Pelosi Urges Party Faithful to Get Involved
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) used an address to the Democratic National Committee’s winter conference on Friday to try to energize party loyalists and encourage them to “get the word out” about Democrats’ accomplishments so far.
Pelosi told conference attendees “to make sure the American people know that the Democratic Party knows them.”
The Speaker used the forum to talk up what Democrats have done in the past year to try to stem joblessness and reverse the economic downturn, including last year’s $787 billion stimulus. She reiterated that jobs and the economy remain a central focus on Capitol Hill.
“Democrats are leading the fight for Main Street,” Pelosi said. “Never again will Wall Street’s recklessness undermine Main Street’s progress. Never again will Wall Street be allowed to jeopardize the jobs, the pensions, the homes, and the life savings of the American people.”
Pelosi’s remarks came as the latest jobs report revealed the nation’s unemployment figure now stands at 9.7 percent, a slight improvement from last month’s 10 percent. But the report also revealed a loss of 22,000 jobs nationwide, which Pelosi said was “too much.” It also comes at the beginning of an election year in which Democratic majorities in the House and Senate are under siege.
Pelosi issued a call to the party faithful to “get the word out” on the Democrats’ accomplishments so far, although she didn’t mention the November elections in particular.
“Recognize your role in this. We can do all the inside maneuvering but without your participation, nothing great or good can happen,” she said.
The morning address was not without its jabs to Republicans.
“Anyone who wants to know the difference between Democrats and Republicans need only look at their budgets,” Pelosi said. “President Obama’s provides a new foundation for economic growth.”
“The Republican budget provides tax breaks for the wealthy, ends Medicare as we know it and privatizes Social Security. Here they go again,” she said.
Midway through her 25-minute address, the Speaker touched on what was once the party’s main legislative focus: health care reform.
While House and Senate leaders are still struggling over how to pass a bill, Pelosi assured the crowd that “central to our fight is the fight to reform health insurance for the American people.”
“This is about the economic security of America’s families,” Pelosi told the crowd to much applause. “The bill is about jobs, creating 4 million good paying jobs in the life of the bill.”