Courage in the Wake of Tragedy
Today, our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims of Asiana Airlines Flight 214's horrific crash. No words can console the loved ones of the passengers who lost their lives. All of San Francisco shares in their shock and grief; we will do everything we can to care for those affected and their families.
The sudden crash shook the grounds of San Francisco International Airport, testing the training, strength and courage of those who would be the first on the scene. The first responders and flight attendants responded in characteristic fashion: with bravery, with valor, without regard for their own safety, and with their sights set on the safety of others. Seeing the site of the plane and the crash, it was almost miraculous to think that so many people survived this incident.
Congresswoman Pelosi with San Francisco Fire Department Chief JoAnne Hayes-White and National Transportation Safety Board Chair Deborah Hersman during their tour of the Asiana Flight 214 Crash Site.
The swift and fearless response of each of these men and women -- each of these heroes -- saved the lives of many on the Asiana Flight. Their actions are a hallmark of their professions and a testament to the strength and selflessness that defines the Bay Area. The injured are recovering at San Francisco General Hospital -- a source of pride for San Franciscans and the gold standard for major trauma centers.
The story of Asiana Flight 214 is not over. Long after the news of this tragedy fades from front pages and nightly news reports, the National Transportation Safety Board will continue to investigate what happened. I want to particularly commend the Board and the Chairwoman, Deborah Hersman for being on the scene immediately with an investigative team in the most professional, thorough manner. Together, we will work to help ensure that such a horrific tragedy never happens again.
We will continue to work with the Federal Aviation Administration and the San Francisco International Airport to ensure that our planes are secure, our passengers are safe, and U.S. aviation remains among the safest ways to travel. We will honor the acts of the first responders, flight attendants, air traffic controllers, and hospital staffs. We will remember those lost in this tragedy, and we will do what we can to always ensure the safety and security of all travelers in America.
GOP Jeopardizing the Health and Economic Security of Americans
Unable to secure passage of a farm bill the first time around, Republicans decided to conjure up a new version late Wednesday night, strip out SNAP food stamps, and hastily push their partisan agenda through the House without a single Democratic vote. In turning their back on a long history of bipartisanship on the farm bill, Republicans abandoned the health and economic security of millions of Americans -- from seniors and children to farmers and ranchers.
Americans needed Congress to work together so they wouldn't have to worry about going to bed hungry. Instead, Republicans decided to jeopardize the certainty and stability of America's rural communities, and risk taking food out of the mouths of those who need it most. It is shameful, disgraceful, and wrong -- wrong for our families, wrong for our communities, and wrong for our country.
New Leadership for the University of California System
Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that she would be stepping down as Secretary of Homeland Security in August and assuming the post as the next President of the University of California system. Her strength, intellect, and dedication to duty have proven invaluable in tackling some of the toughest challenges facing our country -- from protecting our nation from attack and responding to natural disasters, to securing our borders and advocating for a fairer immigration system.
The students of the University of California schools will benefit each and every day from Secretary Napolitano's sharp mind and strong leadership. These universities are a source of pride and an example of excellence in our state and across our country. From San Francisco and Berkeley to Los Angeles and San Diego, each campus contributes to the tradition of innovation, creativity, and progress that defines California and its residents. As the first woman to lead the UC system, Secretary Napolitano will offer a unique voice to this critical position.
Celebrating Young Talent
Man Hei Cheung, a recent graduate of the San Francisco School of the Arts, is the winner of the 31st annual Congressional Arts Competition from California's 12th Congressional District. Since 1982, the Annual Congressional Art Competition has provided an opportunity for high school students across the United States to compete for a chance to exhibit their artwork in the nation's Capital. The pieces in this year's Congressional Arts Competition showcase the hard work and ingenuity of our country's talented young minds. I congratulate Man on his winning painting, and I know his art will brighten the halls of the Capitol.
Man Hei Cheung's Congressional Art Competition oil painting entitled "Portrait of a Friend".
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Member of Congress