Minutes after Speaker John A. Boehner expressed pessimism about a fiscal cliff deal coming together, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., dismissed the Ohio Republican’s comments as a “tactic” and took a hard line on spending cuts.
Pelosi appeared to oppose spending cuts beyond those already enacted as part of the Budget Control Act.
She was asked about Republicans’ view that while “some cuts may have already been agreed to, there needs to be more.”
Pelosi replied: “No, no, no. A trillion and half in cuts is a lot of money. I know we’re in Washington, D.C., and we get used to big numbers, but a trillion and a half dollars in cuts ... you go beyond that you’re talking about hurting the growth of our infrastructure and the education of our people. The very pillars — the very pillars — of our economic strength. Not to mention the economic and health security of our seniors and the American people and their families.”
However, at another point in the press conference, Pelosi referred to private discussions last summer between Boehner and President Barack Obama about a $4 trillion deal as a “good start.”
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the ranking member of the Budget Committee, took a similar stance.
Echoing Pelosi that the Budget Control Act showed Democrats had already provided significant spending cuts, Van Hollen said a fiscal cliff deal should be more balanced than that law.
The fiscal cliff deal should include a “combination of cuts, but also revenue,” Van Hollen said.