Pelosi Remarks at Bill Enrollment Ceremony for the Great American Outdoors Act

Jul 23, 2020
Press Release
Contact: Speaker’s Press Office,
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a bill enrollment ceremony for H.R. 1957, the Great American Outdoors Act, legislation to provide permanent, full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and establish the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks: 
Speaker Pelosi.  Good morning, everyone.  
As Speaker of the House, it is my honor to enroll the Great American Outdoors Act, one of the most important conservation and public lands bills in decades.  It is proudly bipartisan, had an overwhelming bipartisan vote.  Sorry, some of our Republican colleagues were not able to join us this morning, but we commend them for their leadership in the House and in the Senate. 
The bill honors our responsibility to be good stewards of our national – our natural heritage.  It is in the tradition of our country, starting with Thomas Jefferson, the Gallatin infrastructure bill to protect our environment.  A hundred years later, Teddy Roosevelt establishing the National Parks service. 
The bill advances environmental justice, it creates good-paying jobs and it grows the economy.  It is a critical investment – in health and economic crisis at this time of COVID-19. 
I am thrilled to be here with our Freshman class Members, who were so much a part of this.  The leader, Mr. Cunningham, who was the prime author of the legislation, an ocean engineer, he brought his scientific know how, his devotion to preserving our planet to the Congress and made this legislation possible, and I am pleased to yield to Mr. Cunningham. 
Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much, Mr. Cunningham, for your leadership.  As I said, you were the lead sponsor, but the Freshman class played a major role.  And so that’s why we invited so many of the Freshman who played such a role to be part of this signing.  Congresswoman Torres – let me just make sure I have everybody here in terms of all of this – Congresswoman Torres Small of New Mexico, Congresswoman Deb Haaland of New Mexico, Joe Neguse of Colorado, Jason Crow of Colorado, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Harley Rouda of California.  Do I have everyone?  
Oh and of, course – not a Freshman – Debbie Dingell.  And it’s really important to note that Debbie Dingell’s family has been involved in this for a very long time as she – we are proud of this bill because, you know, it’s a continuation of John’s important work – Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee when we passed very important legislation to preserve and conserve our environment.
With that, I’m pleased to yield to the distinguished Chair of the Natural Resources Committee, Mr. Grijalva.
Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 
As you acknowledged all the work that went into it by your Committee and the Freshmen class and the rest, but it wouldn’t exist without coming to the Floor under the leadership of our distinguished House Democratic Leader, Mr. Hoyer. 
Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much, Mr. Hoyer.  And thank you for acknowledging Mr. Fortenberry who we had hoped would be with us, and other Republicans as well.  However, they were with us on the Floor of the House and they were there for the formation of the legislation. 
I want to thank them, House and Senate Democrats and Republicans, for this wonderful moment of strong, strong bipartisanship, even veto-proof bipartisanship.  But the President has said he would sign the bill. 
But let me also acknowledge our friends in the environment community across the country who’ve taken an interest in all of this for a very, very long time.  Debbie Dingell knows that because of her work on the bill that we named for John Dingell, which was sort of the start of all of this. 
So, with that, now, and with great pride and excitement for not only Joe Cunningham’s little baby – this is what it’s about: the future, our children – but for all of America’s children.  I’m very, now, honored to sign the legislation, which constitutes the enrollment of the bill.  And, upon that signing, the bill will be sent to the White House. 
Thank you. 
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