Seventeen House Democrats have signed a letter saying they would not support Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in her bid for Speaker of the House, and as many as 10 other Democrats are also opposed to the Congresswoman, but have not signed the letter.
The group of “Never Nancy” Democrats have yet to offer up an alternative for the Speaker’s race, but Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge and Congressman Tim Ryan both refused to rule out a bid for the leadership role.
Democrats are positioned to hold at least 227 seats in the upcoming 116th Congress, and Pelosi needs to win a majority of House votes–likely 218.
Former Utah Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz told Fox and Friends today that if Pelosi had the votes to become Speaker, they would have already held the election. “Make no mistake, if Nancy Pelosi had the votes today, they would be voting today on whether or not she was going to be the Speaker,” he said. “The week you come back is when you have the leadership elections and the Democrats have had to delay that because they’re in a bit of chaos.”
The 17 Democrats who signed on to the letter are:
– Tim Ryan (D-Ohio)
– Seth Moulton (D-Mass.)
– Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.)
– Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.)
– Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.)
– Filemon Vela Jr. (D-Texas)
– Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio)
– Bill Foster (D-Ill.)
– Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.)
– Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.)
– Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.)
– Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.)
– Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.)
– Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.)
– Max Rose (D-N.Y.)
– Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.)
– Ben McAdams (D-Utah)
The Democrats would like to get 20 names on the letter before releasing it to the public.
According to the Huffington Post, the Congressmen who have yet to sign the letter include, Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) Dan Lipinksi (D-Ill.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Haley Stevens (D-Mich.), Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) and Andy Kim (D-N.J.).
Despite the news of the “Never Nancy” Democrats, Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s spokesman, told CNN that the congresswoman is confident she will be Speaker. “Leader Pelosi is very confident in her support among Members and Members-elect,” he said.
A senior Democratic aide told the news outlet, “Members on the ‘list’ are all to the right of Pelosi. Pelosi will take this to the floor in January, so she will be calling their bluff.”
Pelosi is one of the biggest fundraisers for her party, and has raised over $121.7 for Democrats during the 2018 cycle–a fact she believes will propel her to speakership. Since 2002, she’s raised over $714.5 million for her party.