Press "Enter" to skip to content

Transcript of Pelosi Floor Speech on the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives in support of H.R. 2617, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.  I thank the gentleman for yielding and his extraordinary leadership as the Chairman of the Rules Committee for so many years.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and to the Members of your Committee for bringing us expeditiously to the Floor for this very, very important legislation.  

This will probably be my last speech as Speaker of the House on this Floor, and I’m hoping to make it my shortest.  Members have planes to catch, gifts to wrap, toys to assemble, carols to sing, religious services to attend to.  And in terms of singing songs, one that I always think of at this time and in this setting is a British song – an English song: ‘Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, pleased to put a penny in the old man’s hat.’  

Yes indeed, the goose is getting fat.  We have a big bill here, because we have big needs for our country.  We have the largest defense appropriation ever and, again, to help us honor our oath of office to protect and defend and what the Constitution says: ‘provide for the common defense.’  But at the same time, pleased to put a penny in the old man’s hat.  We address the needs of America’s working families with special focus on our children.  

So, I rise in strong bipartisan support of this bipartisan omnibus government funding bill for us today to keep from shutting government down, but more importantly, to meet the needs of the American people.  

Let me applaud the magnificent Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro.  She is a maestro with a baton.  She has just done such a job of reflecting the values of our country in terms of how we allocate our resources, and there is plenty else in the bill that is outside the realm of the Appropriations Committee, all of it very, very important.  

I want to commend Chairman Pat Leahy in the Senate, Vice Chair Richard Shelby for their bipartisan support, congratulate them for their service to the Congress for many years, wish them much success with much gratitude as they end their service in Congress.  

And I want to recognize the outstanding work of all of the staffs on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol, but I want to point out my brilliant Policy Director, Richard Meltzer.  I also want to acknowledge Wendell Primus, Robert Edmonson, Alex Urry and so many other policy professionals, again, on both sides of the aisle who helped strengthen the bill.  

Mr. Speaker, this bill is about our heroes, honoring our heroes, our heroic veterans with a major increase in veterans’ health care, a national security imperative that falls under the non-defense discretionary even though we know it is part of our national security responsibility.  Honoring the heroes of 9/11, delivering benefits to families that have long been wrongfully denied and bolstering funding for health programs for first responders and survivors there.  Our firefighters and first responders, heroes, those who weigh in when emergency disaster calls upon them for relief resources. 

And the extraordinary heroes in Ukraine, fighting on the front lines in the battle for Democracy.  In this legislation, we proudly deliver another consequential round of security, economic and humanitarian aid.  And it really is not – as the President of Ukraine said the other night, it isn’t about charity, it’s about security.  It is about working together.  And what a special honor it was for us to be on the Floor when President Zelenskyy spoke powerfully about the courage and commitment, heroism, hope of the people.  

And of course, our everyday heroes: America’s working families.  People who make our country work, our families grow, our communities thrive.  Securing for our children, securing critical investments for their health, housing, education, economic well-being and more on top of, under President Biden, forming nearly 10 million jobs, largely in the private sector but with the public policy to enable that to happen.  Indeed, this bill puts People Over Politics.  

Mr. Speaker, it was sad to hear the Minority Leader earlier say that this legislation is the most shameful thing to be seen on the House Floor in this Congress.  I can’t help but wonder, had he forgotten January 6th?  Indeed, this is a day of immense patriotism.  Immense patriotism.  We reform the Electoral Count Act of [1887] to thwart future attempts to disrupt the peaceful of transfer of power.  And as I’ve said before, here in the heart of our Democracy. 

Mr. Speaker, this is truly a package For The People.  And with immense gratitude to Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, Chairman Patrick Leahy, Vice Chair Shelby, I urge strong bipartisan ‘aye’ vote, yield back the balance of my time and wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe New Year.  Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hannukah.  Whatever it is you celebrate, be safe.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Go to Source

%d bloggers like this: