The Hill: Pelosi: Bold, swift partner in Oval Office

By Speaker Pelosi

In his inspirational Inaugural address, President Obama spoke of the need for action “bold and swift.” President Obama’s first 100 days in office have been marked by the fulfillment of that promise and a commitment to the future. In all of these accomplishments, Congress has acted as a full partner in making progress for all Americans.

Working with the New Direction Congress, President Obama has brought bold change to our nation. In his first 100 days, the president and Congress have made the most significant commitment to conservation in 15 years, the largest investment in education in a half-century and the greatest improvements in healthcare in generations.

But the first order of business was the urgent need to strengthen our economy and create jobs. With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Congress delivered on the president’s inaugural pledge to “lay a new foundation for growth …” while creating and saving 3.5 million jobs.

We passed that historic legislation because of our commitment to the future. We did so with our children and grandchildren first in mind.

It was for our children that we passed and the president signed legislation providing healthcare coverage to 11 million young people.

Because we are putting women and children first in all our efforts, we passed and the president signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help fight pay discrimination.

For our environment, we passed and President Obama signed historic conservation legislation to protect more than 2 million new acres of wilderness.

We enacted the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which honors Sen. Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) historic legislative achievements and more than triples the number of volunteers nationwide.

The president also presented long-overdue plans to end the war in Iraq and to defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

The budget conference report the House and Senate will approve this week is a fiscally responsible blueprint for economic recovery and for a broadly shared prosperity for years to come. The budget:

• Cuts taxes for middle income families by $1.7 trillion.

• Cuts the deficit by nearly two-thirds in four years.

• Creates jobs with investments and reforms in health care, clean energy, and education.

This week, the House will approve the Credit Card Holders’ Bill of Rights to protect Americans against excessive credit card fees, sky-high interest rates, and unfair, incomprehensible agreements that credit card companies revise at will.

By any measure, the work of President Obama and Congress in our first 100 days has been a great success.

But it is just the prelude for the work that still needs to be done, including passing quality, accessible and affordable healthcare, tackling global warming and achieving energy independence, and restoring fiscal responsibility. In partnership with President Obama, Congress will continue to move America in a New Direction.