House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that she will not resign from her seat in Congress in the next congressional term and will seek the position of House Minority Leader.
Pelosi made the announcement on her official Twitter account, saying that she is staying on to protect the health-care overhaul she presided over as speaker, Wall Street reform and entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
“Driven by the urgency of creating jobs & protecting #hcr, #wsr, Social Security & Medicare, I am running for Dem Leader,” Pelosi’s Twitter account read. (“#hcr” and “#wsr” stand for “Health Care Reform” and “Wall Street reform.”)
Although the last two speakers of the House left Congress voluntarily when they lost the majority, the practice is not a tradition.
There are no promises that House Democrats will elect her to the leadership position. A number of of them, some of whom survived Tuesday’s election, have vowed that they will not support her bid.
Republicans, however, welcomed her decision.
“Given that there are now 60-plus defeated Democrat House members urgently seeking jobs due to Nancy Pelosi’s failed leadership, we welcome her decision to run for House Minority Leader based on her proven ability to create jobs for Republican lawmakers,” said Ken Spain, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “If House Democrats are willing to sacrifice more of their members in 2012 for the glory of Nancy Pelosi, we are happy to oblige them.”
“My breath is taken away by that announcement,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. “Nancy is one of the best at what she does, from a political standpoint. She marshaled through one of the worst pieces of legislation in the history of this country. The voters soundly rejected that on Tuesday night. Clearly I think Nancy thinks she has some more to contribute. We welcome that.”