Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a message for House Republicans who think they weren't given enough time to debate or amend the stimulus package that moved through Congress over an eight-day period earlier this session: You could have had much less.
"To tell you the truth, I could have fast-tracked this much faster," Pelosi, a California Democrat, told a group of reporters and progressive writers at a breakfast gathering Tuesday.
Pelosi had been asked about an anonymous White House aide's suggestion that the administration didn't approve of the speed with which the Speaker handled the package.
"Let me get this straight," she said. "You're the president of the United States; you have a recovery package that you want done by the president's break; we get that done -- and we 'fast tracked it over the president's objections'? It couldn't be farther from the truth."
Pelosi also denied assertions that she has instructed the White House not to talk to her members without going through her first. She said she told the administration: "Talk to the members. Talk to the chairmen. Talk to the different caucuses. They have a lot of ideas."
She rejected the notion that she keeps a grudge list of folks who have crossed her, saying that every day is a new day. "They're saying I keep a list of members. It couldn't be farther from the truth. My commitment is to all of my members," she said. "I don't have any list."
Republican objections that they were not included and didn't approve of the process through which the stimulus was passed, said Pelosi, only mask ideological differences that they had with the bill. "We gave them the regular order," said Pelosi. "We were not going to go backward and adopt their economic failed policies and that's what they're upset about."