Dec 1, 2020
Joe Biden Announces Economic Team, Janet Yellen Press Briefing Transcript December 1
Joe Biden held a briefing on December 1 to formally announce picks for his economic team, including Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury. Read the transcript of the speeches here.
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President-Elect Joe Biden: (01:52)
Well, good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for being here. Hope everyone had a enjoyable and safe Thanksgiving, even if it was far from the traditional large gathering of family and friends, apart from many we loved, but I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. And I know times are tough, but I want you to know that help is on the way. Last week, I announced the nominations and staff for Critical Foreign Policy and National Security positions. A first rate team that’s going to keep us safe and secure. And today I have the pleasure of announcing key nominations and appointments for the critical economic positions in the administration.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (02:37)
A first rate team that’s going to get us through this ongoing economic crisis and help us build the economy back, not just build it back, but build it back better than it was before. A team that’s tested and experienced and includes groundbreaking Americans who come from different backgrounds, but who share my core vision for economic relief here in the United States of America, and given a fair shot and an equal chance, there’s nothing, we all believe there’s nothing beyond the capacity of the American people.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (03:10)
Let’s not forget who built this country, working class and middle-class people built this country, and unions built the middle class. And from the most unequal economic and job crisis in modern history, we can build a new American economy that works for all Americans, not just some, all. We need to act now, though. And we need to work together. In the week since winning the election, Vice President Harris and I have covered meetings with a number of people. We convened meetings with labor leaders and CEOs at the same time, mayors and governors of both political parties. There’s a consensus out there, that as we battle the COVID-19 disease, we have to make sure that business and workers have the tools, resources, and guidance, and the health and safety standards to be able to operate safely.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (04:05)
The goal is simple, to keep businesses and schools open safely, and for millions of Americans who have lost their jobs or hours and have had to claim unemployment, we have to deliver them immediate relief. That includes affordable health care for millions of people who have lost it and are in danger of losing it. Childcare, sick leave, family leave, so workers don’t have to choose between work and family. Relief from rent and student loans. We need to support small businesses and entrepreneurs who formed the backbone of the communities that we live in, that are teetering on the edge. Know there’s an urgent need to fund state and cities so they can, the frontline workers on those jobs can stay in the jobs.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (04:53)
You know, the founders are pretty smart. I could have gotten this lesson from the future Secretary of the Treasury, and there’s a reason why all the States and localities have to have a balanced budget, but we’re allowed federally to run a deficit in order to deal with crises and emergencies, and we have in the past, and we have to keep vital public services running. We have to give aid to local and State governments to make sure they can have law enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, as we did in the recovery act of 2009. And right now the full Congress should come together and pass a robust package for relief to address these urgent needs. But any package passed in a lame duck session is likely to be at best, just a start.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (05:43)
My transition team is already working on what I’ll put forward in the next Congress to address the multiple crises we’re facing, especially our economic and COVID crisis. And the team I’m announcing today will pay a critical role in shaping our plan for action, starting on day one, and move fast to revive this economy. They’re going to help me, help us, help the country lay out my [inaudible 00:06:10] better plan, a plan that an independent analysis from Moody’s, a well-respected Wall Street firm, projected would create 18.6 million jobs. It’s based on a simple proposition, reward hard work in America, not wealth. It’s time to invest in infrastructure, clean energy, climate change, manufacturing, and so much more that will create millions of good paying jobs. It’s time we address the structural inequities in our economy that this pandemic has laid bare.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (06:44)
