Honoring the Sandy Hook Promise
Honoring the Sandy Hook Promise
Today marks six months since the tragedy in Newtown, a tragedy seared into the minds of every person across America and millions across the world. This anniversary serves as another solemn reminder of the persistent plague of gun violence in our society – and of the ongoing challenge to end it.
Since that dark day, the families of Newtown and their supporters have turned their sorrow into strength, their pain into perseverance, their unspeakable loss into unmatched courage and determination to carry on. They come as Americans who wish to spare their fellow parents and family members the mourning, fear, and terror they felt six months ago.
Their message is clear: honor the memories of their little children and their educators by helping ensure that no other family is forced to endure such an unimaginable tragedy. Now, our task is plain: we must restore confidence in the safety of our communities by taking clear, effective steps to prevent gun violence in our schools, homes, and neighborhoods. That is why I am calling for a vote on a bipartisan bill by my California colleague Congressman Mike Thompson, New York Republican Congressman Peter King, and 180 sponsors to expand and strengthen our system of background checks.
Six months ago, in Newtown, a lone gunman took the lives of 26 Americans. Since then, nearly 5,000 more Americans have fallen victim to gun violence. Now, in Congress, we must summon the courage to act. We must heed the moving words of the Sandy Hook promise: “Our hearts are broken; our spirit is not.”
Congresswoman Pelosi speaks on the House Floor to commemorate the six-month anniversary of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT.
Where are the jobs bills?
On Wednesday, the twenty-three House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee – all men – advanced a bill to restrict women’s health choices making no allowance for protecting the health of women, or the victims of rape and incest. The author of the bill, Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) went so far as to say “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.” The bill will be brought to the floor of the House for a full vote next week. But the American people are asking: “Where are the Jobs?”
In the six months since Congress has convened, the House has passed just thirteen bills—and none of them have had anything to do with jobs. Enough is enough. It’s time to appoint budget conferees so we can engage in an open debate on a budget that replaces the across the board cuts with a plan to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and responsibly reduce the deficit.
Time is running out. With less than ten legislative days to act before a looming increase on student loan interest rates hits more than 7 million students and families, House Democrats sought to force a vote on key legislation that would stop the doubling of the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans on July 1. The Student Loan Relief Act was introduced by Rep. Joe Courtney on April 17, 2013, and has over 150 cosponsors, but Republicans have failed to schedule a hearing on the bill.
Instead of acting swiftly to protect our nation’s students, House Republicans made matters worse by passing the Making College More Expensive Act, a student loan bill with even higher interest payments by students and families. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, under their bill, students who borrow the maximum amount of subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans over five years would pay nearly $2,000 more in interest costs than if interest rates doubled.
The Democratic bill continues to allow college students to benefit from historically low interest rates by freezing the current low 3.4% rate for the next two years – and Congress must act quickly as the clock ticks. With a majority of new jobs in the next decade requiring a college degree, it is an economic necessity that a higher education remains an opportunity for every student, not a perk for the privileged few.
Please feel free to forward this information to your family and friends. To learn more about these efforts, to express your views, or to sign up for email updates, please visit my website. I am also on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NancyPelosi.
Please feel free to forward this information to your family and friends. To learn more about these efforts, to express your views, or to sign up for email updates, please visit my website. I am also on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NancyPelosi.