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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 9, 2006

President Bush Meets with Congresswoman Pelosi and Congressman Hoyer at the White House
The Oval Office

President's Remarks

1:04 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: We just had a really important lunch. First, I want to congratulate Congresswoman Pelosi for becoming the Speaker of the House, and the first woman Speaker of the House. This is historic for our country. And as the father of young women, it is -- I think it's important. I really do. And I appreciate Congressman Hoyer coming, as well. We've had a -- I would call it a very constructive and very friendly conversation.

Both of us recognize -- or all three of us recognize that when you win, you have a responsibility to do the best you can for the country. I was pleased with a wide-ranging discussion about important issues facing America. The elections are now behind us, and the Congresswoman's party won. But the challenges still remain.

And therefore, we're going to work together to address those challenges in a constructive way. We won't agree on every issue, but we do agree that we love America equally, that we're concerned about the future of this country, and that we will do our very best to address big problems.

And so I want to thank you for coming. This is the beginning of a series of meetings we'll have over the next couple of years, all aimed at solving problems and leading the country. So welcome. Congratulations again.

CONGRESSWOMAN PELOSI: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Thank you for the opportunity to join you and the Vice President in what I think was a very productive meeting. We both extended the hand of friendship, of partnership to solve the problems facing our country, the challenges that America's working families face.

I look forward to working in a confidence-building way with the President, recognizing that we have our differences and we will debate them, and that is what our founders intended. But we will do so in a way that gets results for the American people.

It is very exciting to be the first woman Speaker of the House, God willing, if my colleagues support that in another few days. And again, as Speaker, I understand my responsibility: Speaker of the House, of all of the House, not just the Democrats, and the responsibility to work with the administration to make progress for the American people.

We've made history. Now we have to make progress. And I look forward to working with the President to do just that. Thank you, Mr. President.


CONGRESSMAN HOYER: Thank you very much, Mr. President. I appreciate this opportunity to be with our next Speaker, Speaker Pelosi who is going to do a wonderful job of leading the House, all the House. And as Speaker Pelosi has said, we have a responsibility, and we have a responsibility together, a shared responsibility to address the problems confronting our country.

I said Tuesday night that the American public voted their hopes, not their fears, from my perspective, on Tuesday. And their hopes, of course, not only are for specific objectives, but that we will work together -- we, being Republicans, and Democrats, the President, and the Congress -- to solve the problems and make their lives better, more secure, and more -- and our country more safe. And I think this is certainly a very positive first step in that direction.

So thank you very much for having us down here. I know that Speaker Pelosi speaks for us all in saying that we are prepared to work with you towards the objectives that we share in common.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all.

END 1:08 P.M. EST

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