WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference January 18, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Pelosi discussed on various topics including Obama Administration's decision on rejecting the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told fellow House Democrats Wednesday that she will run to keep her leadership position, likely extending her tenure as Democratic leader for another two years.
"I have made a decision to submit my name to my colleagues to once again serve as the House Democratic leader," Pelosi said at a press conference following a meeting with fellow Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
On the 10th anniversary of her election as Democratic leader, Pelosi said her colleagues had made their desire for her to remain as leader "very clear." There had been mounting speculation that the 72-year-old California Democrat might step aside and yield to younger figures in the party.
Pelosi served two terms as speaker of the House, the first woman to ever hold that role, from 2007-2011, during which time she oversaw House passage of President Barack Obama's landmark health reform law. She has also taken a special interest in advancing legislation intended to address the effects of climate change, prompting a vote on a "cap-and-trade" bill in 2009 which eventually stalled in the Senate.
Republicans seemed almost giddy about the announcement.
"There is no better person to preside over the most liberal House Democratic Caucus in history than the woman who is solely responsible for relegating it to a prolonged minority status," said Paul Lindsay, the communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
As part of her decision to stay aboard, Pelosi said that New York Rep. Steve Israel had agreed to serve a second term as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Israel helped Democrats pick up seats in the most recent election.
Pelosi's decision also means the top leadership in the House would presumably remain the same for the next two years:
-- John Boehner as speaker
-- Eric Cantor as majority leader
-- Pelosi as minority leader
-- Steny Hoyer as minority whip.