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Pelosi: Democrats Will Work In a Unified Way for a New Direction for All Americans

'What an honor it is to be nominated by my colleagues to be the Speaker of the House. Everyone is very excited about the thought that I am the first woman Speaker - I'm just absolutely delighted that we have a Democratic Speaker and a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.

'We've had our differences in our party. We have now come together. I wish all of the American people could have heard the discussion of our Caucus this morning. They would have heard speeches of mutual respect regardless of who anyone was supporting for party office. They would have heard speeches of unity for a new direction for our country.

'As you know our colleagues chose our distinguished Whip Steny Hoyer, to be the Democratic Leader of the House. I extend great congratulations to him and we will hear from him in a moment. I look forward to working with him in a unified way to bring our country to a new direction for all Americans, not just the privileged few.

'I want to acknowledge the magnificent contribution of Mr. Murtha to this debate on the war on Iraq. I thank him for his courage for stepping forward one year ago to speak truth to power, to change the debate in this country in a way that gave us this majority this November. Mr. Murtha won the JFK Profile in Courage Award; he's a great Member of Congress, I was proud to support him for Majority Leader because I thought that would be the best way to bring an end to the war in Iraq. I know that he will continue to take the lead on that issue for our Caucus, for this Congress, for our country.

'As I said, Steny Hoyer came out a big winner today. It was a stunning victory for him. We've had our debates, we've had our disagreements in that room, but now that is over. I said to my colleagues: 'As we say in church, let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with us.' Let the healing begin.

'It is with great pride that I present a fellow Marylander, a person who has served in the Congress for many years with great distinction, a person who will make a magnificent contribution to our country as the Democratic Leader, the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, the distinguished Majority Leader-elect, Steny Hoyer.'