WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Republicans are “at war” with their “own government” by trying to “shrink” its role in society.
Pelosi added that it is impossible for Congress to balance the federal budget in one decade, as House Republicans have proposed.
“We don’t want any more government than we need, but we respect the public role, in public-private partnerships, in putting a referee on the field, a cop on — a referee for — whether it’s to monitor clean air, clean water, food safety, a cop on the beat for the protection of our neighborhoods,” Pelosi said at her weekly press briefing on Thursday.
“And by and large the approach that the Republicans take is that they are there to shrink the role of government to a point where really — it recalls to mind the statement of President Washington, who cautioned against a party — a political party at war with its own government. So if you don’t believe in government, then, bless their hearts, they act upon their beliefs.”
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget would eliminate the deficit in 10 years. Pelosi said a balanced budget would hurt the middle class. RELATED: Hoyer: Eliminating deficit in 10 years would savage economy
“I want it to be on a path to balance the budget in a number of decades. You can’t do it in one decade, not after what we have been through. President Clinton, coming out of his administration, we were on a path to — of serious deficits and debt reduction after the explosion of the debt in the Bush years and the downturn in our economy and the meltdown of our financial institutions and the loss of revenue that that engendered,” Pelosi said.
“We’re at a place where the deficit is much bigger, and in 10 years, you can’t do it without hurting the middle class. But in terms of a path to balance, hopefully to surplus, that’s what I would like to see.”