POLITICS: PennAve

Nancy Pelosi: Budget deal doesn't guarantee greater bipartisanship on Capitol Hill

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi warned against assuming the budget compromise will usher in a new era of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, saying that a lot more work must be done to significantly thaw the icy Democratic-Republican relationship.

"I don't think it's a one-off [event] and I don't think it's a great turning point, but I think that we have many more areas that we can work together in a bipartisan way," the California Democrat said Thursday during her weekly briefing with reporters.

"Certainly, not achieving this [budget deal] would not have been a good signal, but I don't under- or over-estimate the power of this one event."

Pelosi called the compromise, brokered this week between Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., a "draw as small as it could possibly be."

"I hope the bargains that we have [in the future] are better than this one," she said.

The budget package, if approved, would avert a government shutdown until October 2015, restore $63 billion in scheduled cuts and trim the budget deficit by $22.5 billion. The House is scheduled to vote on the deal Thursday, with a Senate voted expected next week.

Pelosi didn't speculate on whether the bill will pass the House, but said there is growing support for it among her members.

"A matter of days ago I would have said there weren't very many votes on our side for this bill. Now there are," she said.

The minority leader also rebuked Republicans for refusing to include a provision in the budget deal to extend long-term unemployment insurance benefits, which are set to expire Dec. 28.

"This is so unconscionable, it's practically at the level of immoral," she said.

Pelosi said Democrats will continue to press for the extension, saying it was vital to helping shore up the nation's economy.

"One of the fastest ways to inject demand into the economy and to create jobs and growth would have been to pass the unemployment insurance piece in this legislation, [and] the Republicans said no," she said.

"This is a big fight for us …This is about who we are as a nation."

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