Pelosi Complains: 'We're Doing Our Usual Nothing'

By Susan Jones | June 20, 2014 | 5:40 AM EDT

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

( - "We should be extending unemployment insurance benefits, we should be raising the minimum wage, we should be building the infrastructure of America, we should be taking up a highway bill that enables us to do just that. But instead, we're doing our usual nothing," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told a news conference on Thursday.

She also complained about House Republicans holding leadership elections in the middle of the day, when they usually take place in the morning. "Doesn't matter, morning or afternoon, we're not doing that much anyway," she said. "[W]e could be doing so many other things, including passing an immigration -- comprehensive immigration reform bill.

"The clock is running out on that," she added, noting that next week will mark the one-year anniversary of the Senate passing a "bipartisan" immigration reform bill.

"I would hope that our Republican leadership will give us an opportunity to vote on some legislation that will take us forward. But again, there isn't that much time. I don't think we have 30 legislative days left from now until October."

Pelosi said the House also should take up the Voting Rights Act: "Quite ironic, if that's the word, that ... Tuesday we will be observing, in the Rotunda of the Capital, with great fanfare, the 50-year anniversary of the passage of a civil rights bill. Don't you think an appropriate observance of that outstanding legislation, which transformed America, an appropriate observance would be to pass the Voting Rights Act?"

Pelosi was referring to a bill that would restore preclearance provisions struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. Preclearance required some states, most in the South, to get approval from the Justice Department before changing voting laws or districts.

Asked if she is concerned about the IRS losing two year's worth of Lois Lerner's emails, then recycling Lerner's computer hard drive, Pelosi said it tells her the IRS needs a technology upgrade:

"What that missing email is telling me -- and I understand there were six other sets of emails that were...similarly missing -- what it convinces me is that they need a new technology system at the IRS, A.

"B, we also have to view it in light of the fact the IRS has turned over 750,000 pages of documents, something like 67,000 emails, so it's not as if they (the investigating committees) are devoid of information. I think that the reports all show that those responsible did not know about their -- the years of the crash of their systems until a couple of years later.

"So I think they need a new -- they need to upgrade their technology, get it right, so that there's no suspicion about what agenda anyone may have on that."