House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats aren’t changing course on their multitrillion-dollar agenda despite suffering a devastating loss in the Virginia gubernatorial race Tuesday night as party negotiations continue.
Pelosi was asked Wednesday morning to weigh in on former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s loss to Republican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin and whether it will impact the Democratic agenda ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
“Well, the people have spoken,” Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill. “We respect the results. I’m very sad – Terry McAuliffe is a great leader and he was good as governor of the state.”
“Does it change the agenda for the House?” one reporter asked.
“No,” Pelosi responded.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
House Republicans fired back in a tweet calling Pelosi a lame duck.
“The people REJECTED Biden and Pelosi’s Far Left Socialist agenda last night,” they wrote. “Pelosi is a LAME DUCK Speaker.”
Democrats just weeks ago were hyping the race between McAuliffe and Youngkin as a bellwether election affirming their agenda. Vice President Kamala Harris last week declared, “What happens in Virginia will, in large part, determine what happens in 2022, 2024 and on.”
Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin arrives to speak at an election night party in Chantilly, Virginia, early Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, after he defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (AP )
But as the race quickly began to tighten, Democrats started to downplay the race’s importance. President Biden on Tuesday distanced himself from the election just hours before the ballots started being counted.
“I don’t believe and I’ve not seen any evidence that whether or not I am doing well or poorly, whether or not I’ve got my agenda passed or not, is going to have any real impact on winning or losing,” the president told reporters in Glasgow, Scotland. “Even if we had passed my agenda, I wouldn’t claim we won because Biden’s agenda passed.”
Democrats are still negotiating the multitrillion-dollar Build Back Better Act amid party infighting between moderates and progressives. Pelosi announced Wednesday that four weeks of paid family and medical leave will be added back into the bill after it was previously scrapped.