Reporter: With the current shift in power within Congress what will you, as leader of the House, do for the following two years to assure progress?
Nancy Pelosi: The time for change has arrived and with this change comes a new agenda. Over the next two years, the Democratic majority in the House will seek to fight for the people, advance science, reform the House, and keep our homes safe.
We have just begun our term in office and have already proven our dedication to the people. Recently we have pushed through a raise in national minimum wage. We remain true to our goals to benefit the common man. This raise in minimum wage will not only help those in needs but it will also stimulate the economy. This assistance is only the first out of many that we Democrats will push through. Among the other financial/ economic issues we plan to provide more funding for college tuition. It is essential that we provide for our future generations.
In the same vein of progress it is essential that we proceed in scientific research as well. Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. They serve as a kind of “repair system” for the body and can divide to replenish other cells. They are beneficial to human life and can help to cure certain childhood diseases and cancer. However in the recent past there has been a lot of opposition to exploring this area of science.
Even though stem cell research has many benefits, President Bush has not approved the study of stem cells and consequently denies hope to millions of Americans. Therefore now that the Democratic Party has gained power in Congress, we will push through the study of stem cell research. We have come to this decision because our party feels that the research will be beneficial to society because it can in fact save lives and cure diseases, leading to healthy and productive citizens.
In order to make these necessary changes, we need a change within Congress as well. The House has fallen apart internally and has failed to adequately investigate issues regarding our own representatives. A well-known case of this failure is the recent findings of the Mark Foley scandal. Mark Foley was the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. Foley was caught e-mailing and instant-messaging pages and former pages. These messages were disgraceful and it is not how people in our highest ranks of government should be acting. This is a false representation of our people and changes need to be made. We aim not only to protect our pages, but to ensure that our representatives are not being distracted by matters that are not simply immoral, but extremely unprofessional as well.
Not only are there issues with our representatives, but with lobbying groups in Congress also. During 2006 Jack Abramoff involved some big-name Republican representatives, like Tom Delay and Bob Ney with lobbying schemes that allowed for them to make easy money. We must change lobbying regulations and clean up our Congress people. With these changes and more we can create a better Congress that listens to the people and keeps our citizens safe.
In order to keep our citizens truly safe though, we must implement the recommendations put forth by the 9/11 Commission. We recently wrote legislation that will cover key areas in relation to the report. The major parts of the bill are to “scrutinize all air-borne cargo (within three years) and all ship-borne cargo (within five years), send more federal aid to areas of the country at the greatest risk of a terrorist attack, improve emergency communications, fight nuclear proliferation overseas, and strengthen a civil liberties watchdog board” [Congresspedia (source)]. However, though not all areas of the report are covered in this legislation, the heads of the 9/11 commission are in agreement with our actions. This bill was passed in the House on January 10, 2007, but it is still expected to receive some opposition in the Senate.
These promises I back with my word. The Democrats of the House will provide for the people, for the time of change has come.