WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leaders held a news conference this afternoon in the Capitol to discuss Democratic accomplishments and upcoming legislation. The Speaker's opening remarks are below:
"Good afternoon. Thank you all very much for coming as we observe one year since we were elected to the majority of this Congress. At the end of last week, we gathered on the steps of the Capitol with great confidence and great pride in what we had accomplished in the first session of Congress. All that we had done was done with strong bipartisan support, in the most fiscally sound way, pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending.
"We addressed the issues of concern to the American people. How we made America safer: the very first day, H.R. 1, our first bill was to pass the 9/11 Commission recommendations and then we went on to honor our veterans by passing the biggest increase in veterans benefits in the 77-year history of the Veterans Administration.
"We are striving to restore the American Dream, to make our economy stronger and fairer. We passed the COMPETES Act, our commitment to competitiveness, to keep America number one. It was part of our Innovation Agenda, to spread opportunity in our country; we also passed the first increase in minimum wage in 10 years.
"To strengthen families and renewing the American Dream, we passed the biggest passage for college affordability since the 1944 GI Bill of Rights. We all know if we're going to have innovation, it must begin in the classroom, and we were very proud of that bipartisan legislation.
"We're now engaged in the discussion over SCHIP, how we insure 10 million children in our country, and we hope that that will be culminated in the next few days.
"To preserve our planet, we passed the strongest energy bill for conservation and efficiency and we're very proud of that legislation. We're going into conference to bring that to the floor and then we're going to send it to the President of the United States .
"As I say, all of this done in the most fiscally sound way, with the highest ethical standard and with the most honest and open government.
"More needs to be done. As we go forward, we will finish up some of this legislation. We will go forward in a very strong way. We will protect America's children and families when it comes to consumer product safety, whether it's the toys that our children play with, the medicines that they take, or the food that they eat. We will anticipate now or the beginning of the next session, in moving forward legislation in a very strong way to protect America's children.
"To protect the security of their homes, we have legislation addressing the subprime mortgage crisis and other legislation. To strengthen our families, we're doing this in terms of improving education, the care of our children, from Head Start to higher education. More to come on that.
"We will protect the middle class by fixing the Alternative Minimum Tax so the middle class doesn't feel that pain. We will do that in a fiscally sound way.
"This is a booklet of what we have done; more needs to be done as we go forward. Our goal will be to protect the American people, grow the economy, strengthen our families, and preserve our planet, in a way that passes on our legacy to another generation.
"Much of what we have done has been eclipsed by the war in Iraq . We have not brought that war to an end. It's something that we will persist with. I'm very proud of the work of Henry Waxman and other chairs in what they have done in oversight, to restore our accountability, to hold the Administration accountable for what is happening in Iraq , and the many ways in which taxpayers dollars are squandered in Iraq."
SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House