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Pelosi Lambastes GOP "Temper Tantrum"

Pelosi Lambastes GOP "Temper Tantrum"

By Adam O'Neal - October 17, 2013

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, speaking at a press conference Thursday afternoon, assailed Republicans for their handling of the fiscal impasse and expressed dissatisfaction with the bill that temporarily ended the government shutdown and raised the nation's debt ceiling.

“Was their temper tantrum worth $24 billion?” said Pelosi, who stood next to a sign citing Standard & Poor’s estimate of the shutdown’s economic damage.

“In less than 40 minutes, government was opened. This could have happened three weeks ago,” she lamented, noting that prior to the shutdown Democrats had compromised by agreeing to a Republican budget number “we didn’t like.”

Pelosi expressed displeasure with the $986 billion funding level in yesterday’s bill, but characterized it as a necessary step toward a more complete resolution. She suggested that the Democratic members of a budget conference committee would fight for higher spending levels in the next authorization bill.

Pelosi also called for the conference committee’s negotiations to be open to the press and “transparent” throughout the process.

The California congresswoman’s litany of dissatisfactions included the length of the temporary extensions, which fund the government through Jan. 15 and increase the debt ceiling only until Feb. 7.

“February is not an appropriate extension for the full faith and credit of the United States. It should be at least one year,” she asserted.

Asked about last-minute add-ons to the legislation passed last night, such as several billion dollars for a dam project in Kentucky, the lawmaker said she wouldn’t defend the projects but called them “a continuation of what went before.”

Pressed further, a perturbed Pelosi responded, “What difference does it make? Why are we talking about this?”

She also veered from specifics of the agreement’s fiscal impact to attack Republicans more broadly, complaining that that they sought to trim funding for Pell Grants and other educational initiatives. Such steps would only further drive federal deficits, she said, asserting that “nothing brings more money to the Treasury than the education of the American people.”

Her airing of grievances against the GOP wasn’t over. “What seems to be missing now in their caucus is a respect for facts,” she said. “It’s like a data-free zone.” 

Adam O'Neal is a political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at aoneal@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearAdam.

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