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 RyanHow Pelosi is punishing some critics while rewarding others Dem leaders avert censure vote against Steve King McCarthy rejects idea of censuring Steve King MORE (D-Ohio) said Wednesday that a congresswoman besides Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Fox’s Wallace to Pence: Is government shutdown all about ‘leverage?' Former House Republican: Trump will lose the presidency if he backs away from border security 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 FudgeReporter says to expect Capitol Hill to take action on North Carolina's 9th District House Dems signal possible probe of disputed North Carolina election The 15 Democrats who voted against Pelosi 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 EshooOvernight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' Women's March plans 'Medicare for All' day of lobbying in DC Overnight Health Care: Dem chair plans hearing on Medicare for all | Senate GOP talks drug prices with Trump health chief | PhRMA CEO hopeful Trump reverses course on controversial pricing proposal 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.