Pelosi Vows a Return to Regular Order

Posted February 5, 2009 at 4:51pm

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) welcomed House Democrats to their annual retreat on Thursday afternoon with a pledge that should soothe some raw nerves. “Of course we will go forward now under regular order,” Pelosi told the Caucus, according to a Democratic source. “We have a large majority and a president who will sign legislation.” A growing bloc of mostly moderate Democrats have been bristling over what they have called Pelosi’s top-down leadership style, evident most recently in the economic stimulus package she fast-tracked through the House. Sixty-six of them, hailing primarily from the Blue Dog and New Democrat coalitions, on Wednesday night sent a letter to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) urging a return to regular order. And several of them this week said they planned to confront Pelosi on the question during the party’s three-day retreat here at the Kingsmill Resort. It appears the Speaker pre-empted them. In her remarks, Pelosi explained the rush job on the $800 billion-plus stimulus package as a necessity brought on by the extraordinary circumstances of the economic crisis. But as lawmakers in both chambers prepare to wrap work on that measure, Pelosi suggested she will loosen the reins.