Though House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi continues to express confidence that she will lead the party when Democrats take control next session, a group of largely freshman lawmakers stand firm in their opposition.
As Fox News reported, 17 House Democrats have already signed a pledge not to vote for Pelosi as House speaker later this month.
According to one source familiar with the effort, its proponents are attempting to attract more signatures before publicizing the letter.
Among those reportedly supporting the pledge is Rep. Marcia Fudge, a Democrat from Ohio who has signaled she could challenge Pelosi for the leadership role.
The other signatories include Reps. Max Rose, Kathleen Rice, Brian Higgins and Anthony Brindisi, all of New York, Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Tim Ryan of Ohio, Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, Filemon Vela Jr. of Texas, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Bill Foster of Illinois, Linda Sanches of California, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, and Ben McAdams of Utah.
As of this writing, no one has officially announced a bid to take on the California lawmaker.
The bloc stands a chance of preventing Pelosi from receiving enough votes to secure the speakership.
Fudge confirmed in an interview this week that she is “thinking about” throwing her hat in the ring after hearing from individuals encouraging her to seek the leadership post.
“I need to give it some thought and see if I have an interest,” she said. “I am at the very beginning of this process. It is just a discussion at this point.”
Pelosi seemed to encourage another contender in the process when a reporter asked her about Fudge’s possible campaign.
“Come on in,” she told the possible rival. “The water’s warm.”
Another supporter of the opposition movement has signaled his support of Fudge as a Pelosi alternative, tweeting this week that he hopes Fudge will run for House speaker.
Congress needs a new leader. Period.
I’m hoping Marcia Fudge, my first (and arguably best) mentor in Congress will run for the next Speaker of the House. I have full faith in her ability to lead our new Congress to its fullest potential.
— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) November 15, 2018
“I have full faith in her ability to lead our new Congress to its fullest potential,” Moulton said.
Others in the party are rallying around Pelosi, including Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland.
“After we, as Democrats, make our selection, our new members should not be pressured into voting against our party’s nominee on the House floor in January — when the choice will be between the Democratic candidate and the Republican candidate,” he said. “That will only play into the hands of House Republicans and President Trump.”
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