Pelosi was accompanied by Congressman Ben Ray Lujan.
Both spoke about protecting Social Security and Medicare in the ongoing D.C. deficit and budget battles. Referring to the committee of 12 House and Senate members that will make budget recommendations, Pelosi said, "This table of 12 cannot be a chopping block for Medicare and Social Security."
|House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. |
Santa Fe Mayor David Coss at right
Asked whether having these negotiations public would turn into predictable recitations of talking points for both sides instead of producing a real compromise, Pelosi said, "That's called `democracy.' I think the American public will have a slim appetite for that kind of exploitation at that table. We have to succeed at that table."
Both Pelosi and Lujan said the current debate is not really about deficits. "Why didn't (Republicans) say `boo' when (the deficit) was being amassed by President Bush," Pelosi said. She blamed the deficits on tax breaks for the wealthy and "two unfunded wars."
In a written statement e-mailed after the event, Tyler Q. Houlton, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said, "Nancy Pelosi and Ben Ray Lujan should be honest with New Mexico voters and admit to the damage they’ve caused to Medicare. It’s disingenuous for Pelosi and Lujan to claim they have protected Medicare when they voted to gut the program by $500 billion to fund their government takeover of healthcare.”
More in Tuesday's New Mexican.