VARGAS: You mentioned jobs. Members of the House have already weighed in on the Senate jobs bill saying it's too small and does too little. The Congressional Black Caucus said it shouldn't even be called a jobs bill. Should you agree to the smaller, incremental approach, given that unemployment is the single biggest issue in this country right now? PELOSI: Well, we wanted to move as quickly as possible on jobs. We passed our bill in December, as you probably know. What the Senate is taking is a segmented approach to it, and I think when everyone sees what the different pieces are, they will know that we're on the path...
VARGAS: But you've said that's OK. Is it OK to do it in that smaller, incremental way, and not the big, dramatic way that the House proposed?
PELOSI: Well, it would have been faster if they would just agree to our bill last year because people are hurting, they need jobs and we need to move quicker.
This won't take a long time to do, but every piece of it will not have every provision in it that we want but it will all create jobs and help small businesses grow, because that's where major job creation is. It addresses concerns that we have about our veterans coming home who have -- are facing unemployment.
It is the biggest issue for our seniors. And believe it or not, jobs and the economy are the biggest issue for our seniors and their opportunities, as well. So it is -- it's a four-letter word that we use around here all the time, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.
And by the way, the health care bill is a jobs bill. It will create four million new jobs, several hundred thousand immediately upon enactment. And it will also encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in our country where people can take risks and be entrepreneurial because they know they have health care.
VARGAS: The Ethics Committee on Charles Rangel said that he has violated the House gift rule. How can he remain in such a powerful position as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee...
PELOSI: Well, I think...
VARGAS: ... given the fact that there are further pending ethics investigations and this public admonishment has taken place?
PELOSI: Well, it is a public admonishment. It said he did not knowingly violate House rules, so that gives him some comfort. But the fact is that we have a...
VARGAS: He should have known, though, don't you think?
PELOSI: Well, I don't know. You understand that the Ethics Committee is an independent, bipartisan committee in the House. They act independent of us, and that's exactly the way it should be.
I, though, when I became speaker, instituted an outside ethics panel which makes recommendations in so that we have a double way to receive information, although the Ethics Committee can self-initiate, as well as take recommendations from the outside panel. So we look forward to seeing what else they have to say about what they have before him regarding Chairman Rangel. VARGAS: If there are further admonishments, though, should he remain in this position?
PELOSI: Well, why don't we just give him a chance to hear what the independent, bipartisan -- they work very hard to reach their conclusions, and, obviously, there's more to come here.
VARGAS: But you don't -- you understand this is why so many Americans think Congress is corrupt. It just doesn't -- it doesn't look good. It doesn't pass the smell test.