Dems Call on Congress to Stay and ‘Work,Work,’ But Decline Questions From Media

By Elizabeth Harrington | September 21, 2012 | 3:23 PM EDT

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Claif.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) . (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

( – House Democrats, led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), held a press conference on the Capitol steps on Friday demanding that Republicans keep Congress in session and “work, work, work” to pass several bills, but they declined to take any questions from reporters before returning to the Capitol.

At the press conference, attended by about 30 Democrats, Pelosi led the group in a chant of “work, work, work, work,” before they went inside.  Prior to the closing chant, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said, “This is simply irresponsible and Republicans ought to come back and finish their work -- not cut and run and walk away from the American people.”

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“Shame on them,” said Hoyer. “Shame on them for abandoning our farmers, our economy and families who need us to act.”

“Let me say this about our caucus, we’re fired up and ready to stay!” he said.  “We’re fired up and ready to stay here and do the work for the American people.”

Pelosi said, “Democrats are prepared to stay until we get the job done. That’s what we’re elected to do.”  Then she lead the “work, work, work” chorus and returned to the Capitol. As the Democrats left, one reporter shouted, “Are questions not work?"

Shortly thereafter, at a press conference held by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), a reporter asked, “Mr. Speaker, a few moments ago House Democrats gathered on the Capitol steps chanting ‘work, work, work’ and criticizing you for—”

Boehner said, “Really, my friends across the aisle? Who I have treated fairly.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). (AP Photo)

“They’re saying that this is the earliest Congress has ever left in an election year, saying you should stay here and fix the problems,” the reporter said.

Boehner said, “Fix the problems? Well, instead of them having this demonstration on the House steps maybe they should have had it on the Senate steps.”

He continued:  “You know, it was Steny Hoyer a couple of years ago who said the most important part of governing is doing a budget.  Senate Democrats have not done a budget for three-and-a-half years.  You think about the letter that they sent to me about us doing our work -- how about the 40 jobs bills that are sitting in the United States Senate?”

“The House is the only body who passed a bill to stop the coming tax hikes,” Boehner said.  “The House is the only body that’s passed a bill to stop the sequester.”

“We have done our work,” Boehner said.  “But here Senate Democrats and the president, where is there responsibility, where is their leadership?  It just doesn’t exist.”