Pelosi, Dems Say Obama’s Policies Inspire ‘Confidence’; Blame Others for Market Decline

By Matt Cover | March 10, 2009 | 8:11 PM EDT

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) (AP Photo)

Washington ( – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that the policies pursued by the Obama administration and by congressional Democrats are “inspiring confidence” in the nation’s economy. She said the troubled economy would soon reverse itself as government policy takes effect.
“The word of the day is the word that is important to our economy every day, and that word is ‘confidence' -- confidence in our markets, confidence in lending, confidence in our financial institutions,” Pelosi told reporters at a Capitol Hill press conference. 
“It’s clear that we have to stabilize our financial institutions, we have to invest in a stimulus plan to grow our economy, we have to regulate our financial institutions, and we have to end the housing crisis,” she said. “The Obama administration has already done just that," she added.
When asked by whether there is any connection between Obama’s policies and the market’s month-long plunge, Democratic leaders were unanimous in blaming the record losses on anything other than their efforts.
“If there’s any message from the Congress to the markets it is that this (the stimulus package) is a fiscally sound package, because markets don’t like spending, as we know. This is a fiscally sound package designed to be a recovery stimulus package with finite investments, not long-term spending,” Pelosi said.
“This is very market-oriented,” Pelosi continued, referring to Obama's “energy policy innovations and the whole building of the (power) grid to encourage the private sector in many, many ways.”
Other congressional Democratic leaders praised Obama’s economic medicine. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said the administration’s policies were pro-market, but that they will take time to work.
“With an enormous economy like this and problems that have been years in the making, (things) don’t turn on a dime," Frank said. “They don’t even turn on a trillion.”
“I believe that what we are doing is very pro-market. We are dealing with some problems in the marketplace today, and we are talking about putting in place in the future things that will help the market work better.”
Frank, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, blamed the markets’ decline on the rest of the world, saying that Wall Street was reacting to a lack of international efforts such as those taken by Obama.
“The American stock market is a globalized entity in its reactions,” Frank told “We’ve been ahead of much of the rest of the world in trying to respond to these problems but the stock market cannot look only at America, so part of what you’re seeing in the market is a pessimism about what’s going on in the world, where people haven’t responded as quickly as we’ve done.”
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y blamed congressional Republicans, saying their opposition to the stimulus and other spending measures was driving market declines.
“I think investors are not only looking at the market, but they are looking at the Congress and they are looking at our nation,” Rangel said. “I really think that the Republicans just have a program of just saying ‘no’. When you see a divided Congress there are people that wonder and worry.”
Speaker Pelosi, meanwhile, concluded by saying that, outside of Washington, enthusiasm for Obama’s stimulus plans are high.
“The markets are what they are, free, and we always want them to be,” Pelosi explained.

“Outside the editorials, outside of Washington, the enthusiasm is much more positive, and in just a couple of weekends I saw the private sector very enthusiastic about the infrastructure initiatives and the rebuilding of America that is going to happen,” the San Francisco Democrat said.
The Democratic leadership’s comments seemed to be in line with President Obama’s own view that daily market fluctuations were not an indication that his efforts are failing.