Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor today urging House Republicans to join Democrats in voting in favor of legislation that ends the Republican Government Shutdown and lifts the debt ceiling. The House passed legislation with a vote of 285-144. Below are the Leader’s remarks:
“Thank you, Madam Speaker. I thank the gentle lady for yielding. I thank her for her great leadership as a Ranking Member on the Appropriations Committee and for bringing us together this evening as she has been all along, 200 House Democratic Members, 200 strong in support of the Republican number that we are voting on today.
“Tonight, the unnecessary shutdown America has been enduring for 16 days comes to an end. Thank you, Speaker Boehner for finally allowing a majority of House Members to re-open the government and avert a default that would have clearly wreaked havoc on our economic credibility and stability of our country. It is equally clear that the shutdown is already shaking some pillars of our economic security and growth. It has jeopardized our credit rating, slowed GDP growth by 0.6 percent. It has eroded consumer and investor confidence while taking $24 billion out of our economy. My colleagues, do you think that your recklessness was worth $24 billion to our economy? This recklessness is a luxury the American people cannot afford.
“Tomorrow, we can finally begin what Democrats have been waiting for, for seven months to do. Tomorrow, we can go to the negotiating table to debate a budget, to creates jobs – jobs, jobs, jobs; that four letter word. Expand the economy, strengthen the middle class, and reduce the deficit in a meaningful way. Tomorrow, we must stop governing from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis and start working to find solutions so that we never again see a day where the government has been shut down and the full faith and credit of the United States of America has been called into question.
“For that reason, I urge a ‘yes’ vote on this bill. Not on its merits, because as we know this number is too low. Even the Chairman of the committee has said it’s an unrealistic and ill-conceived number and must be brought to an end. This number if left in effect will cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs in the months ahead, in the next year – hundreds of thousands of jobs. Again, a number that is a luxury this country cannot afford.
“So if the Republican number is key to re-opening the doors of governments and restoring confidence in the economy, Democrats are willing to accept this resolution tonight. But as I say, not because of its merits, not because of its merits. We do so because a vote ‘yes’ on this bill will take us, hopefully, not on its merits, but in the hope that it will start us down a path to grow the economy, promote the prosperity of every American who is willing to work hard, play by the rules, and to achieve the American Dream.
“And so, with those qualifications as to what we are voting for tonight, the number doesn’t meet the needs of the American people. The length of time the debt ceiling is extended is not long enough. But apparently, that is the best that we can do, and I commend Senator Reid for working in a bipartisan way to send us this bill tonight so we can bring this sadness to an end and how it has affected so many people. So again, not on its merits. I do not come here to pin a rose on this legislation. It does not have that respect, but it does have my support and the means to an end.
“With that, I urge a ‘yes’ vote and yield back the balance of my time.”