Washington (CNN) - In her last news conference as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi pledged Tuesday that Democrats will zero in on the economy and reducing the deficit in the new Congress.
"House Democrats will keep our focus on the creation of jobs - putting the American people to work," Pelosi said.
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Pelosi added, "We will measure every policy from both parties as it comes forth as to whether it creates jobs, whether it strengthens the middle class and whether it reduces the deficit instead of heaping mountains of debt onto our children and our grandchildren."
Democratic leaders also used the news conference to slam Republicans for moving forward with their campaign pledge to repeal the new health care law. They argued the GOP focus on the effort to dismantle the new law comes at the expense of economic priorities.
Florida Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, ticked through all of the provisions that would be eliminated and said, "Republicans' obsession with repealing health care reform is going to hurt real people."
And Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen slammed the new Republican majority for creating an exemption in their new rules that mandate that any new measure's costs be offset with spending cuts.
"What they are going to do is engage in is Enron type of accounting to say that when they move to try and repeal health care a week from tomorrow that the hit on the deficit will not matter," Van Hollen said.
Pelosi deflected a question from CNN to reflect on her tenure as the first female House Speaker, essentially dismissing the question by saying, "Actually I don't really look back, I look forward."
When Pelosi made history in 2007 taking the gavel, she frequently talked about being a mother and grandmother, and after she was sworn in had a photo opportunity where she surrounded herself with young children. She used the same analogy on Tuesday, but made it about her emphasis as the leader of the Democratic minority to focus on the deficit.
"As a mother and a grandmother and as parents and grandparents here, we don't have any intention of leaving any bills for our children, personal or otherwise."