process all over again, right?"
He signed the first bill and then picked up the second bill:
"This is the second bill that we're signing, and that's the HR 321, the Inspire Women Act. It ensures that existing NASA programs recruit women to STEM-related jobs and aerospace careers....We're going to go very heavy into the whole NASA situation, so women will be a big, big part of it."
"HR 255, the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act, enables the National Science Foundation to support women inventors, which there are many, researchers and scientists and 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 work force, and that's really very much going to be addressed by my administration over the years. Gonna get more and more of these bills coming out and address the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs 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."
White House passes along attendees of bill signings:
The First Lady of the United States
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy
Rep. Lamar Smith
Secretary Betsy DeVos
Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon
Martha-Helene Stapleton, CEO Benecentive, Inc., a small app development start-up
Ann Brach, Director of the Second Strategic Highway Research Program at the Transportation Research Board
Also spotted in the room: Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh.
Pool was ushered in the Oval Office at 2:11 pm and ushered out at 2:17 pm.