Pelosi blasts GOP transportation bill from House floor

"It is not just partisan, it's bad for our nation, destroying more than half a million American jobs."

Democrats have said the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs act, H.R. 7, would cut federal funding for transportation priorities, and would be paid for in part by other language Democrats oppose, which would expand oil and gas drilling and force federal works to contribute more to their retirement.

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Republicans, in contrast, have argued that the bill keeps transportation funding at current levels and can only be considered a cut compared to proposed levels that have never been enacted. The GOP also argues that the fiscal crisis demands spending cuts.

Still, Pelosi argued that some of the biggest transportation projects took place when money was tight, noting the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay Bridge were both built during the Great Depression.

"And now here we are 100 years later, putting forth a bill that loses jobs, diminishes public safety," she said. "It's a  missed opportunity, and it's no wonder our Republican colleagues are having so much trouble building support for it in their own caucus."

The House adjourned shortly after Pelosi's remarks and will reconvene at 3 p.m. to continue work on an energy bill, H.R. 3408, that Republicans hope will help fund transportation spending. That bill would encourage oil shale development, allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore and require the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Work on the transportation authorization bill itself will take place sometime after the President's Day break that the House and Senate will take next week.