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Pelosi Remarks at 2009 Asian American and Pacific Islander Summit

Washington, D.C.-- Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave brief remarks this morning at the 2009 Congressional Democratic Leadership and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Summit. Below are her remarks as prepared:

““Thank you, Secretary [Norman] Mineta, for that kind introduction.  You brought great pride to our entire nation as the first Asian American to hold a post in a Presidential cabinet.

“I also want to thank Congressman Mike Honda, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Irene Bueno, a former constituent, who has worked closely with me on several issues affecting the AAPI community, especially the Angel Island Immigration Station.

“I am proud to represent in the Congress one of the most diverse cities in America, with a vibrant AAPI community: San Francisco. 

“I am so pleased to join you again this year for the fourth annual Asian American and Pacific Islander Summit. The theme today, ‘Restoring our economy: Recovery and Reinvestment in the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community' will inform our work in Congress.

“The priorities of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities certainly informed our work on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 

“As you all know, it included a major victory for the AAPI community: though it was far overdue, it authorized payments to our Filipino Veterans - more than 18,000 of them.  

“”This legislation benefits all Americans: creating and saving 3.5 million American jobs, jumpstarting our economy, and transforming it for success in the 21st century. 

“This year, the House expects to pass sweeping clean energy legislation and historic health care reform.  Both are critical for our economy and job creation.

“I also know that education is on the top of your list.  We have already begun our efforts to expand opportunities for higher education with the largest investment in college affordability since the GI Bill.  We will continue to work until every qualified student can afford to go to college.  

“I know that comprehensive immigration reform is a priority for all of you.  It is also a priority for President Obama.  We all agree that we need immigration reform that will keep our country safe, reunite families, protect workers, meet our economic needs, and have a pathway to legalization.

“Thank you again for being here today.  I know you are having conversations today on a wide variety of issues: community development and housing, health care, education, and immigration

“Good luck on your discussions.  I look forward to hearing the conclusions of your conversations.”