House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said John Boehner would "do anything" for insurance companies as she sought to defend herself against the House Minority Leader's claims that she used "one-party rule" to gain votes for the health care reform bill.
During an intense speech on the floor of the House Sunday evening, Boehner denounced Pelosi's tactics, at one point yelling "Shame on you. Shame."
Pelosi responded to Boehner Monday in an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer "Well, you know, some people will do anything for the insurance companies." Pelosi continued:
"You strive for bipartisanship when you can. When you find your common ground, that's great. If you don't find your common ground, you have to stand your ground," she said. "And in addition to that, you want bipartisanship, but you cannot let the lack of bipartisanship stand in the way of making this change that is important to the American people."
Before the health care bill passed the House, a recent column in The Economist described Pelosi as "arguably the most powerful woman in American history." Since the bill's passage, The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has listed Pelosi as a "winner" in the health care debate. Cillizza wrote of Pelosi:
Is there a more underrated Member of Congress than the Speaker? Say what you will about her public presence -- guarded and suspicious -- she showed (yet again) that she has an unique understanding of her caucus and an ability to deliver votes when she needs to. Pelosi, like Obama, was a behind-the-scenes advocate for a "go big or go home" approach to the bill in the wake of the Brown victory -- an approach validated by the vote last night. Pelosi's final floor speech fell somewhat flat but reinforced that she is someone who does her best work outside of the public glare. And her best work is remarkably good.