President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris celebrated the passage of their massive $1.9 trillion coronavirus spending bill in the Rose Garden Friday.
“I view this as only the beginning,” Biden said of the legislation.
The White House invited Congressional Democrat leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, to the event.
Biden promoted the passage of the bill as a pivotal moment for the Democrat party and its political future.
“Look, one of the things that I’ve been most worried about — and I think you all have been too, especially those of us who’ve been around 100 years like me — is you’ve watched people lose confidence in government,” Biden said.
The president boasted this was the first time since former President Lyndon Johnson’s administration that Democrats have been able to “change the paradigm,” alluding to the struggles for progressives to get their agenda passed following former President Ronald Reagan’s administration.
“It’s historical and they call it transformational,” he said.
Biden explicitly condemned the years of Republicans cutting taxes to boost the economy and the concept of “trickle-down” economics.
“For too long it’s been the folks at the top,” Biden proclaimed. “We’ve seen time and time again that trickle-down doesn’t work.”
He added the wealthy would have to start “paying their fair share” to help the “folks living on the edge.”
The president warned his administration “the devil was in the details” to make sure there was no waste and fraud in the plan.
“Details matter, because we have to continue to build confidence in the American people that their government can function for them and deliver,” he said.
Vice President Harris lavished praise on Biden for leading the way forward on the bill.
“You have grieved, Mr. President, out loud with our nation,” she said. “Your empathy has become a trademark of your presidency and can be found on each and every page of the American Rescue Plan.”