Return to Transcripts main page


Pelosi Elected Speaker, Swears in House Colleagues. Aired 2:30- 3p ET

Aired January 3, 2019 - 14:30   ET


[14:30:00] (APPLAUSE)

REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: As Leader McCarthy said, each of us comes to this chamber strengthened by the trust of our constituents and the love of our families. Let us congratulate and welcome all of the families who are here today. Thank you to our families.


Family -- Let me take the privilege of thanking my dear husband, Paul and our five children.


Our five children, Nancy, Corinne, Christine, Jacqueline, Paul, and Alexandra, and our nine grandchildren, Nataline (ph) and Alexander, Liam (ph), Sean (ph) and Ryan (ph), Thomas and Paul, Bella and Octavio (ph), we are so proud of all of our grandchildren, we're proud of everyone's grandchildren, and children who are here today. We'll see more of them.

I'm also proud of my D'Alesandro family that's here from Baltimore for us too.

In the spirit, in that spirit, my mother and father and my brother Tommy, who was also mayor of Baltimore, taught us through their example that public service is a noble calling, and that we should serve with our hearts full of love -- and that America's heart is full of love.

Saying (ph) that to us last night and my comrades as an Italian- American, with that pride -- all that pride, I want to acknowledge Tony Bennett who is here with us today as well. Thank you, Tony.


He helped -- he helped free the concentration camps during the time of World War II. He marched with Martin Luther King. he is a true American patriot. Thank you, Tony.

And again, I want to thanks my constituents from San Francisco, who have entrusted me to represent them in Congress in the spirit of Saint Francis, the patron saint of San Francisco, and his song of Saint Francis is our anthem: "Make me a channel of thy peace." We heard that in church this morning, but it is our mission.

And let us all thank our men and women in uniform, our veterans, and our military families and caregivers, whose service reminds us of our mission: to make the future worthy of their sacrifice. To our men and women (inaudible).


We enter this new Congress with a sense of great hope and confidence for the future, and deep humility and prayerfulness in the face of challenges ahead.

Our nation is at an historic moment. Two months ago, the American people spoke, and demanded a new dawn. They called upon the beauty of our Constitution: our system of checks and balances that protects our democracy, remembering that the legislative branch is Article I: the first branch of government, co-equal to the presidency and to the judiciary.


They want a Congress that delivers results for the people, opening up opportunity and lifting up their lives. We're hearing the voice of the future there. How beautiful.

When our new Members take the oath, our Congress will be refreshed, and our Democracy will be strengthened by their optimism, idealism and patriotism of this transformative freshman class.


Congratulations to all of you in the freshmen class.

Working together, we will redeem the promise of the American Dream for every family, advancing progress for every community. We must be pioneers of the future.

This Congress must accelerate a future that advances America's preeminence in the world, and opens up opportunities for all.


Building an economy that gives all Americans the tools they need to succeed in the 21st Century: public education, workforce development, good-paying jobs and secure pensions.

PELOSI: We have heard from too many families who wonder, in this time of innovation and globalization, if they have a place in the economy of the future.

We must remove all doubt that they do, and say to them individually: We will have an economy that works for you.


Let us declare that we will call upon the bold thinking needed to address the disparity of income in America -- which is at the root of the crisis of confidence felt by so many Americans.

As Justice Brandeis said, "We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can not have both."

We must end that injustice and restore the public's faith in a better future for themselves and their children.

We must be champions of the middle class, and all those who aspire to it -- because the middle class is the backbone of our democracy.

It has been so since the birth...


It has been since the birth of our democracy. Aristotle said, "It is manifest that the best political community is formed by citizens of the middle class, in which the middle class is large and stronger than all of the other classes."

We must fight for the middle class that it's (ph) fair and fiscally sound, protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.


We must also face the existential threat of our time: the climate crisis -- a crisis manifested in natural disasters of epic proportions.

