Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lambasted the Republican approach to the expiring Bush tax cuts and a stalled extension of jobless benefits in a rare floor speech Thursday.
Speaking in support of a Democratic bill that would extend the Bush tax cuts for only the middle-class, Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Republicans have taken a hypocritical stance by demanding unemployment assistance be paid for while supporting $700 billion tax cuts for high-income earners.
The legislation of which Pelosi was speaking is expected to be symbolic. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has said he has enough votes to deem it dead on arrival in the upper chamber.
But that hasn't stopped both sides from publicly jousting over the expiring tax breaks.
Before Pelosi delivered her speech, Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the vote on the middle-class cuts "chicken crap."
The Ohio Republican has accused Democrats of undermining ongoing negotiations between the White House and congressional leaders from both political parties by holding a vote on their tax cut bill Thursday.
Pelosi said Republicans — who prefer to permanently extend all the cuts — have shown they are not interested in creating jobs.
"Now, I think we should use a measure for everything we do: 'What does it do to create jobs?'" Pelosi said. "Giving $700 billion to the wealthiest people in America increases the deficit, and the record shows that it does not create jobs."