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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
: Democrat Nancy Pelosi Elected U.S. House Speaker; Pelosi Congratulates Members Of New Congress; Democrat Nancy Pelosi Sworn In As House Speaker; Nancy Pelosi Elected United States House Speaker. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired January 3, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome. I'm Hala Gorani. We're starting a bit early tonight. And we begin in Washington where it is a new
day, and a very different political landscape. These are live pictures coming to you and to us from Congress in Washington.
The Democrats have now retaken control of the House of Representatives, changing the political dynamic, and giving President Trump a multitude of
new problems. In the next few minutes we're expecting Nancy Pelosi to be reinstated as the Speaker of the House.
Let's get analysis. I'm joined by White House Reporter Stephen Collinson in Washington, and we have two CNN Political Commentators, Doug Heye, also
in Washington, and Sally Kohn in New York. Thanks to both of you. Stephen, first of all, explain to us what we're seeing now on our screens.
It's just about 2 p.m. Eastern in Washington.
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, we're seeing the end of a roll call vote of all the members of the House of Representatives
electing the new Speaker. Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat, needs 217 to win the speakership. She can only lose 18 Democrats from that number .
COLLINSON: . if she's going to Speaker. We think it's going to be a - a rather academic exercise. After the midterms there was some talk that she
could face a challenge .
COLLINSON: ... from younger, more radical progressive members of the caucus. Her, sort of, mastery of vote counting and manipulating the
Democratic Caucus put that to rest. And it looks like we're going to see a moment of history. She is, after all, the most senior elected leader -
female leader in the history of the U.S. government.
She was Speaker once before between 2007 and 2011, when the Democrats lost the House after the 2010 midterm. So, this quite a historic moment for
someone whose career had appeared to be over some years ago, but now she's coming back to lead the Democratic charge against President Donald Trump.
GORANI: Sure. And it's quite the comeback. And by the way, around five minutes past 2 p.m., which is about eight - nine minutes from now. That's
when we expect the swearing in to take place. Or I should say it's around 2:20, the swearing in. We expect Don Young who - of Alaska who is Dean of
the House to administer the oath to the Speaker Elect.
Sally, it's a very diverse House of Representatives. It's a record number of women, a record number of African Americans, of Latinos, of LGBTQ
members of the House. What are your thoughts on this day?
SALLY KOHN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, finally. And, you know, look, it's a record number because the numbers have been so dismally low. But today,
yes, among other things, 126 women are being sworn into Congress, 43 women of color.
It is worth noting, for those paying attention to the partisan divide here, that the diversity of the Democrats in Congress has gone up. But actually,
somehow, remarkably, in this moment in history, the diversity of the Republicans has gone down in this Congress.
But, you know, women, people of color, LGBT folks still don't have anywhere near parody with their representation in the voting public. So, obviously
there's a long way to go. And most importantly, folks aren't there to be decorative.
The point is, also, to have a participatory and inclusive democratic process that actually leads to legislation that does the work of all
working people in this country, no matter who they are .
GORANI: And Doug.
KOHN: . no matter what they look like.
GORANI: Yes. Sure. This is a much more diverse Congress. But as you mentioned, in terms of parody, women are far from the mark. They
represent, now, 24 percent of House members. And in other countries around the world, in particular, we were doing a bit of research. By the way, a
quiz to you, Sally, do you know which country's lower house has the highest proportion of women in the world?
KOHN: Oh, I don't.
GORANI: It's - it was a surprise to me. I thought it was a Nordic country. It's in fact Rwanda. And Mexico is in the top four.
KOHN: Well, that's interesting. Rwanda had, I think, explicit quotas. And it's - it's often - you know, for people in the United States that are
surprised to hear that, by the way, other countries, including Muslim nations, have elected female heads of state. So look, the United States,
we made some big strides today. But we have far to go.
GORANI: Sure. And Doug, what does this mean for the GOP I wonder, the Republican Party, this new Democratic majority in the House?
DOUG HEYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Democratic majority - minority in the House is - is going to be very frustrated. I expect that we'll see a
lot of retirements as members go from being committee chairs to ranking members which means a lot less power. Or subcommittee chairs to
subcommittee ranking members which means a lot less power.
Sally's right, it is a - not just a smaller party. It's a less diverse party in the House conference. I'd point out that some of that is because
Republican women lost to Democrats, either Democratic men or Democratic women.
