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Prepared Remarks of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Following House Democratic Leadership Elections for the 111th Congress

Location: Washington, DC

SPEAKER PELOSI: How proud we are of our new House Democratic majority. For two elections in a row, we have wave victories. That's historic. Historic. Just two years and about one month ago, House Democrats stood at 32 votes behind, and now we are 80 plus - a change of over 110 votes. That change brings with it tremendous responsibility. The American people have great expectations for what this Congress can do, working with the great President-elect Barack Obama.

History is in a hurry, I told my colleagues. They're in a hurry for change, because they need it in their lives. They need jobs, access to quality health care, certainty of an education for their children. They need to end our dependence on foreign oil, and as we do that, to preserve our planet. They want an end to the war in Iraq, and we must get to work to make all of that happen for them. And we pledge to do that. We pledge to do that with a very diverse, talented, idealistic, imaginative and smart Democratic majority to take our country in a New Direction. And that New Direction demands bipartisanship, stability and fiscal responsibility as we go forward.

It's a very exciting time. Many of us cited patriots of our country. I cited one too - Abraham Lincoln and his Second Inaugural Address, which was called Lincoln's greatest speech: 'With malice toward none, and charity toward all...' And that's how our country must go forward. I might also add that the theme of our inauguration coming up is the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln. Two hundred years after his birth, Barack Obama will be inaugurated as the President of the United States.

A great heritage, we think we have a great vision. The American people have the right to have those expectations and to hold us accountable. We promise not to disappoint them. And now I'm pleased to yield the newly re-elected distinguished Majority Leader Mr. Hoyer.


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