House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke shortly after being re-elected to the position of Speaker, saying, “we begin this new Congress during a time of extraordinary difficulty,” in a nod to the ongoing coronavirus crisis facing the nation.
“Our most urgent priority will continue to be defeating the coronavirus. And defeat it, we will. Two weeks ago, we passed an emergency relief package to crush the virus and put money in the pockets of workers and families, which is now the law,” Pelosi said.
She went on to say, “But we must do more to recognize our heroes. Let us thank our heroes – our health care workers, our first responders, our police and fire, who we have denied support by denying help to state and local government, our transportation, sanitation, food and social workers, and our teachers, our teachers, our teachers. They make our lives possible at the state and local level, and will facilitate the distribution of the vaccine in a fair and equitable manner. We owe them more.”
“With President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, who were elected two months ago from today, the House will continue our work to save lives and livelihoods, to build back better in a way that advances justice in America,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi also addressed tragedies that have hit particularly close to home for members.
“As we open the new Congress, we grieve the passing of Congressman-elect Luke Letlow. We send our deepest sympathy to his wife Julia and their children and are praying for them at this sad time,” Pelosi said. Letlow recently passed away after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
Pelosi thanked House Democrats for once again electing her, saying, “I thank my Democratic colleagues in the Congress for the confidence you have placed in me by electing me Speaker, and will endeavor to meet the moment with courage, unity and grace.”