Pelosi Floor Speech in Honor of the Late Peter G. Peterson
Leader Pelosi. I rise today to remember a great American patriot Mr. Pete Peterson who passed away at the age of 91 last month. Born to Greek immigrant parents in America’s heartland of Nebraska, Pete rose from humble beginnings to contribute to our nation as a public servant, statesman, business leader and especially through his philanthropic and policy work.
Pete was a voice for fiscal responsibility and a strong moral conscience in Washington working tirelessly and always reaching across party lines. For Pete, building a bright economic future for the next generation was his patriotic duty. He understood that he was so fortunate to have lived the American dream and he wanted that same opportunity available for every man, woman and child in our nation.
Economic policy leadership was a defining thread running through his life including his role as Secretary of Commerce, the head of a major American corporation and the founder of respected policy organizations including the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Peterson Foundation.
His prophetic voice on the importance of fiscal sustainability brought together generations of policy makers no matter their political background to find common ground and effect solutions. His strong moral leadership to ensure our children and grandchildren inherit a healthy fiscal future leaves a remarkable legacy.
Mr. Speaker, anyone who knew Pete will attest to his wit, generous spirit and personal warmth that made him a pleasure to be around. Pete signed the giving pledged and committed the bulk of his personal fortune to philanthropic causes. His legacy will endure in many ways but especially for his work at the Peterson Foundation which will continue to America’s fiscal and economic challenges now under the leadership of his son, Michael.
The loss of Pete will be felt in Washington and in the nation and around the world. May it bring some measure of comfort to his wife, Joan Ganz Cooney, his children, John, Jim, David, Holly and Michael and all his loved ones that so many grieve with them during this difficult time.
I knew and loved Mr. Pete Peterson and I know he loved his family above all. He is a great American who loved his country as well. I yield back.