Nancy Pelosi is seeking reelection for her position as speaker of the House, after Democrats maintained their majority in this year's elections with only a few losses. Pelosi sent a personalized letter to each Democratic member asking for their support, saying that Democrats now had a "mandate" with a majority in the House and with former Vice President Joe Biden likely to win the presidency.
In her letter, Pelosi said she wanted to "harness the extraordinary vision, values and vibrancy of our Caucus to secure the progress that the American people deserve."
"In that spirit, I am writing to request your support to be re-elected as Speaker. I do so with the utmost respect for the diverse viewpoints of our Democratic Caucus, the gravity of this role and the urgency of the challenges ahead," Pelosi said.
Pelosi's appeal comes after several Democratic membersin a heated caucus-wide call on Thursday. Several members, including Representative Abigail Spanberger, said liberal catchphrases like "defund the police" hurt more moderate representatives in their reelection races. They complained that Republicans were able to tie them to "socialism" because of the party's more left-wing members.
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said on the call that the DCCC would do a "deep dive" on what happened, according to a source familiar with the call.
However, some progressive members of the House pushed back against the characterization from more moderate Democrats. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter on Friday morning that many of these vulnerable Democrats had "awful execution on digital."
In her letter, Pelosi also previewed her priorities for the next Congress.
"The American people elected Democrats up and down the ballot with a resounding and a remarkable mandate for progress and healing. Working together with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the Democratic House will be ready on Day One to advance extraordinary change For The People," Pelosi said in her letter. She said that Democrats would continue to push for coronavirus relief legislation, after Democrats failed to reach a deal with the White House despite negotiations throughout October.
She also said that the House would focus on passing legislation to aid "seniors, veterans, immigrants, LGBTQ Americans, women, young people and frontline communities." However, she also tacitly acknowledged that Democrats may not have the majority in the Senate when the new Congress convenes in January, which could hinder the passage of Democratic legislative priorities.
"With a Democratic president, a Democratic House and Democrats in the Senate, it is imperative that we enact initiatives to make the economy fairer — ending wealth and health disparities," Pelosi wrote.
The balance of the Senate is currently 48 to 48, with the vice president breaking a tie. The two Senate races in Georgia are likely toin January, meaning that the Senate may not have a clear majority when it convenes. The winner of the Senate race in North Carolina is unclear, although incumbent Republican Senator Thom Tillis has a small lead as of Thursday. Fifty-one seats are needed for a majority.