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WASHINGTON, Nov 16 — US President Joe Biden has asked House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a fellow Democrat, to remain in Congress and to continue holding a Democratic leadership role, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

A Politico columnist first reported the conversation and the sources confirmed the accuracy of the account.

There was no comment on whether Pelosi responded to Biden.

Pelosi, 82, has long been under pressure from some pockets of her rank-and-file to step down and make way for a new generation of Democratic leadership.

But Pelosi has long been viewed as an effective leader and savvy tactician and has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for Democratic candidates over the past couple decades.

Those are seen as attributes that could help Biden navigate the second half of his term, especially if Republicans control the House.

During former President Donald Trump’s term, Pelosi did not shy away from challenging him, especially during delicate negotiations over legislation. She famously ripped up his 2020 State of the Union speech to Congress, in a public display of disgust with that address, as she sat behind him on the House podium.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, 82, and Democratic Whip James Clyburn, 83, also have faced calls for capping their careers to make way for younger leaders.

Democrats appear headed toward losing their House majority, which they have held since 2019, as a result of the November 8 elections. But ballots were still being counted and certified in several close races, which will determine whether Republicans actually have captured the House.

If Republicans do take over, they would try to win the January election for the speakership in a vote by the full House. That could open the door to Pelosi serving over the next two years as House Democratic leader if she decided to run for the post and won approval from her fellow Democrats.

Democrats are set to hold party leadership elections on November 30.

If Democrats were to end up winning the House and maintain their majority, Pelosi conceivably could run for speaker or retire. — Reuters

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