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Pelosi: Boehner Chose To Go To The Dark Side

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - - Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi drew hoots and cheers Saturday on the House floor.

She said Republican Speaker John Boehner "chose to go to the dark side" when he didn't have the votes to support his debt ceiling bill.

"The Speaker chose, when he didn't have the votes, instead of to reach out in a bipartisan way to see how we could work together, he chose to go to the dark side. (Hooting/cheers). Let me repeat. And I repeat, he chose to go to the dark side by putting forth a bill that he himself told his Members  would sink in the Senate -- and I add, lead to default, lead to default. We cannot default. We are the greatest country that ever existed in the history of the world. We are the United States of America."

"It's perfectly absurd for them to say that the bill they brought to the floor yesterday, the Boehner bill that they brought to the floor, was an agreement of the four leaders of the House and Senate, Democrat and Republican. Either you don't know what you're talking about or it's a perfect absurdity."  When another member asks her to yield, Pelosi said, "I will not yield to you."

Meantime, officials said late Saturday that White House and Republican leaders in Congress were making significant progress toward a last-minute agreement to avoid a default threatened for next week.

These officials say the two sides are discussing a plan to raise the debt limit by about $2.4 trillion and enact spending cuts of a slightly larger amount in two stages.

The deal under discussion would also require Congress to vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, but not require its approval.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the discussions.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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