3:40 P.M. EDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everyone. Good afternoon. Please have a seat. Good afternoon. What a beautiful day. (Applause.) It is good to be with so many extraordinary American leaders and friends, and I thank you all.
President Joe Biden, members of our Cabinet, members of Congress, and my fellow Americans: When the President and I took office, we made a promise. In the face of profound crises and after years of gridlock, we promised the American people action.
We vowed to build an America in which every person, no matter where they start, has the opportunity to succeed and to thrive.
Over the past — (applause) — over the past year and a half, because of the leadership of President Biden, we are delivering on that promise.
Mr. President, in the darkest days of the pandemic, you saw the tremendous challenges facing our nation, but you also saw the tremendous courage and resilience of the American people.
And you knew, if we gave folks a chance, America would come through this crisis stronger than ever. And we have. Today — (applause). And we have.
Today, students are back in school. (Applause.) Mostly the parents clapping there. (Laughter.) Parents are back at work. (Applause.) Small businesses are growing and thriving again. (Applause.)
And for decades, leaders in Washington talked about rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure. Well, we are doing it. (Applause.)
And I’ll offer you an example. Earlier this year, I met a woman named Deanna in Milwaukee. Her son, Aiden, had been hospitalized twice for lead exposure — the second time for two weeks, just for drinking water from the kitchen sink.
No child should ever have to endure that. No parent should ever have to endure that.
And that is why I am proud to say that we are on track to remove every lead pipe in America in 10 years. (Applause.)
And today, we are gathered to celebrate another historic step forward for our nation.
The Inflation Reduction Act will help millions of Americans build a better future for themselves and for those they love.
In a moment, the President will speak about the many ways this law will benefit our nation.
I’d like to focus on one. For my entire career, whether I was District Attorney of San Francisco, Attorney General of California, or a United States Senator, I have worked alongside so many of the advocates here and leaders to protect our communities from the climate crisis.
And in that time, I have seen what we have all have seen: For decades, our nation has failed to meet the climate crisis with the urgency it demands.
However, today, because of you — members of Congress, state and local officials, labor leaders, climate activists, and community organizers — and because of our President, Joe Biden — (applause) — America is leading on climate, not just with declarations but with action. (Applause.)
Mr. President, over the past year and a half, you have reminded us time and time again that there is no challenge too big for America.
You have reminded us just how much we can accomplish when we work together.
On behalf of the American people, thank you for your vision, for your leadership, and for your unwavering faith in the possibility of America. (Applause.)
And it is now my honor to introduce a leader who is helping turn that possibility into reality: a proud union worker and fifth-year electrical apprentice at IBEW Local 103 in Boston, Lovette Jacobs. (Applause.)
END 3:46 P.M. EDT