Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Oct. 25 said she would run for her party’s leadership position again if Democrats retain their House majority during the November election.
When she was asked on CNN about whether she would again run, Pelosi said, “Yes, I am.”
“But let me also say that we have to win the Senate, so all this discussion of the virus takes us to the importance of this election,” she added. “Vote your health.”
Pelosi said it’s important for Democrats to regain control of the Senate, noting Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s likely confirmation to the Supreme Court this month. On Oct. 25, the Senate voted to limit debate on Barrett’s confirmation, meaning that a vote may go through to place her on the Supreme Court as soon as Oct. 26.
“This is a very important election, and this nomination makes the election even more important for people’s health” as well as the “health of our planet,” Pelosi said.
The California Democrat made history when she became the first female House speaker from 2007 until 2011, when Republicans gained control of the House. She was reelected in 2019 after Democrats took the lower chamber during the midterm elections in 2018.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a self-described democratic socialist first-year congresswoman, also told CNN on Oct. 25 that she would support Pelosi’s leadership bid.
Pelosi’s pledge to run for speaker again comes as she has not spoken to President Donald Trump in more than a year, highlighting the gridlocked nature of Congress in recent years. The last time she spoke with the president was on Oct. 19, 2019, in the midst of the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Trump.
“It’s a sad commentary on the circumstances of our governance,” Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) told The Hill earlier this month. “The more that politics becomes kind of a brutal sport rather than a public service, the more trouble we’re going to be in. We’re seeing the evidence of that right now.”
In the interview, Pelosi said that stimulus legislation needs to be passed.
“People need help right away,” Pelosi told CNN. “What I say to them, though, what we are doing right now is to make the bill bigger, better, and safer for you. And the benefits will be retroactive.”
The talks between Pelosi and the White House are ongoing.
“Well, you know, I will never give up hope. I’m optimistic,” she said of a possible stimulus package being passed before Election Day. She asserted that the White House has refused to concede to the Democrats’ position on COVID-19 testing, unemployment benefits, and state and local funding, among other provisions.
“They keep moving the goalposts,” Pelosi said. “Every time they say we move the goalposts, that means they’re projecting what they did. But let’s just—let’s be hopeful.”
Last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin noted there are “significant differences” remaining.
“I would say we offered compromises. The Speaker, on a number of issues, is still dug in. If she wants to compromise, there will be a deal,” Mnuchin said. “We’ve made lots of progress, lots of areas, but there’s still significant differences.”