WASHINGTON DC—The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), today called on congressional Democrats to elect current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Minority Leader in the new Congress set to begin this coming January. NASW is a long-time advocate of legislative goals championed by the Speaker, including strengthening human needs programs, supporting social justice legislation, and expanding women’s equality.
NASW Executive Director Elizabeth Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH today thanked Speaker Pelosi for her leadership and commitment to legislative objectives important to NASW members and for her many accomplishments in the 111th Congress. Dr. Clark lauded the Speaker’s push to enact legislation strongly supported by social workers — and said that NASW would help next year in staving off congressional challenges to these same programs. NASW expects to work particularly closely with Pelosi to defend the health care overhaul for the 32 million Americans who could lose their coverage, if the legislation is repealed.
According to Clark, a surprising number of major bills, which NASW supported, were enacted under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership. These included the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, passage of historic health insurance reform, expansion of student aid and provision of direct loans to students, expansion of SCHIP children’s health care legislation, expansion of hate crimes legislation to cover women, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion, national origin, and gender identity, an increase of the minimum wage for the first time in ten years, and passage of Medicaid fiscal relief to the states.