Transcript: Nancy Pelosi’s remarks on the diversity of the House Democratic Caucus
Transcript of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s remarks at a press conference introducing the newly-elected Democratic House Members on Nov. 13, 2012:
That length of time it took for our new Members to come on to the platform here is music to my ears and to yours, Steve, as well, wasn’t it?
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well the picture that you see before you is worth millions of votes, millions of aspirations and dreams of the American people for problem solvers to come to Washington to get the job done.
Today, we officially welcome our Democratic freshmen to Washington, they are extraordinary leaders who will make our House Democratic Caucus the first Caucus in history, in the history of civilized government, to have a majority of women and minorities in the Caucus. You can applaud that.
Before you, you see a broad coalition of Americans that stand ready to work with President Obama to move America forward.
Of the 200 Democratic Members of the 113th Congress we welcome 61 women, we have 43 African-Americans, 26 Hispanics, 11 Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, 6 LGBT – now we’re not welcoming all of them, some of them have been here, but that is what our ranks look like.
I tell them all the time: your job description and your job title are one in the same, Representative. We need not only the diversity that you bring ethnically, geographically, generationally, gender-wise, etcetera – we need the diversity of your thinking, brought to bear to strengthen our policies.
We’ll work with the President to create jobs and grow the economy, strengthen the middle class, protect Medicare and the Affordable Care Act, reduce the deficit in a responsible and balanced way. And they’ve come just in time to do that.
House Democrats are ready to work with the President, our Senate colleagues, and across the aisle for certainty for our economy and our middle class. With our newly-elected Members, and the entire Democratic Caucus, we’re going to work together to reignite the American Dream, to build ladders of opportunity for people who want to work hard, play by the rules, take responsibility.
Central to all of that is strengthening our small businesses, our entrepreneurship in America, and having a vital and thriving middle class. And we have work to do. And we’re all ready to do that work. Since I’ve began speaking, even more Members have come in here. Come on in – Kyrsten, Annie, come on in Julia, Julia Brownley from California – we’re very proud of all of our Members.
We’re so proud of Steve – although we did not, we did win 25 seats, we didn’t net 25 seats. And thank you Steve, for your great leadership in having this invigoration. Our founders envisioned a House of Representatives which would be a constant reinvigoration of the Congress because it would, we’d have to be elected every two years, go to the voters every two years. And this year, 25 percent of our Caucus is brand new. Quite an invigoration. Here they are, the freshmen recruits, who among them will lead our nation? What other capacity, as well as leaders in the House of Representatives. We may not have the majority, we may not have the gavel, but we have unity. And with that unity, consensus built to solve problems, to work with President Obama, we’re ready to get to work. And aren’t we proud of President Obama and his wonderful victory? Not to get into politics.