Pelosi wins over critics by agreeing to 4 years as House speaker

Clay Curtis
December 14, 2018

Pelosi will limit her time as speaker to a maximum of four years in return for support from enough Democratic critics in a January House floor vote, Politico reports.

"We wish to thank Nancy Pelosi for her willingness to work with us to reach this agreement", the seven lawmakers wrote.

On that day, Pelosi must secure 218 votes when the entire chamber votes on a speaker. Pelosi overwhelmingly won the nomination for speaker on November 28 with 32 Democrats voting against her and three declining to vote behind closed doors. He said that, meanwhile, Democrats have a leader "who's going to be really good at the helm during some tumultuous times". "This has been a contentious process, with some members advocating for action on specific issues and others calling for new leadership in the top three positions of our party, as I have". If it passes, senior Democrats would be allowed to serve three two-year terms, and an additional fourth term if a Democratic two-thirds majority votes to stay the course.

The term limit rule would retroactively apply to Pelosi, as well as her two top deputies, Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn. "We are proud that our agreement will strengthen our caucus and will help develop the next generation of Democratic leaders".

In the announcement, Pelosi said incoming Democratic caucus chairman Hakeem Jeffries and the incoming House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern plan to bring it up for a vote in caucus on February 15.

Although Pelosi agreed to stick to the term limits outlined in the agreement, Hoyer, who will be majority leader, said Pelosi "doesn't negotiate for me".

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In an about-face, US Representative Seth Moulton, the Salem Democrat who recently spearheaded an effort to prevent Nancy Pelosi from becoming House speaker, indicated Wednesday he would vote for the California Democrat to assume that post once again.

The legislature promises to be full of fireworks as seen Tuesday, when what was supposed to be a White House photo opportunity session bringing together Pelosi, Trump and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer escalated into a feisty exchange on Trump's proposed border wall, as television cameras rolled. The new limits would apply retroactively to Pelosi as well as incoming Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and incoming Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of SC.

Rep. Cedric Richmond, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, also said he opposed the idea, saying if people don't like a leader, they can just vote them out at the end of a term. Sanchez said Pelosi has led Democrats so long that "it's sort of ingrained" and "it's hard to overcome that".

Pelosi had described herself as a transitional leader over the last several weeks.

The group initially vowed to run a candidate against Pelosi for Democratic leader.

Measures in the deal will also "incentivize those in power to build our bench, something our party has struggled with for years", Moulton said. "Nancy Pelosi showed real leadership by agreeing to these reforms".

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