Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined House Democrats and faith leaders for a press event at the House Triangle on the Build Back Better Act, which aligns with the moral teachings of many different faith traditions. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. One time I was at a college – a university, and a young man who was interviewing me said, ‘When did you realize that you had reached your fulfillment?’ I think he was talking about being Speaker. I said, ‘When I became a grandmother.’
He didn’t quite understand it, but he will one day. Congratulations, Mr. McEachin. Thank you for your kind words.
And thank all of you for coming together. Diane, thank you for your tremendous leadership. And it’s an honor to be here with so many leaders from faith. I can quote many things that many of them said. I’ll just do one in just a moment. It’s funny – it’s interesting that Mr. McEachin ended on the note of children and the next generation, because that’s what this is all about.
When people ask me, ‘What are the three most important issues facing the Congress?’ I always say the same thing: our children, our children, our children. Their health – and we’re taking care of that in this legislation, with the expansion of Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, et cetera. Their education: mandatory – universal pre-K, child care, universal pre-K, their education, throughout the legislation. The economic security of their families: Child Tax Credit, child care, issues that relate to home health care that enable parents to leave home to go to work or to be home and be rewarded for taking care of someone in the home who needs help.
And again, a world of environment in which they can thrive – the whole initiative on climate. If you do believe – and I think we all do – that this is God’s creation, we have, as Mr. McEachin said, we have a moral responsibility to be good stewards of it. But, I think everybody will agree, whether they share our religious attitude, that we have a moral obligation to our children to pass the planet on in a responsible way. And then, of course, a world at peace in which they can thrive.
And again, we could not be better served by the President of the United States. Joe Biden has been just so visionary: a big vision; knowledge over the years as a Senator and a Vice President of the issues; judgment about what can work in terms of reaching out to Members as he does; and the authenticity he has on this issue. When I say, ‘Well, how come we can’t do this?’ He’ll say ‘You don’t have to tell me that. I wrote this bill. I campaigned on this bill. I want to pass it in as much a form – as big a form as I possibly can.’
Not this past Sunday, but the Sunday before this one, the Gospel was about the children in the Catholic Church. It was about the children. And it talked about the Pharisees – hypocrites that they were, the Pharisees in long robes saying that children of divorced parents and all the rest were not as worthy as other children. And that’s when Christ said, ‘Suffer little children to come unto me.’ All children – all children in our country are about our country’s future. And we want to make sure that all children have the opportunity that they deserve. They’re all blessings containing their spark of divinity.
Now, Galen, he – one time he came and spoke, Galen Carey, from the Evangelicals. One time he came and spoke to us when we were having a hearing on immigration. And he said – because I want to talk about immigrant children, too, because these are some that need to be taken care of. He said at that time, he said, that the U.S. – ‘the United States refugee resettlement program is the crown jewel of American humanitarianism.’ You remember saying that?
It was so beautiful that I quote him all the time. All the time, all these years later. That was when the President was doing the Muslim Ban – you remember that, Galen. And, again, all of the children – this constant reinvigoration of America, that these children, children are.
So, I thank all of you for bringing your values. And, that’s – when I talk about Joe Biden, it’s his values that drive him in this regard. It’s his faith that makes him believe that it can happen. It’s the hope that he gives the rest of us, because of the love that we all have for the children.
So, now I’m very honored – am I supposed to introduce somebody now? I yield back to Diane Randall, with great appreciation.
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