3:51 P.M. EST
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thanks.
ANNOUNCER: Please welcome Heather Kurtenbach.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: In a moment. (Laughter.) Please have a seat.
President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Cabinet members, Congressmembers, governors, and mayors, and — (applause) — and my fellow Americans: This is an historic day.
In the middle of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln started construction on the transcontinental railroad. In the middle of the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt finished construction on the Hoover Dam. President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act in the middle of the Cold War. And today — and today, President Joe Biden will sign the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law. (Applause.)
Indeed, it is an historic day today. From the very start of our administration, we were determined to follow through not just on our promise to invest in our nation’s infrastructure, but on the promises that the American people have heard for years now.
And we would not be here today were it not for your leadership, Mr. President. From the very start, you welcomed Democrats, independents, and Republicans to meet with us in the Oval Office. You welcomed ideas, you welcomed debate, all in the service of getting this bill done.
And here is what I know to be true, Mr. President: You are equal parts believer and builder. And because you are, we are all better off. On behalf of our nation: Thank you, Mr. President. (Applause.)
And, of course, our administration did not arrive at this day by ourselves. We are also here because of leaders in the House and the Senate who worked on this bill together, who voted for this bill. And we are here because of the millions of Americans who believed that we could get this done.
Well, we got it done, America. (Laughs.) (Applause.) We got it done.
In many ways, this day embodies our character as a nation. It demonstrates exactly who we are. We are believers, through and through. We see what can be, unburdened by what has been. We are as bold as we are determined to do big things.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act proves that. It proves that, in America, we have the courage to believe a better future is possible and to build it together.
After this bill is signed into law, millions more Americans will go to work in good-paying, good union jobs. (Applause.) Americans like Jovan Johnson, a carpenter I met in Nevada, who said that she has, quote, “built her career on infrastructure and fed her family on infrastructure.”
Americans like Jeff Bird, a line design technician I met with in New Hampshire. He attaches fiber to utility poles to keep up with the demand for high-speed Internet.
Or Leslie Kilgore, an engineer I met with in North Carolina whose team is building electric school buses.
Or Walter Coty, a construction inspector with whom I met who is working to get clean water to families in California.
This will be a nationwide effort, the likes of which we have not seen in a generation. It will make our country more competitive, and it will deliver on our nation’s and our administration’s commitment to equity.
Now, this bill — as significant as it is, as historic as it is — is part one of two. (Applause.) To lower costs and cut taxes for working families, to tackle the climate crisis at its core, Congress must also pass the Build Back Better Act. (Applause.)
The work of building a more perfect union did not end with the railroad or the interstate, and it will not end now. So, on this historic day, let us all continue to believe in our people, believe in our country, and believe in what we can do when we work together.
Thank you all. May God bless you. And may God bless America. (Applause.)
END 3:57 P.M. EST