Minutes after the White House issued a statement backing the House’s government funding bill Thursday, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi took to the House Floor to lodge her opposition to the deal.
Democrats have taken issue with a number of aspects of the bill but among their highest concerns is a provision of the bill that they say weakens a Wall Street reform regulation.
The White House’s statement of policy argues against the inclusion of the provision, but the administration says it will still support the massive, more than $1 trillion government funding bill.
Pelosi was not so charitable. She call’s the provision a “taint” that left her “heart broken,” and she’s warning those in her caucus against putting their name alongside the bill. But she stopped short of telling them not to vote for it.
“So here we are in the House being blackmailed, being blackmailed to vote for an appropriations bill,” Pelosi said. “I’m not asking anybody to vote one way or another I’m just telling you why I would not put the name of my constituents, in my district next to a bill that does as the president says, ‘weaken a critical component of financial system reform aimed at reducing taxpayer risk.”
She went on to describe the funding bill as a “moral hazard” and “a ransom,” further citing changes to campaign finance law in the bill as another cause for concern:
This is a moral hazard, we are being asked to vote for a moral hazard. Why is this in an appropriations bill? Because it was the price to pay to get an appropriations bill. I was told we couldn’t get all these other things that have been described here so beautifully, unless we gave Wall Street this gift. And on top of that, that we gave their donors, high end donors all the opportunity in the world to pour money into the process.
Pelosi added she is disappointed in the White House’s decision to go along with the deal.
“I’m enormously disappointed that the White House feels that the only way they can get a bill is to go along with this,” she said.
The House is expected to vote on the 1,603 page government funding bill Thursday afternoon.