The American people understand the urgency. The people are ahead of the Congress. The Congress must join them. And that is why we have created a Select Committee on Climate Crisis. The entire Congress must work to put an end to the inaction and denial of science that threaten the planet and the future.



This is a -- this is a -- a decision. It's a public health decision about clean air, clean water for our children's health. It's a decision for America's global preeminence in the green technologies. It is a decision, a security decision to keep us all safe, and a moral decision to be good stewards of God's creation.

We have no illusions that our work will be easy, and that all of us in this chamber will always agree. But let each of us pledge that when we disagree, we respect each other, and we will respect the truth.


We will debate and advance good ideas no matter where they come from. And in that spirit, Democrats will be offering the Senate Republican appropriations legislation to re-open government later today.


We will do so -- we will do so to meet the needs of the American people, to protect our borders, and to respect our workers.

And I pledge that this Congress will be transparent, bipartisan and unifying; that we will seek to reach across the aisle in this chamber and across divisions across our nation.

In the past two years, the American people have spoken. Tens of thousands of public events were held. Hundreds of thousands of people turned out. Millions of calls were made. Countless families -- even sick little children, our little lobbyists -- our little lobbyists bravely came forward to tell their stories, and they made a big difference.

Now the floor of this House must be America's town hall, where people will see our debates, and where their voices will be heard and affect our decisions. Transparency will be the order of the day.


And as Mr. Jeffries, our distinguished chairman said, we will follow our mandate for the people, and I thank you for your kind nomination, and accept those kind remarks on behalf of the entire House Democratic Caucus who made all of those victories possible.



Some of them in a bipartisan way.

Empower our mandate, for the people -- to lower health care costs and prescription drug prices, and protect people with pre-existing medical conditions.


To increase paycheck -- to increase paychecks by rebuilding America with green and modern infrastructure, from sea to shining sea. We look forward to working with the president on that.


To pass HR 1 to restore integrity to government, so that people can have confidence that government -- in a government that works for the public, not the special interests -- HR 1.


This House will take overdue legislation that has bipartisan support -- bipartisan support in the Congress and across the country. We will make our communities safer and keep our sacred promise to the victims and survivors and families of gun violence by passing common-sense bipartisan background check legislation.


We will make America fairer by passing the Equality Act to end discrimination against the LGBTQ community.


And we will make America more American by passing our -- by protecting our patriotic, courageous DREAMers.


All three -- all three of that -- of those legislative initiatives have bipartisan support in this body.

And when we're talking about the DREAMers, let us remember what President Reagan said in his last speech as president of the United States. I -- I urge you all to read it. It's a beautiful speech. He said, "If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership role in the world would soon be lost." Ronald Reagan.


Our common cause -- our (ph) applaud for Ronald Reagan.

Our common cause is to find and forge a way forward for our country. Let us stand for the people to promote liberty and justice for all, as we pledge every day. And always, always to keep our nation safe from threats old and new, from terrorism and cyberwarfare, overseas and here at home, to protect and defend as if (ph) the oath we all take to serve in this body.


That is the oath we take: to protect and defend.

I close by remembering a cherished former member of this body, who rose to become a beloved president, and who, last month, returned to the Capitol once more, and he came this time to lie in state. That week, we honored President George Herbert Walker Bush with eulogies, tributes and tears.

Today, I single out one of his great achievements -- working with both Democrats and Republicans to write the Americans With Disabilities Act into the laws of our land. Thank you Steny Hoyer for being such a big part -- important part of that.


In 2010, we marked the 20th anniversary of the act by making it possible for our colleagues with disabilities to preside over the House, by changing the mechanics of this podium.

In that spirit of equality and justice, let me announce that, this afternoon, the first speaker pro tempore, whom I will yield to, of the 116th Congress will be Congressman Jim Langevin of Rhode Island.


[14:45:00] As we take the oath of office today, we accept responsibility as daunting and demanding as any that previous generations of leadership have faced.

Guided by the vision and values of our founders, the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, and the aspirations that we have for our children, let us meet that responsibility with wisdom, with courage and with grace.

