House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi slammed House Republicans on Thursday for their "extreme nature" and "indifference" to extending unemployment insurance benefits, a day after Speaker John A. Boehner torched a bipartisan Senate bill.
"Here we go again," the California Democrat said at her weekly press conference. "Washington Republicans have painted themselves into the far extreme."
The Senate, Pelosi continued, "came to a compromise on a length of time and a pay-for," which she said should be acceptable to both parties. Pelosi noted that she does not believe unemployment insurance benefits should be offset.
"This is a stimulus to the economy," she said. "Ask any economist. ... We want to create jobs."
Yesterday, Boehner, R-Ohio, signaled he would block chamber consideration of a bipartisan agreement in the Senate to extend benefits for out-of-work Americans. Boehner noted a letter from state officials suggesting the legislation would take months to implement and said the legislation didn't meet his requirements that the bill be fiscally responsible and create private sector jobs.
Unemployment insurance aid expired at the end of last year and House Democrats in particular have made the continuation of those benefits one of their signature issues this year ahead of the midterm elections.