Pelosi: Republicans 'Want to Simplify Life for Those Who Would Exploit'

By Susan Jones | January 10, 2014 | 6:41am EST

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., center, discusses the unfinished work of Congress and the struggle for Republican and Democratic budget negotiators to reach a compromise, at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) continued her heartless-Republicans drumbeat on Thursday, accusing Republicans of "moving the goalpost" for demanding that an extension of unemployment benefits include job-creation measures:

Republicans also want the three-month, $6.5-billion unemployment insurance extension to be paid for, something Pelosi opposes.

"The fact is -- that the Republicans are not just asking for pay-fors. They keep moving the goalpost: and, 'We want job creation,' a euphemism for tax breaks for the rich; and, 'We want to end regulation, clean air, clean water,' you name it. They want to simplify life for those who would exploit. So it's not just about the monetary offset," Pelosi said.

Pelosi and her fellow Democrats want to pass the three-month extension on an emergency basis (no pay-fors), then "talk about the larger issue of what we do for the next year."

On another topic, Pelosi accused Republicans of trying to take away health insurance from "9 million Americans who already have it and prevent many more millions of Americans from having it."

Asked how she arrived at the 9-million number when only 2 million people have signed up for on the Obamacare exchanges, Pelosi explained her math:

"The 9 million, which is even a bigger number as we speak, springs from the fact that 2.1 (million) on the exchanges, 3.9 (million) on the expansion of Medicaid and 3 million young people (up to age 26) who are now on their parents' policies...because of the Affordable Care Act.

"And of course, we want the number to grow of people on the exchanges. And now that the system is up and running better, that will happen as well."

Pelosi said Democrats and Republicans have a "values debate" on budget matters, with Republicans favoring the rich at the expense of the poor.

And she made it clear that Democrats will continue to hammer Republicans for their stand on the issues for the next ten months:

"Ten months from today is the election. ...We have to use every day, every week -- one good day, one good week, one good month, one good quarter on top of another to take us to a place where the issues we care about prevail in the election, whether that's a Democratic majority, which I think we can do, or just a change in attitude on some of the Republicans.

"I see that they are taking lessons on how to, you know -- you know, speak to women and all that; and now on how to talk about the unemployment insurance benefit. So while they're teaching themselves how to talk to women, they have a subcommittee today that is passing out legislation that seriously undermines any respect for women.

"And, you know, it's a funny thing because they are true to their nature. Bless their hearts. They act upon their beliefs. And you can't really teach them how to understand something when you have a committee that is 100 percent male passing out legislation denying a woman member of Congress, Eleanor Holmes-Norton, the ability to testify on that legislation and how it impacts the District of Columbia. You think: These lessons are not taking. They're not having the desired effect."

(Holmes-Norton reportedly called Republicans "bullies" Thursday after they denied her request to testify before a House Judiciary subcommittee on the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion" bill. She is not a member of the panel, but she said, "Members of Congress are usually afforded the courtesy of testifying, especially when a bill uniquely affects their district." She opposes the bill.)

Pelosi on Thursday said Republicans are not only alienating women, they're also alienating the unemployed:

"And then they're going to teach people how to talk about unemployment insurance when what they are doing is holding unemployment insurance hostage for the ransom of tax breaks for the wealthy and the rest. How do you talk about that to people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, played by the rules, are seriously looking for work?

"So they have a problem, and that differentiation is one we'll be sure to make clear in the election. But we would hope in the meantime that we can, in the political reality of it all, that they would change their thinking. And whatever they say, actions speak louder than words. You care about these people? Give them the unemployment insurance which they deserve, which they have paid into, which will help our economy."

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