Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the first female speaker when Democrats controlled the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011, told caucus members she will stay for another two-year term as their leader, an aide said.
Pelosi, who was deposed as speaker after the 2010 election delivered House control to Republicans, had refused to reveal her plans until she met today with fellow House Democrats. She scheduled a 10 a.m. news conference to make her announcement.
Her decision to stay as minority leader follows the second consecutive election in which Democrats won a minority of seats in the 435-seat House.
Pelosi, 72, was first elected minority leader after the 2002 election, serving in that position from 2003 until 2007. She then became speaker after her party won control of both the House and Senate in the 2006 election.
As speaker she shepherded President Barack Obama’s health-care law through the House toward enactment by Congress in 2010. She also pushed through the House a measure to curb pollution that causes climate change, legislation that died in the Senate.
Pelosi had plenty of political incentives to stay because “she was heavily invested in the president’s re-election,” said Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenaur. “She could have a lot of influence” in a House with as many as eight more Democratic seats.
Pelosi signaled her intentions yesterday by introducing the 49 new Democratic members elected last week.
“House Democrats are ready to work with the president, our Senate colleagues and across the aisle for certainty for our economy and our middle class,” she said yesterday at a news conference. “With our newly elected members and the entire Democratic caucus, we’re going to work together to reignite the American dream.”