In a fig leaf offering of cooperation, Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi, fresh off her victory in the House, said she spoke with President Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell about working together on infrastructure spending that would help create jobs.
“That issue has not been a partisan issue in the Congress of the United States,” Pelosi said during a press conference at the Capitol, adding that the Democrats captured control of the House by focusing on health care.
Separately, Trump described what he called a “very warm conversation” with Pelosi Tuesday night, but then complained and pushed the notion that Democrats are out to impeach him, saying that the country is fatigued by investigations into his conduct, and warns that if House Democrats push more probes, it will only benefit him politically.
Addressing the topic, Pelosi wouldn’t say whether that will or will not happen; instead, she focused on what she called the legitimate oversight duties the new Democratic-led House would conduct through committees. Pelosi however warned that while bipartisanship is important, the midterm election also “restores checks and balances” so that Congress won’t “be a rubber stamp for President Trump”.
“Yesterday’s election was not only a vote to restore people’s health care, it was a vote to restore the health of our democracy.”
Pelosi insisted that Democrats would not go “looking for a fight,” but if a subpoena is needed to conduct oversight, or get information, “so be it.”
Finally, Pelosi expressed confidence that she will be elected speaker: “Yes, I am.” She will need 218 votes on the House floor for that to occur.
However, as The Hill notes, Pelosi has a “math puzzle” to solve as she embarks on her quest to reclaim the Speaker’s gavel. A dozen Democratic candidates who have been critical of the California Democrat won election to Congress on Tuesday night, while another 12 incumbents have vowed to oppose Pelosi’s bid to lead the conference.
That’s a problem for Pelosi, who can’t afford more than a dozen Democrats to vote against her in a public floor vote for Speaker.
Democrats are likely to have just a 10 to 15-seat majority after the midterms once a handful of contested races are determined.
“She’s got a serious math problem,” said one Democratic lawmaker who has been in contact with both anti-Pelosi candidates and incumbents. “By my count, it’s 20 to 21 people who oppose her.”