The first woman to be Speaker of the House and only three seats from the presidency, Nancy Pelosi was the guest speaker for the Colorado Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson dinner on Saturday. She said the theme for the Democratic controlled Congress was “In a New Direction.” Here are some comments from her prepared speech:
It is a great honor to be in Denver at this exciting time, the city in which we will nominate the NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!
…Thank you, Diana (DeGette) for your kind introduction and for your great leadership.
Diana came to Congress, effective from the start. Her leadership is respected on both sides of the aisle. Her commitment to the Constitution serves not only Colorado, but our country very well. All who care about the well being of the American people and the health of our Democracy are deeply in Diana’s debt.
Congratulations Chairwoman Pat Waak. Thank you and all Colorado Democrats for the invitation to be here today. Because of all of you, Democrats are once again in the Governor’s mansion and in the majority in your state legislature.
I take special pride and appreciation in seeing Democrats once again a majority of Colorado’s congressional delegation.
And that has made Democrats once again a majority party in Congress.
In Colorado and in Congress, Democrats are back, and we are getting things done.
We have made history, now let us make progress.
The American people gave us that opportunity in November when they voted for a New Direction. And in the first 100 hours we hit the ground running on issues that are relevant to the lives of the American people. We passed legislation:
–To make America safer at home;
–To make our economy fairer by passing an increase in the minimum wage;
–To make college more accessible by cutting in half the interest on the student loans, and since then increasing Pell grants;
–To make prescription drugs more affordable;
–To advance embryonic stem cell research;
–And to bring us closer to our goal of energy independence in 10 years;
–And we drained the swamp of corruption by passing tough ethics reform.
We are proud that most of these bills received strong Republican support.
I was elected Speaker of the House-the entire House-Democrats and Republicans.
I believe that we have a responsibility to work together to work together to get the job done for the American people.
As Speaker, I am setting the agenda to:
–Protect the American people
–Grow our economy to create good paying jobs here at home
–Educate and care for our children
–Preserve our planet, starting in our neighborhoods
–Strengthen our democracy with honest elections, open government and fiscal responsibility
Democrats will stand our ground on the most important ethical issue facing our county — the war in Iraq.
No where were the American people clearer in their call for a New Direction than in that war.
I was very proud of the debate on the war that took place in the Congress two weeks ago. It lasted for four days and then we voted bipartisan to support and protect our troupes and to disapprove of President Bush’s escalation of the war.
As we go forward, our national security legislation will reflect that resolve.
Now let us salute our men and women in uniform, many of whom are here tonight. They have performed brilliantly.
…Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader, and I, have suggested in writing and in person to the President a plan than would:
–Change the mission from combat to training, force protection and counterterrorism;
–Redeploy the troops;
–Engage in regional diplomacy;
–Have real and honest reconstruction in Iraq;
–Make political change necessary to end the civil strife;
–Only then can we refocus our attention on the real war on terror