Democrats Nominate Nancy Pelosi as Next Speaker, but 32 Members Vote No

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Earlier this month, 16 House Democrats signed a letter pledging to vote against Pelosi for speaker, including four newly elected members. "Meanwhile, we have a very skilled, tested experienced leader who doesn't need on-the-job training", he said, referring to Pelosi. Both are also longtime Democratic House leaders.

That was three weeks ago.

Nancy Pelosi enters the House Democratic leadership elections Wednesday in an unusual position: She's running unopposed. But one by one, the powerful California congresswoman picked off the would-be challengers and smoothed skeptics.

In brief remarks to the press as votes were being tabulated, Pelosi said she wanted Congress "that's like America's town hall". If she falls far short of 218 votes - the total number she eventually needs to prevail on the floor January 3 if all House members are present and cast a ballot - more Democrats could be encouraged to join the opposition.

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, one of the members leading the opposition to Pelosi, is reportedly shifting his strategy against the leadership team.

Alternately, Pelosi could promise nothing to her remaining detractors, dare these Democrats to vote against her and see if they can withstand the pressure.

A sign of the party's mood emerged early as the House Democrats elected Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of NY as caucus chairman, elevating the charismatic 48-year-old from the Congressional Black Caucus as a new generation of leaders pushes to the forefront.

The race featured candidates from different generations. James Clyburn, the No. 3 Democratic leader, should be targeted too.

The much higher bar will come in the first week of January, when the full House meets to choose the Speaker in a public vote requiring a majority of the entire voting chamber.

An aide to Pelosi said at the time that discussions were continuing.

The anti-Pelosi group has been in a scramble lately as it tries to tamp down members in the group from defecting.

But while the GOP's anti-Pelosi strategy worked in past cycles, in 2018 the ads appeared to have been less effective. Pelosi offered Fudge the opportunity to lead a House Committee on voting rights if she pledged not to publicly challenge the presumptive speaker.

So, who else is running?

Gamba said he thinks this will come back to hit Schrader in the next Democratic primary. "You know, last week we were here for orientation, and we caucused, and I was of the mind put up or shut up".

Assuming all Republicans oppose her, a revolt by 17 or 18 Democrats would be needed to thwart her.

Why can't Democrats find anyone else to run? Rep. Brian Higgins removed his name from the letter and flipped his position to back Pelosi after receiving assurances that a couple of his policy priorities would top the list for Democrats in 2019, with him being "the lead person on the Medicare buy-in", according to an interview with The Buffalo News. Pelosi has the political capital in her caucus to persuade members against challenging her, in part by offering perks like chairing a key subcommittee.

Those supporting Pelosi hope to avoid a floor fight over the leadership post when Congress begins work in January.

Second, there is no apparent successor other than Pelosi's top two lieutenants.

The two lawmakers, both of whom are members of the Congressional Black Caucus, were running to replace Joseph Crowley of NY, who was ousted in a primary. "They're not going to go along with what the party wants them to do if it's not the right thing for the district or country".

Opposing Pelosi's leadership is not new for Schrader. The other eight agreed to support Pelosi.