THE VICE PRESIDENT: I am very happy to be back in Detroit, Michigan, and to be here with these extraordinary leaders. We have a very important conversation to have about voting rights in America. And I’m very pleased to be with the Secretary of State, who has been not only a leader in Michigan, but a national leader on this issue, as well as the congresswoman and so many others.
So, we will talk about many issues. But I do want to first start by making a statement about the legislators in Texas who are showing extraordinary courage and commitment. I met with them when many of them traveled to Washington, D.C. We sat down and had an extensive conversation in the Roosevelt Room in the White House. And I applaud them standing for the rights of all Americans and all Texans to express their voice through their vote, unencumbered.
I will say that they are — they are leaders who are marching in the path that so many others before did when they fought — and many died — for our right to vote.
And I’ll say this later in my comments, but I do believe that fighting for the right to vote is as American as apple pie. It is so fundamental to fighting for the principles of our democracy. So I applaud them. And it is with that spirit, as well, that we meet today.
Over the past many weeks, I’ve been meeting with advocates and activists on the ground in places like South Carolina and in Georgia. Here, of course, in Michigan, again, I applaud the work that is happening.
In 2020, you had folks mask up and get to the streets to do what was necessary — to stand in line, to mail in ballots — to vote. And you turned out extraordinary numbers.
And when people ask, “Well, why is my vote important?” Well, we know the people here in Michigan voted because they said they wanted, on the issue of the pandemic, a national plan for vaccinations. They voted, and they got that.
The people of Michigan said, “We’re going to vote because we want more jobs.” Well, they voted, and we have 3 million more jobs.
The people of Michigan said, “We’re going to vote because we want to see children in America lifted out of poverty.” They voted, and we got the Child Tax Credit expanded so that we will lift half of America’s children out of poverty.
The people of Michigan have a strong and important voice. And I’m here to meet with these leaders to ensure — and for President Joe Biden and I and our administration to ensure, partnering with the Secretary of State, the congressmember, and so many others, that we fight every day to make sure that all Americans, unencumbered, are able to express their voice through the ballot and through their vote.
And so, with that, I want to thank everyone. I’m looking forward to our conversation. Again, it’s so important that we meet with folks on the ground. You are the leaders on the ground who are making these rights real every day.
And with that, let’s begin our conversation. And thank you all. I’ll talk to you all later.