Biden was introduced by Vice President Kamala Harris to assure his supporters that he would not give up on his fight to push his huge social spending bill through Congress. Biden invoked King to say that the country is still striving to live up its ideals as an nation, and had reached an inflection on issues such as fighting voting restrictions.
Biden stated, "I know progress doesn't come quickly enough." It has never been like this."
He reiterated, however, that his administration was committed to protecting the right of voters. "I understand the stakes. You are aware of the stakes. He said, "This is far from over."
Biden spoke at the memorial a day after Senate Republicans blocked debate on Democrats' elections legislation that they tout as a powerful counterweight to new voting restrictions passing in conservative-controlled states. Biden has said he would push for the legislation. However, his supporters are becoming increasingly frustrated that he hasn't embraced changing Senate rules in order to break the filibuster.
Biden also said he would "continue fighting for real police reform legislation," which is still in limbo in Congress, after bipartisan talks fell apart this summer.
Biden highlighted his social spending agenda, which is still the subject of heated intraparty negotiation. He said that the bill would reduce prescription drug prices, reduce poverty, and combat housing discrimination.
Biden stated, "We can afford this." "We can't afford to not do this."
Biden hopes to rally Democrats behind a bill before he leaves for the international climate summit next Wednesday.
This memorial was dedicated to the fallen of 2011, and it is the first African American honor on the National Mall. The memorial is located on Independence Avenue, along the Tidal basin. It features a large stone statue of King and a wall with his most famous quotes.
Biden spoke of the struggles of King's times and said that white nationalism is still a threat to the country. He also stated that it was what prompted the Jan. 6 rebellion at the Capitol. Biden stated that people from his generation believed hate would disappear.
He said, "But it doesn’t." "It hides until some apparently legitimate person breathes some oxygen underneath the rocks where they are hiding and gives it some air."
Biden made a reference at former President Donald Trump and said: "We had a presidency who appealed the prejudice." He also stated, "We cannot give hate any safe harbour."
Harris, on the other hand, praised King for being a "prophet", and stated that the monument was "dedicated to a man who lived amongst us".
She added, "This monument is dedicated to a man, regardless of your age, whose voice and words we still hear, not only in this city but also throughout the country and the world."