- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 10, 2013

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Sunday downplayed concerns about federal spending levels, arguing that Republicans’ laserlike focus on budget cuts is misplaced.

“It isn’t as much a spending problem as it is priorities,” Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“It is almost a false argument to say that we have a spending problem.” she added.

(SEE RELATED: President Obama vows to make Nancy Pelosi speaker of the House again)

Mrs. Pelosi, a former House speaker, also warned against the looming sequester cuts, saying Congress must work with the White House to avoid those reductions, calling them “something that should be out of the question.”

But when pressed on whether federal spending is the biggest problem facing Congress, Mrs. Pelosi instead made the case for ending tax breaks for oil and gas companies and eliminating tax credits and “loopholes” for high-income Americans.

Mrs. Pelosi also downplayed the ever-increasing budgets for entitlement programs such as Medicare.

“The challenge to Medicare is not Medicare. It’s rising medical costs in general,” she said.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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