Pelosi Stays Above Intraparty Squabble, but Differs with the President on Spending Freeze

After a string of electoral defeats, cracks are starting to appear in the Democratic caucus. But while Democratic members have started to take pot-shots at each other, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to stay above the fray at her weekly news conference on Thursday. “I don’t want to waste energy criticizing the Senate, and I don’t want them criticizing how we do things.”

That doesn’t mean that she is marching in lock step. Pelosi pushed back on President Barack Obama’s plan to freeze non-defense discretionary spending saying it didn’t go far enough. She wants parts of the defense budget to be subject to cuts as well. “While we all want to support our men and women in uniform… I don’t think that we protect military contractors and I want to make that distinction very clear.”

The Speaker points to cost overruns with weapons systems contracts as a reason to avoid exempting the entire defense budget from scrutiny. She says exempting these contracts from cuts amounts to an “entitlement program for overruns on the part of military contractors.”