June 4, 2019
Washington D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined House Democrats for a press event ahead of the passage of H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Oh my goodness, oh happy day.
We are so thrilled to be here with so many colleagues as we make history passing H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act.
We salute Congresswoman – Chairwoman Roybal-Allard. Where is she? Right behind me?
She is the godmother of the bill. When we passed the first time, years ago, it was her legislation and Congresswoman Velazquez was, at the time, Chair of the Hispanic Caucus. And we thank the Hispanic Caucus for making that victory, that day in the House, possible.
Today, we are joined by Congresswoman Velázquez, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke – of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Dean Phillips. We thank them all for their leadership and we thank the Chairs of the Tri-Caucus Joaquin Castro, Chair Karen Bass, Chair Judy Chu.
And, we thank the Members of the Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler – the Chairman, the Subcommittee Chair of Judiciary – Zoe Lofgren and Pramila Jayapal – who was so essential to our finding our common ground on all of this.
But, let us acknowledge the Dreamers and the immigrants who have spoken up.
Who have spoken out with dignity and eloquence, and who have made the difference.
They are the constant reinvigoration of America – of hope, determination and courage to make the future better. Those are American traits. Our newcomers make America more American with their commitment.
In his last speech as President – so many of you have heard me say this. Steny, are you tired of hearing me say this?
Leader Hoyer. No. Say it again.
Speaker Pelosi. I’m either saying it or I’m listening to him say it.
President Reagan said in his last speech, imagine President Reagan – you’re all too young, ‘the great communicator’ – ‘This is the last speech I will make as President of the United States.’ People listened up and he said, ‘I want to communicate a message to the country I love.’
He said, ‘Thanks to each and every wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we’re a nation forever young – forever bursting with new ideas and always on the cutting edge, always leading the world to the next frontier. This quality is vital to our future as a nation. And, if we ever close the door to new Americans,’ he said, ‘our leadership in the world would soon be lost.’
Ronald Reagan, George W. – Herbert Walker Bush, President Clinton, President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama all subscribed to that beautiful view.
Protecting Dreamers and TPS and DED Americans is about honoring the respect for family that is at the heart of our faith and who we are as Americans. Reverend Enid Almanzar of the Primitive Christian Church New York City said, ‘Dreamers are a part of the majestic fabric of our nation, so it is our moral duty to protect them and create pathways towards lives of stability.’
The quotes go on and on, but we want to hear from our other guests, so I’ll just conclude by saying there should be nothing partisan or political about this legislation. We’re proud to pass it, we hope, in a bipartisan way.
Proud to open the door of opportunity to Dreamers, TPS and DED recipients who have contributed so much to America.
We look forward to strong, again bipartisan, vote to pass this legislation and safeguard the American dream.
And, with that, I am proud to yield to the godmother of this legislation, Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you very much, Judy Chu.
We have talked about the inside maneuvering, the leadership of the Members of Congress, the various Caucus leadership. We’ve talked about the outside mobilization, without which none of our success would be possible. Again, we salute our friends and our Dreamers and our TPS and DED folks who made this all possible.
I want to acknowledge our Freshman class who gave us a Majority to bring this to the Floor.
And, where did he go? I know that Dean Phillips was here a moment ago, but he was especially active on the – is he there? Oh okay – DED aspects of it. He went to the Floor. Some people went to the Floor because we are busy on this.
I am going to yield to our distinguished Majority Leader to close us out.