WASHINGTON — Congressional leaders presented President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris with a variety of gifts, including a pair of flags flown over the U.S. Capitol during the inauguration.
The presentations to the officials and their respective spouses happened Wednesday in lieu of a congressional luncheon that typically follows the inauguration ceremony.
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said Lenox had specially crafted a pair of commemorative vases for Biden and Harris, each weighing 32 pounds (14.5 kilograms).
Lenox, based in Bristol, Pennsylvania, has designed and created an inaugural gift for the incoming president since Former President George H. W. Bush in 1989. The president's vase features an illustration of the White House, the vice president's features an image of the Capitol.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell gifted them with a pair of U.S. flags that were flown over the Capitol during the inauguration, calling Biden and Harris a "son and daughter of the Senate."
McConnell also noted that both Biden and Harris served in the Senate and “skipped the House altogether.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer presented photos from Wednesday’s ceremony of each being sworn in to office. McCarthy noted Harris making history as the first woman to serve as Vice President, and said it was something all Americans should celebrate.
Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri noted that the Smithsonian had loaned a painting titled “Landscape with Rainbow” by a notable Black painter from around the time of the Civil War.