From the Congressional Record Online through GPO
WE ARE UNITED
(Ms. PELOSI asked and was given permission to address the House for 1
Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I rise to join the distinguished Speaker in
paying tribute to the brave men and women of the Capitol Police force,
and also, in sadness, for the assault that was made on our colleagues
and members of the staff.
To my colleagues, you will hear me say something you have never heard
me say before: I identify myself with the remarks of the Speaker. They
were beautiful remarks, Mr. Speaker. Thank you so much for the
sentiments that they represent. Thank you so much.
Again, we are not one caucus or the other in this House today, but I
can speak for each other in saying that we send our thoughts and
prayers to our colleague, Steve Scalise.
Personally, we have our Italian-American connection, so as soon as I
heard his name, I was filled with concern, as I would be for anyone
here, but we have that special connection. So our hopes and prayers--
and I said to the Speaker: “I will be asking you every 5 minutes, `How
is Steve coming along?'” And also, for Zach Barth in Congressman
Roger Williams' office; Matt Mika, who was a former staffer, and, of
course, as the Speaker acknowledged, Crystal Griner and David Bailey.
In acknowledging their sacrifice and how fortunate we all were that
they were on the scene, because other lives would have probably been
lost, I want us to remember that every single day the Capitol Police
protect all of us, take risks for us. And while a day like this is a
time where we can focus on it so sadly, it doesn't mean that other days
aren't as challenging.
I especially want to call attention to Detective John Gibson and
Officer Jacob Chestnut, who, almost 19 years ago, July 24, 1998, lost
their lives protecting the Congress, the Capitol, but not just the
Members of Congress, the staff, the press, and our visitors, people who
come to see this Capitol, this great edifice to democracy known
throughout the world. So they are protecting a great deal, and it is an
attraction, and that makes it all the more risky.
You may not know this, my colleagues, but every time I pray, which is
very frequently, and certainly every Sunday, I pray for all of you, all
of you together. In the earlier years, I used to pray for your
happiness, for the fact that we would, working together, heed the words
of President Kennedy in the closing of his inaugural address when he
said: “. . . God's work must truly be our own.”
How do we view what God's will is for us? How do we come together to
give confidence to the American people? As our Founders intended, we
would have our disagreements and we would debate them, and we would
have confidence in our beliefs and humility to listen to others.
But in more recent years, I have been praying not only for that, but
for our safety because I, above anyone in here, and I can say that
quite clearly, have been probably the target of more--a political
target and, therefore, the target of more threats than anyone, perhaps
other than the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
And so I prayed for Barack Obama, and now I continue to pray for him.
And I pray for Donald Trump, that his Presidency will be successful and
that his family will be safe, because it is about family.
We are called for a purpose to this body. It is a great thing, and we
know what it means to each of us to serve, and we recognize that in
others. And we also recognize that you have your constituents. We have
ours, and we respect you and your constituents who sent you here, all
worthy of respect.
But we do have our differences, and so I pray. My prayer is that we
can resolve our differences in a way that furthers the preamble to the
Constitution, takes us closer to “e pluribus unum.” And today, again,
it is in the family. It is an injury in the family for the staff and
for our colleague and for his leadership.
As I mentioned just a minute ago in a meeting, sports are a wonderful
thing in our country. They are probably one of the most unifying
things. I think the arts, we like to say music, or plays, or whatever,
but sports really bring us together in our cities. You see, people have
the biggest differences of opinion on politics, and yet when their team
is on the field, people come together. People come together.
So when this team was on the field practicing with such camaraderie
and such brotherhood--I don't know if you have any sisters on your
team. We have two on our team--for this person to take this action was
so cowardly, so cowardly.
We will learn more about motivation and the rest of that, but it
seems particularly sad--although any violent death, of course, is sad,
but particularly sad at a time when people want us to come together,
and we are prepared to come together tomorrow night--that this assault
would be made.
But we cannot let that be a victory for the assailant, or anyone who
would think that way. So tomorrow, we will go out on the field. We will
root for our team. We want everyone to do his or her very best, and we
will use this occasion as one that brings us together and not separates
Again, I want to thank the Speaker for bringing us together, and,
again, with endless gratitude to our Capitol Police, and, in particular
today, of course, Crystal Griner, David Bailey; but never out of our
prayers, Detective John Gibson and Officer Jacob Chestnut.
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleagues for the opportunity to share some
thoughts with you on this sad day. Steve, Zach, and Matt, you are
deeply in our prayers. We count the minutes until Steve returns.
Please convey that to him, Mr. Speaker.