Economists call this current economy and recovery K shaped. Well, like the two lines coming off of a K. Some people are seeing their prospects soar upward while others are watching their economic prospects drop sharply. For those at the top, jobs have come back, their wealth is rising. For example, luxury home sales are up over 40% compared to last year, but for those in the middle and the bottom, it’s a downward slide. They’re left figuring out how to pay the bills and put food on the table. Almost one in every six renters was behind in rent payments as of October. Let me be clear, with this team and others we’ll add in the weeks ahead, that we’re going to create a recovery for everybody, for all. We’re going to get this economy moving again. We’re going to create jobs, raise incomes, reduce drug prices, advance racial equity across the economy and restore the backbone of this country, the middle class.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (07:50)
Our message to everybody struggling right now is this, help is on the way. My dad, you’ve heard me say this before, when he lost his job in Scranton, when I was a kid, and we eventually moved the family not far from here, Claymont, Delaware, just in the outskirts of Wilmington, used to say, “Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity, it’s about respect, your place in the community. It’s about being able to look a kid in the eye and say, “Honey, it’s going to be okay,” and mean it.” Also used to say, “Joey, I don’t expect the government to solve my problems, but I do expect them to understand my problems.” This team understands.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (08:35)
For Secretary of Treasury, I am really pleased to be able to nominate Janet Yellen. No one is better prepared to deal with these crisis. I wish it weren’t as much of a crisis, Future Secretary. She’ll be the first Treasury Secretary who was also Chair of the Federal Reserve, Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve and Chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors. Janet is one of the most important economic thinkers of our time. She has spent her career focused on unemployment and the dignity of work, which is really important to me and to all of us. She understands what it means to people and their communities when they have good, decent jobs, respect across… Be looked at by their neighbors and be respected, it matters a lot to them.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (09:27)
And respected across party lines and around the world by main street and Wall Street, an educator, a mentor, above all the daughter of a working class, from a working class, Brooklyn neighborhood, who never forgot where she came from. Her husband, George is pretty good too. He’s won a Nobel Prize, but he’s the one that married up. Jan will be the first woman to hold this office. We might have to ask Lin-Manuel Miranda who wrote the musical about the first Secretary of Treasury, Hamilton, to write another musical about the first woman Secretary of the Treasury, Yellen. So that’s what I’m working on right now, Janet.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (10:15)
For Director of Office of Managing the Budget, I nominate Neera Tanden. I’ve known Neera a long time, a brilliant policy mind with critical, practical experience across government. She was raised by a single mom on food stamps, an immigrant from India who struggled, worked hard, and did everything she could for her daughter to live out the American dream and Neera did just that. She understands the struggles that millions of Americans are facing. And she’ll be the first woman of color from South Asia, and I think that, to lead OMB. We also have another one of those women as Vice President of the United States of America.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (11:02)
And so look, all, being very serious. She’ll be in charge of laying out the budget that will help us control the virus and deal with the economic crisis and build back better. But above all, she believes what I believe, a budget should reflect our values. Again, quoting my dad, for real, my dad’s people would say, “Joe, let me tell you what I value.” And they look at him, as a high school educated guy, very well-read and he looked at me said, “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget. I’ll tell you what you value.” That’s what you’re going to do for us Neera.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (11:36)
As Deputy Secretary of Treasury, I nominate Wally Adeyemo. Now, Wally is a… You know, Wally, I don’t know. I tell you what, Senator Warren really likes you. She highly recommended you, but I wasn’t sure she worried that I stole you as well, but thank you for being willing to do this, Wally. A skilled leader and thinker on issues ranging from macro economics to consumer protection and from Nash-
President-Elect Joe Biden: (12:03)
Macro economics to consumer protection and from national security international affairs. I’ve worked with Wally during the great recession. That was me my excuse to the Senator saying, that’s why I wanted to steal you. And I saw him tackle one big job after another, deputy national security advisor to president Obama, deputy director for the national economic council, former chief of staff for Elizabeth Warren, where he helped create the consumer protection Bureau and financial Bureau, which has done so much good. It’s designed to protect consumers and working people from unfair, deceptive, and abusive financial practices. And now Wally will be the first African-American ever to hold this post and the highest ranking African-American in the treasury department’s history. An immigrant from Nigeria. A son of a nurse and an elementary school principal. Wally understands everything we do is basically for the people. For families. Hard working people. To understand their struggles and most of all their dreams. He understands both. And I want to thank you Wally, for being willing to do this for it.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (13:08)
