House Democrats vow to oppose Pelosi as next speaker

E.J. Dionne The supreme test of Nancy Pelosi’s wizardry

Republican Rep. Tom Reed of NY, a Trump ally who has said he could vote for Pelosi if she agrees to rules changes to move power away from the speaker's office, warned freshmen against waffling.

"Would-be challengers are keenly aware of the enormous power Ms. Pelosi wields, and fearful of institutional retribution and reputational damage if they step forward to test the status quo", the Times reported. Pelosi spent Friday meeting with some of these incoming freshmen, a continuation of outreach she has been conducting since House Democrats prevailed in the midterm elections. "She is a historic figure whose leadership has been instrumental to some of our party's most important legislative achievements", the letter says.

Here is how it works: Democrats opposing Pelosi symbolically could vote against her in the caucus but turn around and support her (or abstain from voting) on the House floor - signaling their lack of support for Pelosi but declining to block her ascension to the speakership. "He believes it's time for new leadership". Among the others, three have been declared winners by the Associated Press, and two candidates' election outcomes haven't been called by AP. But while the letter indicates that Pelosi has a math problem, there are already signs she may be able to overcome the opposition. Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici said they supported the speaker. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Lauren Underwood of IL and Sean Casten of IL are only a handful of Democrats who haven't stepped up to publicly support Pelosi.

"We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise", the authors wrote, referring to campaign pledges by a number of Democratic candidates.

He added that intra-caucus elections normally happen this week, but the fact that no speaker has been chosen shows Pelosi does not have the votes needed.

Cunningham - who narrowly defeated GOP nominee Katie Arrington earlier this month in the race for South Carolina's first congressional district (map) - signed a letter on Monday stating "the time has come for new leadership in our caucus".

"We'll see how it plays out a lot of people haven't made their decisions yet", said Moulton. If that bid is successful, it could kick off a wholesale scramble that could also threaten Clyburn, the current assistant Democratic leader, and Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who is seeking to move from whip to majority leader when Democrats take control in January. "I think the party and the country deserve new leadership", said Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton.

"Oh, please", she said.

Her supporters say that after winning hard elections against Trump's campaigning, the Democrats can't afford to get bogged down in a protracted leadership fight ahead of the January 3 vote.

An aide to Rep. Peter DeFazio of Springfield said he has not said publicly how he will vote.

"Right now, she's the only person who's running, so it would appear as though that's where my vote would go", Rep. -elect Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania said on CBS.

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