Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, hit back at Nancy Pelosi on the economy Monday, a day after the House minority leader blamed congressional deadlock on Republicans, saying that they have failed to bring a jobs bill to the floor this session.
"We passed a budget that balances and pays off the debt," Chaffetz said. "Until President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi can produce a plan that they want to see, that will actually balance, then it's very difficult to get through these discussions."
Pelosi said Sunday on CBS that Democrats have been unable to bring employment legislation to the floor.
"We're not in the majority in the House," she said. "Why haven't we brought something to the floor to create jobs? I think that's a better question asked to the Republicans, because they control the agenda."
"To hear her say she's no longer speaker - that's one of my favorite things in the world," Chaffetz responded, before turning the blame game around and calling out Democrats for what he says is a failure of leadership.
"Let's remember that the Democrats control the Senate - Harry Reid has refused to actually bring this up and deal with it," he said. "We need the president to come to the table and say, this is what we would like to see, too, and thus far he hasn't done it."
Chaffetz also fueled speculation that he may run to unseat longtime Utah senator - and fellow Republican - Orrin Hatch in 2012.
"Oh yeah -if I run, I think I could," Chaffetz said when asked if he could beat Hatch. "He's served for 36 years, and I don't know that 42 years of continuous service is something that Utahans and the country want to see."
Forty-four-year-old Chaffetz made a name for himself almost immediately in the House, with a hard-charging approach to cutting spending and repealing President Obama's health care legislation, among other issues.
He rattled off a list of disagreements he has with Hatch, indicating that Hatch has left himself vulnerable to criticism from the more conservative wing of the Republican Party.
"I disagree with him on lot of the bulk of the major issues - everything from TARP to the Fannie and Freddie bailout - he was in favor of individual mandates," Chavez said, though he added later, "I don't want to go through a list and try to rip on our senior senator...he's a good man."
Should he run for the Senate seat, Chaffetz may also have the support of his former colleague, current Utah Sen. Mike Lee - a Tea Party-backed Republican who, in an upset indicative of a growing divide within the GOP, unseated Bob Bennett for the Senate slot in 2010. Lee, so far, has remained mum on the 2012 race, and Chaffetz himself has yet to formally announce a run.
"I like to joke that I'm a definite maybe," he said. "I'm not trying to be coy about it - I really am thinking about it."