Pelosi Remarks at Press Availability on Omnibus, Tax Extenders Following Democratic Caucus Meeting

December 16, 2015
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks today at a press availability on the Omnibus and tax extenders bills following the Democratic Caucus meeting. Below are the Leader’s remarks:

“Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman for having two Caucuses – last night and today – for us to anticipate and now review what we have seen so far in the legislation. I’ve urged the Members to review the legislation. It was filed at 1:42 [AM] last night, so now we are seeing the actual language.

“There are concerns that we have about jobs – about jobs that will leave the country because of lifting the ban on crude oil but that the remedy for refineries is not adequate, and we’re looking at – for one thing – one manifestation of job loss there. We’re concerned about the ignoring of the urgency of the situation in Puerto Rico, where American citizens are, really, in a situation that we must address. It won’t cost the American people one thin dime to enable, to allow Puerto Rico to restructure their debt and declare bankruptcy – not one thin dime to the American people. So, those are two of the issues.

“Our Members are curious to see what the renewable package is to offset the damage done by the exportation of oil. But in a bigger sense, here we are – at a time when we want good-paying jobs, which we have here in our refineries, we’re shipping those jobs overseas. At a time when Puerto Rico has this urgency about the well-being of that American territory, where American citizens live and have fought for our country, we’re ignoring that – not doing something substantial. I hope that the Speaker will today. At a time when the whole world had gathered in Paris – the whole world, every country of the world, leaders of the world came together to go forward in how we reduce emissions, and reducing dependence on fossil fuels, we’re shipping crude oil overseas, increasing our dependence on foreign oil. At a time when the whole country is concerned about gun safety, the Republicans have rejected our appeal to lift the ban on research. The list goes on and on about concerns that we have. We are trying to be as positive as possible because we must keep government open. But, we are going to make a knowledgeable vote about it.

“And I am very proud of our Members’ seriousness about this. We’ve said before and we yield to Mr. Hoyer to speak about the extender package, which in my view is practically an immorality, in terms of what it does, how it damages the future, and I’ve spoken on that. I’m going to yield to Mr. Hoyer to speak for it.”