US: House head Pelosi poised for new term after polls

By Ovunc Kutlu

ANKARA (AA) – US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would seek another term if Democrats keep control of the lower chamber, as widely expected.

"Yes I am,” Pelosi told CNN on Sunda when asked if she would seek the House speakership after the Nov. 3 election, with most seats in Congress at stake as well as the presidency.

“Let me also say we [Democrats] have to win the Senate."

Pelosi in 2007 became the first woman House speaker in US history, a post she held for two terms until 2011 when a Republican minority swept in. She was reelected speaker in 2019 when Democrats took back the chamber in the 2018 midterm election.

Members of the House serve two-year terms, and new speakers are elected by roll call vote for the same term after members claim their seats.

Pelosi, a Democrat from the state of California, has lately been busy negotiating the latest coronavirus relief bill with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in order to finalize a deal before the Nov. 3 election, although the likelihood of it passing look increasingly slim.

"You know I never give up hope, I am optimistic. We put pen to paper and have been writing the bill based on what we hope will be the outcome," she said.

"In the month of September, nearly 900,000 women left the workforce. So, we have to act to crush the virus," she said, although millions of Americans have not received any government relief since July.

Pelosi noted that Democrats and Republicans still have disagreements over health and education in the bill, with the clock counting down until Election Day, next Tuesday.

"We are still waiting for the final yes, and they haven't yet … We are hoping we will have some answers on Monday," she said.

Asked whether she is holding out for a deal for after the election, gambling that Democrats might recapture the White House and Senate, and keep the House of Representatives, Pelosi said: "We want to do it as soon as possible."

Even if Democrats win the presidency and both chambers, they would not take office until January.

Pelosi said a deal could happen this week in the House, but its approval in the upper chamber is up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell before it reaches President Donald Trump's desk.

Since House Democrats pass their version of a relief bill months ago, McConnell has largely resisted efforts to reach a deal.

While Mnuchin, the White House’s top negotiator, has increased the Republicans' offer in the bill from $1.6 to $1.8 trillion, Pelosi continues to insist on a stimulus package worth $2.2 trillion.