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Speaker Pelosi Remarks at Bay Area Democrats Deliver for Airports Infrastructure Event

San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and Bay Area transportation infrastructure leaders for a Bay Area Democrats Deliver for Airports Infrastructure Event.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much, Ivar, for your leadership at this great, great airport — that which we are very, very proud, but for whom we have great prospects, as is demonstrated in the infrastructure legislation.  I’ve said to Ivar now and before: being the head of an airport, it’s like being the mayor of a city, the engineer of a very complicated project.  It just has so many complications, so many opportunities.  Thank you for your leadership in bringing so many of them to the floor, Ivar — for your leadership as well.  It makes us a gateway to a very first-class city, which is San Francisco.

Now, Jackie Speier – Congresswoman Speier, Congresswoman Eshoo and I all knew Harvey Milk.  We all knew Harvey Milk.  I knew him quite well in San Francisco.  He would be so overwhelmed by the honor that this is, to have this airport, not only — this terminal —not only named for him, but expanded in his name and with the beautiful art that will be there.  Some of us were together in San Diego and saw the ship named for Harvey Milk.  So, this is in keeping with – imagine, a military ship named for Harvey Milk.  But, he was in the Navy, and we had the naming here.  

So, again, for all of the groundbreaking work that he did, all the pioneer spirit that he brought to government and politics, all of the, shall we say, sense of humor — would you say? — that he brought to all of this.  And, all the sacrifice that he made.  It is personally, as well as officially, touching and moving and an honor to be here as we talk about the expansion of the Harvey Milk Terminal.  I’m honored to be here with Jackie Speier and join Ivar and – well she has a long time in Congress yet, so we’ll continue to honor her, praise her and benefit, even when she leaves Congress, her legacy will be a benefit to our community.

And, to be here with Congresswoman Eshoo, a Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee — had so much to do with the legislation that we have passed recently, and I’ll go into in a moment.  

And, to be here with the Building Trades – Rudy Gonzalez is a leader for the fight for better wages in the Building Trades in San Francisco.  And Bart Pantoja, Bart is the new — the very new as is my understanding, last night — head of the Building Trades in San Mateo County.

[Applause].

Way to go.

But, I think they would all agree, our colleagues in Congress, as well as the leadership of the Building Trades — and our very special guests today is Jamie Redmond, who will bring her personal experience as a union worker, as a mom, to this and what this means to her.  

Let me just say this: America has been in the forefront in terms of aviation.  But, over the years, that aviation legacy has been not upheld to the fullest — with generations of underinvestment, whether it’s runways that need help, air traffic control towers, cramped terminals and the rest.  Indeed, experts in the world, when they rank airports in the world, America does not rank up there in the – it does not – it rarely makes the list.  And, of course, as Ivar said, the COVID crisis has only made matters worse.

That’s why it’s an honor to be here with those who will build this future.  The Airline Pilots Association, Association of Flight Attendants and National Air Traffic Controllers, the sprinkler fitters, Local 483 and hearing more about them as we go into our program.

But, we are here because Democrats Deliver.  We delivered –

[Applause].

Let me just say this, and I want all of this to be as bipartisan as possible, believe me, and I wish it were.  In the – in the Rescue Plan that was passed a year ago this coming March, signed by President Biden under his leadership, we received $484 million for SFO.  $400 and — almost a half a billion dollars in that one bill, without one Republican vote, House or Senate, without one Republican vote.  So, we really need to have them take pride in what’s happening.  They’re eager to vote no and take the dough, but when they show up with these groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings, we have to make them know we have more that we need to do. We need their help as we go forward.

As, the President said in the bill that came next — which was bipartisan, we had 13 votes out of 213 in the House for the bill from the Republicans —‘I want to find my common ground for infrastructure with Republicans, but I will not confine my vision for the future of our country to what we can do there.’  We need to do more, and we need to Build Back Better which we intend to do.

But, in the meantime, we passed the infrastructure legislation.  And, again, with that we were delivering $25 billion to airports and — in all 50 states — and creating good-paying, union jobs.  And, over the next five years, $250 million is coming to SFO to jumpstart upgrades to terminals stalled by COVID.  And, we are fighting for SFO’s share of a $5 billion pot — for California, specifically.  So, there’s more, more to come.  To have all of that happening, and then in Build Back Better, we have more opportunity for that. 

