Republicans' arch-enemy Pelosi issues rallying cry as Congress prepares to fight

 

The stage was set for hard-slogging negotiations on avoiding the so-called "fiscal cliff" after Nancy Pelosi announced last night that she would run to remain minority leader in the House of Representatives, ending speculation that she might step aside.

Ms Pelosi will thus be front and centre in the talks between Congress and the White House on a package of measures that must be agreed before the end of the year to avert a series of swingeing spending cuts and tax increases from being automatically triggered. A staunch liberal, she may make an agreement harder to reach.

Achieving a pact is the top priority of President Barack Obama following his re-election last week. He has invited top congressional leaders, including the House Speaker John Boehner and Ms Pelosi, to the White House for a first effort to reach a compromise tomorrow. The automatic measures that will apply in the absence of a deal could drain $500bn (£315bn) or more from the US economy and trigger a new recession.

No one among top Democrats is likely to challenge Ms Pelosi even though last week's election saw the Republicans retain control of the House of Representatives. With some House race results still outstanding, the Democrats are likely to have eroded the Republican majority by only about seven seats.

Vilified by conservatives, Ms Pelosi, who took the helm of House Democrats 10 years ago, is the standard-bearer of the liberal wing of her party. She is likely to hold Mr Obama's feet to the fire on resisting Republican demands that any fiscal-cliff deal include steep cuts on social-programme spending.

With Ms Pelosi, 72, staying put, almost nothing changes post election at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue. While the Democrats made a modest gain in the Senate, in all other respects the status quo survives.

In the House, it will still be Ms Pelosi vs Mr Boehner. In the upper chamber, Senator Harry Reid will lead majority Democrats and Senator Mitch McConnell will stand up for minority Republicans. "We do not have the gavel, we do not have the majority, but we have unity," Ms Pelosi said, announcing her decision. She chose the role of women as the theme of her address. "We must have the further empowerment of women."

The fiscal talks might prove toughest for Mr Boehner, who is likely to face a unified front from Mr Obama and Ms Pelosi on protecting social programmes and raising tax revenue, while Tea Party members of his own party will expect him to push back.

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
nflAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
music

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

News
The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
News
news

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

Telecoms Engineer - Telecoms Administrator - London - £26,000

£26000 per annum + 25 days holiday & further benefits: Ashdown Group: Telecomm...

Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are seeking a confident...

Senior Data Analyst - London - £38,000

£30000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Data Analyst - Lon...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London