House Democrats Elect Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi to Minority Leader
House Democrats yesterday elected Minority Whip Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as minority leader, making her the first woman to head a party in either chamber of Congress, the Los Angles Times reports. Pelosi, who has served 15 years in Congress, won with 86% of the Democratic caucus vote, 177 to 29 (Anderson, Los Angeles Times, 11/15). Pelosi represents San Francisco in Congress, and her "signature issues" -- funding for AIDS research, women's health, and human rights -- reflect the concerns of her district (Chaddock/Sappenfield, Christian Science Monitor, 11/15). During her campaign for minority leader, Pelosi said she would "reach out" to the moderate and conservative factions of the Democratic Party (Shepard, Cox/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/15). The AIDS Project Los Angeles said Pelosi has been a "leader" on a host of HIV/AIDS issues, including the need for increased funding and the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative. In addition, she is sponsoring legislation that would expand Medicaid coverage to HIV-positive people who have not yet progressed to AIDS. Daniel Montoya, APLA's director of government affairs, said that Pelosi's victory is a "triumph ... for all those affected by HIV/AIDS" (APLA release, 11/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.