Pelosi Remarks at Press Availability

Dec 20, 2011
Press Release

Contact: Nadeam Elshami/Drew Hammill, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi held a brief press availability at the top of the Democratic Caucus meeting this evening in the Capitol Visitor Center. Below is a transcript of the press availability:

Leader Pelosi. Good evening. How are you?

Well, here we are, coming together to fight for a middle-income tax cut, a payroll tax cut for the middle class, which grows the economy. The American people want that. They want jobs. This will create jobs. They want the tax cut. This will happen. They want us to work together. We have done so. You have the bill that passed the Senate in a bipartisan way: 90 percent of the Senate voted for it, 39 Republicans in the Senate voted for it. We’re fully prepared to support the Senate bill to give the American people a payroll tax cut to grow the economy.

Also, it’s 160 million Americans who will lose their tax cut because of the Tea Party Republicans who want to hold it up. More than 2 million Americans will lose their unemployment insurance. People who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, will now lose their unemployment insurance. And something like 48 million seniors will have fewer options in Medicare, in terms of their doctors because of not passing the SGR piece of this legislation.

So, 160 million working families, more than 2 million unemployed Americans and 48 million seniors are affected because the Republicans in the House, while insisting that the Senate Democrats and Republicans come up with something that could pass, that Senator McConnell would agree to, and he did, called it a victory on Saturday and now are holding it up. And they are holding it up because they don’t want to give a tax, Tea Party Republicans do not want to give a payroll tax cut to the middle class.

I’ll see you after.

Q: Do you see any room for compromise with the Senate bill?

Leader Pelosi. Well, there was compromise. The Senate did compromise. That was a compromise.

Q: …but House GOP leaders were not in the room.

Leader Pelosi. No, but the Speaker has said very clearly all along that Leader Reid should negotiate with Leader McConnell. This is the compromise. This is the compromise. This isn’t a bill that we were advocating. We want one year. This is the compromise. This is just moving the goal post.