Speaker Pelosi, New Mexico Congressional Delegation Host U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

December 4, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Members of the New Mexico congressional delegation and the Governor of New Mexico to light the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Good evening, everyone.  Isn’t it an enchanting evening? 

[Laughter]

Thank you, New Mexico, for making it so: from the Land of Enchantment to charming Washington with this beautiful, beautiful tree.  Isn’t it perfectly symmetrical?  Did you ever see such a tall tree be so even and decorated, as the Architect, said, with ornaments made by children of all ages, reflecting the beautiful diversity of New Mexico? 

Thank you, Thomas Carroll, for making tonight’s festivities so special, and thank you to Vicky Christiansen, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, for your leadership to bring this beautiful tree, well-traveled, to the Capitol.

And tonight we were blessed with Chevel’s beautiful singing.  Wasn’t that wonderful?

[Applause]

Just by hearing her voice our troubles were very far away.

And we thank the U.S. Army Brass Quintet for their beautiful music this evening.  So – and that’s an applause line, right?

[Applause]  

What an honor it is for all of us to welcome the Governor of New Mexico, our former colleague, back to the Capital.

It took an enormously tall, heavy tree with many ornaments coming here to get her back.

[Laughter]

But nonetheless, we take great pride in her service in the Congress and great pride in her governorship of New Mexico.

And to be here with Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján – thank you Mr. Luján for your leadership for New Mexico.

And two of our Members of Congress, Xochitl Torres Small, a member of our freshman class, as well as Deb Haaland.

Now, let me just say, when Chief of the Parks Service Christiansen was speaking about our beautiful parklands, I was thinking ‘Isn’t it wonderful that Deb Haaland, one of the first Native American woman to ever serve in the Congress, is, as a freshman, the Chair of the Public Lands Subcommittee of the Natural Resources Committee?’

[Applause]

How perfect for New Mexico, with so many public lands.

Tom Udall, a former colleague in the House, of whom we’re very proud in the United States Senate as well.

And our other Senator, Senator Martin Heinrich, another former Member of the House – we thank him for his tremendous leadership.  We take great pride in his representation in the Senate of New Mexico.

And we’re very proud of our contributions that we have made to the United States Senate from the House of Representatives from New Mexico.  

Pretty soon, we will be turning on the lights.  I’m standing between that and you right now.  However, I do have a few things to say in welcoming you to the Capitol.

The thousands of ornaments that adorn the branches, as has been said by colleague, Mr. Lujan and Mr. – Senator, I should say, the Senator Udall, represent the beautiful diversity of New Mexico and, therefore, of our nation.

From Carson National Forest, we know that nearly 30 towns in seven states, countless families shared their wishes with the Tree as it made its journey to the Capitol.

This season, we give thanks for our many blessings, and delight in the excitement of our children’s faces as we light the Capitol Tree.  And two of them, Avery and Jasmine, who are here with the Governor, will be with us as we do that.

So, again, it is an honor to be with all of you on this happy, happy occasion where our troubles are so far away, where we welcome the New Mexico delegation and thank them for making this possible.

Now, we have a very special guest who has a very special responsibility.  Asher Dean, a fourth grader from Arroyo Seco, New Mexico, won an essay contest to do the honors for us this evening, and we are honored by his presence.  He is going to light the tree on behalf of all American children.

Asher, will you join us?  Mother and Governor, will you join us?

Let’s hear it for Asher.  Asher won a contest in order to light this tree.  

Are you ready for the lights?  Let’s count down. Five, four, three, two, one.

[Applause]

Congratulations.