For chairperson of council of economic advisors I nominate … Notwithstanding, she was a very distinguished professor at Princeton. I joke, my children who went to Penn and you just always kid about, you know … But Cecilia Cece Rouse, one of the most distinguished economists in the country. An expert on labor economics and race, poverty and education. Dean of the Princeton school of public and international affairs. A member of the council of economic advisors to president Obama and advisor to president Clinton at the national economic council. More than that, she’s a proud daughter whose mom, a school psychologist encouraged her to pursue economics and her dad, one of the country’s first African-American astrophysics, who dared her to dream. She’s done both. If confirmed Cece will be the first … Excuse me, the fourth woman to lead the council of national economic advisers and the first African-American ever to hold that post. And as CEA chair she’ll serve as a member of my cabinet, as well.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (14:20)
As a member for the council of economic advisors we also appoint Jared Bernstein, an old friend who’s been with me a long time. A brilliant thinker. A quick wit with a heart, as big as his head. A heart he got from his mom and educator, who raised him correctly. A social worker turned economist, Jared is one of my closest economic advisers and friend. He served as my chief economist during the vice presidency. He was there in that foxhole during the great recession with the economy to be on the brink and our country on our back. I couldn’t think of anyone else who I want to be on my side to face the challenges ahead. Jared will be one of the leading voices of my administration on economic policy. I can always count on him to deliver straight from the shoulder as his hero FDR used to say. Straight from the shoulder. The one thing I can assure is working people always have a voice with Jared in this council.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (15:17)
As a member of the council of economic advisers I appoint Heather Boushey. Heather, thank you for all the help you had in the transition team and getting me here. She’s one of the foremost economists working to make sure we build an economy that works for all Americans. The daughter of a union family, it’s no wonder she believes so deeply in the idea, leave no one out. Leave no one behind in this economy during the campaign I relied on our council on addressing the structural inequities within the economy. And I’ll do so again as president because that’s one of the central issues of our time.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (15:55)
To this team, thank you for accepting the call to serve again. To your families and to your … Thank them for their sacrifices. Because there’s real sacrifice. We could not do this without you. And to the American people. This team will always be there for you and your families. This is family oriented team. We got to make sure ordinary people get a chance to do well, because when given a chance they’ve never, ever, ever, ever let the country down.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (16:27)
11 years ago, president Obama and I entered office during the great recession and implemented the Recovery Act and saved us from a great depression. I didn’t see the map of America at the time, nor did he in terms of blue states and red states. We only saw the United States of America. We work with everyone, for everyone, and we recovered and rebuilt together as one nation. Vice president Harris and I will do that all over again with an outstanding team. They’re ready on day one. To the United States Senate, I hope these outstanding nominees will receive a prompt hearing and that we will be able to work across the aisle in good faith and move forward as one country. Let’s begin the work to heal, to unite, to rebuild an economy for all Americans. They deserve and expect nothing less.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (17:24)
Thank you. May God bless you. And may God protect our troops. I now turn this over to the new team, starting with our next secretary of treasury, Janet Yellen. Again, Janet, thanks for accepting. I appreciate it.
President-Elect Joe Biden: (17:38)
I think they’re going to clean this off for us here. Excuse me, Janet. Is my mask up there? No, I put in in my book. [inaudible 00:18:14].
Janet Yellen: (18:15)
Thank you, Mr president elect and Madam vice president elect. It’s my great honor to have this opportunity to serve you and the American people and to join this incredible economic team at this moment of great challenge for our country. Mr President elect, when you reflect on what your father taught you about how a job is much more than a paycheck I hear my own father who raised our family in working class Brooklyn. When he graduated from medical school, during the great depression, he looked for a home in a place to hang his shingle near the Brooklyn docks. Back then Bush terminal on the upper New York Bay was a thriving hub for manufacturing and transportation and for the union workers whose livelihoods depended on them. Knowing they didn’t have cars, my father found a home near a bus line. He started his family practice in the basement. While we lived on the floors above.
