The top Democrat in the US House of Representatives has said she wants to continue to lead her party in the chamber despite its big losses in the mid-term elections.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was driven by the urgency of protecting the Democrats' legislative accomplishments.
Republicans snatched 60 seats and the House majority, in Tuesday's polls.
Analaysts say Ms Pelosi's move could widen rifts between her liberal allies and more moderate Democrats.
Ms Pelosi, 70, the United States' first female speaker, said many colleagues urged her to seek the post of minority leader in the new Congress that convenes in January.
Republican John Boehner will replace Ms Pelosi as speaker of the House, and become third in line to the US presidency, after Vice-President Joe Biden.
"We have no intention of allowing our great achievements to be rolled back," Ms Pelosi said in a letter to her colleagues.
"Our work is far from finished. As a result of Tuesday's election, the role of Democrats in the 112th Congress will change, but our commitment to serving the American people will not," she wrote.