House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who guided the contentious healthcare reform bill to passage in the House, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the former first lady who became a U.S. senator from New York then ran to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, attended the reception Thursday in the Capitol's Statuary Hall, The Washington Post reported Friday.
"Whoever thought that on this day of all days, I'd be standing on this podium to celebrate Women's History Month and sharing the stage with two of my role models and two of the greatest female pioneers and role models for all of us?" Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., told the crowd of the about 300 women and men.
The reception celebrated the 30th anniversary of Women's History Month. In 1980, Woolsey said, seven women were in Congress; now there are 90.
Clinton, who unsuccessfully championed healthcare reform when her husband, Bill Clinton, was president, praised Pelosi for her leadership and courage during the current healthcare debate, noting the bill is "particularly important to women."
Pelosi, who turned 70 Friday, said she views the leadership she and Clinton provide as serving everyone, the Post said.
"What makes me so proud when I see her on the international stage is that she is speaking for the United States of America," Pelosi said about Clinton, adding that during the secretary's tenure "women's rights are viewed as human rights and respected throughout the world."