Janet Yellen: (19:27)
At the end of the day, he would talk to me, my brother and my mom about what work meant to his patients, our friends and neighbors, especially if they lost a job. The financial problems, the family problems, the health problems, the loss of dignity and self-worth. The value of work always stuck with me. So much so that I became an economist because I was concerned about the toll of unemployment on people, families, and communities. And I’ve spent my career trying to make sure people can work and achieve the dignity and self-worth that comes with it. Mr President elect, I know you’ve done the same. I saw it that understanding during the last great recession and the recovery act that followed and now we’re facing historic crises again.
Janet Yellen: (20:31)
The pandemic and economic fallout fit together have caused so much damage for so many and have had a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable among us. Lost lives, lost jobs, small businesses struggling to stay alive or closed for good. So many people struggling to put on the table and pay bills and rent. It’s an American tragedy and it’s essential that we move with urgency. Inaction will produce a self-reinforcing downturn causing yet more devastation. And we risk missing the obligation to address deeper structural problems, inequality, stagnant wages, especially for workers who lack a college education. Communities that have seen industry disappear with no good jobs replacing lost ones. Racial disparities in pay, job opportunities, housing, food security, and small business lending that deny wealth building to communities of color. Gender disparities that keep women out of the workforce and keep our economy from running at full force. It’s a convergence of tragedies that is not only economically unsustainable, but one that betrays our commitment to giving every American an equal chance to get ahead. But I know this team will never give up that commitment.
Janet Yellen: (22:18)
As you’ve said before, Mr president elect, out of our collective pain as a nation, we will find collective purpose to control the pandemic and build our economy back better than before. To rebuild our infrastructure and create better jobs, to invest in our workforce, to advance racial equity and make sure that the economic recovery includes everyone. To address the climate crisis with American ingenuity and American jobs. Working together with the outstanding national security and foreign policy team you announced last week to help restore America’s global leadership. And above all, we share your belief in the American dream. Of a society, where each person, with effort, can rise to their potential and dream even bigger for their children. I pledge as treasury secretary to work every day towards rebuilding that dream for all Americans. And to the great public servants of the treasury department I look forward to working with you and Wally to rebuild the public trust. To the American people we will be an institution that wakes up every morning, thinking about you, your jobs, your paychecks, your struggles, your hopes, your dignity, and your limitless potential. Thank you.
Janet Yellen: (24:00)
Neera Tanden: (24:24)
Mr. President-elect, Madam Vice President-elect, I’m humbled and honored by the trust you’ve placed in me to work with this talented team on behalf of the American people.
Neera Tanden: (24:36)
I’m especially proud to work alongside leaders who understand that budgets are not abstractions. They are a reflection of our values. They touch our lives in profound ways, and sometimes they make all the difference. Like the vice president-elect’s mother Shyamala, my mother Maya was born in India. Like so many millions across every generation, she came to America to pursue a better life.
Neera Tanden: (25:09)
I was raised in a suburb of Boston. A middle-class kid. But when I was five, my parents got divorced and my mom was left on her own with two young children and without a job. She faced a choice. Return to India, where at a time, divorce was stigmatized and the opportunities for her and her children would be limited. Or, keep fighting for her American dream.
Neera Tanden: (25:39)
She stayed. And America came through for her when times were tough. We relied on food stamps to eat. We relied on Section 8 housing vouchers to pay the rent. We relied on the social safety net to get back on our feet. This country gave her a fair shot to reach the middle-class and she made it work. She got a job as a travel agent and before long, she was able to buy us our own home in Bedford, Massachusetts, and eventually see her children off to college and beyond.
