Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Joe Crowley, and Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen held a press conference at the conclusion of the Democratic Issues Conference. Below are the Leader's opening remarks at the press conference:
"Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I thank you and Vice Chair Joe Crowley for the absolute excellence of this issue conference. Thanks to your staff as well for bringing us together to talk about the issues we've talked about from the first day of this Congress -- restoring confidence, restoring confidence in our economy, job creation, growth with jobs, growth with jobs. Madame Christine Lagarde talked about last night. Secondly, we talked about restoring confidence in our democracy, we had excellent panels to that effect -- informed our thinking, focus our strategy on how we go down that path to restore confidence, that the vote of the many, not the vote of the money, would determine the government of our country. Restore confidence as to who we are as a people. We are, by and large, a nation of immigrants and so we focused on immigration and the path we will go down, and hopefully a very strong bipartisan way for comprehensive immigration reform. And we focused on restoring confidence in the safety of our homes, our schools, and the safety of our children as we talked a day ago.
"To protect and defend, that is the oath of office that we take and we had a very informed discussion about gun violence prevention throughout -- I would say that was part of almost every discussion that we had. Our theme has always been reigniting the American Dream, building ladders of opportunity for those who want to work hard, play by the rules, take responsibility. In introducing President Clinton today, our distinguished [Democratic Whip], Mr. Hoyer, talked about -- well, he'll tell you -- but how the President is a living manifestation of the American Dream and he helped make it possible for so many people.
"Thank you for doing that, Mr. Hoyer, and I yield to you."