Pelosi, Boehner Trade Barbs Over House Control
With Congress poised to adjourn, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) battled over legislative records as well the agenda for the future.
At the American Enterprise Institute Thursday, Boehner declared a "state of emergency," charging that Congress has failed to pass the most basic legislation, leaving for the campaign trail with out passing a budget resolution or voting on tax cuts.
Boehner said that under Democratic leadership, Congress has "become a symbol of a spending process that has broken faith with the American people," and vowed to introduce a new 'CutGo' rule requiring that any new program that is introduced be offset by cuts to another program.
Boehner pointed to House Republican's Pledge to America unveiled last week which included provisions to establish Constitutional authority for all legislation and sufficient time -- 72 hours -- for members of Congress to read bills before they are put to a vote.
"It's no wonder that Mr. Boehner wants to talk about process," Pelosi said at a Capitol Hill press conference Thursday. "They have no substantive issue to take to the American people." Democrats, she added, want to talk about "progress."
Pelosi was joined by other House leaders in counting the accomplishments of the legislative term, ticking off the passage of health care, higher education and financial regulatory reform bills.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said this was the most productive Congress he has ever served on, adding that Republicans have spent the time creating "gridlock and failure."
"They gave the impression to the American people that we couldn't work together," said Hoyer, "because that was their political strategy."