Sixteen U.S. House Democrats oppose Pelosi, offer no rival

By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sixteen Democratic members of Congress vowed on Monday to oppose fellow Democrat Nancy Pelosi's bid to become speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, but none of them openly said they would run against her.

Reuters November 20, 2018 07:05:49 IST
Sixteen U.S. House Democrats oppose Pelosi, offer no rival

Sixteen US House Democrats oppose Pelosi offer no rival

By Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sixteen Democratic members of Congress vowed on Monday to oppose fellow Democrat Nancy Pelosi's bid to become speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, but none of them openly said they would run against her.

They were not joined by Representative Marcia Fudge of Ohio, the only potential Pelosi rival to emerge so far from the party's rank and file.

As Democrats wrestle with the choice of speaker for 2019-2020, Pelosi has argued that even at the age of 78 she is best qualified, rejecting some younger Democrats' argument that a new generation of leaders was needed.

But she still faces no clear challenger to her power.

Fourteen men and two women signed a letter saying they believed "the time has come for new leadership in our caucus."

They included Representatives Tim Ryan of Ohio, who unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi for Democratic leader in 2016, and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, an outspoken critic.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said she "remains confident in her support among members and members-elect" and noted that 94 percent of the Democratic caucus declined to sign the letter.

Democratic Representative Josh Gottheimer, co-chairman of a bipartisan "Problem Solvers Caucus," said in a telephone interview that "important progress" was made on Monday in talks with leadership over rules changes that could help ease the House's partisan gridlock of recent years.

Gottheimer was withholding supporting Pelosi pending the outcome of the talks.

The two women who signed the letter were Kathleen Rice of New York and Linda Sanchez, a Californian like Pelosi.

Fudge told reporters last week that she had not yet made a decision on whether to be a candidate for speaker, but has said she is weighing a run.

In a statement to Reuters on Friday, Fudge noted support from people "who look to me as the next speaker of the House."

RUNNING HARD

Pelosi is running hard for the job. She made history from 2007 to 2011 when she was the first woman House speaker. She has more recently become a punching bag for Republicans, despite having a record of bipartisan legislative achievement.

On Nov. 28, Democrats who will be House members next year are slated to vote behind closed doors for party leaders. They also will vote on their nominee for speaker next year, with a vote by the full House - Democrats and Republicans - on that position likely to be held on Jan. 3.

Pelosi is sure to win the backing of an overwhelming majority of House Democrats in this month's closed vote.

A victory on the House floor would be a tougher achievement as she would need 218 votes if all 435 members are present and voting. With all of the chamber's Republicans expected to vote against Pelosi, she can afford to lose very few Democrats.

The House speaker holds one of the most powerful jobs in Washington. He or she sets the agenda for the chamber and is second in line to the presidency if President Donald Trump were to die in office or become incapacitated.

With their House majority next year, Democrats will place a check on Trump during the final two years of his term. Since he took office in 2017, he has enjoyed the backing of Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Next year, he will only have a Republican-controlled Senate.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.