House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi marked 25 years in Congress with an event moderated by journalist Rachel Maddow.
However, she said Democrats worked with Bush on “many issues,” listing an energy bill, AIDS funding and the Wall Street bailouts during the 2008 financial crisis.
Pelosi spoke at length about increasing the number of women in politics and said the issue she’d most like to make progress on before retiring is increasing the availability of affordable child care. Pelosi referenced a bill that President Richard Nixon nearly signed into law that dealt with the issue as an example.
Finally, the Minority Leader offered a story from her first White House meeting after Democrats won control of the House in 2006, propelling her to Speaker.
The meeting, between Bush and the leadership of the House and Senate to discuss the legislative agenda, was the first time a woman represented either the Senate or the House in such a setting.
Though she’d been to the White House many times before, Pelosi said she suddenly felt “really closed-in in my seat” on this occasion.
“I realized that on that chair with me was Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Hall, Lucretia Mott, you name it, they were all there. Sojourner Truth. They were all there on that chair with me. And I could hear them say ‘at last we have a seat at the table,’” Pelosi said.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.