[14:00:00] So, some of that loss was a one for one. Some wasn't a fair trade. But ultimately, this is a very different Congress. It will be led
by Democrats. It will be strong and investigating President Trump, putting a different set of priorities in place. Steven touched on about how we
thought Nancy Pelosi's career was over. Hala, I brought a prop. A fire Pelosi cup from the 2010year. It wasn't because she was ineffective, she
was very effective. That's why Nancy Pelosi will win overwhelming today. The speaker vote always has some drama to it. But Nancy Pelosi is in a
GORANI: As I mentioned, we expect the swearing in to take place at 2:20, 2:25. In about five or six minutes, Nancy Pelosi will make some remarks.
We'll take those live. Let's talk a bit about this Democratic controlled House. What this means for the Mueller problem, for investigating the
President going forward in your opinion here.
COLLINSON: I think it's going to be an uncomfortable time for the President. I'm not sure the White House and President Trump himself have
quite processed just how uncomfortable. We'll see cabinet agency chiefs, White House staff hauled up to Capitol Hill. You'll see a bunch of
subpoenas from Democratic committee chairmen who are investigating the President. There's already a bill in the House that will come up for
debate soon, which is seeking to get President Trump's tax returns for the last ten years. So, you can see just how uncomfortable this could be. I
think the challenge for Democrats, of course, they all say this publicly, they also want to be not just an investigative body, they wanted their
House to pass legislation, to prove to their voters that they can take action on issues like healthcare, voting rights, other kinds of issues that
are important to Democrats. So, there's going to be a balance. There's a very strong current of opinion among some in the Democratic grassroots who
you talk to who are very keen to move towards an impeachment process of President Trump, even before the results of the Mueller problem are clear.
That's something that the leadership will have to be very careful. Looking at the rhetoric over the last few days, the White House is ready to pounce
and say that the Democrats are overreaching.
GORANI: Sure. We're seeing Nancy Pelosi there, she's just minutes away from addressing the House of representatives as speaker elect. Let's
listen in for a moment.
[14:05:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nancy Pelosi of the state of California has received 220.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy of the state of California has received 192. The Honorable Jim Jordan of the state of Ohio has received 5. The
Honorable Sherry Bustos of the state of Illinois has received 4. The Honorable Tammy Duckworth of the state of Illinois has received 2.
[14:05:00] The Honorable Stacey Abrams of the state of Georgia has received 1. The Honorable Joseph Biden of the state of Delaware has received 1.
The Honorable Marcia Fudge of the state of Ohio has received 1, the Honorable Joseph Kennedy of the state of Massachusetts has received 1, the
Honorable Thomas Massey of the state of Kentucky has received 1, the Honorable Stephanie Murphy of the state of Florida has received 1.
With three recorded as present. Therefore, the Honorable Nancy Pelosi of the state of California, having received a majority of the vote cast is
duly elected speaker of the House of the House of Representatives for the 116th Congress.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
The clerk appoints the following committee to escort the speaker-elect to the chair.
The gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Hoyer, the gentleman from California, Mr. McCarthy, the gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Clyburn, the gentleman
from Louisiana, Mr. Scalise, the gentleman from New Mexico, Mr. Lujan, the gentleman woman from Wyoming, Ms. Cheney, the gentleman. From New York,
Mr. Jefferies, the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Walker, the gentlewoman from Massachusetts, Ms. Clark, the gentleman from Alabama, Mr.
Palmer, the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Smith and the members of the California delegation, Ms. Waters, Mr. Calvert, Ms. Eshoo, Ms. Roybal-
Allard, Ms. Lofgren, Ms. Sherman, Ms. Lee, Ms. Napolitano, Mr. Thompson, Ms. Davis, Mr. Schiff, Mr. Nunez, Mr. Sanchez, Mr. Costa, Ms.
Matsui, Mr. McNerney, Ms. Speier, Mr. Hunter, Mr. McClintock, Mr. Chu, Mr. Garamendi, Ms. Bass, Mr. Berra, Mr. Cardenas, Mr. Cook. Mr. Huffman, Mr.
LaMalfa, Mr. Lowenthal, Mr. Peters, Mr. Ruiz, Mr. Swalwell, Mr. Takano, Mr. Vargas, Mr. Agular, Mr. DeSaulnier, Mr. Lieu, Ms. Torres, Ms. Barragan,
Mr. Carbajal, Mr. Correa, Mr. Khanna, Mr. Panetta, Mr. Gomez, Mr. Cox, Mr. Cisneros, Mr. Harder, Ms. Hill, Mr. Levin, Ms. Porter, Mr. Rouda.
