(Correcting Kyl's state affiliation to Arizona from Texas in
By Thomas Ferraro and David Lawder
WASHINGTON Nov 14 Lawmakers in both parties on
Wednesday re-elected most of their leaders in the U.S. Congress,
while Nancy Pelosi ended some suspense by announcing she would
seek to remain the top Democrat in the House of Representatives
in a vote on Nov. 29.
In the Senate, Republicans re-elected Mitch McConnell as
their leader, notwithstanding his failure to achieve his two top
goals in the elections, defeating President Barack Obama and
gaining a Republican majority in the Senate.
Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who headed the Senate
Republican Campaign Committee, ended up with a promotion,
getting elected without opposition to replace retiring Senator
Jon Kyl of Arizona as the chamber's minority whip.
House Speaker John A. Boehner was re-elected as expected to
lead his party in the House, which means the full House will
re-elect him as speaker in January.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, currently the Republican conference
vice chair, defeated Tom Price to be head of the House
Republican Policy Committee.
McMorris Rodgers, the highest ranking woman in Republican
leadership, served as House liaison for the party's unsuccessful
presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.
The 112th Congress, now in a post-election lame duck
session, will become the 113th Congress in January before
President Barack Obama is inaugurated for his second term. The
leaders chosen now, barring resignations or other unexpected
developments, will serve through January, 2015.
Pelosi, like McConnell, fell short of her election
ambitions last week as Republicans maintained their hold on the
U.S. House of Representatives.
But she ended months of speculation about whether she would
seek another two-year term as House Democratic leader, saying
she had decided in the past 24 hours after consulting with
colleagues and family.
First elected as the top House Democrat on November 2002,
Pelosi's reign has included four years as the chamber's first
and only woman speaker. It ended in 2011 after Republicans won
control of the chamber and made John Boehner speaker.
As of early Wednesday, Pelosi's decision on whether to seek
another term as Democratic leader remained a well-kept secret
with top aides saying it remained unclear what she would do.
She first told fellow House Democrats at a private meeting
and then publicly announced it at a news conference.
"Being actively involved in politics at this level is really
insatiable," said Pelosi.
Many Democrats had urged her to stay and she seems certain
to win the job in House Democratic leadership elections set for
Pelosi said it should be better for House Democrats the next
two years, given the defeat of a number of Republicans backed by
the Tea Party.
"The anti-government ideologues - some of them are gone,"
Pelosi bristled when asked by a reporter about the top three
Democratic leadership spots being held by members in their 70s,
and if that prevents an injection of younger blood into the
Amid hisses and boos from fellow House Democratic women,
Pelosi asked if anyone had posed that question to McConnell, 70.
None did at his news conference.
Senate Democrats re-elected their leadership team, which
includes Harry Reid as leader and Dick Durbin as his assistant
Reid has said that he would like to eliminate procedural
roadblocks that can prevent the Senate from even considering a
But Reid has said he would still allow Republicans to
require 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to end debate on a
piece of legislation and bring it up for a vote on passage.
(Reporting By Thomas Ferraro; Additional reporting by Richard
Cowan, Kim Dixon and Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Fred Barbash,
Doina Chiacu and Tim Dobbyn)