Pelosi: ‘Absolutely Unconscionable’ Lawmakers Could Leave DC Without Tackling Unemployment Insurance

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gestures as she speaks to reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013.
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Wednesday the prospect of lawmakers leaving Washington, D.C. for the holidays without tackling unemployment benefits is “absolutely unconscionable.”

Pelosi’s comments at a Democratic press conference came less than 24 hours after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his Senate counterpart, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), unveiled a new budget deal. The $1.014 trillion deal does not include an extension of unemployment benefits. Democrats on Wednesday suggested the deal seemed more on the better side of what they could get.

“We would have preferred something quite different but we do recognize the value of coming to a decision so that we can go forward with some clarity on other legislation that we’d like to see,” Pelosi said at the press conference.

Ranking House budget committee member Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) echoed Pelosi’s statement after the press conference.

“This would not be the deal that any of us would’ve written,” Van Hollen said. “It’s the product of a compromise and again, just speaking to the confines of the budget deal itself and not this overall package that may come with the rule, again, I think on merit this is better than the alternative.”

This story was updated.

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