GORANI: Nancy Pelosi elected once again speaker of the House of Representatives.
She served in that role between 2007 and 2011. Once again in 2019. Let's take you right to the halls of Congress before we get back to our panel.
Lauren Fox is there with more. What do we expect now going forward? We expect to hear from Nancy Pelosi shortly.
LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICS CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Nancy Pelosi becoming the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. And today was a historic day
in the chamber. Not just because of her re-election to become speaker, but because of the sheer number of women on the House floor today, as well as
the diversity on the House floor. Democrats are now going to take their new majority and hoping first to have a vote to end this government
shutdown. We don't expect the bill to pass out of the House and then go to the Senate. It will pass out of the House and then Mitch McConnell,
because Republicans can still control the Senate, has said it will not go further. He won't bring it up for a vote because the President won't sign
it. That's a waste of time. Democrats are trying to prove that they have the majority now in the House and they are ready to govern. We talked
about the oversight they expect to have into President Trump's administration, but Nancy Pelosi wants to do more than that. She wants to
prove that Democrats can legislate.
[14:10:00] GORANI: Well, they can legislate, but then they also need the Senate and they need the signature of the President, and those are two
things they don't have.
FOX: I'm having a hard time hearing you, I'm sorry.
GORANI: I'm saying they don't have control of the Senate or the support of the President, so there's only -- they can only go as far as the House of
Representatives in their legislative efforts. Things they don't have.
FOX: I'm having a hard time hearing you, I'm sorry.
GORANI: I'm saying they don't have control of the Senate or the support of the President, so there's only -- they can only go as far as the House of
representatives in their legislative efforts.
FOX: I'm sorry, I can't hear you.
GORANI: We're having audio problems with Lauren. Lauren, thanks. We'll get back to you once we get that fixed.
Let's go back to our panel. Sally Kohn, my question to our reporter, Lauren, that the Democrats can legislate all they wanted, but they're going
to hit some roadblocks with the Senate and especially with the President.
SALLY KOHN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But look, it's important now that Democrats can more officially and publicly lay down markers, serious
policy, serious solutions as an antidote, as an alternative to the chaotic, irresponsible reckless mess we see coming out of the Trump White House and
the Republican party that is beholden to him. It allows the country to really see the contrast. Yes, you'll see this new Household Trump
accountable. Which, by the way, the old House should have been doing. That's the job of Congress. But you're also going to see them put forward
solutions. Middle class tax relief. Job proposals. Infrastructure. Ways to fix our broken immigration system. Actually, solve problems rather than
just exploiting them for political gain as Trump has for the last two years.
GORANI: Doug, if you look at the numbers from the midterms, should this be worrying for Republican candidates in a couple of years? The Democrats won
the popular vote by almost 9 million votes across the United States. There were 31 Trump Democratic districts that flipped in favor -- or 20 out of 31
that flipped in favor of the Democrats. What is their strategy going forward? What would you advise?
HEYE: I think there's a lot of reason to be concerned. Both what we saw in November and what the map looks like moving forward, especially with
Donald Trump's poll numbers being in the tank. What we also saw was a stratification in our politics. When he didn't do well, Republican
candidates did badly. Those areas he did do well, he did extremely well in. So, Florida looks like a better place for Republicans today than it
was. Missouri is surely much more Republican today than it was six years ago when Claire McCaskill won reelection. So that rural versus urban
divide will be important. And what the Democrats do will be important as well. If they focus on issues and that divide and that -- and what they
show can be important. However, the Democrats have their own House freedom caucus they'll have to contend with that will bring the Democrats into
fights today. Brad Sherman said he will file articles of impeachment for Donald Trump. If that's a part of the conversation that drives the
Democratic conversation, it's not going to be benefit them going after Donald Trump in 20.
GORANI: And for our international viewers there are some names that have become household names because of their connections to countries outside of
the United States. Rashida Harbi Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat is the first Muslim woman along with Ilhan Omar to serve in the United States House of
Representatives. She in fact will wear a traditional Palestinian gown and sworn in on a Koran owned by Thomas Jefferson. There she is.
