ABC News' John R. Parkinson reports:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would not commit to a House vote on the expiring Bush-era tax cuts before the House adjourns and members head home to campaign in their districts for the congressional midterm elections.
“We will retain the right to proceed as we choose. We’ll take it one day at a time,” Pelosi, D-California, said. “But let me be very clear, as we have all been clear in the House Democratic leadership: America’s middle class will have a tax cut, it will be done in this congress. There is no question about that.”
The speaker further signaled that the House of Representatives would likely adjourn next Thursday, September 30, at the end of the fiscal year 2010.
“We can’t go home until we have a continuing resolution. That’s what we are putting together now, and when we have that, we can make a decision as to when to go home, but can’t go home until we have that,” Pelosi said. “We’ve had a full agenda in Congress. We continue to pass important legislation as we did yesterday with the small business bill. We’ll take up a few items later next week, as our leader Mr. Hoyer will announce later today. But the end fiscal year, September 30th and we’ve targeted all of our work to be finished by the end of the fiscal year.”
Pelosi’s comments come a day after the Senate punted any action on the tax cuts to the Lame Duck session of Congress after the congressional midterm elections November 2.
ABC News asked the speaker whether she was able to watch any of Comedy Central comedian Stephen Colbert’s testifying before a House subcommittee. Pelosi said she was working and did not watch it, but that she’s “looking forward to hearing about it.”
Pressed whether she believes that it was appropriate for Colbert to testify today, Pelosi defended the committee’s decision to invite the celebrity comedian.
“Of course I think it’s appropriate. He’s an American right?” Pelosi said. “He comes before the committee, he has a point of view, he can bring attention to an important issue like immigration. I think it’s great.”
- John R. Parkinson