Our work will not stop at the tarmac.  This legislation is part of every aspect of our economy and transportation and — rail, bridges, public transit, drinking water, getting the lead out of drinking water for our children, and much more.  Our infrastructure law will meet the challenges of the 21st century.  But, we need to do more to save the planet, and that’s what Build Back Better will do.

So, for these and other reasons, we’re hoping that we can pass BBB very soon.  We will be passing our omnibus keep-government-open legislation very soon.  All of this will accrue to the benefit of what we are gathered here to do: to create good-paying jobs, to uphold the infrastructure which is so essential to our economy, to our job creation, to the quality of life of the people here.

And, there’s a champion in Congress in that regard for many years now, someone who has given service to the community in the state legislature, her leadership well-known there.  Came to Congress, effective from the start.  Very, very, shall we say, relentless, when it comes to San Mateo County, and I’m proud to share representation of the City of San Francisco with the Congresswoman.  And, again, whatever you – whatever piece of infrastructure for the Bay that you could name, Jackie has been – excuse me, Congresswoman Jackie Speier has been a part of it.  And, with that, it’s my pleasure now to yield to the distinguished gentlewoman from San Mateo and San Francisco, California.  Jackie Speier.

***

Speaker Pelosi.  I accept every compliment on behalf of the House Democrats whose intellect, idealism, integrity and again courage to get the job done is what made everything happen for us.

We just say, in terms of Harvey Milk and George Moscone, it was a horrible day many of us experienced, learning of it all those many years ago.  And, again, Harvey was a pioneer in what he did.  We hope to be pioneering for a long time to come, always making the future better.  And, part of that is, of course, to do so in a way with good-paying jobs that meet the needs of families in our communities.  I didn’t say in my earlier remarks that one thing we did do in a bipartisan way with the CARES Act, where we put $65 billion dollars into saving the airlines.  It wasn’t about the corporate airlines.  It was about all of the money going to keep the jobs, to protect the workers.  And then beyond, beyond the pilots and the flight attendants and the rest, we then had further money for aviation beyond the plane to meet the needs of our machinists who are so vital to all of the functioning of an airport.

I didn’t mention earlier that, with us today – because he just, he arrived later — is Anand Singh, and I know he’ll be acknowledged, but from UNITE HERE: airlines, catering, food service workers.  That’s a fight we continue to have with the airlines and the rest to make sure that the respect that – if people are enjoying a meal on a plane, they have to respect the work that goes into it.  Thank you for your courage and leadership in that regard. 

[Applause]

But imagine that: $65 billion to sustain the industry, and then, we of course needed to do more. 

One of the people who has helped us all along the way from the union – in the union movement, both as the head of the San Francisco Labor Council and now as the head of the Building Trades in San Francisco, is Rudy Gonzalez.  Rudy Gonzales not only helps us with Building Trades — jobs and fairness in the workplace for all workers as he did at San Francisco Labor Council, he helps us with education, being a dad with small children.  He helps us with – right?

Rudy Gonzales.  Yes, ma’am. 

Speaker Pelosi.  Zoe has been a frequent guest, his daughter, at our – she’s in school today?

Rudy Gonzales.  She’s in school, Madam Speaker.

[Laughter]

Speaker Pelosi.  Well, that’s where she should be.  But, we’ve had her as a frequent guest, and of course, we’re always proud of his little baby boy.  But, in any event, Rudy has been a real champion, an eloquent, dynamic spokesperson for working families. 

And, as we always say, ‘We don’t’ – Jackie and Anna and I, Congresswoman Eshoo, Congresswoman Speier and I don’t go to the front to make a fight so that we could have anything less than fairness for our workers as part of the result.  That is absolutely essential, whether it’s food workers or machinists and everything in between, to make a plane take off. 

So, I’m proud to work alongside Rudy Gonzales for many years, and I’m very – as I said, a powerful voice for workers and working families in our community.  I’m now going to yield the floor to him for the purpose of an introduction of our VIPs here today, as I mentioned earlier.  But, I’m going to give him that privilege – I talked about Jamie Redmond earlier and Bart, but the privilege to introduce them goes to our distinguished guest, Rudy Gonzalez.