Ilhan Omar tweeted, she is the first Somali American member of Congress, she tweeted that she came to the United States as a refugee 23 years ago,
at the same airport with her dad on her way to Capitol Hill. I wonder how would this change the political landscape? Not just the numbers, Stephen
Collinson, but the makeup of the House itself and how much more diverse it is this time?
COLLINSON: It's going to be interesting and interesting to see these new members on committees, posing questions to members of the administration's
foreign policy team when they testify on Capitol Hill. It's an interesting glimpse of the state of American politics. You have this new diverse
coalition coming to the House. Muslims, Native Americans, and you have at the same time a debate going on about the soul of the United States itself
on the issue of immigration.
[14:15:00] The President has introduced restrictions on legal immigration, on people from certain Muslim nations coming to the United States. It
gives a snapshot. It also shows how supple politics in the United States can be with the fact you have these elections every two years for the
House. There's no doubt some of these new lawmakers can owe their seats to the national debate about this issue that was fostered by some of the
approach that's President has taken since he was elected two years ago.
GORANI: Stay with us. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back with more of our breaking news coverage.
GORANI: Welcome back. Nancy Pelosi has just been elected speaker of the House of representatives, a majority Democratic House of representatives
starts a new session today. It's a very different House of representatives, much more diverse with a record number of women at 102, a
record number of Latinos. One number apart from the number in the House of representatives that has given the majority to Democrats that will not
please the President of the United States is what's happening on Wall Street with the Dow Jones very much in the red, as it has been over the
last few weeks. The Dow Jones industrial average down 550 points, firmly under 23,000. Alison Kosik will join us in a moment. We have to go back
to the House of Representatives where we see Nancy Pelosi.
[14:20:00] KEVIN MCCARTHY, FORMER HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Take their seats. House will be in order. Colleagues, friends and fellow Americans, it is an
honor to serve with you and to welcome you to the first day of the 116th of the United States House of Representatives.
We are here in this chamber because the faith of your neighbors and support of your families. We are here today to represent the voice and the vote of
325 million Americans. Now I would like everyone to pause. I want you to reflect on this fact. In the last 230 years dating back to the founding of
our Republic, fewer than 11,000 Americans have had the privilege to stand here as a member of the House just as you do. Chosen by their fellow
citizens to represent them in Washington. What an amazing, invigorating and, yes, frustrating experiment that is, representative democracy. The
ink was barely dry on the constitution when Ben Franklin wondered out loud whether this new nation was capable of keeping its government and its
freedom that has been granted to us generation to generation. Centuries later people still harbor similar concerns. They wonder if Congress truly
represents them, if it's still capable of solving big problems. Well, there's no guarantees. It is up to us, all of us in this room, to make
Congress work, to create and debate just like our founding fathers did many years ago, with courage, with commitment and resolve.
[14:25:00] We are a very small group with a very large responsibility. The burden on us 435 members is to represent 325 million Americans faithfully,
to work together so that tomorrow is better than today. As Ronald Reagan advised us, America's too great for small dreams. When we work together,
we succeed together as one nation. We're now entering a period of divided government, but that is no excuse for gridlock or inaction. We are at our
best when we focus not on retribution but on building a more perfect union.
But while we seek cooperation, there is one core principle upon which we will not compromise, Republicans will always choose personal freedom over
Now, this very floor we serve on has hosted some of the toughest debates in nation's history, but it's also some of its most noblest achievements have
This House has weathered types of triumph and crisis. It still stands because it is built not on sand but on the solid rock of constitutional
principles. Today marks a new chapter in this House pursuit of a more perfect union. The country knows Nancy Pelosi as an experienced leader
with three decades of service in Congress, a fighter for her causes and a true trail blazer. Even when we disagree with one another completely, it
is important to remember that we are bounded together in a common cause, our love for America.
As fellow citizens and friends, let us lead together to show the people that we are truly their voice and their vote. In that spirit, in the
spirit of a more perfect union and in the unshakeable belief that America was, is and always will be the greatest nation on the face of the earth.
And in that spirit, I extend my hand of friendship to every member of this body. And to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, I extend to you this
gavel. Thank you.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
NANCY PELOSI, NEW SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Thank you very much, leader McCarthy. I look forward to working with you in a bipartisan way for the
good of our country, respecting our constituents who every one of you, I respect you and the constituents who sent each and every one of us here.
