Top House Democrat Pelosi Aims Economy Speech at Middle Class

Pointing toward midterm elections, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi promised on Thursday to raise the minimum wage while cutting taxes to spur economic growth and help the middle class.

She also vowed that Democrats will keep U.S. jobs from going overseas by repealing current tax incentives if voters give her party the reins of Congress on Nov. 7.

"This economy is making the super-rich richer, and leaving middle-class American families further behind, deeper in debt and struggling to make ends meet," Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a speech at Georgetown University.

"Democrats believe in the marketplace," she said. "Choices made by President Bush and Republicans in Congress have created a market failure — they have consistently rewarded wealth without rewarding work."

She was one of 10 Democratic leaders giving economic speeches across the country this week.

Democrats emphasized the economy as House Republicans were consumed with the fallout of a virtual sex scandal that led to the resignation of former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., and has prompted calls for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., to step down.

Five weeks before the elections, polls show the public favors putting Democrats in charge of Congress.

Democrats also have the advantage on the economy as a campaign issue.

An Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Thursday found that 51 percent of likely voters say Democrats would best handle the economy while 38 percent say Republicans would do a better job.

Republicans took issue with Pelosi's remarks.

"The Democrat plan of heaping taxes on parents, families and employers has failed in the past, and is an astonishingly foolish agenda for the future," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, the No. 2 Senate Republican.