Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor today in opposition to the latest House Republican proposal offering to fund specific parts of government while doing nothing to end the Tea Party-led shutdown of the federal government. Below are the Leader’s remarks:
“I thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the gentleman for yielding, for his leadership as well that of the distinguished Chairman of the Committee, for his leadership in supporting our natural resources in our country. Mr. Chairman, the Senate did pass the House continuing resolution on more than one occasion. And sent it back here. Except what they had on it, had accepted your number – take ‘yes’ for an answer. A number that ever Mr. Rogers, Chairman Rogers, our distinguished Chairman has said does not adequately support government and its purposes, helping the American people. But nonetheless, in the spirit of going to conference, they accepted your number. As do I – I’ve said over and over again to the Speaker on the floor of the House more than once, including this morning, that we make an explicit proposal to you. That we accept your CR number and look forward to going to conference on that number.
“So, it has been accepted. You haven’t taken ‘yes’ for an answer. Because why? Because you wanted to undo, you wanted to undo the Affordable Care Act and that was the part of your proposal that was unacceptable. And that is exactly what we’re doing right now. This isn’t about the parks, they’re using the parks as a pawn. This is about defunding the Affordable Care Act. On a day when millions of people are logging in to find out how they can enroll, it’s really a remarkable, historic day where people can receive the values, the promise of our founders of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A healthier life. The liberty to pursue their happiness without following, and following their passion, whether it’s to be in Congress, or to be a photographer, an artist, to start their own business, to be self-employed, to change jobs, the entrepreneurial spirit will be unleashed on our country. It’s a great day.
“And so, here we are back on the floor the House trying to come in the back window to once again go down a path to defund the Affordable Care Act. It’s not going to happen. So while we can all sing the praises of our leadership, our Chairman and our Ranking Member, on their support of parks, while cutting them off from other services of the Interior Department, that’s curious. But it’s not about parks. It’s about the Affordable Care Act. So, I urge our colleagues to see this for what it is: it’s pathetic. It’s not responsible. It’s beneath the dignity – I keep saying that, but we keep getting further beneath the dignity of what our responsibilities are in this House. So, let us reject this because there – this is, you know, they took hostages by shutting down the government and now they’re releasing one hostage at a time. Now it’s the parks, later its veterans – our veterans fought for our country, for our children, for our families, for our society. We already passed an Appropriations bill that covers our veterans in that respect, but our veterans need more than what is in the veterans bill. They depend on other services of the United States government.
“So, if we’re honoring our veterans, let us do so, let us do so in a way that honors what they fought for and honors what they need beyond veterans benefits. And then they talk about the District of Columbia – I know why you probably don’t want to take a vote on the District of Columbia, because I don’t know how many people over there will vote to support the District of Columbia. Certainly, certainly it should be treated like any other entity. We would all be in an uproar if our states were treated the way this Congress treats the District of Columbia. But don’t use them as a pawn either. This is all subterfuge. This is a waste of time. It’s not going any place. Thank heavens. But what it is, is not about what they’re talking about – parks, veterans, or District of Columbia – it’s about the Affordable Care Act. One at a time we’ll do our cherry picking, so at the end of the day we can isolate the Affordable Care Act. We’re not going to let that happen. And let’s just deal with our colleagues with some level of integrity as to what this is about. And that’s why, as tempting, as tempting, as alluring as their comrade of opening up government may be, they’re throwing us crumbs while they take the pie someplace else.
“So, I urge a ‘no’ vote on all three of these, what are they suspensions, suspensions. I yield back.”