WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is expected to discuss her plans with colleagues Thursday in the wake of Democrats narrowly losing control of the House to Republicans in the midterm elections.
Pelosi’s decision to either seek another term as Democratic leader or step aside has been widely anticipated. It would come after the party was able to stop an expected Republican wave in the House and Senate, but also in the wake of a brutal attack to her husband, Paul, by an intruder at their San Francisco home late last month.
‘The speaker intends to explain her future plans to her colleagues tomorrow. Stay tuned,” Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill tweeted late Wednesday.
Pelosi is expected to speak on the House floor, but no time has been set. The chamber opens at 10 a.m. EST, before legislative work begins at noon. The speaker took home two versions of her speech at night for review.
The speaker “has been overwhelmed by calls from colleagues, friends and supporters,” Hammill said, noting that on Wednesday night she had been monitoring election results in the last states where ballots were still being counted.
The California Democrat, who became the country’s first woman to hold the gavel, is a pivotal figure in American politics.
By announcing her decision, Pelosi could spark a domino effect in Democrats’ leadership in the House of Representatives next month ahead of internal party elections as Democrats reorganize for their new role as a minority party in the new Congress .
Pelosi’s leadership team, featuring Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Democratic Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina, has long been a triumvirate. Hoyer and Clyburn also make decisions about their futures.
The three Democratic House leaders, all now in their 80s, have faced restless colleagues eager to see them step aside and let a new generation take the lead.
Democrats Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts and Rep. California’s Pete Aguilar have moved on similarly at times as a trio, all working toward leadership roles themselves.
First elected to the House in 1987, Pelosi has long been ridiculed by Republicans as a San Francisco liberal while steadily rising as a skilled lawmaker and fundraising powerhouse. Her own Democratic colleagues have intermittently appreciated, but also feared, Pelosi’s strong form of leadership.