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Pelosi Opening Remarks at Today's House Democratic Leadership Press Conference

Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, Democratic Caucus Chair Rahm Emanuel, Democratic Caucus Vice Chair John Larson, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Chris Van Hollen held a news conference in the Capitol this afternoon on Democratic accomplishments and the fall agenda.  Below are the Speaker's opening remarks:

On Democratic Accomplishments and Fall Agenda


Speaker Pelosi.  'In this first few months, we set out with an agenda in the first 100 hours that we have seen come to fruition as we left for the August recess. 

'To make our country safer, H.R. 1, the very first bill that Congress introduced and passed in the Congress, the 9/11 Commission recommendations, has been signed into law by the President.  To grow our economy, we passed our innovation agenda, which has been signed into law by the President...we passed the minimum wage, which was signed by the President and now is the law of the land.  To restore accountability to the Congress, to restore honest leadership and open government, we passed the most far reaching ethics and lobbying reform bill, which we sent to the President last night, which we anticipate that he will sign.

'Next on our agenda is to continue some of the work begun in the first 100 hours, making college more affordable...It is the largest college aid package since the GI Bill in 1944.  We will pass SCHIP, to strengthen our families and children; to expand health care for the 6 million children who are on SCHIP and to grow that number to 11 million children.

'To preserve our planet, we passed our energy independence and global warming legislation.  There is more to come on that.  We are looking forward to going to conference with the Senate on that legislation and anticipate that we will be sending the President a bill that we hope he can sign.  Those are part of our priorities.'


'Good afternoon.  Welcome back.  Or should you be saying that to us? 

'It is with great pride that I stand before you today; pride in the work of the first months of this 110th Congress.  In this first few months, we set out with an agenda in the first 100 hours that we have seen come to fruition as we left for the August recess.

'To make our country safer, H.R. 1, the very first bill that Congress introduced and passed in the Congress, the 9/11 Commission recommendations has been signed into law by the President.  To grow our economy, we passed our innovation agenda, which has been signed into law by the President.  Our commitment to competitiveness, to keep America number one and to have good paying jobs in the United States; in that vain, we passed the minimum wage, which was signed by the President and now is the law of the land.  To restore accountability to the Congress, to restore honest leadership and open government, we passed the most far reaching ethics and lobbying reform bill, which we sent to the President last night, which we anticipate that he will sign.

'Next on our agenda is to continue some of the work begun in the first 100 hours, making college more affordable.  This afternoon there was a conference on that bill.  We anticipate it will come to the floor soon so that we can send it to the President.  It is the largest college aid package since the GI Bill in 1944.  We will pass SCHIP, to strengthen our families and children; again, to expand health care for the 6 million children who are on SCHIP and to grow that number to 11 million children. 

'So, again, to defend our country, to grow our economy, to strengthen our families, to restore accountability, I am very proud of what we are accomplishing. 

'To preserve our planet, we passed our energy independence and global warming legislation.  There is more to come on that.  We are looking forward to going to conference with the Senate on that legislation and anticipate that we will be sending the President a bill that we hope he can sign.  Those are part of our priorities. 

'Also part of that will be to rewrite the FISA bill so that it has a better balance between liberty and security, and we of course know that the American people want a new direction in Iraq.  We can never talk about Iraq  They have performed their duties excellently.  We owe them a strategy worthy of their sacrifice.

'September is a critical month.  Right now, today, we are having hearings in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Armed Services Committee.  As you know, we also have a hearing next week to hear the President's plan presented by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker.  After that, we will have something to say on that subject. 

'What we do know is that we are hearing ground truth in Iraq.  This is the moment of truth.  We hope that truth will not be ignored.  When the President is back in the country, I will have more to say on that subject.

'Now I am pleased to yield to some of the people that made our successes possible.  We work as a leadership team.  We work with great unity in our caucus, and we passed most of our bills with strong bipartisan support.  We are very proud of that.  It reflects a new direction in the Congress and a new era of accountability.

'I am pleased to yield to the distinguished leader, Mr. Hoyer.'