Pelosi again dodges whether she’ll run for speaker if Democrats retain chamber
Democrats are going to be the minority in the House next year. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s not interested in becoming the majority leader. Not that a minority leader isn’t a position that has earned Pelosi’s name: When the California Democrat was speaker, she was the first minority leader of any major chamber.
Pelosi didn’t outright decline the assignment, which would give the speaker the power to choose a colleague to serve as minority leader and give Democrats the ability to thwart President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda.
Her comments Thursday came on the same day that the speaker said she’s not interested in running for speaker if she is still in the majority next fall.
“If I am the Speaker, and I’m a very active member of the Democratic Caucus, then I will stay out of it. I do it as a member of the Party or the caucus. I do not speak for the Party, the caucus or the larger party,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Democratic members.
Pelosi is under pressure of late from progressives, who call her a lame duck speaker who lacks the boldness to take on Trump and his allies, who have won a majority in the House in the 2018 elections.
But Pelosi — who is set to turn 64 next year — said she won’t run if Democrats control the chamber.
“The president won. It’s the last session of the next Congress. I’m going to stay and do this job as long as I’m permitted to do it,” she said.
The speaker said she would not run if Democrats retain the House majority in 2018. That’s because the only other Democrats she would consider joining her caucus would be those who were elected to win committee seats.
The only Democratic member of the California delegation who is running for a seat on the board of trustees of San Francisco Public Schools, Rep. Jim Richardson, will not be a candidate for speaker if Democrats retain the House.