Transcript of Speaker Pelosi’s Remarks at Bill Enrollment Photo Opportunity for H.R. 6119, the Further Extending Government Funding Act

December 3, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats held a bill enrollment photo opportunity today for H.R. 6119, the Further Extending Government Funding Act.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Good morning, everyone.

Thank you all for being here, for being there for the American people.  It is quite a remarkable thing.  Good morning everyone.  It is always an honor to sign legislation passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, to be sent over to the President of the United States, to make a difference in the lives of the American people.  This particular legislation, is legislation to keep government open For The People.  It's really regretful that all the work that has gone into it and all the negotiations that have gone into it – that only one Republican voted to keep government open.  How could it be?

There are two areas that we have had some, shall we say, debate in the Congress.  One is governments.  We believe in it, to keep the government open For The People.  The other is science.  Science, in terms of how we deal with a pandemic, how we deal with the climate crisis and the rest.  And we've had major disagreement in terms of the Republicans rejecting science and rejecting governance.  With this legislation, House and Senate, one of the assaults that were made on it was that they wanted to prevent any funds in the legislation to be used for enforcement of vaccinations.  And science and funds governments.

So I sign this to send to the President, with a great tribute to our appropriators.  The Chair of the Committee, Rosa DeLauro, has done a remarkable job.  She, she held together what the, what we call the ‘anomalies’ in the legislation that help us meet our responsibilities to Afghan refugees coming into our country.  This is probably one of the cleanest continuing resolutions that we have, because we have been able to resist so many good ideas that people had.  But the fact is, it's a continuing resolution.  And, there were some urgencies, that Madam Chair was able to negotiate with Republicans in a bipartisan way and have it.

I always wear this ring, a ring that – all of you have been to Afghanistan – they're made by women in Afghanistan.  And so, it’s a constant reminder I keep close my heart about our responsibilities to those women and how they have been part – Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate.  First Lady Laura Bush, Michelle Obama and then Jill Biden, just universally a priority for us.  And that is part of what is reflected in this continuing resolution.  

So again, I salute Congresswoman DeLauro.  She did a masterful job.  Within the context of all of our appropriators, and many of the people here are our ‘Cardinals,’ Chairs of Committees within this – subcommittee within the Appropriations Committee or just leader, not just, including leaders on the Committee to help put together the omnibus, the appropriations bill, to take our work For The People through the next fiscal year.

For reasons that are hard to understand, Republicans have not been willing to agree on a topline or some of the language within the bill.  So we had to put this off until after the first of the year, to February 18th which this legislation does.  But I sign this legislation recognizing this urgency, but respectful of the work that our appropriators have done to take us to a place where we are, as House Democrats, ready – working with the Senate Democrats – ready to negotiate with the Republicans under the leadership of our distinguished Chair Rosa DeLauro.  Let us salute Rosa.

[Applause]

Steny and I are appropriators, as is Mr. Clyburn who is not with us right here.  Mr. Clyburn is an appropriator, Katherine Clark is an appropriator.  But we have in the leadership – a number of people have served in the appropriations process over the years.  And, we know it is a culture of bipartisanship.  It has been to our benefit to have been oriented into the Congress and a Committee so traditionally bipartisan, and I hope that that will continue.

So, in that spirit of – hopeful about the bipartisanship that hopefully will occur as we go forward For The People for the next year, and with, again, tribute to our Members, I’ll sign this legislation and send it. 

In doing so, let me say how honored we are that our distinguished House Democratic Leader, Steny Hoyer, is here with us.  I have already acknowledged Rosa DeLauro of the Committee.  Other leadership, Sean Patrick Maloney is with us.  And again, other Members who are here.  Congresswoman Torres of California. Madam Chair of the Defense Subcommittee, Betty McCollum of the great state of Minnesota.  David Price – we all served with on the Committee for many years – Chair of THUD, transportation –

[Laughter]

­– very important committee.  Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, the Chair of Homeland Security Subcommittee.  Marcy Kaptur, Chair of the very, very important Energy and Water Committee, which has defense responsibilities as well.  Barbara Lee, Chair of the – what do we call it these days?  We called it Foreign Ops in my day.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee.  S Ops.

Speaker Pelosi.  State, Foreign Ops Subcommittee, very important subcommittee as well.  Chellie Pingree of the great state of Maine, of the Subcommittee on the Interior, formerly chaired by Betty McCollum and now yielded to Chellie Pingree.  Chellie does the Interior but also does the arts and so many other, other things.  And my good friend, Dutch Ruppersberger from Maryland, a champion of national security and intelligence issues, a leader in the Appropriations Committee.

Leader Hoyer.  And Sean Patrick Maloney.

Speaker Pelosi.  I did Sean Patrick.  I did Sean Patrick.  Not an appropriator, not an appropriator, unfortunately. 

[Laughter]

But nonetheless, thank each and every one of you for all of your leadership.   

*** 

Thank you, Madam Chair, I always say, as an appropriator myself: left to their own devices of – the Members of the Appropriations Committee can find their common ground.  So, let's hope that there won't be any intervention from on high –

[Laughter]

– to impede that good, that good progress because we are hopeful that we will find our common ground with strong legislation.  As Mr. Hoyer said, very – long before the September, excuse me, the February 18th deadline, because the needs of the people must be met. 

Thank you all.