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At a press conference on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that the $3.5 trillion spending bill intended to be passed through reconciliation will be the "culmination" of all of the work she has accomplished in government thus far. Pelosi pointed to the potential benefits of the bill for children through initiatives related to education, jobs, the environment and national security.
NANCY PELOSI: I just told members of my leadership that the reconciliation bill was a culmination of my service in Congress because it was about the children-- the children, the children, the children. Their health-- it's about health-- their education, the economic security of their families, a clean, safe environment in which they could thrive, and, I guess, a world at peace in which they could succeed. This is more about the domestic-- first [? four ?] parts of-- [? four ?] parts of that.
So remove all doubt in anyone's mind that we will not have a reconciliation. We will have a reconciliation bill. That is for sure.
- You said this is the culmination of your time in Congress.
NANCY PELOSI: Yes.
- Are you trying to-- culmination means the end of an experience.
NANCY PELOSI: Get out of here. Get out of here.
- You said it, not me.
NANCY PELOSI: Yeah, I know. But of course, the Affordable Care Act was remarkable. And I take some proprietary interest on that.
But in terms of finally seeing a time where we can think in a large way about our children, our people with disabilities, our moms-- I'm a mom with five children. When I was young and was raising my children, people don't know this is a challenging job, even one child or two. I didn't even wash my face some days. In fact, I liked it that way.
But the fact is is that we have to-- if we're going to be really building back better, we have to give women the opportunity to work in the workplace. And that's about child care, home health care, universal pre-K, family medical leave, and like that. And other countries-- most developed countries have that. We don't. We will.
And that is-- each one of those is something we've fought over the years for, and now it's coming together in a way that is transformative-- not incremental, but transformative to what we are doing on the infrastructure side of things. They go together very well.
And then when we talk about the planet-- when I was Speaker the first time, the climate was my flagship issue. When I came in, and President Bush was president, and we did not-- with him, we passed the biggest energy bill in the history of our country, the energy bill of 2007.
He wanted nuclear. I wanted renewables. We had a big celebration to sign the bill. And President Obama used [? that ?] authorities in that bill for some of his executive orders so that we take it to this place now.
In this legislation, it's about jobs-- good, green jobs, preeminent in the world in green technologies; addressing the health issues of clean air, clean water for our children; the issues of-- as I've said to you before-- about national security, security globally, where migrations occur because of drought and famine and natural disasters so people are competing for habitat and resources; and of course, our moral responsibility for our children.
So it has so many-- so they have that. And then health care, as I said, the Affordable Care Act, I take great pride in the courage of the House Democrats and Senate for passing that legislation. And we will strengthen it in this bill. And part of the Affordable Care Act was the expansion of Medicaid, which we will have in this bill. So this is-- I mean, it's so much. And that's why I said that. Yeah.