June 26, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Leader Schumer and Members of the House and Senate for a press event on the eve of the House vote on the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. So, good afternoon – it is afternoon right? Good afternoon, everyone.
It is really quite an honor to be here in the distinguished company of so many patriots, both sitting here in front of us, behind us in the – on the riser – and with Members of Congress, of the House and Senate, coming together as we go forward into the Fourth of July district work period.
Going forward by introducing an act that will honor our Founders, our democracy, our Constitution.
I’m pleased that Chuck Schumer, the Leader in the Senate, has come, once again, back over to the House side.
Leader Schumer. Last time I did that I nearly got in trouble.
I was just, to set the record straight, my mother just got out of the hospital and the Speaker was nice enough to ask, and I said, ‘She got out of the hospital.’
Speaker Pelosi. Oh, I’m so glad. Give Selma my love. I hope she will be well. I hope she will be comfortable.
When we came out of the White House the other day, we had this very serious meeting on Iran with the President. So, we came outside and the first thing I said to – he got a call – and the first thing I said, ‘Is Selma out of the hospital?’ He said, ‘Yes, she’s out of the hospital.’ So, we were – yay.
So then the press was saying, ‘What were you cheering about outside the White House?’
Selma was out of the hospital.
So, anyway, what we’re cheering about today is our democracy as we go into the Fourth of July work period and we have distinguished Members of Congress who have worked together to put together the SAFE Act.
As we know from the Special Counsel’s report, the Republicans, excuse me – as we know from the Special Counsel’s report, there is a need in the Congress for us to have bipartisan support for legislation to keep our elections safe.
As we know from the Special Counsel’s report, the Russians systematically attacked our elections in a sweeping and systematic fashion. And they also have told us separately that they are doing it again. Top intelligence and law enforcement officials warn the Russians are waging another attack as we speak.
We take an oath to protect and defend our democracy against threats both foreign and domestic. That is why we passed H. R. 1, For the People Act. Tomorrow, we will pass the SAFE Act to further strengthen our defenses of our democracy.
This week, we are securing $600 million through grants. Next month we will take further steps to harden our democratic institutions against attacks. And on July 10th, we will receive the all-Member election security briefing that we requested from the Administration, so we can continue to protect the American people.
As we approach the Fourth of July, Congress will lead a Week of Action, lifting up our patriotic action to protect America: legislate, investigate, litigate. Democrats are For The People, putting patriotism before politics.
And I just want to say that we have so many heroes up here. Rather than talking about them, I will let them talk about what they came to say today to protect our democracy, our Constitution, our elections. And with that I am very pleased to yield to Selma’s son, the Democratic Leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer.
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you very much, Mr. Butterfield. Mr. Butterfield was a judge before he came to Congress, he is a former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. We had the privilege of having him be a major part of our Congressional delegation to Normandy.
Thank you for referencing that, Mr. Butterfield, and to Mr. Blumenthal, thank you for your leadership, a former Attorney General, he knows what we need to do. Thank you for your strong words and for your other legislation making it a crime for anyone to hack into this.
Mr. Sarbanes has been our champion on H. R. 1: thank you, thank you, thank you for your persistence.
I talked about H.R. 1, talked about this bill, talked about what we are going to do next to protect our democracy and our system. Mr. Wyden talked about Paul Revere and in that poem, Paul Revere, it says, ‘The fate of the nation was riding that night.’ Well, the fate of the nation is riding on our passing – on us passing this legislation.
Yesterday, we had a press event about the Voting Rights Act, the sixth anniversary of the Shelby decision and John Lewis spoke so beautifully there. He talked about voting being a right, a sacred, sacred right and that is exactly what it is and one we must protect.
Congresswoman Lofgren, the Chair of the House – both of you are Members of the House Administration Committee. This is a very important Committee and it has jurisdiction over this. She has been a real champion on this, and I thank her for that.
I thank all of you on the outside because this will only succeed if the Senate gets the message from the outside mobilization, about what this means peoples’ lives, their faith in our system. Otherwise, it is just about who can hack the best, who can afford to own the machines and the rest of that. We owe our country much more.
The President has said that the charge of Russians interfering in our elections was a hoax, and indeed, he gave a green light to the Russians to do more. That is not going to fly. So, as we go forward to the Fourth of July, let us cheer the courage and vision of our Founders, let us salute the courage of our men and women in uniform who work so hard to protect our freedoms, and let us do so in a way that makes everyone proud of what we do when we pass this legislation, insist that is passes in the Senate.
That is why I thank our guests who are here, who are going to be so much a part of the mobilization. Mitch McConnell thinks this is dead-on-arrival in the Senate. It is alive and well in the public. He will be hearing from the public on this subject.
Happy Fourth of July!