Pelosi: Success requires bipartisanship


On Thursday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi joined Chris Matthews on “Hardball” to discuss why she feels the economic recovery bill will work.

Below is an excerpt of the transcript.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, HARDBALL: Speaker, thank you. I was watching yesterday from my office, and I saw Sen. Harry Reid walk out with some Republican senators and announced there was an agreement on the giant economy recovery bill. Where were you?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-Calif.), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, they had agreement among themselves, and we were pretty much in agreement, but they had just reached agreement, were eager to announce it. We wanted to see the language. And it all worked out just fine.

MATTHEWS: But Sen. Reid said there was an agreement at that time. Was there, between the House and the Senate?

PELOSI: Pretty much. But again, you have to see the language. In other words, words have power, and they make a difference.

MATTHEWS: Why did three Republican senators get the right to toy around with a bill of this importance historically? It seems like they get to decide what’s in, what’s out, and whether there is, in fact, a recovery bill. I’m talking about Sens. Specter, Snowe and Collins. They were treated yesterday by the Senate majority leader as if they were the profiles in courage, the key people in passing this bill.

PELOSI: Now, you’ll have to talk to the Senate about profiles in courage over there, as well as the role they all played. But what is important to note is that 90 percent of the bill is the bill that the House wrote and sent over there. This is the legislative process. We act; they act; we reconcile. And in order to get the votes, they had to make certain changes in the legislation. As long as it was not undermining the purpose of our interest in school construction, unemployed workers, those kinds of issues, we were able to find compatibility.

But again, as far as the dynamic in the Senate is concerned, I had my hands filled as the speaker of the House, juggling all of the interests here.

MATTHEWS: But you’re the only constitutional officer on Capitol Hill.

PELOSI: That’s right.

To read a complete copy of the transcript with video, click here.

Pelosi: Success requires bipartisanship