During a fiery speech on the House floor Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi warned that instead of working with Democrats on bi-partisan deficit deal, Speaker Boehner went over to the dark side and caved to the tea party.
Here is the video of her floor speech:
Pelosi described the GOP’s vision for our republic,
I listened very carefully and very attentively to our Speaker yesterday when he spoke. And he used the term, ‘the bill is not perfect, but we did our level best.’ Our level best—one might infer from that that this process is on the level. How can it be on the level if we are bringing a $2.5 trillion bill to the floor under suspension, the same way we might bring the naming of a post office? $2.5 trillion dollars, 20 minutes on each side. Members have said on both sides of the aisle, this is a very important debate. Well if it is, why is it brought under suspension, which requires a two-thirds vote, guaranteeing that it will not prevail? Not on the level.
“The word level, of course, enters into, is this a level playing field? Is it on the level for America’s seniors to pay more for Medicare for fewer benefits while we give tax subsidies to Big Oil? Is it on the level for us to throw people out of nursing homes by reducing Medicaid so we can give tax breaks to corporations sending jobs overseas? Is it on the level for us to make young people and their families pay more for their college education so we can give tax breaks to the high end?
Is it on the level to bring [the] Boehner bill to the floor that makes all those cuts, undermines Social Security, eliminates Medicare, and doesn’t charge one red cent to people who have benefitted so much from the greatness of our country. Is it our best? It is our best to drag this out for all this time, to keep in suspense as to whether we would honor our Constitutional responsibility to pay our debts? The Constitution says the national debt has to be recognized. It has to be recognized.
And recognized we did—president after president, 32 times in recent memory, including when President Bush was president. At that time, even though many of us did not agree with the war in Iraq, did not agree that tax cuts for the wealthiest people in our country to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, did not agree the giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry. We didn’t agree with that policy. That’s how we got into debt, turning around from the surplus direction we were going in with President Clinton, whose last four budgets were in balance or in surplus.
We didn’t agree how the President Bush took us into debt, but we never, never stood in the way of honoring the full faith and credit of the United States. Why then, would this one time, with this President decide that we would put up barriers so extreme like changing the Constitution in order to lift the debt limit. That’s a mathematical requirement.
Of course, we must all reduce the deficit. But is it our best to say we are going to use the debate to reduce the deficit to destroy the public space? Look at their Appropriations bills they’re bringing before us, destroying the public space of clean air, clean water, food safety, the education of our children, the health, financial security of our seniors through Medicare and Medicaid. That’s what they are doing.
After calling out the House Republican’s absurd position on the debt ceiling, Rep. Pelosi had some sharp words for John Boehner. She wondered why he never bothered to consult with House Democrats to craft a real bi-partisan bill.
Rep. Pelosi described Boehner’s cave to the tea party as going over to the dark side,
The Speaker chose, when he didn’t have the votes, instead of to reach out in a bipartisan way to see how we could work together, he chose to go to the dark side. Let me repeat. And I repeat, he chose to go to the dark side by putting forth a bill that he himself told his Members [it] would sink in the Senate—and I add, lead to default, lead to default. We cannot default. We are the greatest country that ever existed in the history of the world. We are the United States of America.
So let’s go from the dark side to the bright side of the American people. Vote ‘yes’ on the Reid bill. Thank you, my colleagues.
The reason why Boehner never tried to cut a deal with the House Democrats is because he has no interest in a genuine deal. Pelosi incorrected assumed that Republicans would ever put their country ahead of politics. This debt ceiling crisis was precipitated by Republicans to further weaken President Obama. Republicans don’t care about the deficit. If they did, the same Republicans that are in the leadership today would not have spent money like it was going out of style while George W. Bush was president.
Instead of making a deal with Democrats, Boehner in fear of his own political future pandered to the tea party. Boehner could have had a deal with House Democrats. Remember, he only needed a few dozen Democrats to offset tea party defectors and pass a bill. If the legislation was what he was really interested in, this was the path he would have chosen.
Jedi Boehner could have done the right thing for the republic, but at the critical moment of decision he gave into his strongest emotion (fear) and ran to the Tea Party dark side. The Star Wars reference might seem a little silly at first glance, but it isn’t. There are a group of Republicans in the House who are trying to economically destroy our republic.
They wish to build an empire based on their own ideological principles. It doesn’t matter that most of the republic’s current citizens don’t agree with these principles. Once the empire is built the citizens will become subjects to system where the government is no longer an impediment and we are all servants to corporate power. This all sounds farfetched but according to the Supreme Court corporations are now people too, so is it really that unbelievable?
Boehner had a chance to uphold his sworn oath to the republic. Instead, he has reaffirmed his allegiance to true master. As John Boehner bows down to Emperor Koch, the American people are counting down the minutes and wondering who will save the republic?