Pelosi Floor Remarks During House Democrats’ ‘No Bill, No Break’ Sit-In

Jun 22, 2016
Press Release

Contact: Drew Hammill, 202-226-7616

Washington D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks this evening on the House floor during House Democrats’ sit-in, demanding that the Speaker bring up a vote on commonsense gun violence prevention legislation before the House recesses.  Below are the Leader’s remarks:

“Thank you for having us.  Aren’t we blessed to serve with [Congressman] John Lewis in the Congress? 

[Cheers]

“Aren’t we blessed to have him as a colleague?  Aren’t we blessed to have him as a friend?  And the American people – all, all, all the American people have him as a friend.   As he was speaking, I was thinking of Dr. King, always, as two of them have done so much for our country.  When he went to India to learn about non-violence and civil disobedience, et cetera, that was the gift that he brought back – the non-violence that John has taught us.  And in that, the word in Sanskrit ‘Satyagraha’ means two things: it means non-violence and also means ‘insistence for the truth’.  And that’s what we’re doing here in a non-violent way: insisting on the truth.  And the truth is that we cannot continue to have moments of silence without a plan of action; moments of silence that are a substitute for taking matters into our own hands to make sure we make the American people safe. 

“John talks frequently about us being all God's children and the spark of divinity that is within us.  It’s in all those people whose lives were taken, all of their families who are suffering.  And outside the Capitol now is a large crowd of people gathered to echo what is happening in here; to bear witness on this insistence on the truth.  And let's take John’s guidance: whatever they want to do in the next few minutes, we are here.  We are here after that.  We’re here until the truth that is insisted upon and that we have to vote and that they give it a chance to succeed because people’s lives depend on it. 

“I want to salute – John, I’m sure you do – all of our Members.  They have been so magnificent.  The global response we are all receiving to your activism on the Floor today is really – thank you for giving people hope.  For giving people hope.  People say: ‘Where is hope?  I can't find hope in my life.’  Hope is where it’s always been: sitting there between faith and love.  Faith and love. 

[Applause] 

“We believe that we can make a difference and that we must.  That gives people hope in the chariot of love that gives us strength to do our jobs.  [Congressman] John Larson, thank you so much.

[Applause] 

“And our Floor leader, [Whip] Steny Hoyer.  Thank you, Steny.  But each and every one of you have been so magnificent.  And what press and others are saying, people outside: ‘How long will they stay?’  I said: ‘It's totally up to them.’  It’s totally up to you.  And John [Lewis] said we should stay after these votes, and we will stay.  I’m sure all of you have something more to say.  No bill, no break!”  

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