The number of House Democrats opposing Nancy Pelosi’s bid for House speaker is growing, even as the longtime Democratic leader insists she has the votes.
A total of 22 Democrats have signaled their opposition to Pelosi, sending a message that she doesn’t have the 218 votes to be speaker, and to encourage another person to challenge her.
The names include:
- Tim Ryan (D-OH)
- Abigail Spanberger (D-VA)
- Jason Crow (D-CO)
- Haley Stevens (D-MI)
- Elissa Slotkin (D-MI)
- Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ)
- Conor Lamb (D-PA)
- Seth Moulton (D-MA)
- Kathleen Rice (D-NY)
- Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)
- Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
- Filemon Vela Jr. (D-TX)
- Stephen Lynch (D-MA)
- Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
- Bill Foster (D-IL)
- Brian Higgins (D-NY)
- Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
- Jim Cooper (D-TN)
- Rep.-elect Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ)
- Rep.-elect Joe Cunningham (D-SC)
- Rep.-elect Max Rose (D-NY)
- Rep.-elect Anthony Brindisi (D-NY)
Ben McAdams, the Democrat running against Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) is also opposed to Pelosi’s bid, but he has not secured a win in his congressional race.
If Democrats hold 234 seats, Pelosi could only afford to lose 16 votes during the January 3rd speaker’s floor vote.
Even though Democrats had a sweeping win, she is in danger of not taking the gavel — a position Pelosi allies did not think she’d be in coming off such a large 2018 victory.
“I think we need new voices in Congress at all levels, from all the new members who are going to be arriving to the highest levels,” Spanberger said. “I think foundationally, that’s pretty important.”
Crow, an Army veteran who recently flipped a Colorado congressional district blue, also reiterated he’s an unequivocal no to Pelosi.
“Nothing’s changed,” he said. “I know that’s a shock to a lot of people in DC that nothing’s changed. My position is pretty clear on it, I’m going to keep my promise.”
Rep. Seth Moulton made his opinion clear on Twitter:
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
At her weekly press conference today, Pelosi seemingly dismissed the letter from agitators.
When asked if she’s still confident she has the 218 votes needed to be speaker, Pelosi answered with one word.
“I intend to win the speakership with Democratic votes,” she added. “I have overwhelming support in my caucus to be speaker of the House.”
Meanwhile, lawmakers in the Congressional Black Caucus back Pelosi for speaker over one of their own members, Rep. Marcia Fudge.
The CBC has been spoiling to elevate a group member into one of the top two positions in Democratic leadership for years, with current CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond writing as recently as two weeks ago that having a black speaker or majority leader was a top priority.
But in interviews with eight CBC members about a potential Fudge bid for speaker, all but two members said they would back Pelosi over Fudge.
Other CBC members on Thursday tweeted or put out statements of support for Pelosi, including Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the most powerful African-American in the House and a close Fudge friend and ally.
“She knows that, she knows that, she knows I’m for Pelosi,” Clyburn said
“She’s a great leader, and I support her more than 100 percent,” said Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil rights icon, of Pelosi.
Fudge, 66, has not formally declared for the position.