Pelosi recalled taking the gavel in 2007 after sweeping into the majority on a pledge to end the war in Iraq. President Bush had demanded funding for the war, and Pelosi made what she described as a painful decision to let her members vote their consciences without leaving U.S. troops out in the cold.
"Do you know what it was like for me to bring a bill to the floor to fund the war in Iraq?" she said. "That's what I did. It was very unpopular. And I have to tell you, I'm not sure I ever recovered among some on the left for that."
"The issue at hand then, funding for Iraq, versus right now, middle income tax cuts," she continued. "I as speaker had to make a decision -- as a Democratic speaker in a new Democratic majority, very enthusiastic about ending the war in Iraq -- to bring a bill to the floor that funded the troops."
The House's top Democrat offered Boehner a way out: hold a vote on the middle income tax cuts, let most Republicans oppose them, but allow it to pass on the strength of Democratic support. She also said he could bring up the legislation under suspension of rules, allowing it to pass with a two-thirds majority, which she said she's "certain" it would.
"The world is watching," Pelosi said. "There's a way -- as we did with Iraq -- to bring something to the floor. It's painful. But this is the job we signed up for."