Keeping a Democratic majority in the House is "too important to the country," Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday.
Pelosi, the leader of Democrats in the House, said she had no intention of ceding control of the House in this fall's elections, despite Republican optimism that they can win control of the chamber, in part due to the healthcare bill passed Sunday by lawmakers.
"I’ve said if passing this bill means I have to walk out of my office that night, it would be with the greatest pride," Pelosi told "Newshour with Jim Lehrer" in an interview to air this evening.
"But I haven’t any intention of losing the Democratic majority," the speaker added. "It’s too important to the country; it’s too important to the lives of the American people. We are there for them."
Pelosi has been a central figure in the healthcare debate, serving as the most visible House leader in the legislative battle for healthcare reform. To that end, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has raised over $1.4 million since Sunday with a fundraising appeal imploring voters to "Fire Nancy Pelosi."
The speaker said that the Democrats' ability to hold onto the House in this fall's election would in part hinge on their ability to explain what benefits they see as flowing from the health bill.
"Now we have to go out there and tell people what is in the legislation. I have confidence that my members can do that," she said. "And again, I wear two hats: by day, a speaker of the House; by evening, making sure that we have a strong Democratic majority."
To that end, the national party has begun chipping in with that effort, soliciting donations Wednesday to help bolster lawmakers in potentially difficult districts who voted in favor of the health bill.