They expect and deserve for us to try to find our common ground, and we must try to do that. Stand our ground where we can't but always extend the
hand of friendship. Thank you, Kevin McCarthy for your leadership. I look forward to working with you. Congratulations on being the leader of the
And congratulations to each and every one of you. New members of Congress, newly reelected members of Congress, thank you for your courage to run for
office and to serve in this distinguished body. Every two years we gather in this chamber for a sacred ritual under the dome of this temple of
democracy, the capitol of the United States, we renew the great American experiment. I'm particularly proud to be woman speaker of the House of
this Congress, which marks the 100th year of women having the right to vote. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) and that we all have the ability and the
privilege to serve with over 100 women members of Congress, the largest number in history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[14:30:14] REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: 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.
Let me take the privilege of thanking my dear husband, Paul, and our five children. Our five children Nancy, Corrine, Christine, Jacqueline, Paul
and Alexandra, and our nine grandchildren, Madeline and Alexandra, Liam, Sean, and Ryan. Thomas and Paul, Bella and Octavio. We're so proud of all
of our grandchildren.
And 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 that spirit -- in that spirit, my mother and father, my brother Tommy was also mayor of Baltimore, taught us through their example that public
service is a noble calling that we should serve with our hearts full of love and that America's heart is full of love.
Singing that to us last night, my comrade 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 thank 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 me 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 in uniform.
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 the
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 that 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 freshman 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.
[14:35:57] 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
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 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 the few, but we cannot 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 middleclass and all those who aspire to it, because the middleclass is the backbone of our democracy. It has been
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 middleclass, in which the middleclass is large and
stronger than any of the other classes."
We must fight for the middleclass that is 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
This is a decision -- a public health decision about clean air, clean water for our children's health, it's a decision for America's global preeminence
and 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 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 reopen 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 will be -- 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.
[14:40:03] 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
To increase paychecks -- 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 HR1, to restore integrity to government, so that people can have confidence that government -- and a
government that works for the people, not the special interests. HR1.
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 commonsense, 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 -- by protecting our patriotic, courageous Dreamers.
All three -- all three of that -- of those legislative initiatives had 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 urge
you all to read it. It's a beautiful speech. He said, "If we ever close the door to new Americans, our leadership role in the world would soon be
lost." Ronald Reagan.
Our common cause -- you're applauding 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 keep our nation safe from threats old and new, from
terrorism and cyberwarfare, overseas and here at home to protect and defend, that is 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 of the United States, 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 same 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.
[14:45:20] 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. (INAUDIBLE)
The parliamentarian instructs me to say the following, I'm now ready to take the oath of office. I ask the dean of the House of Representatives,
the honorable Don Young, to administer the oath of office.
Before you do, Mr. Dean, and I thank 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
PELOSI: And any other children who want to join them. Come on, kids.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All children.
PELOSI: Come on, kids. We're all set.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand up tall.
REP. DON YOUNG (R-AL), DEAN OF THE HOUSE: Everybody be quiet. If the gentlewoman from California would please raise her right hand, what 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?
PELOSI: I do.
YOUNG: Congratulations, Madam Speaker.
PELOSI: OK. Let us -- let us thank Dean Young. Thank you, Dean Young. Dean of the House of Representatives. Thank you.
I now call the House to order?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
[14:50:03] PELOSI: I now call the House to order on behalf of all of America's children. Go kids. Go kids. Go kids.
And now, we're going to --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Nancy Pelosi there at 78 years old reclaiming the gavel to lead the Democrats in the House. She is serving
her 17th term as a House member. She was speaker once before, of course, between 2007 and 2011. She pledged to introduce legislation, to protect
LGBTQ rights, including reforms and taxation that would help the middleclass, more transparency in politics, also to work on the very
important issue of climate change as well.
Our panel is still with us. Thanks for being patient. Sally Kohn, Doug Heye, and Stephen Collinson. Doug, I wonder what are Republicans thinking
today as they watch this?
DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. In addition to all the things you mentioned, she also did something more subtly. And politics isn't
always subtle, especially in this day and age. She quoted Ronald Reagan and she praised George H.W. Bush.
Clearly, if you're a Republican, you had a frown on your face or were suppressing a smirk because that's a reminder to you of the really -- what
the Republican Party used to be and how far we've gone from that.
And Republican members of Congress typically are very critical of President Trump in private. In public, it's a different matter. So Nancy Pelosi
needling them and trolling them by doing so. I thought it was pretty smart on her part.
