By Jared Allen - 06/24/10 08:43 PM EDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday twice ripped
Senate Republicans for blocking legislation containing extended
“What did middle-class families ever
do to Republicans in the Senate that they would snuff out every
opportunity for job creation that has been sent to them?” Pelosi chided
at an afternoon press conference with Democratic women to drum up
support for her remaining jobs agenda.
can’t they develop any ideas of their own to create jobs? Why can’t
they give a glimmer of hope to America’s working families — to some who
have jobs but fear losing them, to some who want better jobs, to some
who are concerned about their children or their neighbors or other
family members being able to get a job?” the Speaker said.
at her weekly press conference, Pelosi said that “Republican senators
seem to have a tin ear when it comes to the appeals of the American
people for job creation.”
Pelosi’s frustration has been on
the rise lately. She was forced to scale back a package of unemployment
insurance extensions, aid to states and extended COBRA health insurance
benefits in part because her vulnerable members did not want to vote to
add to the deficit without an assurance that the Senate would follow
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has not been
able to attract even a single Republican vote on the extenders bill —
including the latest version on Thursday.
spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), defended
GOP opposition, saying, “The principle they’re defending here is not
some program. The principle Democrats are defending is that they will
not pass a bill unless it adds to the debt.”
Speaker’s ire did not seem reserved exclusively for Senate Republicans.
Without mentioning Reid or any Senate Democrat by name, Pelosi did not
hide her disgust with the Senate’s passage of a standalone temporary
“When they sent this very, very slim reed of a
piece of legislation over to us, which wasn’t even really that
well-written — this was, I think, the Republican initiative, and they
just did it without objection, or whatever the term of art is on the
Senate side ... this was totally inadequate,” Pelosi said. “Members
said, ‘No, we have to send something back that is bigger, but let’s see
what they can do on unemployment.’
"Well, it is clear they are not able to do anything this week anyway.”
Pelosi said the House "might" take up the doc-fix bill before finishing its work for the week on Thursday evening. The House on Thursday did pass legislation to temporarily reverse a steep pay cut for Medicare doctors that took hold this month.
This story was updated at 9:20 p.m.