Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leaders held a new conference this afternoon on the Honest Leadership, Open Government Act of 2007, which passed the House floor today by an overwhelming vote of 411 to 8. Below are the Speaker's remarks:
"Thank you very much, Chairman Emanuel, for your great leadership on this issue of lobbying reform. I want to commend you, and I want to commend another member of our leadership, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, for his leadership as well.
"Justice Louis Brandeis observed more than 70 years ago, Sunlight is the best disinfectant.'
"Today, with passage of the Honest Leadership, Open Government Act, we draw back the curtains, throw up the windows, and let the sunshine in.
"Instrumental to this victory on behalf of the American people have been our new Members. They have led the way to make this the most honest and most open Congress in history. I thank them for their leadership and their commitment, and I want to acknowledge two of their representatives who are here today. Thank you for your leadership, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda of Kansas and Congressman Zack Space of Ohio.
"Last November, the American people spoke clearly for change in the way business is done in Washington. They demanded not just high ethical standards, but also transparency, disclosure, and accountability to make these standards effective.
"On the very first day of the 110th Congress, we passed a landmark rules packagethe toughest ethical reform in a generation.
"Next, under Congresswoman Boyda's leadership, we passed legislation to deny taxpayer-funded pension benefits to House members convicted of corruption while serving the American people.
"Today, we will shine a bright light on the linkage between lobbyists and legislators, with legislation that requires an unprecedented level of disclosure.
"And in so doing, we keep our promise to drain the swamp that is Washington, D.C., to let sunshine disinfect the Congress. We have promised the highest ethical standard, and we will deliver it, in an open and honest government."