House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blasted Republicans on Friday afternoon for continuing to assert that Americans are not better off under President Obama's administration, and said every economic indicator shows that the country is in a much better spot today than it was four years ago.
"The Republicans have the nerve to pose that question, when if you look back to four years ago this very week ... you would know that we are indeed fundamentally and unquestionably better off as a country today," Pelosi said on the House floor.
Pelosi recounted how she, as House Speaker four years ago this week, held an emergency meeting on a Thursday with then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke to address the fiscal crisis. Pelosi recalled Paulson said the financial system was in "imminent danger," and said Bernanke warned her that without congressional action, "we won't have an economy by Monday."
With the economy shedding millions of jobs, Congress approved the Troubled Asset Relief Program at the end of the Bush administration. While she did not mention TARP specifically, she said Democrats worked with Republicans to help shore up the economy.
As a result, she said the Dow Jones average has doubled under Obama, the auto industry is coming back and private-sector jobs have increased for the last 30 months. Pelosi said that more needs to be done, but said this is because Republicans have refused to work with Obama.
"If Republicans had cooperated at all with President Obama in the last two years, we'd be much farther down the road to recovery," she said. "We cooperated with President Bush, but they would not offer an ounce of cooperation to President Obama, and our economy has paid the price."
Pelosi spoke as part of an hour-long set of remarks from House Democrats, who took to the floor immediately after Friday's last House vote to argue that the House should not take the next several weeks off for the November election.
Several Democrats argued that the House is adjourning without any clarity on how to handle the pending tax hike, a farm bill or a bill that deals with the U.S. Postal Service's fiscal crisis, among others. Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the House is leaving earlier in an election year than in any time in the last several decades, and that Democrats would prefer to stay in session to work.
"We're prepared to stay. We're prepared to stay and work on these bills," he said.