Neera Tanden: (26:17)
I’m here today, thanks to my mother’s grit, but also thanks to a country that had faith in us. That invested in her humanity and in our dreams. I’m here today because of social programs, because of budgetary choices, because of a government that saw my mother’s dignity and gave her a chance. Now it is my profound honor to help shape those budgets and programs, to keep lifting Americans up, to pull families back from the brink, to give everybody the fair chance my mom got and that every single person deserves.
Neera Tanden: (27:02)
That’s the America, Maya and Shyamala were drawn to. The America the president-elect and vice president-elect are ready to grow. I believe so strongly that our government is meant to serve all the American people. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike. All of whom deserve to know their government has their back. I look forward to working together alongside the dedicated career professionals of the OMB to expand possibilities for every American family.
Neera Tanden: (27:35)
I want to thank my own wonderful family. My husband, Ben, without his love and support, I would simply not be here. And our children, Elina and Jayden. Thank you all for this profound opportunity to serve.
Joe Biden: (27:49)
Adewale Adeyemo: (28:17)
Mr. President-elect, Madam Vice President-elect, thank you for this profound opportunity to return to the Treasury Department and serve the American people. I know firsthand the president- elect’s capacity to lift our country out of hard times, because I had the privilege of working with him to help Americans recover from the Great Recession. In California’s inland empire, where I’d grown up in a working class neighborhood, the Great Recession hit us hard. We were one of the foreclosure capitals in the United States.
Adewale Adeyemo: (28:49)
The pain of this was real for me. It wasn’t just numbers in a report or stories on the nightly news, but neighbors and friends who lost everything. I was proud of the work I got to do with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, protecting American consumers at the Treasury Department, helping to grow the US economy. I was proud also of getting a chance to serve with leaders like the president-elect, who oversaw the Recovery Act’s implementation. Investing in American workers, betting on their resilience and drive and giving families a chance to get up off the mat.
Adewale Adeyemo: (29:26)
I believe that’s what public service is all about at its best. Giving people a fair shot when they need it most, offering hope through the dark times, and making sure that our economy works not just for the wealthy, but for the hardworking people who make it run. Those are the lessons I learned from my parents. An elementary school principal and a nurse who came to America to build a better life for me and my siblings. They taught us that we have a responsibility to serve our community and the country that gave us so many opportunities. But I also learned early on how much more needs to be done to ensure that everyone has a fair chance they deserve.
Adewale Adeyemo: (30:06)
I look forward to working with Janet Yellen to reduce inequality in this country and expand the middle-class and make sure that we build an economy that works for everyone. And as we build back better, we must also remain laser-focused on the Treasury Department’s critical role of protecting our national security. This includes using our sanctions regime to hold bad actors accountable, dismantling the financial networks of terrorist organizations and others who seek to do us harm, and ensuring our foreign investment policy protects America’s national security interest.
Adewale Adeyemo: (30:38)
The challenges before us today are unlike anything we have ever faced, but I know that what the president-elect so often reminds us of is true. The American people can do anything when given a chance. I’m honored to be a part of this talented team and to work with them and all of the American people to build an economy that gives everyone that chance and turns our nation once again from crisis to hope.
Adewale Adeyemo: (31:03)
Joe Biden: (31:04)
Adewale Adeyemo: (31:04)
Thank you, sir.
Cecilia Rouse: (31:27)
Good afternoon. Mr. President-elect, Madam Vice President-elect, thank you for this extraordinary opportunity to join this team. I’m humbled and honored and ready to get to work for the American people. To be perfectly honest, until recently, I did not anticipate I would return to public service. As every academic knows, when you’ve laid down roots at a school you love with incredible students and colleagues you’ve grown with, it isn’t easy to take a leave. It requires a rare combination of urgency and opportunity to pull you away. But that rare combination is precisely what our nation is facing right now.
