Entries in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (3)


Political Leaders No Closer to Sequester Solution

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Fresh off a golf trip in Florida, President Obama seized the pulpit Tuesday to shame Congress into action, hoping to avert the looming sequester spending cuts poised to take effect at the end of the month.

“They haven’t come together and done their jobs, and so as a consequence, we’ve got these automatic, brutal spending cuts that are poised to happen next Friday,” Obama said. ”I am willing to work with anybody to get this job done.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, not much had changed.

House Speaker John Boehner “is on the road this week for his House Republican team,” according to an aide, even raising money off the sequester stalemate plaguing Congress. The aide said “for the past few days,” Boehner has been in Florida “contrasting Democrats’ failure to address our government’s spending problem with Republican efforts to replace the president’s sequester, cut spending, and put the nation on a path to balance the budget within 10 years.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is fundraising in Florida and Texas this week, an aide says, and participating in a women’s forum Wednesday with Rep. Lois Frankel in Palm Beach County. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are not at the Capitol either on Wednesday.

With lawmakers on legislative recess in their congressional districts, the sequester hangs over Washington like an ominous cloud, almost certain to wash away $85 billion in spending on March 1 – the first wave in a 10-year plan to cut $1.2 trillion in defense and domestic spending.

The sequester that strikes next week represents a 2.2-percent reduction in federal spending, which is projected to total $3.8 trillion this fiscal year.

Wednesday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned that the Pentagon is poised to furlough 800,000 civilian employees if sequestration takes place on March 1, saving almost $5 billion.

“If sequestration is not avoided, the magnitude of the potential reductions will damage force readiness, slow major acquisition programs, and necessitate civilian furlough actions that will negatively affect our federal civilian workforce,” Panetta warned. “Sequestration will put us on a path toward a hollow force and inflict serious damage on our national security.”

Boehner and congressional Republicans continue to stress that Senate Democrats must first pass a bill in the upper chamber to establish a negotiating point against the GOP’s proposal to offset sequestration, which passed in the last Congress.

“Despite dire warnings from his own Secretary of Defense for more than a year that the sequester would ‘hollow out’ our military, the president has yet to put forward a specific plan that can pass his Democratic-controlled Senate, and has exerted no pressure on the Democratic leadership of the Senate to actually pass legislation to replace the sequester he proposed,” Boehner, R-Ohio, wrote in a statement reacting to Panetta’s letter Wednesday. “As the commander-in-chief, President Obama is ultimately responsible for our military readiness, so it’s fair to ask: what is he doing to stop his sequester that would ‘hollow out’ our Armed Forces?”

An aide to the speaker ruled out any one-on-one negotiations between Boehner and President Obama unless Senate Democrats first pass legislation to establish a baseline for discussions. Only then will Republicans considering further action, the aide maintained, although the source said Boehner would welcome a phone call from the president.

Earlier Wednesday, a group of House Democrats held a conference call with reporters urging Boehner to call the House of Representatives back in session. The House of Representatives next meets for legislative business on Feb. 25, beginning a four-day workweek that ends when sequestration takes hold March 1.

Even though Congress is not in session this week, the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee will hold a hearing at the Capitol Thursday to examine the “impact of sequestration on the American economy, middle-class families, and small businesses.” Pelosi, D-Calif., is not expected to attend the event.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


David Axelrod: No Big Changes to Tax Cut Deal, 'Framework' in Place

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Democrat leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are pushing for changes to the tax deal President Obama cut with Congressional Republicans.  But White House adviser David Axelrod shut down that hope Wednesday morning, saying “the framework of the deal is in place.”

“Obviously compromise means compromise.  That means each side accepts things they don’t want,” he said.  “Republicans essentially traded away everything in the package for tax cuts for the wealthy temporarily and this more generous treatment of estates.  We don’t like it, but what we got in exchange was significant tax relief for the middle class, an extension of unemployment insurance for people who have lost their jobs in this down economy.”

Axelrod acknowledged the Democrats’ ire over certain provisions -- chief among them reinstating the estate tax at a higher income level, something Speaker Nancy Pelosi called “a bridge too far.”

The White House found that estate tax provision “objectionable” as well, Axelrod said, and he promised a “big debate” in two years over whether to extend that provision as well as the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

“We intend to win that debate.  But we are not going to play Russian roulette with the lives of the American people with all the millions of people who are going to lose the unemployment insurance right now without this deal going forward.  We ought to get this done,” he said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Another Democratic Congressman Withdraws Support for Pelosi

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's grip on her position as Speaker of the House grew more tenuous Tuesday after a Democratic congressman joined the ranks of those who said they would not vote for her again as speaker, and another incumbent Democrat suggested she might not even run for speaker in 2011.

The comments themselves do not spell the end for Pelosi's leadership in the House, but they do indicate her hold on the top job may be in question, especially if Democrats maintain only a slim majority in the House after the coming midterm elections.

Even before the Nov. 2 election results are known, at least three incumbent Democrats have said they will definitively oppose Pelosi, and several Democratic challengers have taken the same stance.  While that number is small, those votes could make the difference, if Pelosi seeks another term.  At least one congressman says, even that is a big "if."

"From what we're hearing, she's probably not going to run for speaker again," Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., told ABC affiliate WWAY in North Carolina. "And if she does, I'm confident she's going to have opposition, and I look forward to supporting that opposition.  We want to have a more moderate type of alternative for leadership, and I'm confident we're gonna have that alternative.  You know, when she had opposition before, I voted for her opposition, not for her.  And we're expecting her to have opposition this time."

Contrary to what McIntyre said, there has been no official indication from Pelosi's office that she would not seek the speakership again.

Meanwhile, Rep. Mike McMahon, D-N.Y., told a local newspaper editorial board on Staten Island that the question of voting for Pelosi for speaker, was premature, at best.

"It's hard to answer a hypothetical question when you don't know who the candidates are, you don't know if she's running again," McMahon said, according to the newspaper's website.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio