Chairman Rangel on Swearing in of 110th Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) issued the following statement on the opening session of the 110th Congress:
"The 110th Congress presents an historic opportunity to move beyond partisan gridlock and produce results for the American people. Unfortunately, for the past 12 years, progress has taken a back seat to politics – but today is a new beginning. We must now work to repair the ties and rebuild the trust between parties to ensure that any legislation we produce is not only good politics, but good policy.
"I was encouraged by Minority Leader Boehner and Speaker Pelosi’s comments today and their shared desire to seek common ground. Democrats are ready to hit the ground running and I am excited to work with Ranking Member McCrery and Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee to identify areas where we agree and can make immediate progress. I have had very encouraging conversations with Treasury Secretary Paulson and Cabinet officials and I am sure that we can greet the New Year with progress as our common goal.
"By opening lines of communication between Congress and the Administration, we pave the way for meaningful solutions to critical issues facing our nation, such as fixing the Alternative Minimum Tax, working to make health care more accessible and affordable, preserving Social Security’s guaranteed benefits and strengthening economic security for all Americans.
"I am privileged to have been selected as the first Democratic Chairman from New York State since 1881, the 60th Chairman overall since the Committee was established in 1789. I am proud as a New Yorker and as an American to have taken part in this monumental day – only in a country as great as America can a man who grew up on the streets of Harlem cast an historic vote to elect Nancy Pelosi, an Italian-American woman, as the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives. The months ahead will present many challenges, but they offer great opportunity to restore the faith of the American people and make progress to ensure security and prosperity for all Americans."
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