WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the Democrats’ election push that resulted in the party retaking control of the House of Representatives is “all about the children,” but she didn’t bring up the upcoming speaker’s race that could be all about the Dem establishment versus a new crop of lawmakers.
Celebrating tonight with other prominent House Democrats at the party’s D.C. headquarters, and joined at the microphone by two of her grandsons, Pelosi declared that “tomorrow will be a new day in America” and told party faithful to “remember this feeling — know the power to win.”
With many results on the West Coast still outstanding, Democrats were projected to pick up more than 30 seats before the end of the night. They needed 23 seats to take control of the lower chamber.
Some of the key wins for Dems included Colin Allred, a former linebacker for the Tennessee Titans and an attorney, defeating powerful House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Democrat Kendra Horn defeating Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.); Horn was not projected to win in the district that hadn’t seen a Democrat win since 1974.
Pelosi chalked up the House wins to “dynamic, diverse, incredible candidates.”
“Today is more than about Democrat and Republican — it’s about restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration,” she said, adding that some of the Dems’ priorities would be healthcare and protecting coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, raising wages, lowering prescription drug prices, propelling infrastructure revitalization, and trying to “drain the swamp of dark interest money.”
The House will be “led with transparency and openness,” Pelosi said, as “we will have accountability and we will strive for bipartisanship” and “stand our ground where we can’t” agree.
She continued to vow a “bipartisan marketplace of ideas that makes our democracy strong… we have all had enough of division.”
She added that the House “will honor the vision of our Founders …having a legitimate debate but remembering we’re one country.”
“We must honor and respect the aspirations of our children,” Pelosi concluded, thanking volunteers and voters “for making the future better for all of America’s children.”
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said that Trump called Pelosi at 11:45 p.m. “to extend his congratulations on winning a Democratic House Majority.”
“He acknowledged the Leader’s call for bipartisanship in her victory remarks,” Hammill tweeted.
Some Dem candidates said on the campaign trail that they either wouldn’t support Pelosi for speaker or they were uncommitted. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) was backed by a third of the Democratic caucus in his 2016 bid to unseat Pelosi as the party’s leader in the House.
“There are a number of candidates that are having conversations that are talking about running,” Ryan told Fox News on Sunday. “I will say, it’s not going to be a coronation. Somebody is going to run for leadership. I think it’s important that we have this discussion and have this conversation. I think the American people want a change. I think a lot of Democrats want a change.”
“There’s a lot of conversations happening right now, people from across the country, different candidates, different demographics who are talking about running for that leadership position,” he added, noting that electing a speaker from a working-class, blue-collar area “who talks about growth and the economy and opportunity and pensions and healthcare, bread-and-butter stuff” would benefit the party.