At a Monday event in support of Democratic congressional candidate Lois Frankel, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi criticized Republicans for supporting tax breaks for the wealthy while advocating cuts in domestic spending, calling them “the E. coli club,” The Hill reports, in what appears to be an attack unsustainable by the facts.
“I say to [Republicans], do you have children that breathe air?” Pelosi said. “Do you have grandchildren that drink water? I’m a mom and I have five kids … as a mom I was vigilant about food safety, right moms? If you could depend on the government for one thing, it was that you had to be able to trust the water that our kids drank and the food that they ate. But this is the E. coli club. They do not want to spend money to do that.”
The Food and Drug Administration periodically issues recalls of products containing E. coli, some strains of which cause food poisoning in humans. In a series of continuing resolutions passed by the Congress in early 2011, about $38 billion was cut from the fiscal year 2011 budget from 2010 spending levels.
The majority of the cuts came from domestic discretionary programs, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Labor. No money, however, was cut from the Food and Drug Administration.
“And bless their hearts, it’s the philosophy Republicans in Congress have,” Pelosi continued. “And bless their hearts, they act upon their beliefs. It’s an ideology: ‘We shouldn’t have a government role, so reduce the police, the firemen, the teachers — reduce their role and give tax cuts to the high end. That will stimulate the economy and everything will be good.’”
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has advocated extending the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, while President Barack Obama has proposed extending those tax cuts only for families making less than $250,000 a year. While congressional Republicans succeeded in cutting $38 billion from the 2011 budget, police, firemen and teachers are local and state employees, and therefore would not be affected by those cuts.
Pelosi was attending an event in support of Democratic congressional candidate Lois Frankel, who served as mayor of West Palm Beach, Florida from 2003 to 2011. She is running in Florida’s 22nd District, which is currently represented by Republican Rep. Allen West. West, however, is seeking re-election in Florida’s 18th District due to redistricting. Frankel, the likely Democratic nominee, will face former Florida House of Representatives Majority Leader Adam Hasner, who is running unopposed for the Republican nomination in the general election.
A spokesman for Pelosi did not respond to requests for comment.