In reporting GOP retraction of false attack on Pelosi, AP recycled jet, minimum wage smears

››› ››› SARAH PAVLUS

In a February 16 article on the Republican Study Committee's retraction of a news release that falsely "accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] of violating copyrights of C-SPAN," the Associated Press repeated the recent Republican smear that Pelosi supports a minimum wage bill that exempts American Samoa because the exemption would help a company headquartered in her district. The article also mentioned that Pelosi "has come under criticism by Republicans over how big a plane the government should provide for her use" without noting that those Republican attacks are misleading and unsubstantiated. From the Associated Press:

In the six weeks since Pelosi, D-Calif., has been speaker, she has come under criticism by Republicans over how big a plane the government should provide for her use and over a minimum wage bill that excluded American Samoa from its provisions.

Pelosi said the wage measure will be modified to include Samoa. Republicans charged it was excluded from the bill because of a large tuna cannery there [that] is owned by Del Monte Foods Co., which has its headquarters in Pelosi's San Francisco district.

Regarding the minimum wage bill, as Media Matters for America has documented, Pelosi supported several versions of the Fair Minimum Wage Act after it was first introduced by Democrats in 1999, three years before Del Monte bought StarKist, and each version has included a wage hike for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands but not for American Samoa. Republican House members also introduced minimum wage proposals in 2005 and 2006 that included a wage hike for the Northern Mariana Islands but not for American Samoa.

Regarding the military aircraft issue, as Media Matters has documented, the Republican claim that Pelosi requested a much larger and more luxurious military aircraft than former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) is unsubstantiated. In fact, the sergeant at arms, who is in charge of security in the House of Representatives, made clear in a February 8 statement that it was he who both "made the recommendation to use military aircraft" for Pelosi's trips between Washington, D.C., and California and "request[ed] an aircraft that is capable of making non-stop flights," providing such an aircraft is available.

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