House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) stressed the need for new national priorities at a press conference Tuesday, but she couldn’t name a single current national priority that should be put on hold.
Recognizing America’s need to stay competitive in the fast-paced, technology-driven global market, Pelosi announced the House Democrats’ “Innovative Agenda: A Commitment to Competitiveness to Keep America No. 1.”
The agenda increases the number of American scientists, engineers and mathematicians by 100,000 in the next four years, doubles funding for national scientific research, promotes of private-public partnerships and small business innovations, ensures nationwide availability of affordable broadband Internet within five years and demands complete energy independence in 10 years.
The agenda, she said, is all about prioritizing. She said she would like to see Congress put “these priorities first.”
When asked what priorities the new agenda should overstep, the congresswoman didn’t have an answer.
Reminded by one reporter that Republicans have proposed many of the same ideas with little support from Democrats, Pelosi shot back defensively. “If we were in power this would be done, when we are in power, it will be done,” she said.
Even the San Francisco Chronicle, Pelosi’s hometown newspaper, points out that “many of Pelosi’s ideas have been pushed by Bush and the GOP Congress. For example, money for some research organizations, such as the National Institutes of Health, has soared. The administration also is trying to boost domestic oil and gas production and increase research into hydrogen fuels.”
As far as Pelosi is concerned, America “can’t afford not to do this.”
But at the same time, she couldn’t explain where funding for the initiatives would come from when asked. She insisted, however, that if implemented, the new agenda would not increase the national debt.