Landmark moment for Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi during Joe Biden speech

Landmark moment for Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi during Joe Biden speech

Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made history Wednesday as the first women - one of them Black and Indian American - to share the stage in Congress during a presidential address.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi joined Biden behind the podium on the floor of the House of Representatives, a milestone the president was quick to note.

When a president addresses Congress flanked by the vice president and speaker of the House, it's tradition. "It's about time", Pelosi said hours before the speech.

Pelosi, 81, made history by becoming the first female House speaker during Bush's presidency.

During his first address to Congress, Biden spoke of his sweeping plan to provide universal preschool, and free community college, while raising the taxes of the wealthy. In her first 100 days, Harris has taken on challenges both foreign and domestic, from coronavirus vaccine equity to the root causes of migration from Central America's Northern Triangle nations.

Pelosi, for her part, has led the Democratic Party's House caucus for almost two decades and shattered her share of glass ceilings along the way, as she noted in an Wednesday interview with MSNBC.

Harris entered the House chamber Wednesday night to a round of applause for Biden's first joint-session address to Congress.

Indeed, former President George W. Bush began his 2007 State of the Union address with a nod to Pelosi.

Apart from the speech Wednesday, Harris and Pelosi have notched another first in US and women's history. After he acknowledged that he was the first president to open his remarks with the words "Madam Speaker", the crowd of (mostly male) lawmakers rose for a lengthy standing ovation.

Harris, 56, made history a year ago when she became the first woman and first Black and Indian American person elected vice president.

Walsh also noted Biden's promise to put a woman on his ticket, and pointed as well to the diversity of his Cabinet.

"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 down played the historic occasion. She said, "We've seen these numbers increase over the years, and I hope that visual Wednesday night reaffirms to the women and girls who are watching that no job is off limits". The symbolic seating also connotes the first time that women are first and second in the presidential line of succession, a sign of women in power in their respective roles, CNN said.

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