***

Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you.  That was wonderful, wonderful.  What is your daughter’s name?

Jamie Redmond.  My daughter’s name is Reginae. 

Speaker Pelosi.  Reginae.  Reginae is her daughter.  How lovely.  Thank you.  For Reginae, I want to say that because of the affordable – the infrastructure bill, a few weeks ago we had an event about our Safe Streets initiative for San Francisco, so that it’d be safer for children and families to be outside.  

With that, I’d like to take any questions.  I do want to say, though, that listening to Jamie and the training that she received, and listening to Bart saying he worked with the tools, he knows the jobs, he knows as the workers, he knows the territory.  Congratulations and good luck to you in your leadership role.  I hope that the challenges it presents doesn’t make you long to get back to the tools. 

[Laughter]

But, maybe so.  We’ll see.  Let’s see.

But, I just want to say this about Jamie.  In the Build Back Better legislation, which is really important – as I said, the President said: ‘I will not confine my dream, vision for America to what we can accomplish just in a bipartisan way, even though we wish that could be more.’  It’s about saving the planet and good, green paying union jobs and saving the planet. 

But, as it regards directly to Jamie, it has in there legislation provisions that are transformative for women in the workforce – frankly, for dads, too.  Anyone who has responsibilities at home.  Good, affordable – lowering the cost for child care, having universal pre-K, Child Care Tax Credit, issues that relate to home health care.  If you have a parent, a sibling, someone at home, even beyond being a child, who needs health care.  So, this says that we honor those workers who provide child care and home health care and the rest with the ability to get fair pay, hopefully to be unionized as well.

And, as well as the – meeting the needs of our children.  Our motto in San Francisco has been, ‘Children learning, parents earning.’  And Jamie, with the training she received and the city –we’ve been there together to see what that training is about, that she is future.  This legislation wants to make that future lower cost, bigger pay, that are an opportunity for Jamie. 

With that, my colleagues would be happy to take any questions you may have.

Q:  Speaker Pelosi, following up on passing – on Build Back Better, how realistic is, how realistic is the Progressive Caucus’s call for a version of Build Back Better to be passed by the State of the Union on March 1st? 

Speaker Pelosi.  That is an aspiration that they have — that we will pass the bill when we have the votes to pass the bill.  And, we cannot stop pressing for that.  It is so important, and we’ve all in our Caucus – ninety-some percent of our Caucus, 100 percent there to pass the bill.  And, actually in our House, 100 percent.  But again, that’s – we don’t have a timetable.  That’s an aspiration, which is one that will be useful.  We have other things we have to do.  

We have to pass the omnibus bill to keep government open, which is a trillion and a half dollar bill.  A trillion and a half dollar bill, which has allocations of funds for many of the priorities we’ve talked about here.  We want to pass the CHIPS Act, which will, again, advance American manufacturing, making us – keeping us, a leader in the world.  We have a number of pieces of legislation that we’re working on, but the BBB is absolutely essential.  I hope that they’re right.  I don’t, I don’t subscribe to any particular date.

Any other questions?  No. 

Okay, so we’re all ready for Sunday?  Wasn’t last week something?  How about that?  How about that?  Well, one thing is for sure: a California team will go to the Super Bowl.  But, we want it to be a team in red.  That’s called being diplomatic.  In any event, we got the Warriors, we got the – and pretty soon, we’ll have the Giants.  So again, that is a unifying thing in our community.

But, we want everybody to be unified in protecting God’s creation, this, this beautiful planet — that’s in BBB.  Being transformative in terms of health care, child care, home health care and the rest for women and dads in the workplace, those with family responsibilities.  And, we wanted to do all of this in the most bipartisan way possible — the same time, we take an oath to protect and defend.  And, we’re working with the White House to show that we are ready for whatever the prospects are, as regard – in regard to Ukraine.  So anyway, it’s a very busy time.  And this is a very important occasion for us. 

I’m honored to be here with my colleague in representation of San Francisco, Jackie Speier, our colleague who represents San Mateo, Santa Clara and beyond, Anna Eshoo.  We want to salute once again, Ivar Satero, for your great leadership.  Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you all very much.

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