16 Democrats to oppose Pelosi’s election as new House Speaker

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Washington, Nov 20 (IANS) A group of 16 rebel Democrats have said that they will oppose Representative Nancy Pelosis bid for House speaker when the new Congress convenes in January 2019, the media reported.

In a letter to their colleagues on Monday, the group declared that “the time has come for new leadership”, and said they would vote accordingly both when their party meets next week for an internal round of secret balloting to choose leaders and in a floor vote in January, reports The New York Times.

“We are thankful to Pelosi for her years of service to our country and our caucus,” they wrote, calling her “a historic figure whose leadership has been instrumental to some of our party’s most important legislative achievements”.

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But the group said Democrats had won this month’s midterm elections on a “message of change”.

“Our majority came on the backs of candidates who said that they would support new leadership because voters in hard won districts, and across the country, want to see real change in Washington.

“We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise.”

Pelosi, 78, has expressed complete confidence that she will retake the speaker’s gavel in January – eight years after she lost it following massive Republican gains in the 2010 midterms and 16 years after she was first elevated to the top Democratic leadership post in the House, The Washington Post reported.

She is the only speaker candidate who has declared ahead of a party nominating vote on November 28, with a vote of the full House on January 3, 2019.

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If all 435 members of the House were present and voting, Pelosi would need a majority of 218 to be elected speaker.

Democrats now control 232 seats, according to The New York Times’s latest count, meaning that 16 defectors would be enough to deny her the post.

Still, the numbers could change, with four races yet to be called.



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