Pelosi calls reconciliation package 'a culmination of my service in Congress'

Pelosi calls reconciliation package 'a culmination of my service in Congress'
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House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: CDC signs off on 'mix and match' vaccine boosters Buttigieg aims to use Tucker Carlson flap to spotlight paternity leave Judge to hear Trump's case against Jan. 6 committee in November MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday called the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package a “culmination of my service in Congress,” as Democrats work to pass the multi-trillion dollar legislation amid significant internal differences within the party.

“I just told members of my leadership that the reconciliation bill was a culmination of my service in Congress,” Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol. 

When a reporter noted to Pelosi that “culmination” suggested the end of the 81-year-old's time in Congress, the California Democrat dismissed the notion, responding: “Get out of here.

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The speaker’s comments come as Democratic lawmakers remain embroiled in negotiations over the $3.5 reconciliation bill and a bipartisan infrastructure bill already passed by the Senate in which Pelosi plans to press ahead on with a vote in the House Thursday.

Part of the issue stems from progressive lawmakers in the House who say they won't pass the bipartisan bill without first passing the bigger social spending bill. In the Senate, Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSanders on Medicare expansion in spending package: 'Its not coming out' Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal Sunday shows preview: CDC signs off on 'mix and match' vaccine boosters MORE (D-W.Va.) and Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are holding out over what they see at the bigger bill's expensive price tag. 

Speculation regarding Pelosi’s political future is a near-constant source of speculation, leaving many curious as to when the 17-term congressional lawmaker will put the speaker’s gavel down for good.

She secured her fourth term as speaker in January, in yet another dramatic vote where she was met with some opposition from members of her own caucus itching for new leadership. 

When Democrats regained control of the House in the 2018 midterms, Pelosi suggested that the return to the speakership would be her last. But after Democrats kept control of the chamber after the 2020 election, she said, “I don’t want to undermine any leverage I may have… but I made the statement.”

When asked in August during an interview what she thinks when she hears the word “retirement,” Pelosi responded: “What’s that?” 

In May, Drew Hammill, a longtime spokesman for Pelosi who also regularly dismisses questions about her political future, told CNN “The speaker is not on a shift, she's on a mission.”

--Updated 1:15 p.m.