House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday blamed Republicans for doing nothing to stop automatic spending cuts in the so-called sequester, which she said would disproportionately impact women and that Americans “might as well get a pink slip” directly from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).
“Tomorrow is fraught with meaning on the calendar,” Pelosi told reporters. “It is a day that the indiscriminate, across-the-board spending cuts that will cause unemployment, instability and uncertainty in our economy takes place.”
“It is a day, when soon, people will be getting a pink slip. We might as well get a pink slip from the office of the Speaker and the Republican conference to 750,000 American workers, laid off because of the sequester implementation.”
The California Democrat noted that it was ironic that the sequester was going to kick in on the first day of Women’s History Month because the spending cuts would be devastating for some women.
“Cuts to women’s health, from prenatal care to cancer screenings; cuts to services to victims of domestic violence — $20 million will be cut out of the Violence Against Women account,” she explained. “Cuts to initiatives to support children and families like Head Start; cuts to public sector jobs, where women are 50 percent more likely than men to be employed and, therefore, fired.”
“Democrats, we want solutions,” Pelosi added. “Republicans want sequstration. Some of them have even called it a ‘home run.’ That doesn’t sound like anybody who is on Team America if they think sequestration — indiscriminate, mindless cuts across the board — are a home run.”
The former House Speaker said she was shocked that lawmakers were allowed to go back to their home districts for 10 days instead of staying in Washington to negotiate an alternative to the automatic cuts.
“The Speaker [John Boehner] keeps saying, they’re just kicking he can down the road,” Pelosi remarked. “Well, that would be at least some distance. They’re nudging the potato across the table with their nose.”
“They’re not making any progress whatsoever. In fact, they’re setting us back.”
The so-called sequester is part of a 2011 deal between the Congress and the White House to raise the debt ceiling and force Congress to make targeted spending cuts or face an automatic $1.2 trillion in cuts to domestic and defense spending over 10 years. The first cuts will begin to take effect on Friday if Congress does not act.
Watch this video from CBS News, broadcast Feb. 28, 2013.Watch this video from NBC News, broadcast Feb. 28, 2013.