U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C.

Q    (Inaudible) with Build Back Better?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  You know, I have to say, this is a great day.  And since the day we first took office, the President and I and our administration have been focused on lowering costs for American families through a variety of means, starting with the American Rescue Plan, which was about making sure that people could be on their feet during one of the worst crises in our country — the pandemic.  We kept small businesses open.

It was about what we did with the Infrastructure Law, a bipartisan bill that is historic in terms of what it will have to help reinforce roads and bridges, broadband and high-speed Internet access and affordability for millions of Americans who didn’t have it.

And then today, and what this means in terms of lowering the cost of prescription drugs for seniors, the cost of insulin being capped at $35 a month; what it will mean to allow Medicare to actually negotiate drug prices for some of the most costly drugs that are lifesaving.

What it’s going to mean in terms of the climate crisis.  We’ve got wildfires burning in California.  We’ve got floods and hurricanes.  A $300- — over $300 billion investment and what we must do as America to lead on this issue.  And the crisis is evident; it is front and center every night on the evening news.

So there is a tremendous amount of work that has happened here that has been about lifting up the condition and the quality of life to the American people and in particular addressing the cost of so many of the essential needs that people have.

So this was very, very important — and historic, many have said — because of the kind of work that it has addressed that needs to be done that has been generational and has gone without this kind of leadership for such a long time.

Q    No doubt it will reduce inflation?

Q    What does this mean for the midterms?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  We’ll see, but I think what it means is that right now, regardless of an election, that the American people are being seen and — seen and they’re being heard.  And one of the things that they want is that their leaders get things done, fix the problems, offer solutions.  What happened today is tremendous in terms of the solutions that are being offered (inaudible).

Q    Madam Vice President, how does it feel to pass the legislation now?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Say that again?

Q    How does it feel to finally pass this legislation after a year and a half?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  It — this is a great day.  And I think that there is no question, when you think about some of the historic work that has been accomplished — over $300 billion to address the climate crisis — this is extraordinary.

When we look at the morning or evening news, and you see wildfires are burning in California, floods, hurricanes — what we will do to regain our footing as a worldwide leader on the issue of this climate crisis.

What we are doing — long overdue — to address the need that our seniors have to know that they’re not going to pay more than $35 a month for lifesaving insulin.

What is going to happen in terms of allowing [Medicare] to negotiate drug prices to bring down the cost of prescription medication for the people who are in most need of lifesaving medication.

This is an example of leaders leading, understanding that there are solutions at hand if folks have the willingness and the courage to actually step forward and fix the problems that the American people have a right to believe that their elected leaders will address.

So it’s a very important day, and I celebrate today.


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