Saturday, February 14, 2009

Economy: Stimulus package 'swift, bold action on behalf of the American people'

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leaders and Committee Chairs held a press conference in the Capitol this afternoon following the House passage of HR 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Senate is expected to pass the legislation later today and President Obama will sign it into law next week. Below are the Speaker's opening remarks:

Thank you very much. Good afternoon -- and a good afternoon it is indeed. It is a day for us to feel some sense of satisfaction -- that working together under our new President, we were able to pass legislation today that is transformational for what it will do for our economy.

On the steps of the Capitol -- one week and one day before Congress acted the first time -- the President inspired the nation with a message of hope that we would take the country in a "New Direction." He said that we will 'harness the sun, and the wind, and soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.' And he went on to talk about 21st century education and investments in health and science -- to make the American people healthier, innovation to make us competitive.

These and other things were contained in his promise to America. One week and one day after that, the House passed a bill that did just that. And today we've followed through with a conference report that as the President requested, is "swift, bold action."

The American people are feeling a great deal of pain, they have uncertainty about their jobs, about health care, about the ability to pay for the education of their children, and sad to say -- in our great country -- even the ability to put food on the table. And so, today, we have passed legislation that does take that "swift, bold action" on their behalf.

I could feel it myself when I turned in my voting card -- that I was voting not just for myself and the people of my district, but for all Americans who want us to fulfill the promise of what President Obama had to say. And also on issues that we have been working on for years.

I'm going to yield to my colleague Mr. Hoyer now. But first I want to acknowledge all the folks who are here. Some friends who are with us who have helped with the outside mobilization of this legislation -- Committee on Education Funding, Feeding America, the Coalition on Human Needs, the League of Conservation Voters -- thank you, and others who are here, for the work that you have done.

My colleagues in the leadership will be speaking, but I want to acknowledge our Chairmen who are here, who have played a pivotal role in making this day possible for our country -- Chairman Waxman of Energy and Commerce, Chairman Frank of Financial Services, Chairman Obey, Master of the Appropriations Committee, Chairman Miller from Education and Labor, Chairman Oberstar of Transportation and Infrastructure. He wasn't here when we first walked out; we thought he was already working on a shovel-ready job. And Mr. Rangel, who I walked in with right now, Chairman Rangel, Ways and Means Committee.

And before I yield again, Steny, I just want to say something about Barack Obama. Barack Obama, in just a few short weeks as President, has passed one of the biggest packages for economic relief in our country's history. Probably the biggest tax cut for the middle class -- investments in our future that I already mentioned. The American people know, and historians are judging that this is one remarkable President. He did something faster than any other President ever has in our history and that is to pass this economic package in just a matter of weeks. And we salute him for his leadership.

And now I want to yield to the distinguished Majority Leader, who again championed these issues we've been working on for over a year and Steny, he knows chapter and verse, day-to-day the work that went into getting this to where we are.

Source: Office of the Speaker of the House
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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