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Pelosi Out As Speaker; GOP Retakes U.S. House

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS News / AP) — Resurgent Republicans won control of the U.S. House late Tuesday night in midterm elections shadowed by recession, bringing Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s four-year tenure as the first female House Speaker in history near an end.

Pelosi, of San Francisco, said the vote that delivered a Republican majority meant lawmakers must work together.

“We must all strive to find common ground to support the middle class, create jobs, reduce the deficit and move our nation forward,” she said.

In a statement issued early Wednesday, Pelosi saluted the Democrats who she said took tough votes as they tried to create jobs and improve the economy.

“The outcome of the election does not diminish the work we have done for the American people,” she said.

Pelosi did not say whether she wanted to continue to lead the House Democrats’ smaller, more-liberal caucus next year.

John Boehner Audio Clip:

Pelosi remains speaker through the end of the year. In January, she’ll surrender the speaker’s gavel.

Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio, the Speaker-in-waiting, called the election results “a repudiation of Washington, a repudiation of big government and a repudiation of politicians who refuse to listen to the people.”

The new balance of power presents a challenge for President Barack Obama as he attempts to continue with his agenda through the second half of his term.

Obama telephoned Boehner shortly after midnight Eastern time to congratulate him, a call that underscored the transition to divided government.

During what Boehner described as the brief but pleasant conversation, Boehner said he promised to be honest with Obama and the two agreed to work together – even though Republicans campaigned on vows to turn back much of Obama’s agenda.

Pelosi and current House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., also received calls from Obama.

(©MMIX, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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