Pelosi on Tea Party: ‘Maybe Anarchy Would Be Better for You’
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the House Freedom Caucus, consisting of Tea Party-backed lawmakers, is harmful to Congress as an institution, suggesting that anarchy might work better for them.
Pelosi said she is “hopeful” and “optimistic” about Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) serving as speaker of the House.
Pelosi addressed some conservatives who object to the new budget deal supported by retiring House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and welcomed by Democrats. Heritage Action referred to Boehner as a “rogue agent” for negotiating with the Democrats to raise the debt ceiling.
“Just the language ‘rogue agent’ tells you something about the lack of civility that is going on in their caucus. I mean, we all come – this beautiful president for whom your university is named, the patriarch of our country, how great he was, and when he left office he was suspicious of political parties but one of the things he cautioned about as he left office was to be aware of political parties that were at war with their own government. And I think we have come as close to that as ever with some elements in the Republican Party,” Pelosi said during a George Washington University event.
“All of us come to try and find common ground – to stand our ground when we can – that’s what we do. You try to find common ground but to come and think that you have every idea, that you have the only good idea, well, maybe anarchy or something like that maybe better for you,” she added.
Pelosi predicted that it would be easy to negotiate with Ryan as speaker.
“You always have to be hopeful and optimistic and, to Paul Ryan’s credit, he knows the issues and he knows the rules and that makes it easier to negotiate,” she said.
Pelosi attributed Boehner’s departure from Congress as the result of the Freedom Caucus giving him an ultimatum: “Unless you shut down government – because the continuing resolution contained funding for Planned Parenthood – unless you shut down government, we are taking the gavel.”