Pelosi Remarks Following Issues Conference Today
Contact:Brendan Daly/Nadeam Elshami, 202-226-7616
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi, incoming House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson and other Democratic leaders held a press availability this afternoon following an issues forum on Capitol Hill today. The issues forum, which convened national experts on the economy and national security, addressed efforts to get the economy back on track and protect the American people. Below are the Speaker’s opening remarks.
"Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I congratulate you for a very excellent issues conference, continuing the tradition of having our pre-inauguration, post-election issues conference on our economic security and our national security.
"In terms of economic security, now more than ever, this was a very valuable meeting for us. We heard from experts from right, Mark Zandi, who was the economic adviser to John McCain, to left, James K. Galbraith, and everyone in between in the way of economic thinkers in our country, who have been an economic resource to us for a long time.
"We are pleased with the policy of President-elect Obama. We are working with him so that in the first week of our new Congress, we’ll be able to introduce a very smart, modern recovery package for the 21st century. More details on that to follow.
"At lunch, we heard from our keynote speaker, former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, who conveyed such tremendous wisdom to us; it was great. In the afternoon, we had the national security discussion, which was very valuable to all of us and to our Members because our first responsibility as elected officials is to protect the American people. This session was very valuable in that regard.
"In the course of the day, Barney Frank, again masterfully, engaged in discussions about the auto package, which we will hear from him about. I am pleased with the progress that’s been made. We don’t – unless he does – in the next few minutes have an announcement to make.
"But, suffice it to say, that it is a concern to our Members that this important industry to our country be preserved. It is essential to our national security that we have a strong industrial and manufacturing base. It is essential to our economy that our workforce is intact, and as we go forward, the auto CEOs know that we are willing to give them a chance to restructure and turn themselves viable, accountable to the taxpayer. As long as that is the path, we have a place to monitor it and support it.
"But again, if that is not the path, we are not going to be engaged in corporate welfare, and they will not succeed.
"With that, I am pleased to yield to the distinguished Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer."