Joe Biden

Remarks at the EMILY's List We Are EMILY National Gala

May 16, 2023

The President. Hello, hello, hello. My name is Joe Biden, and I've been working for a long time for Nancy Pelosi. Please sit down if you have a seat.

Madam President, thanks for letting me—letting me show up and—last minute here.

And, Whip Katherine Clark, thanks for letting me interrupt. You're doing a hell of a job, and you've been a great partner—a great partner—helping us get so much done in Congress.

And I want to wish happy birthday to my friend Mignon Moore. Mignon, are you here? Mignon, it's hell turning 30, but you'll get used to it. [Laughter]

And I heard my friend, Nancy Pelosi, is being honored, and I knew I had to be here.

I couldn't miss a chance to be with all of you either. I want to say thanks to EMILY's List for everything you're doing and letting me crash—and allowing me to crash tonight's party. I'm not going to stay long, I promise.

I honestly believe that—Nancy, I've been saying this for a long time, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart: Nancy Pelosi is going to go down in history as one of the most consequential Speakers in the history of the United States ever—[applause]—not merely because she's a woman; because she's so incredible. She's such a——

Audience member. Woo!

The President. No, no—with Nancy leading the way, you never had to worry about whether the bill would pass. If she said she had the votes, she had the votes every time.

And she had to vote so many lifechanging pieces of legislation. She helped rescue the economy in the great depression; pass the Affordable Care Act; ended "don't ask, don't tell." Just since I took office, she led the fight to help us pass the American Rescue Plan, the bipartisan infrastructure law, CHIPS and Science Act, the Inflation Reduction Act. She defended democracy—[applause]—and she defended democracy in the wake of January the 6th.

Look, she's been a steadfast defender of women's rights. I need not even mention that—the right to choose. But I want to thank every single person in this room for leading the way in that fight. It's a critical fight. It's about democracy. It's about freedom. And I also want to thank my buddy, Kamala, who I work for in—[laughter]—up in the White House, for leading on this issue.

Look, I don't have to tell you how much is at stake. That's why your work is so important. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And with that, I want to say just one more thing. You know, there is a—there's a famous quote that is one that says: "What we've done for ourselves" died with—"dies with us. What we've done for others and the world remains immortal."

One of the reasons why Nancy is going to be so, so well thought of in history as well is what she's done for everyone. I mean it. She's a gamechanger. And with that, it's my honor to introduce—bring to the floor my good friend, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Representative Nancy Pelosi. Now, let's say together, "We are EMILY." We are EMILY!

The President. We are EMILY! Hey!

If you notice, I do whatever she tells me. [Laughter] Thank you. Nancy, the floor is yours. Thank you, everybody, for letting me crash. [Laughter] I love you. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 8:42 p.m. at the Anthem. In his remarks, he referred to Laphonza Butler, president, EMILY's List; Mignon R. Moore, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Sociology and special adviser to the president, Barnard College; and Vice President Kamala D. Harris. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on May 17.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks at the EMILY's List We Are EMILY National Gala Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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