WASHINGTON — Two years to the day since he was sworn into office, President Joe Biden spoke to a bipartisan group of 200 mayors to highlight his administration’s accomplishments and the importance of mayoral leadership.
The President lauded the work of members of his administration who served as former mayors, such as Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and senior advisor Mitch Landrieu.
“That’s why I think we’re making such progress,” Biden said. “You mayors know how to get things done.”
Mayor Andrew Ginther of Columbus, Ohio, who serves as the Second Vice President of the United States Conference of Mayors, introduced President Biden. He thanked the President for working in conjunction with local leaders over his time in office, referencing legislation such as the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“The last two years have been the most consequential and productive for mayors in the history of the United States,” Ginther said. “So much of that is thanks to our partnership with President Biden.”
Biden celebrated legislative accomplishments over the last 18 months, including the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
The President spoke on his mission of “rebuilding the economy from the bottom up.” He pointed to the creation of 11 million jobs and record low unemployment levels as evidence of his economic plan’s success.
“Pride is coming back to American families and American citizens,” Biden said. “And it’s not an accident, it’s a strategy we put into action to recover and rebuild and invest in America.”
During his remarks, Biden applauded the efforts of Mayor Indya Kincannon of Knoxville, Tennessee and Mayor John Giles of Mesa, Arizona, who used pandemic relief funding to invest in building safer communities.
“When it comes to public safety, we know the answer is not to de-fund the police,” Biden said.
“They need more funding and they need ancillary help as well.”
He also discussed efforts to address the opioid epidemic and invest in mental health. Biden said his administration has invested $5 billion to mental health and substance abuse treatment, and confiscated 379 million doses of fentanyl.
The President’s remarks came at the conclusion of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 91st Winter Meeting held in Washington, D.C this week.
“For the last two years since my inauguration, I think we’ve made some progress, large part because of many of you sitting in this room,” Biden told the crowd. “There’s nothing beyond our capacity as the United States of America.”