Pelosi Remarks at Enrollment Ceremony for Legislation to Re-Open Government
Speaker Pelosi. Good evening, everyone. It’s an honor to be here with my colleagues who made this legislation possible. It’s an honor to be here with our appropriators: the Chair of the Appropriations Committee Nita Lowey; the Chair of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Lucille Roybal-Allard. We’re all pleased to join our distinguished Majority Leader [Steny] Hoyer. Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Lujan.
From California, Harley Rouda; from Maryland, Jamie Raskin –
Leader Hoyer. Who presided over the passage of the bill.
Speaker Pelosi. He did, he handled all of that back and forth.
And from Colorado, our colleague Ed Perlmutter. We’re grateful for the work of so many people who made this possible. I’m grateful for the unity of so many in our Caucus. We always say our diversity is our strength, all these beautiful ideas that come forward. Our unity is our power, and I am pleased to sign this legislation that we will send to the Senate to be signed, it will go to the President of the United States to sign to open up government.
* * *
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you very much for joining us. It’s kind of a solemn occasion for us, so many people suffered for so long and now happily as soon as possible – or as the President said, ‘Immediately or as soon as possible.’ They’ll be getting their paychecks. The American people will get their services and the American economy can be back on track.
Q: Madam Speaker, are you concerned about the narrow nature of the time frame for the conference committee – only three weeks – that that might be an effort to limit the time frame? That they don’t address DACA, they don’t address immigration, they only address the border issues?
Speaker Pelosi. What do you think of that Mr. Hoyer?
Leader Hoyer. First of all, whatever the time frame, let’s hope we’ve learned the lesson that shutting down government is not an acceptable alternative. Period. Whatever the time frame, whatever the reasons, shutting down the government of the United States is not an alternative.
We hope to be working very diligently. The Chair of our conference will be Ms. Roybal-Allard and Ms. Lowey will be – I guess – is the Chair of the conference. I’m sure both of them will work very, very hard to get us to a place where we solve the problems that are in the Department of Homeland Security budget, that is, after all, the subject of the conference.
Speaker Pelosi. And we have no complaint. We asked the President to open up government so we would have time to have debate on the best way to protect our border. Democrats are committed to border security and we think we have some better ideas about how to do so, that protects our borders, honor our values and are cost-effective.
We look forward to Congresswoman Roybal-Allard taking the lead in terms of the substance from her standpoint as Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee and commend, again, our Chair of the Appropriations Committee for her leadership on this. They bring knowledge, they bring perspective, they bring the enthusiasm of the consensus of our Caucus to that conference. Thank you all.