Pelosi: ‘Congress Must Stay in Session Until We Get Our Job Done for the American People’

Dec 12, 2005
Press Release

Pelosi: ‘Congress Must Stay in Session Until We Get Our Job Done for the American People’

Monday, December 12 2005

Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. â€" House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor this morning insisting that Congress address skyrocketing home heating costs, the complicated Medicare prescription drug program, and Katrina rebuilding before they adjourn this week. Below are her remarks:

“Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. As we enter what may be the last week of this session of Congress, I rise to once again state the need for this Congress not to adjourn until we address some of the pressing needs of the American people. Three of them loom large.

“One is, as we go into the holiday season, America’s families across the country are receiving high bills for their home heating oil. I believe that this Congress should not adjourn until we reverse some of the huge subsidies that this Congress gave to oil companies at a time when they are receiving record and historic profits. These bills will hit home at a time when families can least afford it. Congress should act before we leave.

“Secondly, seniors are befuddled and bewildered by the Medicare prescription drug bill that has been foisted upon them by this Congress. I urge Congress not to leave until we extend the time for seniors to choose a prescription drug plan and also to address the prospect of giving the U.S. government negotiating power for lower prices and address the reimportation issue to lower the cost of prescription drugs for America’s seniors. It is clear that this legislation has done nothing to lower the cost of prescription drugs for America’s middle-income seniors.

“And third, all of America mourns the loss of life in the Gulf Coast. We have seen destruction in that area of biblical magnitude. Here we are more than 100 days since Katrina, and there are still so many emergency needs, housing needs, and education needs that remain unmet. I do not believe that it is fair for this Congress to adjourn until we address some of the immediate needs of the victims of Katrina, most particularly the housing needs of the survivors.

“I urge the Speaker of the House to keep us here in session until we address the issues of home heating oil for America’s families, the needs of America’s seniors in the prescription drug bill, and the needs of the survivors of Katrina. This has been made even more urgent because rumor has it that Congress will not be coming back until January 31st. That would be six down weeks of no action on the part of this Congress at a time when America’s families are feeling severe pain. Again, I urge this Congress to stay in session until we get our job done for the American people. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.”