WASHINGTON – House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi said Monday her new Democratic majority will extend a hand to Republicans in moving the agenda of relieving the "middle-class squeeze." She said restoring the military draft will not be part of that agenda when Democrats take over the House in January.
Pelosi, following a strategy meeting with the next House majority leader, Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said she will meet with incoming House Minority Leader John Boehner and "we'll find our common ground for the American people."
"The principle of civility and respect for minority participation in this House is something we promised the American people. It's the right thing to do," she said.
Pelosi and Hoyer repeated that in the first 100 legislative hours of the new Congress that convenes in January, they will try to pass bills that directly affect the pocketbooks of working-class and middle-class people, including raising the minimum wage, cutting interest rates for student loans and allowing the Medicare program to negotiate lower drug prices.
Other top priorities for January are lobbying reform, implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and rolling back subsidies to the oil industry.
Pelosi said restoring the draft will not be on that list and was not something she supported.
"The speaker and I discussed scheduling and it did not include that," Hoyer added.
Incoming Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., caused a stir by repeating a long-held position that a draft is the best way to ensure that all levels of society are represented in the military. Besides Rangel, there is almost no support in Congress for restoring the draft.
"It's not about a draft, it's about shared sacrifice in this country," Pelosi said. She said Rangel is "a strong voice for social justice in our country" and his support for the draft was "a way to make a point."