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Pelosi Warns GOP: Tread Carefully With ‘Cromnibus’ (Video)

Pelosi warns GOP on spending bill riders. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Pelosi warns GOP on spending bill riders. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is still keeping her powder dry when it comes to staking out a position on the House GOP’s fiscal 2015 spending bill, due to be revealed on Monday.  

The California Democrat said no policy riders currently on the negotiating table were “deal breakers” on their own.  

“Let’s look at the full package,” she said.  

But the riders currently being discussed, she said, were cause for concern among members of her caucus.  

If she made one thing clear at her weekly press conference on Friday, it was this: If Republicans want and need Democrats’ help in shoring up the votes on the so-called “cromnibus” to avert a government shutdown on Dec. 11, the GOP is going to have to make some compromises.  

“We have extended the hand of friendship once again to say, ‘Let us help,'” Pelosi said of Democrats’ outreach to Republican leaders. “We haven’t heard back. We haven’t seen the bill. But there are some very destructive riders in it that would be unacceptable to us and unacceptable to the American people.”

She said appropriators on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers were wrestling with a GOP wish list of riders that includes blocking the District of Columbia’s recent vote to legalize marijuana use and “lowering standards” for school lunches, clean water and labor laws.  

“These are really earmarks for industry, that’s what they are,” Pelosi said, adding that Democrats are pushing for adequate spending for research at the National Institutes of Health.  

And then there’s the matter of House Republicans’ proposed short-term extension of funding for the Department of Homeland Security into February or March — a GOP rebuke of President Barack Obama’s recent immigration executive order announcement.  

It’s not yet clear whether a Democratic concession on Homeland Security will satisfy rank-and-file GOP lawmakers — many Republicans are arguing the party should demand more in the wake of its successes at the polls in November.  

Pelosi said targeting the agency for a shutdown early next year would be ill-advised and dangerous, but she has indicated that on this issue she and her members are willing to compromise. After all, it would make House Democrats the heroes once again, after already shoring up the votes to reopen government in 2013, lift the debt ceiling and end the sequester.  

“If they keep making it worse in order to get 218 votes,” Pelosi said of Republican efforts to pass a bill with the majority of the majority’s support, “that’s a disservice to our country.”  



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