From NBC's Mike Viqueira
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seeking to limit expectations on what a new Democratic regime will be able to achieve in the 111th Congress.
"We have to choose our priorities" and decide "what is achievable," Pelosi told reporters this morning, adding: "A lot of it is about time." She saied that the current economic conditions and budget deficit "are going to make it harder" to do some big things dear to Democrats, like comprehensive health care reform, but said that smaller, "discrete," initiatives, i.e. SCHIP and stem cell funding, could be done quickly.
In response to a question, she confirmed that she spoke with the president-elect this morning by phone, but said they merely talked about some of the things that they are going to have to talk about in the coming days.
Asked whether Americans can expect a "more left Congress," she repeated the mantra that she has used since obtaining the speaker's gavel two years ago: "The country must be governed from the middle."
She was coy with the question of whether Rahm Emanuel would be going down the Avenue to take the job as Obama's Chief of Staff. "I have not been informed of that decision," she said.