On January 4, 2007, Nancy Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the House. It's about time we have a woman in a high profile and powerful position in Washington, DC. Surely, no one should ever be given a position like this because they are a man or a woman; but because they earned it.
In her first remarks as Speaker, she made some firm commitments to make change in the way Congress does business. She made commitments to change the the direction of our country and to work in the spirit of partnership, not partisanship
The election of 2006 was a call to change, not merely to change the control of Congress, but for a new direction for our country. Nowhere were the American people more clear about the need for a new direction than in the war in Iraq.
The American people rejected an open-ended obligation to a war without end. Shortly, President Bush will address the nation on the subject of Iraq. It is the responsibility of the president to articulate a new plan for Iraq that makes it clear to the Iraqis that they must defend their own streets and their own security, a plan that promotes stability in the region and a plan that allows us to responsibly redeploy our troops.
Let us work together to be the Congress that rebuilds our military to meet the national security challenges of the 21st century.
Let us be the Congress that strongly honors our responsibility to protect our the American people from terrorism.
Let us be the Congress that never forgets our commitment to our veterans and our first responders, always honoring them as the heroes that they are.
Her words are simple and clear. They are a powerful and by them, we know that she not only heard what the voters said to Washington in November, but she listened.
We will find out soon enough if she really listened. Be very sure that we will remind her of these words if they were just a soundbite on her first day on the job.
We are listening.