Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Speaker of the House, fresh back in Washington from a trip to Shanghai was honored today, June 2, 2009, with the well-deserved "Legislator of the Year" award.
Craig Barrett, Chairman of Intel Corporation, and a leader of the Task force on American Innovation presented her with the award "in honor of the Speaker's outstanding leadership, commitment and vision in the increase of federal funding of basic research in the physical sciences."
In addition to Speaker Pelosi and Craig Barrett, confirmed guests included U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, Chairman of the House Science & Technology Committee, U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-14th), and Norman Augustine, retired CEO and Chairman of Lockheed Martin Corp.
Overwhelmingly elected by her colleagues in the fall of 2002 as Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi is the first woman in American history to lead a major party in the U.S. Congress.
Nancy Pelosi, Wikimedia
"The Pelosi Amendment" has linked bank funding internationally with environmental impacts of development projects. She has drawn attention to security threats associated with terrorism, attempted to link trade with China to increased human rights standards, voicing concerns on freeing the people of Tibet. Her influence has increased funding for international family planning programs.
Within America, she has successfully increased access to health insurance for the disabled, for those with HIV/Aids, and has assisted nonprofits create affordable housing, and many other rulings.
Here is an excerpt of her acceptance speech in the Capitol, courtesy of CNBC:
"Wherever I go, I tell people that if you want to know the agenda for this Congress, think of four words: science, science, science, science...
"In just the last two years we: -- Enacted comprehensive innovation legislation, the COMPETES Act -- Put America on a path doubling funding for basic scientific research -- Made college more affordable with the largest college aid expansion since the GI Bill -- Helped to provide more highly qualified teachers in the fields of mathematics, science, engineering, technology -- Established a public-private partnership to educate and train the next generation of mathematicians, scientists and engineers -- Extended the R&D Tax Credit -- Created a new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) to encourage high-risk, high-reward clean energy research "And that is just the beginning.
"Because innovation is essential to rebuilding our economy, the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included: -- $3 billion for NSF to expand employment opportunities, improved facilities and equipment, and bolster math and science instruction -- $2 billion for the Department of Energy for basic research, laboratory improvements, and to support the mission of ARPA-E -- $360 million for the National Institutes of Standards and Technology for grants to help improve research science buildings at colleges and universities and $220 million for research fellowships, equipment and competitive grants -- A $500 increase in the maximum Pell Grant that will help make college more affordable for approximately 7 million students."
Congratulations, Speaker Pelosi!