Pelosi Remarks at ‘People Over Polluters’ Forum on the Consequences of Trump’s Culture of Corruption on Public Health and the Environment


Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined the Democratic Environmental Message Team at a ‘People Over Polluters’ forum to examine the impact of Trump Administration and Republicans’ policies on the health and safety of the American people and our environment. On the heels of the resignation of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the witnesses testified on the consequences of this Administration’s corruption on our nation’s air, water and public lands. Below are the Leader’s remarks:

Leader Pelosi.  Thank you very much. Thank you, Congresswoman [Kathy] Castor for your extraordinary leadership as a member of the Environmental Message Group. Donald McEachin, Earl Blumenauer and our distinguished Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee, Mr. [Raúl] Grijalva, as well as Jared Huffman, all working hard on this issue. But we have an environmental bill on the Floor that they are managing so they’ll be in and out.

I, too, met Trisha [Sheehan], Logan [Sheehan] and Liam [Sheehan] earlier today. I didn’t meet Lincoln, but I love the alliteration of it all. And I think Liam has a little political instinct as well as Lincoln, as well as Logan. Logan, thank you for your courage in making the statement that you did. And to both of you and your dad and brother for being here, and to Trisha for saying more eloquently and with more clarity than any of us can in terms of public policy, your personal story. And as you said, it’s time for Congress to listen to our moms.

I want to join you, Madam Chair in welcoming Christie [Sadreameli], and Peggy [Price] and Robert [Garcia] – Christie hasn’t gone yet, right? Ok – and join them in hearing their testimony. I have read it, but to hear their presentation. But I just want to say a few things, as we’re here.

We are very fortunate to have the four of you, five of you, six of you, all of you here to put a very bright light on the Trump Administration’s assault on clean air and clean water.

I’ve said, one of the reasons I’m in politics is I have five children, and one in five children lives in poverty and goes to sleep hungry at night. It’s just – I can’t stand it – I never can and I never will.

But I also said, of my own children, I can do anything for them, but I cannot guarantee the purity of the air they breathe or the safety of the air they drink. That is a public policy matter. And as I said, at the event this morning, one of my volunteers who came to work for me – to come volunteer, when I was first running for office – we said, why are you engaged in a political campaign? And she said that, ‘well I found out that politics has something to do with the air I breathe and the water I drink so I guess I better be interested in politics as long as I drink water and breathe air.’

The Moms Clean Air Force – wow – congratulations to all of you for the difference that you are making and again, it’s about children’s health and their safety.

I’m so pleased because this is an environmental justice issue. Whatever the experience that you had is unfortunate. In some of our communities this is a regular order of business, without the same resources to fight it. So, again it’s an environmental issue.

I was also so glad, this morning, to see so many members from Indian country, participants from Indian country. Our Native American population understands the environment so well, sees the assault on it and is part of the Moms Clean Air Force. So, thank you for all that.

Just want to say that this environmental working group is fighting the toxic Trump agenda and prioritizing the health of our children. Their priorities are to clean the Trump culture of corruption that hands out billions [of dollars] to big polluters and special interests at the expense of our children, fight the Trump efforts to dismantle key protections safeguarding clean air and clean water for our children, and stop the Trump campaign to sell off our native and public lands, monuments and parks as another part of that.

Public health. Public parks. We are for clean water, clean air and clean government. And that’s how we think we are going to do the best job for our children.

Thank you to the Moms Clean Air Force for the role that you played in showing the door to Scott Pruitt. The threat to our children and communities though, still lingers on. The Trump team puts polluters before people and prioritizes corporate interests before individual and personal issues.

So, it is just a stunning thing. I say to some of our colleagues, do your children breathe air? Do they [drink] water? What is it that you think that you are doing that is not detrimental to your
children?

So, in any event, we’re fighting for a clean energy future, for the next generation. That’s our responsibility. We are committed to creating innovative, good-paying jobs, advancing a green energy independence and taking bold action against the devastation of the climate crisis.

So, in that vein, I am so grateful to our witnesses. To Trisha, Logan, Liam, Lincoln and dad, Moms Clean Air Force survivors of chemical pollution, and then dad, Mike. Did he leave with baby Lincoln? It’s amazing how children rule right? Just speak up and you’re out of the room. Ah, thank you, Mike.

Dr. S. Christy Sadreameli, a pediatrician. Peggy Price, veteran and survivor of drinking water contamination. And Robert Garcia, Founding Director and Counsel of The City Project.

I know that they have been appropriately introduced. I want to make sure they know how grateful all the Members of the Democratic Caucus are for your participation. Thank you so much and I yield back to Congresswoman Castor.

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