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Politics & Policy

Pelosi says she’ll decide on House leadership role after midterms settled

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 30, 2022, in Washington, D.C. | Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

With a handful of House races yet to be decided, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN that she’ll decide whether to remain in a congressional leadership position in the next two weeks.

“My decision will then be rooted in […] the wishes of my family and the wishes of my caucus, but none of it will be very much considered until we see what the outcome of all of this is,” Pelosi told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview on Sunday morning.

Control of the U.S. House of Representatives was still up in the air on Sunday morning, with neither party capturing the 218-member threshold needed to win the chamber.

Asked whether she’ll make a decision before Nov. 30, when congressional Democrats are scheduled to hold leadership elections, Pelosi responded “of course” and said she isn’t “asking anyone for anything” when it comes to a leadership role.

“There are all kinds of ways to exert influence,” she said. “[The speaker] has awesome power, but I will always have influence.”

The broad expectation that Democrats would lose control of the House—combined with the recent attack on Pelosi’s husband—sparked speculation that she would decide to retire in the upcoming term.

But Democrats outperformed expectations in the midterm elections, with 20 out of 435 congressional races still outstanding as of Sunday mid-morning, according to the Associated Press. Democrats have won 204 seats so far, compared to the GOP’s 211 seats.

Pelosi was just reelected to her 19th term in the House of Representatives, and is on her fourth term as House speaker.

Her eventual retirement could set off a political scrum for the ages in San Francisco as local politicos jockey for the coveted seat in Congress.

Pelosi also took a swipe at Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who has been campaigning to become House speaker should Republicans control the chamber.

“He doesn’t have” what it takes to be speaker, she said.