GORANI: And, Sally, if you support the Democrats, which you do and you want Trump to be voted out in 2020 which I know you do, there are many ways
the Democrats can mess up here, right? What is your biggest concern?
SALLY KOHN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, I guess they can overplay their hand. I think Nancy Pelosi is incredibly savvy and
incredibly good at reigning in the various interests of the Democratic caucus, as she has done before. So I worry less about that.
I think, look, the issue here is to show a contrast to Trump. All the Democrats have to do is be competent and that's an incredibly low bar.
So anything above that leadership, proposing comprehensive historically bipartisan solutions that lift up the majority of Americans, anything they
can do to actually accomplish or try or even make steps toward accomplishing something in Washington, in a Washington that Trump has done
everything he can to break, is going to show the American people what the Democrats today are in contrast to what the Republican Party has become
under Donald Trump.
GORANI: Yes. And of course we've already seen with Elizabeth Warren, you know, announcing that she's forming an Exploratory Committee to potentially
run. We're already starting to see that race shape up.
And, Stephen Collinson, by the way, all the members have now been sworn in. Including -- so we mentioned the Muslim-Americans. There are also -- and
this is something that I didn't realize, that in the history of the United States, there has never been a Native American serving in Congress,
Stephen, which is -- which is quite remarkable. There are two starting today.
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, two in the House. It is remarkable, of course, Congress has great jurisdiction over some of the
issues that are important to Native Americans. So that will be an interesting addition to the Congress.
I think that Nancy Pelosi's speech was very interesting because it was both a message to the progressive Democrats who are going to start to get
involved in that presidential race that you mentioned that is now starting to kick into action.
But it was also directed at those suburban voters around the big cities in the United States who deserted Republicans more -- moderate Republicans in
the midterm elections and turned to the Democrats. Those are the voters that are going to be very important not just for her hopes of retaining the
House in 2020 but in the presidential election, too.
GORANI: The Republicans still in their vast majority support Donald Trump, 8 out of 10.
COLLINSON: That's true. But the question is, can Donald Trump -- he basically won election through division by concentrating on his base. He's
governed that way. Can he win re-election that way? And those suburban voters, some of whom who voted for Donald trump in 2016, didn't vote for
Republican candidates in 2018.
[14:55:58] The question is now, who wins the fight for them in the next two years? And I think that's one of the issues that Democrats are really
going to try and concentrate for.
And you noticed, although she didn't mention the fact that she wanted to hold Trump to account, specifically, she mentioned that Congress is a co-
equal branch of government. That was one hint about the oversight and investigation that we were talking about a few moments ago.
GORANI: And you said -- you've asked the question, who will Democrats choose to lead them into that battle? Because it's all going forward about
that in many ways. And, Sally, according to polls among Democrats, Joe Biden, who is in his 70s, who represents the centrist vein of the
Democratic Party, sort of the mainstream more traditional, not progressive left wing, is the one who's leading in those polls. Is that the person the
Democratic Party needs to fight these battles going forward?
KOHN: I mean, I don't think so. The central paradox of partisan politics in the United States has, at least, for the last several decades been that
you have a country that on issue after issue after issue, immigration reform, abortion rights, climate change, taxing the wealthy, on issue after
issue the country is fundamentally progressive.
And yet, you have a Republican Party that has shifted to the right and managed to elect further and further right-wing candidates while you have a
Democratic Party that for a whole host of reasons we could get into has continued to nominate and put up fundamentally mushy centrists.
That is out of touch for the last 50 years, but it's definitely out of touch in this moment. The party needs to nominate a bold visionary
progressive leader who is actually going to offer the kind of vision that the populist country is hungry for.
GORANI: Well, we'll see who that is. We'll see what the race looks like and shapes up and how it shapes up. Sally Kohn, Doug Heye, and Stephen
Collinson, thanks very much to all three of you for being with us this hour for this breaking news coverage, Nancy Pelosi, as we mentioned, elected
speaker of the house, 220 votes in her favor. This is her second, essentially, time claiming the gavel for the Democrats in the House of
Representatives. She did that once before between '07 and 2011.
And all the other members, by the way, have been sworn in, including 102 women, 53 African-Americans, 38 Latinos, all record numbers.
Thanks for watching our breaking news coverage. I'm Hala Gorani. I'll see you same time, same place tomorrow. Stay with CNN, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS"
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- from Wyoming, for the purpose of offering an amendment.