In an exclusive interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., addressed concerns over the fiscal cliff and lax gun control laws in America.
Tuesday morning, House Speaker John Boehner amended the GOP debt proposal, calling it “Plan B” and asking for tax rate hikes only for those making $1 million or more. Pelosi called the proposal “a tactic and not serious.”
The House Democratic leader said on Andrea Mitchell Reports that any proposal should inspire confidence to the consumers, markets, and the economy.
“We need to prevent going over the cliff and eliminate any thought that we would be downgraded due to our credit,” Pelosi said. “We need to reduce the deficit. We need to create jobs.”
Unfortunately, according to Pelosi, Boehner’s “Plan B” doesn’t “do any of the above” and she says hopefully after Republicans see how their plan will fail, “they’ll come to the table again.”
Pelosi also praised President Barack Obama’s leadership with his latest proposal, that would include a middle-class tax hike and some cuts to Social Security. She remains confident that she could sell this plan to the Democratic caucus, and although not all members will agree, the majority will “stick with the president.”
She stressed that instead of worrying about what happens if the country goes over the fiscal cliff, many should be asking themselves what happens if we don’t go over it.
It “will give a boost of morale to the economy, consumers, markets and the rest,” Pelosi told Mitchell. “It’s worth making a compromise to accomplish this.”
Pelosi and Mitchell also reflected on the recent shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The congresswoman called the rampage “unfathomable” and said “our hearts are very heavy.”
“We have to do everything in our power…to try to prevent it from happening again,” Pelosi said.
Mitchell spoke about other recent tragedies as a result of gun violence, such as the shooting of Arizona’s Rep. Gabby Giffords, and asked why gun control wasn’t discussed during this election cycle.
Pelosi agreed that the time to take action is now and that some caucus members are now rethinking their stance on guns control.
“Right away this week, we could pass the ban on the assault magazine,” Pelosi said. “In a larger sense, let’s go down this path of banning the assault weapon. I think there’s a better chance to do that now than ever.”
Pelosi explained why Congressional members should keep in mind how this type of violence and its impact has made children feel vulnerable and says they have a responsibility to get something done.
“It should be bipartisan and I think it can be. Whatever the president can do by executive or administrative direction I hope that he will do,” she said. “But I also think we all have a responsibility to tell the children that we did everything in our power to protect them.”
Pelosi acknowledged the cut backs in funding for mental health programs and how it could contribute to a situation like the one which occurred last Friday. She said Congress must first concentrate on implementing a ban on assault weapons, then address mental health issues and violence in society.
“The balance between security, freedom, privacy and protection is something we have to accomplish,” Pelosi said emphatically. “It has to happen now.”
Pelosi also offered her opinion on Hillary Clinton running for president saying, that she would be “great” and would love to see her run and that the increase in women in Congress and the cabinet had energized the caucus.