Pelosi: 'We Have No Regrets' About Debt Piled Up Over Last Two Years

By Nicholas Ballasy | January 4, 2011 | 3:35 PM EST

Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, and outgoing House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Md., take part in a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

( - When asked if she regrets not using the last two years with a Democrat controlled Congress to do more about the national debt, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she has “no regrets,” adding that “deficit reduction” has been a “high priority” for the Democratic Congress.

Speaker Pelosi was asked, “Do you have regrets that you didn't use the 2 years that you had total Democratic control of government to focus more on jobs and especially the debt which we did not hear much at all from you?”

Pelosi, speaking on her last day as Speaker of the House, said, “No, we have no regrets. This House has over and over again sent to the Senate legislation for job creation, which the Republicans in the Senate held up. Deficit reduction has been a high priority for us, it is our mantra; pay as you go. Unfortunately, that will be changed now.”

She added, “This administration and this Congress inherited a near Depression. So, the initiatives that we took were positive for the American people. It’s not enough to save people from a Depression though – 9 and a half percent unemployment is intolerable and as long as we have that we have to continue to fight for job creation.”

According to official debt figures published by the U.S. Treasury, the Democrat controlled 111th Congress added $3.22 trillion ($3,220,103,625,307.29) to the national debt – more than the new debt accumulated by the first 100 Congresses combined.

The 110th Congress added the second largest amount to the national debt – $1.957 trillion while the 108th ($1.159 trillion in new debt) and 109th ($1.054 trillion in new debt), both controlled by Republicans, come in at third and fourth place among all U.S. Congresses in terms of accumulating debt.