House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced her plans Wednesday to stay on in her current role for the next session of Congress.
"My colleagues made it very clear: 'Don't even think of leaving,'" Pelosi, surrounded by the entire delegation of women in the Democratic caucus, told reporters at a news conference Wednesday.
Many observers had questioned the future of the 13-term California congresswoman after Republicans managed to hold onto their majority in the House.
During the press conference, NBC's Luke Russert asked Pelosi whether remaining as leader prevents new and younger leaders from rising up the ranks.
"You, Mr. Hoyer, Mr. Clyburn, you're all over 70," Russert said. "Does your decision to stay on prohibit younger leadership from moving forward?"
"So, you're suggesting that everybody step aside?" Pelosi challenged.
"No," Russert replied. "I'm simply saying that you're delaying younger leadership from moving forward in the House Democratic ranks."
"Let's, for a moment, honor that as a legitimate question, although that it's quite offensive," Pelosi told Russert before pointing out that she's tried to elect new and younger people as the Democratic leader.
"I wanted women to be here in greater numbers at an earlier age, so that their seniority would start to count much sooner," she said.
"So I don't have any concern about that," she added. "And as I've always said to you, you've got to take off about 14 years from me because I was home raising a family, getting the best experience of all -- diplomacy, interpersonal skills."
Meanwhile, on the other side of Capitol Hill, Democrats expanded their majority in the Senate.
Independent Senator-elect Angus King said he will vote with the Democrats, which will give them a 55-45 edge over the GOP.
"By associating myself with one side, I am not in automatic opposition to the other," the former Maine governor told reporters.
Instead, he added, he would serve as a "bridge between the parties."