2:38 P.M. EST
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Madam Speaker and Mr. Majority Leader and America.
The President promised help is on the way, and today, help has arrived. Help has arrived for the workers who lost their jobs. Help has arrived for the students who’ve been stuck at home. Help has arrived for the families that have struggled to put food on their table and for the small businesses that have struggled to keep their doors open. Help has arrived, America.
This landmark legislation will get relief to families, get support to communities, and make sure more shots get in arms. And I want to thank the Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and all of the members of Congress who voted for this legislation and helped lead to its success. And, of course, we would not be here today were it not for the leadership of our President, Joe Biden. (Applause.)
And I just want to say something about the President. From the beginning of this, Joe said, “We got to tell the stories. We got to tell the stories. We got to show that we understand what the people are experiencing and what they need.” And I’ve been in rooms with Joe when it’s just he and I; been in rooms with Joe when it’s just a small group of our team or when the cameras are there, and he’s the same person every time. And he’s always talking about “What do the people need?”
And, you know, when the President and I were preparing to take office, we knew what we were up against. So we started working on a plan — this plan — the American Rescue Plan.
And, Mr. President, from the very start, you sought the people out. You asked them, as only Joe can do, “How you doing?” You listened to what they said, and you remembered what they said.
And every day, in every meeting, you reminded us who we were doing this for: the American people, and in particular, the American people who were hurting the most — the workers who have been out of a job for six months to a year, the families that lost a loved one, the communities that have been torn apart by this deadly virus.
You, Mr. President, have carried a card in your breast pocket with the number of those Americans who have died from COVID-19. Every day, he carries that card, literally keeping their memory close to your heart.
You have grieved, Mr. President, out loud with our nation, mourning the loss of so many extraordinary Americans. Your empathy has become a trademark of your presidency and can be found on each and every page of the American Rescue Plan.
Joe Biden, Mr. President, you had a vision, you had a purpose, and you had faith that the American people, regardless of who they voted for, would support this plan, simply because it will help. You had faith that Congress would pass this plan, simply because it is the best thing for the American people. And you put in the work to make it happen — to get relief directly to the American people. And we’ve both served in the Senate, so we know there’s rarely been a bill that’s so concrete and tangible.
Mr. President, people will feel and they will see what we all did here. They will see the checks in their bank accounts. They will see the child tax credits when they file their taxes — when they return to work, when they return to school, when they reopen their businesses, when they hug their grandchildren for the first time in a year.
Americans will see what we did here — what you did, Mr. President — and they will feel the impact of this bill for generations to come. And that’s what happens when you make historic investments in communities of color, in tribal communities, in rural communities. That’s what happens when you lift half of those children living in poverty, out of poverty. (Applause.)
Because of you, Mr. President, help has arrived. And on behalf of our nation, thank you.
And it is now my great, great honor to introduce the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden. (Applause.)
END 2:43 P.M. EST