House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to her House colleagues Friday thanking them for joining her in going toe-to-toe with President Obama on the $1.1 trillion spending bill and nearly defeating it.
Mrs. Pelosi portrayed the fight as a strategy designed to achieve leverage in negotiations, suggesting that their goal was to make Republicans worried enough over passing the bill that they might go back and rewrite it, making it more liberal.
Instead, GOP leaders held firm and Mr. Obama had to scramble to quell the rebellion, suffering an embarrassing few hours along the way as his party colleagues in the House criticized him and rallied to oppose him.
“I appreciate members leaving in doubt the number of Democrats prepared to vote for final passage, enabling us to maintain leverage in the last day’s negotiations hoping to remove the two most egregious riders,” Mrs. Pelosi said, saying they showed “a unity of purpose and a clarity of message.”
She also closed the letter by wishing her colleagues “a glorious holiday season and a very Happy New Year.”
Democrats nearly defeated the spending bill, which could have sent the government into a shutdown at midnight. But after a talking-to from the White House chief of staff, enough of them voted for the bill that it passed late Thursday night. It now awaits Senate passage, and the government is running on a short-term stopgap measure.
At the White House on Friday, officials said they didn’t see a rift with Mrs. Pelosi.