WASHINGTON – House Minority Leader and Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi downplayed suggestions that investigations into the Trump administration will be Democrats’ primary focus in the next Congress.
“The American people want us to address their bread and butter kitchen table issues. That’s what we promised in the election for the people,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a news conference on Friday.
Pelosi cited “lower health-care costs” and “bigger paychecks” as key priorities.
Pelosi said the “committees of jurisdiction will determine how they proceed,” with investigations into the administration and affirmed that Democrats will exercise due diligence with regard to oversight responsibilities.
Many House Democrats have said they want to investigate President Donald Trump and his administration. They point to Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, his reported business dealings with Russia, and his frequent attacks on Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III as areas of concern worthy of further inquiry.
Some Democrats have said they want to impeach the president. But Pelosi and other Democrats have dismissed such discussions as premature.
Republicans have controlled the House since 2011. Pelosi served as speaker for the four years preceding that period.
The 116th Congress will convene on Jan. 3, 2019.
The first act of business will be electing a new speaker. Democrats nominated Pelosi for the position on Wednesday.
Democrats who voted yes for Pelosi numbered 203, while 32 Democrats voted no.
She needs 218 votes to be elected.
However, the threshold is lowered if members vote “present” instead of “no.”