Nancy Pelosi blasted Republicans for offering “tax cuts for the wealthy” as “their job creation initiative” just as the strange spectacle occurred of the unemployment rate dropping to its lowest rate in a year and a half – while at the same time the civilian work force declined by 260,000 in December.
In an interview with CNN’s John King on Thursday, Pelosi blamed unemployment on the Bush administration two years into the Obama administration – and contended that Democrats would have lost the House in the 2010 elections because of former President George W. Bush’s policies.
"We still would have lost the election because we had 9.5 percent unemployment,” she told King. “That came from the policies of George W. Bush and the Republicans’ support for his initiatives.”
The ousted House speaker also took the opportunity to accuse freshman Republicans of hypocrisy for supporting repeal of Obamacare, while being quick to sign up for the lavish Federal Employee Health Benefits Program.
She said she was watching “whether these members of Congress who have fully availed themselves now of the federal employees health insurance initiative here in the Congress, with full coverage for their children and their families, will vote next week to repeal any opportunity for that kind of access.” And she charged that “the members here who campaigned against, who railed against it, who … couldn’t be fast enough to repeal it, have said, ‘How soon can I sign up?’ … That is hypocrisy.”
In fact, at least six freshmen House Republicans have pledged not to accept the FEHBP coverage that comes with their jobs.
Pelosi also promised to bring Democrats back into the majority.
“I have been the minority leader before, and I put forth a plan for us to win the House for the American people and we succeeded. I know how to do that and we intend to do that again," Pelosi said. “We'll be back.”
While wishing new House Speaker John Boehner success, Pelosi took a shot at him, claiming that that was “more than they wished of me.”
After massive amounts of stimulus spending when Pelosi was speaker, the economy still seems unable to recover strongly. There were 103,000 jobs added last month, bringing unemployment down from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent, but thousands gave up their job-searching efforts according to the Labor Department.
Jeffrey Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial, told The New York Times “there is no real job creation here,” adding that “It just shows business leaders are just not yet willing to commit to long-term growth projects.” Republicans’ recipe for recovery is to let those investors and entrepreneurs keep more of their own money, an approach regularly denigrated by Pelosi and President Barack Obama as “tax cuts for the wealthy.”
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