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House speaker Nancy Pelosi said that representatives will not address
issues like "don't ask, don't tell," immigration reform, or partner
benefits for gay federal employees until the Senate acts on those
issues first, in order to protect vulnerable members' seats.
With the 2010 election looming, Pelosi privately told fellow representatives that the move is in order to keep a Democratic majority in the House, according to The Hill.
Rep. Gerry Connolly, president of the freshman class of representatives, agreed with Pelosi's decision.
"I think freshmen, particularly, are not enamored of the idea of being asked to walk the plank on a controversial item if the Senate is not going to take any action," he said.