Republican Group Endorses Pelosi for Minority Leader

'House Democrats have become completely irrelevant, and there is no better way to ensure that remains the case'

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi / AP
November 17, 2016

Struggling House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) won a key endorsement Thursday in her bid to beat back insurgent liberal rivals challenging her leadership position after winning the endorsement of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The NRCC, a 527 campaign organization, issued a press release to announce its support for Pelosi, the veteran California congresswoman and former speaker of the House, against Democrats running from her left and right flanks.

"The NRCC would like to offer its full support to the embattled former speaker of the House," the release said. "Under Nancy Pelosi's leadership, House Democrats squandered their majority by forcing through unpopular legislation like Obamacare."

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan announced on Wednesday that he would challenge Pelosi, in order to appeal to more moderate voters. Meanwhile, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison is running to be head of the Democratic National Committee on a more liberal platform.

Ryan said that sticking with Pelosi amounted to Albert Einstein's apocryphal definition of insanity as doing the "same thing over and over again and keep getting the same results."

"Under our current leadership, Democrats have been reduced to our smallest congressional minority since 1929. This should indicate to all of us that keeping our leadership team completely unchanged will simply lead to more disappointment in future elections," he said in a statement.

Liberals have called on Pelosi to step down from her position as House minority leader after Democrats failed to make inroads against Republicans, who have controlled the House of Representatives since 2010. Democrats failed to unseat a number of incumbent Republicans who were considered vulnerable on election day. Democrats flipped only six seats, falling short of the 30 needed to change control of the chamber. Republicans have a 239-193 majority, with results from runoff races in Louisiana pending, a near historic level of seats for the GOP.

"No single person deserves more credit for House Republicans' historic majority than Nancy Pelosi," NRCC spokeswoman Katie Martin said in the release. "House Democrats have become completely irrelevant, and there is no better way to ensure that remains the case than by keeping her as minority leader."

Pelosi's office did not return a request for comment about whether she would rally with the NRCC as she campaigns for reelection. She brushed off the prospect of losing the vote, according to the Huffington Post.

"Without even asking anybody for a vote, I have over two-thirds of the caucus supporting me," Pelosi told reports on Wednesday. "It's a funny thing, in a caucus or any place: When somebody challenges you, your supporters turn out."