Pelosi, left, wants Republicans to agree to an extension of unemployment benefits. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wants unemployment insurance legislation to be passed this year, but she sent conflicting signals Thursday about what Democrats’ demands would be.
First, she seemed to be drawing a line in the sand by saying Democrats would not support any forthcoming budget agreement that doesn’t include an extension of unemployment benefits.
“We are making a very clear statement that we cannot, cannot support a budget agreement that does not include unemployment insurance in the budget or as a sidebar in order to move it along,” Pelosi said at a special hearing convened by the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee specifically on the subject of unemployment insurance.
Later she seemed to walk back those remarks during a Democratic leadership press conference, clarifying that she would not make her vote on a budget agreement contingent upon a one-year extension of emergency unemployment insurance aid.
“What I said was … as we go forward with the budget, I wanted to see unemployment insurance in there,” Pelosi said. “It could be separate from that as well.” Full story