By Philip Bunnell
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held a briefing Friday and countered many of the claims made by House Republicans in another briefing held earlier in the day.
“It’s been day 185 of the Republican majority in the Congress and we have still not seen one jobs bill come to the floor,” said Pelosi. “This is obviously reflected in jobs number this morning.” The Democrats, on the other hand, “have put probably twenty job initiatives on the floor and the Republicans have rejected every one of them,” declared Pelosi.
The former Speaker of the House also pointed to the number of bills signed into law during the Democratic majority versus the Republican majority as an explanation for the dismal unemployment numbers.
House Republicans had held a briefing a few hours earlier where they claimed to have passed nine job creating initiatives, all of which were ignored or stalled in the Democrat controlled Senate.
Pelosi described the cuts proposed by the GOP as “austerity measures” several times, and cautioned that things would only get worse if “we continue down a path that is cost shifting to the states in order to reduce the federal budget.”
The California Democrat was very critical of the catch 22 that GOP cuts would allegedly produce. Pelosi said that CEOs told her that “they will create jobs when they have customers.” However, Pelosi warned, “when you fire a policeman, a firefighter, and a teacher, and a public worker because of austerity programs, you are not only hurting the safety of your neighborhoods, the education of your children … you are reducing the number of consumers.”
Pelosi did say that she was “optimistic that we can come together.” Striving for a tone of conciliation, the Minority Leader said that “I don’t like to have a situation where we’re saying, well, you need our votes so you better have this in the bill.” An issue like the deficit, “a big deal,” should rise above partisan bickering, said Pelosi.