Excerpts from remarks by Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (W.Va.) and House Speaker Jim Wright (Tex.):

Byrd: . . . I'm a Democrat whose politics were shaped in an era of hard times . . . . Our horizons were limited and our choices few . . . . But out of that grim time came a president and a government that lifted the spirit of America . . . . We came out of World War II with a new confidence and a new promise . . . .

I have watched this nation and its government seek its way through a changing maze of economic and political circumstances . . . . Then dawned the Reagan years and the profound experiment . . . . born of ideology and a technicolor view of America and our people. It opened with the promise to get the government off our backs. It offered the mystical formula of "supply-side" economics . . . .

The president and his presidency became separated in our minds . . . . As president, his greatest victory has come at the negotiating table. The arms-reduction treaty, though limited, is a milestone . . . . But his political victories have not always been national triumphs. The dark side of the Reagan years has only begun to loom.

Instead of a balanced budget, he has presided over a doubling of the national debt in seven years. Our record budget and trade deficits . . . have now forced the government to default on its most fundamental promises, like education and health. We have surrendered economic leadership in markets around the world.

Our nation has been sharply divided on . . . Central America. The secret arms-for-hostages deals stand in direct contradiction to our given word not to deal with terrorists. The cases of cronyism and abuses of power for personal gain continue to mount . . . . The "feel good" slogans have gone flat with time. We've learned that bravado is not leadership, that ideology is no substitute for common sense. The time has finally come for us all to face the hard truths that once gave us our self-reliance and world leadership. Hard work . . . . Pay as you go . . . . Helping those in need . . . .

We've got to educate our children better . . . . We must have a system that not only launches the most gifted but lifts the horizon for the least well off. More than the number of missiles and tanks, the number of well-educated children is a truer measure of our national strength and our potential . . . .

We can't go on borrowing, especially from foreigners . . . . We've got to depend on ourselves to work out a sensible balance between spending and income . . . . We've long understood that line-item vetoes and balanced-budget amendments are no substitute for national will . . . .

We've got to make America free from . . . the fear of a lifetime of savings wiped out by illness, or the dread of foreclosure on a mortgage or the shame of having an able child cut off from college. Too many of our people are still slipping through the safety net . . . . We must reduce the incidence of killer diseases . . . We ought to demand safe passage on our streets and in the air. And we've got to sharpen our competitive edge . . . .

We still remember well when government acted to give us the leadership and the hope and the tools to rebuild. We still marvel at what we've achieved when government has been both America's sail and her keel . . . . When we've been guided by common sense and simple trust and vision. We've done it before. And now we've got to do it again . . . . As Speaker Jim Wright will explain, we've already made a strong start.

Wright: . . . . Reflect upon five major steps the 100th Congress is taking to build America's future.

House bill No. 1 . . . was the clean water bill . . . . President Reagan vetoed this . . . . Fortunately, Congress overrode . . . . No. 2 was the highway bill . . . . President Reagan vetoed . . . . mistakenly called it a "budget buster" . . . .

No. 3 is the trade and jobs bill . . . . We simply require in this bill that other nations treat our American products on their markets just exactly as we treat their{s} . . . . We earnestly hope he signs it.

No. 4 is the housing bill . . . . President Reagan has asked that we abolish the Federal Housing Administration and increase the price of houses by charging hidden user fees . . . . No. 5 is an education bill . . . . In each year of his presidency, he has called for major cuts in education . . . . In the year ahead . . . Congress will complete this secure America. And, if the president will help, we can do it all on a pay-as-we-go basis and not just keep adding to the debt . . . .

Byrd: Over the last year, the course of America has begun to change . . . . Each of you . . . has adjusted our direction by a fraction. You've become a consensus for openness and caring and balance . . . . Each of you has left a mark on the books.

Together we have committed government to help rebuild America. Together we have begun the job. Together we will finish it . . . .