SAN FRANCISCO -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised her caucus Wednesday on a call with members for defying the odds and keeping more seats than expected in this year's midterms -- but shared no insight into her future and whether she will again run for the top job in her caucus.
"Our candidates were courageous," Pelosi said on the call, according to a source. "They had the stamina to get the job done."
As control of the House hangs in the balance, Democrats face an uphill climb in keeping majority -- CNN has not yet projected which party will take the chamber -- but that didn't stop Pelosi, as well as others in Democratic leadership, from taking a victory lap Wednesday after several vulnerable Democrats were able to keep their seats that were expected to be lost after Tuesday. Democrats managed to hold on to competitive US House seats in Virginia, Kansas, Michigan and Texas, among other states.
Speculation had been intensifying in Washington this fall over what Pelosi's next move will be, and whether she would decide to retire, if Republicans win back the majority. CNN reported in September that in interviews with more than two dozen House Democrats, a consensus had been emerging: If they lose the majority, there would be overwhelming pressure for Pelosi to go, a prospect that Democratic sources said at the time the powerful House speaker was keenly aware of.
One vulnerable member of the caucus who lost his reelection race on Tuesday was Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney, whom Pelosi cited in her call Wednesday after his defeat by his Republican opponent Mike Lawler.
Maloney was in the awkward position of touting House Democrats' exceeding of pre-election expectations while also trying to make sense of his own defeat, which was part of Republicans' near-sweep of the New York City suburbs.
"(Maloney) took an arrow for us," Pelosi said on the call, calling it "a Pyrrhic victory," a source told CNN.
While Pelosi spent part of Wednesday in her office at the Capitol, she is expected to travel to Egypt with a group of House Democrats to the United Nations' COP27 climate summit.
"As humanity confronts an accelerating climate crisis, the United States Congress is proud to work side-by-side with our partners around the world to advance a healthier, more sustainable and more equitable future for all," Pelosi said in a statement about her travel.
Congress is returning to session for the first time in six weeks on Monday.
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