By Nancy Pelosi
The results of last week's elections reflected the genuine frustration of the American people, who are justifiably angered by the continued high unemployment rate. While Democrats are also disappointed at the rate of job growth, it does not diminish what we have accomplished.
President Obama and this Congress were job creators from Day One, saving the country from the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression. The Recovery Act created or saved more than 3 million jobs, and America is moving forward. October marks the 10th straight month of private sector job growth.
But much more needs to be done. Democrats will strive to work with the new Republican majority to create jobs, strengthen the middle class and reduce the deficit. And we will always fight to protect Social Security and Medicare, health care reform and Wall Street reform.
Congressional experts have called the 111th Congress the most productive Congress in a half-century. Our Democratic members took tough votes to support America's working families, putting the American people before politics and thinking of the next generation, not the next election.
Democrats passed Wall Street reform to ensure that never again will the recklessness of some on Wall Street cause joblessness on Main Street. Our small business bill is now extending credit to small business owners so they can grow and hire. And we are committed to strengthening America's manufacturers -- helping them with our 'Make It in America' strategy, so our workers can make it in America. We made the largest investment in student aid in our nation's history, reducing the cost of loans to families and reducing the deficit. We achieved more progress over the last four years for our veterans and military families than any time since the passage of the original GI Bill in 1944. And we did all of this while restoring fiscal discipline to the Congress by making the pay-as-you-go rules the law of the land.
We are proud to have passed historic health insurance reform that includes a Patient's Bill of Rights to lower health costs and improve quality.
Republican ideas welcome
Democrats will continue to put forward innovative ideas, engage in entrepreneurial thinking and work to create the jobs for middle class prosperity. Republicans and Democrats must work together, with President Obama, to prepare for our nation for the 21st century while creating clean energy and infrastructure jobs. As we go forward, we welcome Republican ideas about job creation.
Though they elected a new majority in Congress, Americans did not vote for the special interests. They voted for jobs. Democrats remain committed to fighting for the people's interests, not the special interests.
While the election is over, the urgent needs of the American people remain. Over the past several days, I have spoken with my Democratic colleagues about where we go from here. I have heard from Americans across our country who are relying on us to continue our fight to create jobs, hopefully in a bipartisan way, and move our nation forward.
We will begin the 112th Congress with talented new colleagues, and also with a renewed dedication to fighting every day for jobs, economic recovery and the middle class.
Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is speaker of the House of Representatives.