As President Joe Biden delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress, another symbolic image captured the eyes of viewers: that, for the first time ever, two women — Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi — were seated behind the president as vice president and the Speaker of the House.
At the beginning of his address, President Biden said, “Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President. No president has ever said those words from this podium. No president has ever said those words, and it’s about time.”
Before Biden began his address, Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi filed into the chambers. Masked up, the two of them opted to bump elbows instead of a handshake, a move which both delighted and inspired plenty of viewers.
Nancy Pelosi is the first female speaker of the House, and Kamala Harris is famously the first woman — and woman of color — to become Vice President.
“This is history right here,” actress Alyssa Milano noted tonight after watching Harris and Pelosi knock elbows.
During his address Wednesday evening, Biden advocated for his American Families plan, a $1.8 trillion package that will reinvest funds in child care, infrastructure, education, and labor — he also advocated for bills that would protect workers’ rights to unionize and raise the minimum wage to $15.
Democratic senator from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren attended the socially distanced joint address, and noted on Twitter she hoped seeing two women in power on the dais would inspire other future lawmakers. “I hope little girls everywhere will be watching — and dreaming big,” Warren said.
Check out more reactions to Biden’s historic presidential address below.