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Work on Health Care Endears Pelosi to Women’s Business Group

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) touted the health care overhaul Thursday to women who own small businesses.

“Being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition,” she said to cheers from the mostly female crowd at a reception for the National Association of Women Business Owners. “If you were a victim of domestic violence, that was viewed as being a pre-existing condition.”

The Speaker also said the House would be putting together the Small Business Lending Fund Act this weekend, a “very important” bill that she said would provide tens of billions of dollars to small businesses. The House Financial Services Committee approved the bill late last month.

Pelosi accepted an award at the meeting, which was held in the Cannon House Office Building, for working on the behalf of women’s businesses and women’s business centers.

Cynthia McClain-Hill, chairwoman of NAWBO’s political action committee, said the group honored Pelosi for her success in shepherding the health care legislation through Congress. “We take particular notice of her commitment, despite tremendous odds, to bring the bill to fruition,” she said.

Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) shared the award with Pelosi, although they did not attend the reception. McClain-Hill said the Senators were honored for their work on the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

Democratic Reps. Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.) and Nick Rahall (W.Va.) also spoke at the event.

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