Politico cropped Pelosi's comments on Republican participation in House bill

››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

In an article stating that the "thinnest chapter" of a book about Nancy Pelosi's term as speaker of the House might be "Bipartisanship and the 111th Congress," the Politico cropped Pelosi's statement on the passage of the House recovery bill, omitting comments supporting her statement that "we have reached out to the Republicans all along the way."

In a February 2 article stating that the "thinnest chapter" of a book about Nancy Pelosi's term as speaker of the House "just might turn out to be: 'Bipartisanship and the 111th Congress,' " the Politico cropped Pelosi's statement on the passage of the House recovery bill, omitting comments supporting her statement that "we have reached out to the Republicans all along the way."

Politico senior congressional reporters Glenn Thrush and John Bresnahan wrote:

Responding to claims that she shut Republicans out of the real decision making in the process, she shot back: "We reached out to the Republicans all along the way, and they know it. And they know it. ... They just didn't have the ideas that had the support of the majority of the people in the Congress."

However, the transcript of Pelosi's January 29 press conference shows that Politico left out the explanation Pelosi gave for her claim that "we have reached out to the Republicans all along the way." Thrush and Bresnahan excised Pelosi's statement that "[Republicans] were part of the original bill with some of the tax provisions were their suggestions. They had what they asked for in terms of committee markups. They had the vote on the floor that gave them plenty of opportunity to make change." From the transcript:

PELOSI: But we are very, very proud of the product that came out of our legislative step one and look forward to working -- we have reached out to the Republicans all along the way. And they know it. They were part of the original bill with some of the tax provisions were their suggestions. They had what they asked for in terms of committee markups. They had the vote on the floor that gave them plenty of opportunity to make change. They just didn't have the ideas that had the support of the majority of the people in the Congress.

From the Politico article:

When the book is written on Nancy Pelosi's reign as speaker of the House, the thinnest chapter just might turn out to be: "Bipartisanship and the 111th Congress."

To hear her aides and associates tell it, Pelosi entered last week on her best bipartisan behavior, hoping that billions in tax cuts would be enough to lure six to 10 Republican House members to vote for the $819 billion stimulus plan.

To Republicans, it was a typical Pelosi pose -- and they accused her of ramming one of the biggest spending bills in history down their throats while scaling back President Barack Obama's tax-cut proposal to fund 40 years' worth of liberal wish-list items.

In the end, the GOP unleashed a Rush-and-Drudge media campaign on funding for contraceptives and resodding of the National Mall tucked into the package - and Pelosi was genuinely surprised that every single Republican House member voted against it.

As a result, the speaker's public commitment to bipartisanship may quickly yield to a depressingly familiar pattern of partisan combat that comes along with her new role as Obama's human shield.

[...]

But there were hints of pique. Pelosi cut off a reporter at her weekly press availability when asked about the role Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh played in her stimulus-week demonization.

"I am the speaker of the House. I don't get into that," she said, waving a dismissive hand.

"I didn't come here to be partisan, I didn't come here to be bipartisan," she added. "I came here, as did my colleagues, to be nonpartisan, to work for the American people, to do what is in their interest."

Responding to claims that she shut Republicans out of the real decision making in the process, she shot back: "We reached out to the Republicans all along the way, and they know it. And they know it. ... They just didn't have the ideas that had the support of the majority of the people in the Congress."

Posted In
Government, The House of Representatives
Network/Outlet
The Politico
Person
John Bresnahan, Glenn Thrush
Stories/Interests
Media Ethics
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