January 29, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives in support of keeping government open. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to call attention to the fact that so many – so many – 800,000 federal workers were out of work when the government was shut down and now happily they will be back at work, and soon all of them getting a paycheck. This was very sad for their families, very sad for their communities where their financial viability is important and very sad for our economy.
So happily government is re-open but not without paying a price.
I was very pleased last week on Thursday so many Members came to the Floor to tell the stories of the families affected by the shutdown and then we had a Special Order and people saw comfort in the fact we were recognizing the value that our public employees add to our economy and also concern for their well-being.
I want to tell one story that I thought was just so remarkable.
Yesterday, I went to help have meals for the families that still have not gotten a paycheck even though government is open. It will be a couple more days.
While I was there, I met a woman who – she seemed young to me but I guess she must have been middle-aged. They told me, after I was with her for a while, that on Friday she would be going to hospice. She was going to hospice, but it was a comfort to her to spend her last days before hospice feeding the hungry, having empathy for those who had that uncertainty in their lives.
What a blessing she is. Let us all have that empathy for those who are placed in that financial insecurity. And let us work to keep government open, to come to agreement, so we can remove all doubt in anyone’s mind that that is not a reasonable path to seek agreement – at the – holding hostage our public employees.
We thank them for what they do for our country. We sympathize with them at this time. We’re happy that government is open.
Let’s work together to keep it so. With that, I yield back Mr. Speaker.