Pelosi thanked the donors Monday night for their help during a grueling election season, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter. Pelosi hosted the event for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is the leading group dedicated to electing Democrats to the House.
She praised the financiers for out-raising their rivals, the National Republican Congressional Committee.
According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, the Democratic committee brought in more than $250 million throughout the 2018 election cycle while the Republican committee raised just over $174 million.
Event attendees privately discussed how they were going to help Pelosi become the next speaker of the House, according to a person who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Several lawmakers within the Democratic House caucus have said they do not want Pelosi to have a second tenure as speaker. However, it remains unclear whether they will actually go through with voting against her in either the initial caucus vote in November or the full floor vote in January.
One potential tactic discussed by lobbyists in Pelosi's inner circle: telling lawmakers on the fence about her that voting against giving her the speaker's gavel would amount to blocking progress for women after a historic election. NBC News is projecting at least 101 women who ran for House seats will win their respective races this year. NBC also projects Democrats will gain at least 31 seats in the House, while Republicans are going to expand their thin majority in the Senate.
Pelosi became the first female speaker in 2007. She handed the gavel to Republican John Boehner in 2011.
Her lieutenants plan to point to her successful fundraising effort in 2018 and will argue that it was one of the reasons so many women won House races. For the 2018 cycle, Pelosi raised $121.7 million for Democrats during the cycle. Since entering leadership ranks in 2002, she's raked in $714.5 million for her party.
A spokesman for Pelosi declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did not return requests for comment.