Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi held a press conference asking why House Republicans continue to schedule two-day work weeks instead of working hard to engineer a solution to the fiscal cliff facing middle class families and America’s economy. Below is a link to the full video of the press conference and selected excerpts:
“Here we are, eighteen days from a possible fiscal cliff, hopefully not, twelve days until Christmas and here we are once again having a two-day work week in the Congress of the United States. You have to ask the question: why are we going home instead of working very hard to forge an agreement to avoid that fiscal cliff? Why are we not working very hard to pass legislation to address the needs posed by [Sandy]? People out there are waiting to see if we can manage what we are doing.
“If we take Christmas and engineer back in time, cause this is all about time, the most precious of all commodities because it can produce results, or not. If you take Christmas and engineer it back from there, because that’s a day, well, we won’t be in session, we could engineer a path forward to say what can we do in that amount of time? We really have to come to some agreement in the next couple of days, or the very beginning of next week, for us to have engineered our way to a solution. I wasn’t trained as an Engineer, but I admire their work because they find solutions. They make things work. They make things operate. And what we have to do is, is politically engineer a solution…
“We’re coming down to the wire it’s, you know, a matter of days. Last week, we went out on Wednesday morning. This week we’ll probably go out on Thursday morning having come in on Tuesday. Two, two-day work weeks in a row. This is just not right. How does this make sense when time is of the essence while the clock is ticking? And, again, we’re coming down to the wire.
“And just to be clear: Democrats have said we’ve already agreed in the Budget Control Act, and in other legislation passed by this Congress, to a $1.6 trillion in spending cuts. We already have agreed in the Affordable Care Act, and in the President’s budget, to over a trillion dollars in savings in Medicare to be plowed back to strengthen Medicare and to increase benefits but to strengthen it. And it just remains for the Republicans to agree to pass the middle income tax cut which gives a tax cut, by the way, to 100 percent of the American people – for people making over $250,000 a year, they get a tax cut up to $250,000 a year and are asked to pay a little more beyond that…”