Cecilia Rouse: (32:11)
My path as an economist began in my first year of college. My mother, the school psychologist encouraged me to take a course in economics and it happened to coincide with what at the time was one of the worst spikes in unemployment since the Great Depression. It was impossible for me to separate what we were learning in the classroom, from what I know was going on in towns across the country. I found myself drawn to the study of the labor market in all of its dimensions. The reasons that jobs disappear. The impact of education on people’s job prospects. And the ways we can tear down barriers to job growth and make it easier for people to find long lasting economic security.
Cecilia Rouse: (32:53)
Today, nearly 40 years later, we are once again living through one of the worst job crises since the Great Depression. Millions of families have had their lives turned upside down. The safety net has frayed, leaving vulnerable Americans to slip through into hardship and hopelessness. And importantly, structural inequities that have always existed in our economy are being exacerbated like never before.
Cecilia Rouse: (33:21)
This is a moment of urgency and opportunity unlike any we’ve faced in modern times. The urgency of ending a devastating crisis and the opportunity to build a better economy in its wake. An economy that works for everyone, brings fulfilling job opportunities and leaves no one to fall through the cracks. I look forward to working with the president-elect and vice president-elect and this amazing entire economic team, to address that urgency and seize that opportunity and make our economic system work better for every American.
Cecilia Rouse: (33:56)
Joe Biden: (33:57)
Jared Bernstein: (34:25)
Good afternoon. I’m hard pressed to find the words to express my gratitude to the president-elect and vice president-elect for the chance to be here today. In thinking about the path that brought me here, a good place to start is 12 years ago almost to the day, when I met with then Vice President-elect Biden at his home not far from here. It was supposed to be a job interview to be his chief economist, but it quickly turned into a conversation about economic justice and fairness, which as many here know is a common destination in conversations with the president-elect.
Jared Bernstein: (35:05)
Over the years, we’ve continued that discussion. Often it takes the form of some policy minutiae, sometimes it’s me hitting him with far more graphics than are necessary, or him telling me to stop speaking economese and start speaking English. Guilty as charged Mr. President-elect. I suspect the reason we had such a meeting of the minds back then dates back to a common saying in my household when I was growing up, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”
Jared Bernstein: (35:38)
I grew up with a single mother, a lifelong educator. There was a picture of FDR on the wall. Her proudest moment wasn’t when I got a PhD. It was when I got a union card. Local 802, the New York City’s Musician’s Union. But that’s a whole other story.
Jared Bernstein: (35:56)
Of course, if you intend to be part of the solution, you need to accurately diagnose the problem. In that regard, I-
Jared Bernstein: (36:03)
… me to accurately diagnose the problem. In that regard, I think the president and vice president-elect’s agenda is timely, resonant and visionary. Yes, they’ve stressed the urgent need to control the virus and provide the relief needed to help families and businesses get to the other side of this crisis, but they’ve been just as adamant that simply getting back to where we were sets the bar too low. We must build back an economy that’s far more resilient, far more fair and far more inclusive. It is precisely the vision this nation needs, and I suspect I’m not the only person on this stage chomping at the bit to get to work on making their vision a reality. Thank you.
Joe Biden: (36:47)
Jared Bernstein: (36:52)
Cecilia Rouse: (37:11)
Mr. President-elect and Madam Vice President-elect, I am honored and very grateful for the chance to be a part of this absolutely exceptional team and excited to get to work helping build an economy rooted in the values that we share: equality, opportunity and the dignity of work. It’s no accident that I focused my career on instilling those values in our economy, developing policies that help our nation grow stronger by growing more equitably. Like the president-elect and the vice president-elect, those values were instilled in me at a young age. In the late 1970s, my dad got a job at Boeing, and if you grew up in Seattle like I did, you know what that means. A lot more than a paycheck, as Janet referenced, and as the president so often reminds us. And for our family, my dad’s job at Boeing meant security. It meant union benefits, a place in the neighborhood, a place in the middle-class.
