Dem lawmaker: 'There's plenty of competent females' that can be Speaker instead of Pelosi

Dem lawmaker: 'There's plenty of competent females' that can be Speaker instead of Pelosi
© Greg Nash

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanCNN's O'Rourke town hall finishes behind Fox News, MSNBC GOP faces new challenge in 2020 abortion fight 2020 Democratic presidential candidates rally in support of abortion rights MORE (D-Ohio) said Wednesday that a congresswoman besides Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Trump-Pelosi fight threatens drug pricing talks MORE (D-Calif.) should be the House Speaker. 

“There’s plenty of really competent females that we can replace her with,” Ryan told reporters, before listing people such as Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators unveil sweeping bipartisan health care package | House lawmakers float Medicare pricing reforms | Dems offer bill to guarantee abortion access House Administration Committee to make election security a 'primary focus' Dems rally behind Omar as Trump escalates attacks MORE (D-Ohio) as potential candidates, The New York Times reported Thursday.

His comments come as the battle for Democratic leadership in the House intensifies. Pelosi, who held the Speaker position from 2007 to 2011, expressed confidence on Thursday that she had enough support to be voted into the role.  

But many lawmakers are insistent about the idea of having a new face in House leadership. As of Wednesday night, 17 House Democrats had signed onto a letter pledging not to support Pelosi's Speaker bid, according to Huffington Post. 

Ryan has urged Fudge, a former chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), to consider running against the California congresswoman. 

"I'm still thinking about it," Fudge told CNN on Thursday night, adding that she has been overwhelmed by the amount of people encouraging her to run. 

Ryan and other male lawmakers have faced criticism for their outspoken efforts to oppose Pelosi. 

“These male members were elected and got back here because of what women did,” Rep. Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooHouse Democrats press leaders to start Trump impeachment Hillicon Valley: Court rejects Chelsea Manning appeal | Facebook hires lawyer who helped write Patriot Act | Senator seeks details on Russian interference in Florida | Amazon hiring alcohol lobbyist | Ex-Obama aide lobbying for Sprint, T-Mobile merger Former Obama aide lobbying for T-Mobile-Sprint merger MORE (D-Calif.) said, The Times reported. 

Pelosi on Thursday released statements touting support from multiple CBC members. She also earned the support from a pair of newly elected California lawmakers.