Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and a bipartisan group of Members of Congress on the White House South Lawn for the bill signing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Good afternoon, everyone.
Thank you so much to everyone who made today possible. I especially want to acknowledge President Biden for the glorious vision and the great commitment that he had to bring this legislation forward For The People. It is a great achievement. Thank you, Mr. President.
When our nation was experiencing the depths of pandemic and economic crisis, you knew, Mr. President, that we needed not only to recover, but we had to seize the opportunity to Build Back Better. Following your vision, Congress passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, an historic step to rebuild the infrastructure and the middle class.
Your agenda is historic, transformative and the biggest, boldest investment in our country’s history. I just want to talk about the history for a moment. The very first major infrastructure investment was President Thomas Jefferson’s. He tasked the Secretary of Treasury Gallatin for the Gallatin Project, to build the infrastructure to reach into our ever-growing nation, resulting in the Erie Canal, the Cumberland Road in Maryland and other initiatives. Then, under President Lincoln and through legislation from Congress, America launched the transcontinental railroad, connecting the country from coast to coast. On the 100th anniversary of the Gallatin project, President Theodore Roosevelt established the National Park Service to preserve God’s beautiful, natural patrimony of our country. And then President Eisenhower, years later, established the Interstate Highway System, initially a national security initiative, but significantly connecting America for commerce and communities.
And today, Mr. President, with the stroke of your pen, we will take a giant step to achieve your vision to build America’s roads, bridges, water systems and so much more – creating good-paying union jobs –
And ensuring clean air and clean water, delivering a better quality of life with equity, helping businesses thrive and turbocharging our global competitiveness, connecting communities again through the internet and making America safer, as we protect our planet. And we do so Building Back Better.
This historic achievement was possible thanks to so many who have been acknowledged already – honors granted to all of them, to our Chairs, Members and staff, who have at every step brought a depth of knowledge, commitment and values-based leadership that is making a difference. Especially, I salute in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Chair, Peter DeFazio –
A maestro of all things related to infrastructure and sustainability. I do want to acknowledge Mr. Clyburn, who was taking great pride – I think almost blushing – when our guest from the Carolinas was talking about broadband especially. But among other things, thank you, Mr. Clyburn, for your leadership and all of that.
May I just say and associate myself with the closing remarks of Mr. Schumer. This is a great accomplishment, and there’s more to come. And so happy that hopefully this week we will be passing Build Back Better to –
To give tax cuts to America’s working families, to create millions more jobs, to lower health care costs – and all of it paid for by making everyone pay his or her own fair share.
Because, by saying last week in Glasgow at the COP26 – Members were met with great enthusiasm over the Build Back Better Agenda, which is a show of force to the world. As the President has said, ‘America is back.’ With President Biden’s signature, we show America’s leadership for ourselves, For The People and to the world.
Thank you, Mr. President. And thank all of you.
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