Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has given formal notice to Democrats: she wants to be speaker of the House for another two years.
According to ABC News, Pelosi sent a letter Thursday to her Democrat colleagues asking for their support in her effort to remain third in line for the presidency in the new Congress.
“Our vision for the next two years must be built on the success of Democratic House Majority in the 116th Congress, and to harness the extraordinary visions, values and vibrancy of our Caucus to secure the progress that the American people deserve,” the longtime San Francisco Democrat wrote, according to Politico.
She went on: “In that spirit, I am writing to request your support to be re-elected as Speaker.”
Holding onto the gavel?
Pelosi is set to wrap up her third term as speaker of the House next month. According to a biography posted to her official House website, she became the first woman to hold the role in 2007. The 80-year-old was first elected to the House two decades prior, in a 1987 special election.
Her most recent stint as House speaker began after Dems took back the House in 2018’s midterm elections. Since then, Pelosi has made headlines for her role in impeaching a president who was later acquitted by the Senate and delaying legislation to provide relief to Americans amid COVID-19, among other things.
Even after all that, it seems Pelosi isn’t willing to give up the gavel just yet. But are House Democrats on board?
The Hill reported Friday that “a small group of restless moderates, frustrated with Tuesday’s election results, is already in talks to recruit a Democrat to take her on.” Among the names that have been floated to challenge Pelosi for the speakership is New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the New York Post reports.
Pelosi panders to progressives
Jeffries’ name first came up after a caucus conference call last week saw many Democrats frustrated about their Election Day losses — and almost-losses. Some pinned the blame on far-left policies that have been touted by more progressive members of the party in recent months, though Pelosi was reportedly quick to shut that characterization down.
“Defund police almost cost me my race because of an attack ad,” Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) was said to have remarked on the call, according to a report from the Daily Caller. “Don’t say socialism ever again.”
Perhaps in light of the criticism, Pelosi insisted in her Thursday letter that she has “utmost respect for the diverse viewpoints in our Democratic Caucus, the gravity of this role, [and] the urgency of the challenges ahead,” Politico reported.
But only time will tell whether that line is enough to convince both moderate Dems and progressives that Pelosi is the right choice to pull their caucus together. After all, her actions — or lack thereof — over the last two years speak much louder than her words.