WASHINGTON – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi,D-Calif.,announced she will seek to remain House Democratic leader at a Capitol Hill news conference Wednesday.
“I have made the decision to submit my name to my colleagues to once again serve as Democratic House leader,” Pelosi said.
Her announcement followed by a day,a happy session with the newly elected Democratic freshmen class. This class knocked out 16 Republican incumbents,a net gain of two seats.
“With these new members,the Tea Party starts to roll back,and problem solving can move forward,and that’s what this election was all about,” Rep. Steve Israel,D-N.Y.,chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee,said.
Israel said Democrats are ready to seek common ground,hopefully,on a higher ground and willing to find compromise and consensus with Republicans.
Israel said some of those compromises include opening up more small businesses instead of shutting down more Planned Parenthood clinics and balancing budgets so long as those budgets are “balanced fairly and the middle class is not asked to be the first and the only to sacrifice.”
Israel said Democrats are ready “for fiscal responsibility and not a fiscal cliff.”
Pelosi said Democrats will work with the president to “fix the economy,to create jobs and grow the economy,strengthen the middle class,protect Medicare and the Affordable Care Act,reduce the deficit in a responsible and balanced way. And they’ve come just in time to do that.”
Pelosi introduced Patrick Murphy,D-Fla.,as “a real fighter for the middle class” and a “real representative of his generation.”
“His election,with the others,is a cause for celebration,” Pelosi said. “His election sends a message to a new generation of Americans,that their voices will be heard at the table.”
Murphy,at age 29 would be the youngest member of Congress. Along with the other newly elected members of the House,he is seen as the voice of a new generation.
“Throughout this campaign the one message I heard time after time was the need for bipartisanship … to reach across the aisle,” Murphy said. “That’s what we need to do. We have to put our country first.”
Murphy described his newly elected classmates as problem solvers.
At Wednesday’s news conference,Pelosi took offense to a reporter’s question. He said some of her colleagues privately say that her decision to stay on prohibits the party from having younger leadership,hurting the party in the long term.
Pelosi’s initial response was to ignore the question,but she returned to the subject.
“You’ve always asked that question,except to Mitch McConnell,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi is 72. McConnell,R-Ky.,the Senate minority leader,is 70. Other leaders are also over 70: House Minority whip Steny Hoyer,D-Md.,is 73; Assistant Democratic Party Leader Jim Clyburn,D-S.C.,is 72 and Senate majority leader Harry Reid,D-Nev.,72. House Speaker John Boehner is an exception – he will turn 63 on Saturday.
Israel pointed out the Democratic caucus has 61 women,43 members of the Congressional Black Caucus,27 members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and 10 Asian-Pacific Americans.
“Together,the diversity of our caucus celebrates the strength of our nation,” Pelosi said. “This caucus is a picture of America.”
Reach reporter Kristopher Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-326-9865. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.