clearn.png
Monday November 29th, 2021 12:33AM

Harris, Pelosi to make history seated behind Biden at speech

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are set to make history Wednesday as the first women — one of them Black and Indian American — to share the stage in Congress during a presidential address.

The two began the night with another historic moment: An elbow-bump hello, a pandemic spin on the traditional handshake. Both stood side by side behind the dais in the House chamber, chatting with each other and occasionally waving to lawmakers as the group waited for President Joe Biden to arrive.

Biden is set to deliver his first prime-time speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night flanked by Pelosi and Harris, two California Democrats.

“It's pretty exciting. And it's wonderful to make history. It's about time,” Pelosi said hours before the speech during an interview on MSNBC.

Pelosi already knows what it feels like to sit on the rostrum in the House chamber and introduce a president for their speeches. She has sat there for several addresses by Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Women's advocates said seeing Harris and Pelosi seated together behind Biden will be a “beautiful moment.” But they noted that electing a woman to sit in the Oval Office remains to be achieved, along with the addition of an equal rights amendment to the Constitution.

Biden helped usher the moment along by pledging to pick a woman for his running mate and selecting Harris, then a U.S. senator from California.

“This is a great start and we have to continue to move forward to give women their equal due," said Christian Nunes, president of the National Organization for Women.

Pelosi made history by becoming the first female House speaker during Republican Bush's presidency. He acknowledged the moment by noting during his address to Congress after Pelosi's election that he had the privilege of being the first president to open with the words “madam speaker.”

Pelosi, 81, reclaimed the powerful leadership post during Republican Trump's presidency and sat behind him during his final two speeches to Congress, famously ripping up her copy of Trump's remarks in 2020 as cameras continued to roll after he was finished addressing lawmakers.

Harris, 56, made history last year when she became the first woman and first Black and Indian American person elected vice president. In her role as president of the Senate, she joins Pelosi to preside over the joint session of Congress.

Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, said Wednesday night will show men, women, boys and girls that women can attain and hold high-level positions and that they are as entitled to them as men are.

Walsh also noted Biden's promise to put a woman on his ticket, and pointed as well to the diversity of his Cabinet. She said Biden was likely to begin the speech by turning around to face Pelosi and Harris and feeling proud — not just personally, “but I also think proud for the country and proud for his party and I think he will clearly see the historic implications of this and the role that he played in making that happen.”

“For all of us who care about women’s public leadership, we still look forward to the day when the person standing at the podium, in front, is a woman,” Walsh added. “But for now this is a particularly gratifying moment.”

Harris' office declined comment Wednesday on her historic role in the president's address, preferring to let the moment speak for itself.

Apart from the speech Wednesday, Harris and Pelosi have notched another first in U.S. and women's history. They are first and second, respectively, in the line of presidential succession.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Deadly California arrest carries echoes of George Floyd case
Police in Alameda, California, are under fire over the death of a Hispanic man who was pinned to the ground for more than five minutes in an arrest that unfolded the same day a jury in Minneapolis began deliberating in the George Floyd case
3:16PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Ethics hearing: Idaho lawmaker accused of rape pleads Fifth
An Idaho lawmaker facing rape allegations from a 19-year-old intern refused to answer some questions during a legislative ethics hearing Wednesday after his attorney told him to invoke his constitutional right against self-incrimination
3:15PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Watching from afar, Congress will make or break Biden agenda
The most striking part of President Joe Biden’s address to Congress may be the absence of most members of Congress
3:12PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Democrats move to reinstate methane rules loosened by Trump
Congressional Democrats are taking action to reinstate regulations designed to limit potent greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas fields
2:57PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Govt. expands refinancing options for low-income homeowners
The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Wednesday announced a new refinance option for certain low-income borrowers, helping them take advantage of low interest rates and save money each month
2:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
Turkey says it's glad a woman leads EU's executive branch
The Turkish government has again rejected the accusation that it snubbed the head of the European Union’s executive arm because she is a woman and blamed a protocol gaffe on EU squabbling
1:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Tim Scott, only Black GOP senator, set to respond to Biden
Tim Scott of South Carolina is the only Black Republican senator
10:58AM ( 4 hours ago )
Judicial nominees, perhaps a potential justice, face Senate
It's time for President Joe Biden's first batch of judicial nominees to come before Congress
10:57AM ( 4 hours ago )
Greek far-right lawmaker held, awaiting extradition ruling
Belgian prosecutors say a Greek far-right member of the European Parliament is refusing to be extradited from Belgium to Greece
9:00AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Russian minister: US-Russia ties worse than during Cold War
Russia’s top diplomat says his country's relations with the United States are even worse now than during Cold War times because of a lack of mutual respect
11:36AM ( 3 hours ago )
UK watchdog steps up probe into Johnson's apartment refurb
Britain’s political spending watchdog is scaling up an investigation into Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s finances
8:19AM ( 7 hours ago )
Russian FM: US-Russia ties worse than during Cold War
Russia’s top diplomat says that the relations with the United States are now even worse than during the Cold War times because of a lack of mutual respect
7:18AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Elections
Leaked recording of Iran's top diplomat offers blunt talk
A recording of Iran’s foreign minister offering a blunt appraisal of diplomacy and the limits of power within the Islamic Republic has leaked out publicly
10:14AM ( 2 days ago )
Election conspiracies live on with audit by Arizona GOP
Months after former President Donald Trump’s defeat, legislative Republicans in Arizona are challenging the outcome as they embark on an unprecedented effort to audit the results in the state’s most populous county
3:20PM ( 3 days ago )
Sen. Johnson may offer insight into GOP's 2022 positioning
Sen. Ron Johnson is in an uncomfortable class of his own
8:47AM ( 3 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
Deadly California arrest carries echoes of George Floyd case
Police in Alameda, California, are under fire over the death of a Hispanic man who was pinned to the ground for more than five minutes in an arrest that unfolded the same day a jury in Minneapolis began deliberating in the George Floyd case
3:16PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Ethics hearing: Idaho lawmaker accused of rape pleads Fifth
An Idaho lawmaker facing rape allegations from a 19-year-old intern refused to answer some questions during a legislative ethics hearing Wednesday after his attorney told him to invoke his constitutional right against self-incrimination
3:15PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Watching from afar, Congress will make or break Biden agenda
The most striking part of President Joe Biden’s address to Congress may be the absence of most members of Congress
3:12PM ( 9 minutes ago )
AP sources: Feds search Rudy Giuliani's NYC home, office
A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that federal investigators have executed search warrants at Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan residence and office
3:12PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Judge won't release videos of deputies shooting Black man
A judge has denied requests to release body camera video in the case of a Black man who killed by North Carolina deputies
3:11PM ( 11 minutes ago )