Speaker Pelosi, House Leaders, and Committee Chairs held an enrollment ceremony in the Capitol today to sign the Senate health insurance reform bill and send it to President Obama for his signature:
Good afternoon. Last night, we made history. We honored the vows of our founders who in the Declaration of Independence talked about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We believe the legislation that we have gives all people in our country the liberty to have healthier lives, the liberty to pursue their passions, their talents, and to have happiness.
Today, I will sign, enroll the Senate bill, which will go the President immediately which will go the President for his signature. And it will enable the Senate now to take up the corrections — right, Mr. Hoyer? — the corrections that we passed last night. Corrections that make the insurance reforms more solid, that make more equity for the states, that close the donut hole for our seniors, make the subsidies more affordable for the middle class and to change the pay for in the bill. That is the difference — not much. As you can see, this is a very big bill, and most of it is in common with the House bill that we passed last year. All that needs to be done are the corrections in the Senate.
I don't want to sign this bill without mentioning Senator Edward Kennedy, who up until his last days had an influence on this legislation in the most positive way. He said this is 'the unfinished business of our society.' He said having health care reform was about 'the character of our country, not the provisions of any particular bill.' And in his honor, we all have to be prayerful and feel very blessed that we could all be here for the passage of this legislation.
Mr. Clyburn said I could say it is on par with the passing of the Civil Rights Act. I know it is on par with passing Social Security and Medicare. And now we are making history and progress for the American people by passing health care for all Americans. It is now my honor to sign this legislation.