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Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States Jan. 20 alongside Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington D.C.

Oregon leaders such as Gov. Kate Brown and Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden released a few comments about the historic day.

Gov. Brown issued the following statement today:

"Today marks a new chapter for our country as we welcome President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to the White House. It is an especially extraordinary moment for our nation to celebrate the historic swearing-in of our first female, Black and Asian Vice President — and the incredibly diverse Cabinet that President Biden has nominated. Our government should be reflective of the people it represents, and now Americans across the country will see themselves in the people holding leadership positions.

"We have waited a long time to have a strong, competent and trustworthy partner we can work with at the federal level — and now more than ever, we need that federal leadership to help states beat COVID-19, once and for all. As we still face what could be the darkest days of the pandemic, President Biden has laid out a strong vision and clear plan, based on science, for how the federal government will help the American people, and governors across the country — starting with the announcement of a much-needed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. I look forward to working with the President, Vice President and Congress on getting this ground-breaking package across the finish line.

"I also look forward to working with the new Congress on their For the People Act, which would establish Vote-By-Mail and Automatic Voter Registration nationally.

"Election after election, here in Oregon, we set the example for our country. Our 30-year-old Vote-by-Mail system took a turn on the national stage as states across the country shifted to voting by mail, and voting early, to enable people to vote safely and securely.

"Now, the work begins to make that permanent. I am so very proud that Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Amy Klobuchar have crafted this comprehensive legislation, which will be the first bill taken up by the new Congress. If passed, this bill will require the reforms we started in Oregon to be adopted by every state in the country. Automatic Voter Registration and Vote-By-Mail should be available to every citizen in this country.

"I hope that all of you will join me in supporting the passage of the For the People Act in the Senate. Because, the right to vote is fundamental — and it is sacred.

"While there are many challenges ahead, on this historic day I remain hopeful. We are determined as ever to rise, rebuild, and reinvent a more just and equitable country."

Sen. Wyden released the following statement on President Joe Biden's inauguration day environmental executive actions:

“President Joe Biden's action today sends a strong signal to the American people and the world that his administration is setting our nation's priorities right, putting the health of our communities and environment over corporate interests and science over politics. This administration understands the urgency of the climate crisis, the value of our public lands to our water, air and rural economies, and the importance of ensuring environmental justice.

"With a Biden administration and Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress, now we can undo the harm over the last four years, restore the public trust, and build back better for a safer, healthier America. My top priorities as we work together for progress: overhauling our energy tax code to move us toward a carbon-free future; establishing a 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps to create good paying jobs that will improve and protect our public lands; and doing everything in our power to prevent the blistering and devastating wildfires destroying homes, businesses and livelihoods."

Sen. Merkley released the following statement today following the inauguration:

“In the midst of one of the darkest winters in American history, today is cause for celebration and resolve. Today, our nation begins the hard work of turning the page on a dark chapter marked by racism, division, and incivility, as we set out to write a new one of hope, freedom, and equality for all.

“It won’t be easy. First and foremost, we must face and defeat a devastating pandemic that has already claimed 400,000 American lives and robbed millions of their livelihoods. But we must also reckon with deeper and more long-lasting forces that have shaped everything about our lives and our politics, up to and including the current pandemic.

“For decades, powerful special interests have done everything in their power to rig our economy and our society in their favor. They’ve flooded Washington with dark money, and stoked fears and pitted groups of Americans against each other in order to protect themselves. Their project has done real, lasting damage to the fabric of our republic, and it’s on each of us to do our part to restore it.

“I have every confidence that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are well equipped to lead that charge with the skill, compassion, and determination it will require. And I am fully committed to doing all that I can to ensure that the Senate is a strong partner to their efforts—from tackling the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis, to passing the For the People Act and reinvigorating our democracy, to addressing directly our national shame of racism and discrimination and ensuring that every hardworking American has a roof over their head and food on their table. Let’s get to work.”


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