Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized as “inadequate” a Senate-passed six-month extension in increased Medicare payment rates to doctors, and deemed the measure dead on arrival in the House.
“I see no reason to pass this inadequate bill until we see jobs legislation coming out of the Senate,” Pelosi said in a Friday night statement meant to press the Senate to act on a broader package extending expired middle-class tax breaks and jobless benefits. That “extenders” package — which includes a longer extension — has languished in the Senate for two weeks.
On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) struck a deal with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to break out and pass the six-month extension.
“House Democrats are saying to Republicans in the Senate: Show us the jobs!,” Pelosi said.
A House Democratic leadership aide said leaders were committed to retroactively restoring the cuts, which took effect Friday, in whatever legislation ultimately is sent to President Barack Obama.
Pelosi spokesperson Nadeam Elshami said Democratic leaders in the House — which in November passed legislation blocking the payment cut and restructuring the formula on a long-term basis — “remain committed to ensuring that our seniors and veterans receive the care they deserve.”