Together, we will let it be known, that this House will truly be the people's House.


Let us pray that God may bless our work, and crown our good with brotherhood, and sisterhood, from sea to shining sea.

God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you.


PELOSI: The parliamentarian instructs me to say the following, I am now ready to take the oath of office. I asked the dean of the House of Representatives, the honorable Don Young, to administer the oath of office to speaker (ph).


Mr. - but before you do, Mr. Dean, and I think you for your great leadership in the Congress over the decades, I'd like to call my grandchildren up to be here when I take the oath and any other children who want to join them. Come on kids.


REP. DON YOUNG, R-AK: Everybody be quiet. If the gentlewoman from California would please raise her right hand, which you're doing, do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you're about to enter, so help you God?


YOUNG: Congratulations, Madam Speaker.


PELOSI: Let us thank Dean Young. Thank you Dean Young, Dean of the House of Representatives.


[14:50:00] I now call the House to order on behalf of all of America's children.


This for (ph) the oath of office for the member's elect (inaudible). If the children want to be back with their -



PELOSI: -- or if they want to be on TV, it's up to them. To stay or join their parents and grandparents is their - Katie Hill (ph) whose birthday is today, wants her children to join her then (ph) - Kate Porter (ph) - Katie Porter (ph) whose birthday it is wants her children to join. For the children (ph).

The member's elect will all rise. Where's the oath? Here it is. Will you all please raise your right hand?

Do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you're about to enter, so help you God?

GROUP: I do.

PELOSI: Congratulations you are now -


[14:52:52:] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We're going to stay on some of these pictures that you just witnessed.

PELOSI: The House will be in order.

BALDWIN: Here we go. She says, "House will be in order." The newly elected speaker, the only female speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives ever in America, Nancy Pelosi, taking the oath and swearing in her colleagues there on the House floor.

You know, Dana and Gloria are still with me.

You know, between the kids and Tony Bennett and Congress singing --


BALDWIN: -- and Nancy Pelosi quoting Ronald Reagan -- Gloria, I'm going to start with you this time -- what did you make of all of that?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think Nancy Pelosi was gracious and went out of her way to commend her Republican colleagues, to talk about bipartisan legislation that they could enact across the aisle, to quote Ronald Reagan in the House of Representatives to Republicans and to Democrats. And I think she started this off with the right tone. I mean, we can't forget we're in the middle of a government shutdown where Republicans and Democrats can't agree on anything about how to reopen the government, but Nancy Pelosi decided to start this out with a graceful note before it all dissolves. But I think that was important for her to do.

And don't forget, most of these Republicans ran against her, used her in their campaign ads, made her public-enemy-number-one. And at this point though, now, she is their speaker. She is the speaker of the House and she decided to be gracious about it, which I think was completely appropriate.

BALDWIN: Dana, what did you think quickly?

BASH: I agree. And Kevin McCarthy, the new Republican leader, was also gracious.


BASH: By the same token, he led campaign after campaign after campaign, many which lost, some of them were successful, again, using Nancy Pelosi as the boogie man. Today, that was nonexistent. He focused on the historical nature of her win again, of her being the speaker again, and also reached out across the aisle.

[14:55:11] Now, you know, I know the cynics out there are rolling their eyes and shrugging their shoulders, but it's important that we have this moment because this is what it's all about. We don't have tanks in street when there are elections. We have moments like this. And we should -- I think it's a nonpartisan thing to say -- I know it's a nonpartisan thing to say that we should all commend it and take it all in like we just did.

BALDWIN: Totally.

Dana and Gloria, thank you, thank you, thank you.


BALDWIN: We are just getting word the White House has officially invited lawmakers back to continue negotiations over a shutdown, but neither side is budging on that. So sorry, a buzz-kill for all the celebration, but government shutdown.

Also the Dow once again falling. This after Apple's bombshell warning about the trade war impact.

I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN special live coverage.