WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Republicans in Congress “do not believe in government” and are “poised” to shut it down.
“The Republicans are poised to shut down government. The Republicans are poised to let sequestration go forward, which is — sequestration — you know what that word means? Well, what it means to the American people is unemployment, no jobs; take us to recession. It’s not quite an exact Latin translation, but that’s what it means,” Pelosi said to laughter at a Capitol Hill press conference on Friday.
In the absence of a formal budget, Congress must pass another continuing resolution next month to keep the government running for the rest of the fiscal year. Automatic across-the-board spending cuts from the Budget Control Act of 2011 are set to take effect next month as well unless Congress passes legislation to avoid the sequester.
Pelosi said Democrats have “made many cuts” and they “stand ready” to enact additional spending reductions.
“But we’re not going to destroy our opportunity for growth in our country, growth with jobs, because at the end of the day, revenue comes from those jobs. So if you’re interested in deficit reduction, you need more revenue,” she said.
“So curious that in the eight years of the Bush administration, while the bulk of this deficit was being amassed, you didn’t hear them say, boo, hoo, woo, any deficit hawk bird sound you can come up with. They were — it was an endangered species, the deficit hawk.”
Pelosi criticized congressional Republicans for not believing in government.
“The Republican Party in the Congress is dominated by anti-government ideologues, and they will forever, forever want to reduce taxes on special interest, make cuts in the education of our children and in the care of our seniors and the rest because they do not believe in government,” she said.
“So shrink the tax revenue and make serious cuts that undermine our economic growth, that undermine the education of our children, that undermine the creation of jobs. But that’s who they are. And bless their hearts, they act upon their beliefs. And that’s what they believe. And that’s what this fight is about.”
Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York, Rep. Steve Israel of New York and Rep. Xavier Becerra of California also participated in the news conference with Pelosi.
The group of members called on House Speaker John Boehner to keep the House in session and work on avoiding the sequester.