Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi expressed disappointment today after top Republican leaders walked out of debt talks.
"I don't know how they can face the American people by saying this is what's really important to us when it comes time to reduce the deficit, to give tax breaks to big oil and corporate America," the House Minority Leader said in an exclusive interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl dramatically pulled out of budget talks led by Vice President Joe Biden over unwillingness to compromise on revenue increases. Cantor kicked the negotiations up the chain, saying it’s "time for President Obama to speak clearly and resolve the tax issue."
Pelosi happened to be in meeting with President Obama at the White House when Cantor announced he would not attend a negotiating session.
Pelosi remains confident talks will continue in a bipartisan fashion, with top GOP leaders on board.
"They'll have to go back to the table. They made their political point," said Pelosi. "Rather than getting into a tit-for-tat, the fact is we have to have cuts on the table, we have to have revenue on the table, we have to have some element of growth. And we are not supporting any package that has cuts in benefits for Medicare beneficiaries."
As for the political maneuvering, Pelosi said she’s giving her Republican work colleagues the benefit of the doubt on the impasse.
"I trust that my colleagues are responsible. And if not, they'll hear from their friends on Wall Street of the impact of defaulting on our debt will have to the markets and to our whole economy. It's in a fragile place right now, we certainly don't need this. I think they know that."