Republicans hope Democrats can disable Nancy Pelosi

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford testify before the House Armed Services Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford testify before the House Armed Services Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill

Pelosi, who was the first female House speaker before Republicans gained the majority, first needs to pick up a majority of the Democratic Caucus in internal leadership elections, then go on to win an "absolute majority" of votes cast on the House floor. It instead supports allowing bipartisan measures to have a chance of being debated and voted upon. The number of rebels trying to oust Pelosi appears to be dwindling. Davids responded that "I want new leadership across the board" and that both parties' leadership in recent years had contributed to a broken culture in the capital.

On top of that, nine Democrats in the bipartisan group called the Problem Solvers Caucus have vowed to oppose her unless she backs several rules reforms created to make it easier for rank-and-file members to advance bipartisan bills.

The demands made by the Problem Solvers Caucus illustrate the challenge facing Pelosi in courting the support of moderates and progressives as she approaches the caucus vote on Wednesday, which will be a key indicator of her support. But they could join with other Democratic insurgents to send the election into overtime when the floor would open to new nominees. He said he encouraged those members to change their positions sooner rather than later if they were going to do so, given the likelihood that Pelosi will become speaker.

Pelosi's critics say the binary is a false choice: Their aim is to deny her the votes and force her to step aside to pave the way for younger Democrats in the top leadership positions. The answer is simple: "I took a principled stand on issues of vital importance not only to my constituents in Western New York but also to more than 300 million Americans whose lives can be improved by progress in these areas", Higgins said in a statement.

The effort has infuriated newly empowered liberals, who have accused the Problem Solvers Caucus of being "corporatist" Democrats beholden to the same political donors that Republicans rely on.

Pelosi will meet with Democrats in the Problem Solvers Caucus on Tuesday, according to a senior Democratic aide. Another would guarantee that any amendment that has at least 20 Democratic and 20 Republican co-sponsors would get a debate and a vote. They question why Democrats are always the ones to cede power when they attain it.

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But since then, one Democrat on that letter is now backing Pelosi, another signaled he will likely support her on the floor and the members vary on how hard they plan to push to stop her. "But I do think we risk losing the majority in the House - we risk having Trump elected for another four years - if the Democrats don't offer a new direction in the Democratic Party".

While she needs only a simple majority to be nominated for speaker this week by the Democratic caucus, Pelosi must win a majority to be formally elected on the House floor January 3, meaning she could afford to lose only 15 Democrats if all lawmakers were present and voting and no Republicans supported her. Another new member who said during his campaign that he would not back Pelosi, Representative-elect Gil Cisneros of California, added his name to the letter Monday.

Pelosi has been working to dispatch the obstacles in her path, holding a series of conversations in person and over the phone to win support from her detractors.

Davids and other incoming freshmen will be crucial to Pelosi's bid to retake the gavel, which she gave up in 2011 after a wave of Republican wins in the 2010 midterms gave the GOP control of the House.

Rep. Brian Higgins of NY changed course and agreed to support Pelosi after a 72-hour effort she initiated to win him over. The 218-vote threshold would lower by one for every member who votes "present".

"I do it because I want women to see that you do not get pushed around".

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