House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says Republicans can forget about using the looming expiration of a year-long payroll tax holiday for workers to squeeze a host of unrelated conservative priorities through Congress, and projected confidently that her party has the GOP cornered on the issue.
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In an exclusive interview Friday with TPM, Pelosi sketched out the Democrats' strategy for renewing (and possibly expanding) the payroll tax cut, which most economists say would promote job creation next year -- when persistent unemployment will be at the center of the election debate.
"It is really a stalling tactic," Pelosi said of recent reports that Republicans want to use the lapsing tax cut as leverage to pass key GOP priorities, including construction of a major oil pipeline from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, and rolling back Obama's health care law. "It's unworthy of the needs of the American people for them to go all around the mulberry bush with this stuff. If they want to do something for the American people -- to remove the uncertainty as to whether these payroll tax cuts will be extended, whether [unemployment insurance] will be extended ... let's just get about doing it."
"They know that this stuff isn't going to fly, that the President's not going to sign it -- so why are they doing this," Pelosi says. "It's about votes at the end of the day, and some of their people are never going to vote for anything, so they're going to need our votes, we're going to have to work together, and they're going to need the President's signature -- and they're going to need it to pass the Senate."