16 Democrats pledge to vote against Nancy Pelosi for House speaker

Nov. 19 (UPI) — Sixteen House Democrats signed a letter released Monday agreeing to oppose Rep. Nancy Pelosi as House speaker.

The signatories include 12 current and three incoming members of Congress, as well as Utah’s Ben McAdams, whose victory in the Nov. 6 election has not yet been certified. No incoming women signed the letter.

Three other Democrats in the new Congress also signaled they will vote against Pelosi. Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Jason Crow and Colorado did not sign the letter.

“As we head toward the 116th Congress and reclaim our Democratic majority, the time has come for new leadership in our caucus. We are thankful for leader Pelosi for her years of service to our country and our caucus. She is a historic figure whose leadership has been instrumental to some of our part’s most important legislative achievements,” the letter reads. “However, we also recognize that in this recent election, Democrats ran and won on a message of change. We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise. Therefore we are committed to voting for new leadership in both our House caucus and on the House floor.”

The vote of no confidence was anticipated, and demonstrates the challenge she faces after 16 years as House Democratic leader. She said she will win the speaker vote, but Monday’s letter suggests that her campaign to secure needed votes is failing, Politico reported.

Several congressional seats have yet to be decided, but if the current leads are certified, Democrats will have won a 16-seat majority in the House. Pelosi could thus lose up to 15 Democratic votes, assuming all Republicans in the House vote against her, and still maintain the speaker’s position. The decision on Pelosi’s leadership will come when Congress convenes Jan. 3.

Several who signed the letter said potential committee assignations or chairmanships will not change their position. Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, suggested, though, that Pelosi could win support if she promises to serve for only one more term. Fudge, who publicly suggested she may run against Pelosi, did not sign Monday’s letter.

The threat to vote against Pelosi could hinder Democrats’ plans to attack the policies of President Donald Trump as they work to make him a one-term president. Those who oppose her say she has hindered the party and could put the newly elected members from Republican or tossup districts in political jeopardy if they are forced to vote for her.

The Democratic members and members-elect who signed the letter are Tim Ryan of Ohio, Seth Moulton of Mass., Kathleen Rice of New York, Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Kurt Schrader of Oregon; Filemon Vela of Texas, Linda Sanchez of California, Bill Foster of Illinois, Brian Higgins of New York, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Max Rose of New York, Anthony Brindisi of New York and Ben McAdams of Utah.

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