Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined the House Democratic Women’s Caucus, other Members of Congress and advocates for a press event highlighting House Democrats’ work to Build Back Better for Women. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Hello, everyone. Isn’t this a –
In some ways, this is a great day for the women and indeed, all of the families of America. In another way, it is sad that it is so necessary because of actions of that Supreme Court supporting legislation that is shameful in every way to our country and what we are about.
But, many of us have waited a long time to be able to pass Roe v. Wade into the law of the land, as it is – has guaranteed the constitutional right of women to choose, but now it will be the law of the land, codified.
This is so exciting, and it wouldn’t have happened without the leadership of so many of our Members in the House. But, as they know, and as we all know, our inside maneuvering can just get us so far. It’s the outside mobilization of so many families, women across the country, to speak out for respect, for dignity, for them to make their own decisions about the size and timing of their families. So, it’s with gratitude – let’s hear it for the mobilization.
And many of those folks are represented here today. I’m honored to be here with Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark, with Co-Chairs Jackie Speier and Brenda Lawrence of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, but with so many people here who have been so much a part of this fight for so many years.
People say, ‘Why didn’t you do it sooner?’ Well, first of all, this is the first Congress with a Democratic Majority – with a majority, pro-choice Majority –
And a Democratic President of the United States to sign the bill – and not only that, to lead us in this quest.
Our VIP today – and I’m pleased to be with Nina Perez, speaking on her own experience as a mom and as National Director of Early Learning for MomsRising. MomsRising. Let’s hear it for MomsRising
Again, we’re here with our other VIPs: moms, women and advocates speaking out for the need to [transform] the care economy that this is all a part of.
But, this issue is one that is so personal. That it should be intruded upon by any political institution, governmental institution is just not right. It has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. We wish they would just honor their own precedent on this, but they didn’t. Hence, Congress has acted. We will send it to the Senate, and then to the President of the United States for signature.
This is about women’s right to choose, yes, but it is about freedom, freedom of that choice and freedom from the vigilantes, the bounty hunters that the Texas government – legislature has set in motion.
This has so many things going against it, you have to wonder what the Supreme Court Justices were thinking. Or were they thinking? Or were they thinking? They certainly were not respecting women.
And with that, I’m very pleased to yield to the Assistant Speaker of the House, Congresswoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, a leader and fighter for this issue for a long time in the State Senate, Massachusetts and now in the Congress of the United States, Katherine Clark.
Speaker Pelosi. So, here we are on a historic day in the Congress of the United States, but also a day that we are making progress for women.
And this is – I just say to any women who are out there: If you’ve have trouble keeping up with your responsibilities at work because you lack child care, this bill is for you. If you have a sick person or a person with disabilities in your home that needs home health care, this bill is for you. If you’re one of those workers who care for those who need help, this bill is for you. If you want your children to have earliest childhood education with universal pre-K, this bill is for you. If you appreciate the Child Tax Credit to help pay for some of the needs for your children –
All. This bill is for you!
Speaker Pelosi. The list goes on and on. Family and medical leave paid –
If you want that, this bill is for you.
And, again, it’s all about respecting those who provide those services. I thank Mary Kay Henry from SEIU, who is here, who has been taking the lead on the home health care, to MomsRising and other groups that have mobilized around the country about putting women front and center.
This legislation gives leverage to the children, because of all the provisions to improve their lives. This legislation gives leverage to women, so that they can fully participate in the workforce, which is not just good for them and their families, but is good for our economy. This legislation, for people with disabilities, gives them leverage because their needs – many of their needs are met in this legislation. It doesn’t do everything, but it takes us all the way down the path.
Now, let me just close by talking about our President, Joe Biden. Joe Biden put forth two bills for us: the infrastructure bill, which we will pass next week – and that’s a jobs bill – and the Build Back Better legislation, which is a jobs bill.
It’s a jobs bill for women in the workplace, and it’s very important to our country, because we believe that when women succeeds –
All. America succeeds!
Speaker Pelosi. So, let’s Build Back Better With Women.
Thank you all very much.
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