Speaker Pelosi: House Call - This Is Not the End of the DebateSat May 26, 2007 16:59
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Subject: House Call - This Is Not the End of the Debate
Date: Sat, 26 May 2007 14:13:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: Speaker Pelosi firstname.lastname@example.org
House Call - From the House to Your House
May 26, 2007
This Is Not the End of the Debate
"I’m really glad that the Republicans finally admit that there’s a need for accountability. But what they haven’t done is met that need with something appropriate. This is like a fig leaf. This is a token. This is a small step forward."
-Speaker Pelosi, 5/24/07
"There are really only two groups of people standing in the way of change in Iraq. One is President Bush and the White House, and the others are Republican Members of Congress who continue to be a rubber stamp for the White House.
And the fact of the matter is, had it not been for the President's veto and the fact that you continue to have Republican Members of Congress rubber stamp and be unwilling to override the veto and listen to the message sent by the American people, we would have had a change in direction in an extensive way. "
- Rep. Van Hollen, 5/25/07
Democrats in Congress are committed to keep fighting to change the course of the war in Iraq. This week, we passed the emergency supplemental funding request in two parts: the first to fund key domestic priorities including military and veterans’ health care, the first minimum wage increase in a decade, children’s health care and Katrina recovery, and the second to provide the requested funds for the Iraq war, including 18 separate accountability and reporting requirements. The Speaker voted against the legislation providing funding for the war in Iraq.
Democrats had hoped that the President would have accepted our initial proposals, which called to end the war, which we sent to him over and over again. We proposed meeting his request, and doing more for our troops and veterans, and at the same time working to wind down this war.
This is not the end of the debate. There will be legislation on the floor in the next several months to change the mission, from combat to fighting terrorism, training and diplomatic and force protection.
Watch Speaker Pelosi's speech on the floor>>
Speaker Pelosi Leading Congressional Delegation
Speaker Pelosi today announced that she is leading a bipartisan Congressional Delegation trip to Greenland, Germany, Great Britain and Belgium to meet with leading scientists and political leaders working on solutions to combat global warming.
Scientific evidence and real-world examples tell us that global warming is an international crisis that must be solved with international cooperation and innovative solutions. As we begin to craft legislative solutions to address this international crisis, Members of Congress will see firsthand the economic and environmental impact of global warming, as well as the actions our allies are already taking to address this global challenge.
Earlier this year, the Speaker called for legislation to curb global warming. Congress is drafting wide-ranging legislation on energy independence by July 4 and global warming later this year. Pelosi also created the Select Committee Energy Independence and Global Warming to promote greater understanding of the problem.
Because of the significance of this trip, the air travel will be carbon offset through the Pacific Forest Trust - a forest conservation and stewardship project that will permanently reduce approximately 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions over a 100-year period. The Speaker will personally pay for this effort.
Continue to visit The Gavel throughout the week for pictures and video of their visit.
Read an AP piece on the trip>>
A Commitment to Honest Leadership
This week, the House voted to end the culture of corruption that had been practiced under the Republican-led Congress in Washington. We passed the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which is tough legislation that ends the tight-knit relationship between lobbyists and lawmakers. And we passed the Lobbying Transparency Act, which requires lobbyists who collect campaign check for Members of Congress to meet strict reporting and disclosure guidelines.
Honest leadership is not a partisan goal. It is the key to a stronger union. We must all work together to put the progress of all Americans ahead of the special interests of the few. With honest leadership and open government, America’s leaders can once again focus on the urgent needs of the American people: real security overseas and at home, economic strength and educational excellence, affordable health care, energy independence, and retirement security.
Learn more about the recently passed Honest Leadership legislation>>
Honoring Our Veterans
This week, on the eve of Memorial Day, the new Democratic-led Congress honored our promise to respect and care for our veterans by improving veterans’ health care, strengthening benefits for our men and women currently serving, and providing long overdue benefits for the veterans and military retirees who have already served.
On May 23rd we passed 6 bills to improve care and services for our veterans:
* The Veterans Outreach and Improvement Act allows the VA to partner with state and local governments to reach out to veterans and their families in ensuring they receive the benefits for which they are eligible and assist them in completing their benefits claims.
* The Returning Servicemember VA Healthcare Insurance Act extends the period of eligibility for health care for combat service in the Persian Gulf or future hostilities from two years to five years, and addresses mental health conditions which may not be evident immediately after a veteran’s discharge from service.
* The Traumatic Brain Injury Health Enhancement and Long-Term Support Act ensures that our veterans are properly screened for Traumatic Brain Injury and, if diagnosed, receive the appropriate treatment.
* The Early Access to Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits Act expands eligibility for vocational rehabilitation benefits for severely injured service members undergoing long-term care and recovery.
* The Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act requires the provision of chiropractic care and services to veterans at all Department of Veterans Affairs medical center
* H.R. 1660 directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a national cemetery for veterans in the Southern Colorado region.
Learn more about the veterans bills>>
Putting a Stop to Rising Gas Prices
This Memorial Day weekend, American families and businesses are yet again paying record prices for gasoline. To stop this drain on our consumers and our economy, this week House Democrats passed anti price-gouging legislation to protect Americans from being unfairly charged at the pump.
The Bush Administration has threatened to veto this bill, making it clear that they would rather protect Big Oil than provide consumer relief. With this vote, the House is imposing a tough new federal law to investigate and punish those who are cheating America’s families by artificially inflating the price of gasoline.
Learn more about Democratic legislation addressing rising gas prices>>
National Summit on America’s Children
Children are our nation’s most vital resource, and we must do all we can to improve the lives of America’s children and strengthen American families. This week, House Democrats convened the National Summit on America’s Children to begin a long-term conversation and show our deep commitment to caring for our children and creating a prosperous future for them and our entire nation.
Democrats have set a new direction by prioritizing initiatives to strengthen the future of America’s children. These include reauthorizing Head Start, improving early childhood workforce quality through the Higher Education reauthorization act, expanding health care for underserved children, and making housing affordable for families, because all children need a place to call home.
The brilliant author and activist Pearl S. Buck said: ‘If our American way of life fails the child, it fails us all.’ With this week’s Children’s Summit, we commit to ensuring our children are given the tools they need to succeed.
Learn more about the National Summit on America’s Children>>
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