Cecilia Rouse: (38:14)
But when the recession hit in the early 1980s, one by one the pink slips arrived for every family in our cul-de-sac. Every kid at my bus stop had a parent who was laid off. Our entire community saw its future dimmed, and one by one it was my turn. So the first time I truly experienced this thing called the economy, it was my parents sitting down and explaining that things were going to be tougher for a while because my dad was on layoff. Too many kids in America experience the economy through those kinds of difficult conversations or far worse. I was struck by the profound power this mysterious force held over my life, my friends and my community, and I wondered if that power couldn’t also be wielded to create happier conversations and fuller lives.
Cecilia Rouse: (39:07)
I’ve dedicated my career to figuring out how we can grow and sustain the middle-class and uproot the gender barriers and racial barriers that leave too many Americans outside the dream looking in. Through the organization I co-founded, I’ve pursued solutions to reverse the dangerous march of inequality and bring us back to the core value of broadly shared success. That’s the same value I see at the heart of the Build Back Better Plan and why I’m so excited and honored to help this team bring not just good jobs, but the good lives and peace of mind that comes with them to every American community. Thank you.
Joe Biden: (39:47)
Kamala Harris: (39:47)
Mr. President-elect, congratulations on choosing this outstanding team of brilliant minds, this economic team. This is the right team for this moment, and to our nominees and appointees, thank you for your continued service tarnation. This is the team we need to deliver immediate economic relief to the American people, to get our economy back on track, and to make sure it works for working people. And as President-elect Biden noted earlier, completing that task could not be more urgent. Cases of COVID-19 are spiking, and beyond the tragic loss of life, the toll of this recession continues to mount. Across America, one in six adults with children say their families are hungry. Janet Yellen talked about food insecurity. This is real. We are looking at a hunger crisis in America right now. One in three adults are having trouble paying their bills, essential bills, the bills that be to be paid at the end of every month to get to the next month. And the number of open small businesses has fallen by nearly 30% due to this pandemic, while many others are hoping they can stay afloat until the vaccine is available. These are the struggles, the worries that keep people up in the middle of the night that have them sitting at their kitchen table past midnight trying to figure out how they’re going to make it work. But Americans are not united by their worries alone. They are also united by their aspirations: the aspirations they have for themselves, for their children, for families and for their community. Because no matter where you live or what language your grandmother speaks, everyone wants to be able to get a job and keep a job. No matter what your gender or who you love, everyone wants to be able to buy a home and keep a home. And no matter how you worship or who you voted for in this election, everyone wants to be able to give their children a decent education and allow those children to pursue their dreams, even during a pandemic.
Kamala Harris: (42:37)
And Joe and I understand that; we were raised to respect the dignity of work. We were raised by our hardworking parents who always understood the dignity of work and the potential, not only for their children, but of our country. And that’s why I’ve always fought for working people, standing up for middle-class families who had lost their homes in the Great Recession. Wally, you talked about that. Families in California were devastated, but they were able to rely on their government and the leaders as Joe always talks about who needed to see their condition and speak to that condition. And that’s the work that needs to happen now, and I looked forward to collaborating with this extraordinary team to put working people front and center in our administration.
Kamala Harris: (43:31)
These public servants are some of America’s most brilliant minds. They are proven leaders whose talents, achievements, and life stories, their life stories reflect the stories of the American people and their stories reflect the very best of our country. And they not only have the experience, the expertise and what is necessary to help end this economic crisis, but also what is necessary to put people back to work, and they also share in our commitment to building an economy, an America where everyone has access to a higher minimum wage and affordable healthcare, paid family leave and paid sick, leave home ownership and capital to start a small business. An America, where opportunity is within reach for everyone, for all the people. So we’ve got a lot of work to do to build that America, and as Joe always says, to bill back better, and President-elect Biden and I, together with this economic team, will be ready to hit the ground running on day one, because that is what this crisis demands, and that is what the American people deserve. Thank you.
Joe Biden: (44:58)
Speaker 1: (45:36)
Mr. President-elect, will [inaudible 00:09:12].