Pelosi Remarks at National Council on Independent Living Press Conference

Jul 24, 2018
Press Release

Contact: Ashley Etienne/Henry Connelly, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Members of the House and Senate and health care advocates for a National Council on Independent Living press conference.  Below are the Leader’s remarks: 
Leader Pelosi.  Good afternoon everyone.  I’m delighted to be up here today.  This community did more to educate the American people about what was wrong about what the Republicans were doing, trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act.  

There were 10,000 events around the country, in which many of you participated to say, ‘This is what it means for people with a pre-existing condition, this is what means for people with disabilities.’

I am very proud to stand before you wearing this pin.  It’s a Disability Integration Act pin.


S. 910.  H.R. 2472.  Bruce [Darling] lent this to me so I could hold it up here, and say to you that I will do everything possible to get as many co-sponsors for this legislation. 


Hi over there!  There is a large number of people over there as well as part of this as well.

Crowd Member.  We love you Nancy!
Leader Pelosi.  I love you too!  Saturday, I was in Milwaukee at the Independence First Center – you’re from Milwaukee?  You know Independence First and that was what this is about: independence for all our people to live where they want to live, to be with their family members.  This legislation will facilitate that.

Senator Schumer in the Senate, Mr. [Jim] Sensenbrenner in the House, and I love Cheryl his wife.  She has taught me so much, I have learned so much from her.  So it is bipartisan.  Let’s make it the law of the land. 


I am really here to say thank you to all of you because this community knows full well the impact of public policy on your lives.  This community has more knowledge and more courage to go out and speak about what is right in terms of health care being a right and not a privilege for just the few – and when we talk about that, we talk about it for everyone.

I see that t-shirt – that’s beautiful, with the flag.  Because that’s what our Founders said: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and they meant that for everyone.  So I thank you for making the fight with knowledge of the issues, with clarity of the presentation, including getting arrested for some of you.  Why?  Arresting people for speaking out about wanting to be respected.

We always say that whatever we do, it applies in this community as well.  We respect people for what they can do, rather than judge them for what they cannot do.  And as we make those values-based decisions, we have to do so with you in the room, at the table, helping to write the law and that is my understanding of what the Disabilities Integration Act is.  

I’m going to brag about myself because when I was Speaker,  I had the privilege on the twentieth anniversary of ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] to have the Congress of the United States be mechanized so that people with disabilities, in wheelchairs, could preside as Speaker of the House.  

[Congressman] Jim Langevin was the first person to take advantage of that, but it is for other people, [Senator] Tammy Duckworth, whether it’s our veterans or all the rest.  It was something that made us all very, very proud.  

So I am here to say thank you to you.  Whether it’s about this bill or whether it’s about the cost of prescription drugs, which we must negotiate to keep lower, whether it’s about the pre-existing condition benefit that some want to overturn, it all has an effect.  

And about our veterans, many of whom have fought to protect our freedom, and now we want them to have all the freedom to be at home.  Any veterans in the crowd?  


Thank you so much.  

So anyway, on behalf of the House Democrats, I am here to say thank you to all of you for making the difference, not only for this community, but for every person in America who deserves, and that’s everyone in America, access to affordable, quality health care.  Whether it’s the Little Lobbyists, many of whom came to see us.  Little Lobbyists, any Little Lobbyists here ?  


There we are.  Thank you for your leadership.  Thank you for your leadership.  You are a beautiful sight to behold.  They’ve been present at practically every, I don’t want to say political action, at every civic action across the country.  

So all of you, you’ve made a difference.  You’ll continue to make a difference.  And when we run up against resistance, we don’t agonize, we organize.  Thank you for being in the lead on that.  Mobilize.  Mobilize.  Mobilize.  Mobilize.  

Thank you all very much and NCIL for bringing us all together today.  Thank you to Kelly and thank you Steven and Kelly Buckland.  Where did Kelly go?  Right here.  Kelly Buckland, my dear friend, and Steve Higgins, thank you so much.  And thank each and every one of you.  This will work.  Know your power!  Mobilize, organize, pass the bill!  Thank you all very much.  Thank you!

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