As she handed over the House Speaker’s gavel to the other party, Nancy Pelosi pointed out that the shoe was now on the other foot and the new Republican-led Congress would be judged by whether it creates jobs.
The California Democrat, now House minority leader, probably would like her old job back, and setting such a high performance bar for the Republicans now in charge of the House of Representatives might be one way to get it.
Lessons from the November elections are still burning — it was public anger and anxiety about the economy and job losses that partly led to Democrats losing control of the House of Representatives.
“Our most important job is to fight for American jobs … And so Democrats will judge what comes before Congress from either side of the aisle as to whether it creates jobs, strengthens the middle class, and reduces the deficit,” the first woman speaker said as she handed a huge gavel to the new speaker of the House, Republican John Boehner.
Boehner also addressed job concerns. “We gather here today at a time of great challenges. Nearly one in ten of our neighbors are looking for work,” he said. “Hard work and tough decisions will be required of the 112th Congress. No longer can we fall short. No longer can we kick the can down the road. The people voted to end business as usual, and today we begin carrying out their instructions.”