Pelosi Remarks Upon Reconvening of the House of Representatives

January 6, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks upon the reconvening of the House of Representatives.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Today, a shameful assault was made on our democracy.  It cannot, however, deter us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

For that reason, the Congress has returned to the Capitol.  We always knew that this responsibility would take us into the night.  And we will stay as long as it takes.  Our purpose will be accomplished.

We must – and we will – show to the country, and indeed, to the world, that we will not be diverted from our duty; that we will respect our responsibility to the Constitution and to the American people.

On Sunday, it was a great – my great honor to be sworn in as Speaker and to preside over a sacred ritual of renewal, as we gathered under this dome of this temple of democracy to open the 117th Congress.

I said that – as we were sworn in then – we accept a responsibility as daunting and demanding as any previous generations of leadership has ever faced.  We know that we are in difficult times, but little could we have imagined the assault made on our democracy today.

To those who strove to deter us from our responsibility, you have failed.  To those who engaged in the gleeful desecration of this, our temple of democracy – American democracy – justice will be done.

Today, January 6, is the Feast of the Epiphany.  On this day of revelation, let us pray that this instigation to violence will provide an epiphany for our country to heal.

In that spirit of healing, I invoke the Song of St. Francis – I usually do – St. Francis is the patron saint of my city of San Francisco and he is – his song is our anthem:

‘Lord, make me a channel of thy peace.  Where there is darkness, let me bring light. Where there is hatred, let me bring love.  Where there is despair, let me bring hope.’

We knew that we would be a part of history in a positive way, today, every four years when we demonstrate, again, the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next.  And despite the shameful actions of today, we still will do so. 

We will be part of a history that shows the world what America is made of.  That these – that this assault – this assault is just that: it shows the weakness of those who’ve had to show through violence what their message was.  My colleagues: it is time to move on. 

I wear this pin quite frequently.  Actually, I gave it to our beloved John Lewis just the weekend before he – the weekend or so before he left us.  And it is the flag of our country, a flag of the United States of America.  On it, it says, ‘One country, one destiny.’  ‘One country, one destiny,’ written on the flag.  That was also what was embroidered in Abraham Lincoln’s coat that he had on that fateful night.  Lincoln’s party, Lincoln’s message: ‘One country, one destiny.’  

So, on this holy day of Epiphany, let us pray.  I’m a big believer in prayer.  Let us pray that there will be peace on earth and that it will begin with us.  Let us pray that God will continue to bless America.

And, with that, let us proceed with our responsibilities to the Constitution to which we have, just within 72 hours, taken the oath to uphold.