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June 21, 2012

Pelosi rips Republicans, saying Holder contempt is part of a larger plan

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., used a big chunk of her weekly press conference Thursday to send a loud clear message describing how she felt about Republican efforts to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. A House committee voted to hold him in contempt Wednesday in connection with the Operation Fast and Furious gunwalking program, and the full House is expected to vote next week.

"Don't forget," Pelosi said. "They are going after Eric Holder because he is supporting measures to overturn voter suppression initiatives in the States.  This is no accident.  It is no coincidence.  It is a plan on the part of the Republicans."

She elaborated, and here are some of her thoughts:

"This is a very interesting week because so many things are coming together, or not.  What we have seen is a shameful display of abuse of power by the Republicans in the House of Representatives.  Instead of bringing job‑creating legislation to the floor, the transportation bill, they are holding the Attorney General of the United States in contempt of Congress for doing his job.

"It's really important to note how this is connected with some of their other decisions.  It is no accident.  It is no coincidence that the Attorney General of the United States, the person responsible for making sure that voter suppression does not happen in our country, that issues that relate to the civil liberties of the American people are upheld.

"These very same people who are holding him in contempt are part of a nationwide scheme to suppress the vote.  They are closely allied with those who are suffocating the system, unlimited special interest secret money, and they are poisoning the debate.  They are poisoning the debate with that money. 

"And so what does the average citizen say? They throw up their hands and say: 'a pox on both your houses.'  And that is a victory for the special interests.  Our Founders had in mind a democracy where the government of the many, the vote of the many and the voice of the many determined our government.

"These folks want a plutocracy where instead of the voice of the many, the checkbooks of the very, very few determine the outcome of the election.  Again, a plutocracy.  And so, what you see is diversion, diversionary tactics.  Let's not talk about the transportation bill, which is only 9 days until it expires; student loans, which is only 9 days until the interest rate, the lower interest rate will expire.  Instead let us tie the hands of the person who is assigned to make sure that the American people have the right to vote, who have the right to vote, are able to vote, and that their vote is counted.  It is all tied together."

She didn't stop there. Republicans, she said, are advocates of "laissez, laissez, laissez faire in terms of they don't want any initiatives for clean air, clean water, food safety, public education, public care, public transportation, public health, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.  This is what they believe: no government.  And bless their hearts, they act upon their beliefs, and their beliefs are dangerous to a thriving middle class in our country.

"So, we see so much of it coming together.  Why would they oppose initiatives to create jobs?  The President's American Jobs Act?  Some people call it obstruction.  It is obstruction, but obstruction is their orthodoxy.  They don't believe in a public role.  So, it's not that they're obstructing this way of getting something done, it's no way for them.  That's why they take pride in being the ‘do‑nothing Congress.’''



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Contempt for the contemptible.

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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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