Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) endorsed President Barack Obamas call to rein in spending but said it should be expanded to defense contractors that she said have received hundreds of billions of dollars because of cost overruns.Pelosi said military families should be exempted from any spending moratorium, but contractors should not. She also noted that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, has said there are billions of dollars of waste in the Defense Department.I do not support an entitlement program for overruns on the part of military contractors, Pelosi said.Obamas call for a freeze to domestic discretionary spending but not spending on security, wars or entitlements has won cheers from fiscal hawks and vulnerable Democrats but has brought increasingly harsh criticism from liberals who consider the idea premature and unbalanced at a time when Obama is ramping up the war in Afghanistan and millions of people remain out of work. Some Democrats, such as Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), an appropriator and close ally of Pelosi, refused to join in a standing ovation during Obamas State of the Union Address when he called for the spending freeze.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.