Dem women rally behind Pelosi

Dem women rally behind Pelosi
© Greg Nash

Dozens of Democratic women — incumbents and newcomers alike — are rallying behind Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSenate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House Pelosi: Congress will receive election security briefing in July Trump says he spoke to Pelosi, McConnell on border package MORE (D-Calif.) as she fights with a group of detractors in her own party to become Speaker in the next Congress.

A letter circulating among female Democratic lawmakers pledges to support Pelosi’s Speaker bid in both the private ballot within the caucus later this month, and on the House floor early next year. Organized by Rep. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyHouse approves bill increasing federal worker pay House Democrats unveil changes to border bill to win over progressives Congress unlikely to reach deal on Trump border bill before break MORE (D-N.Y.), one of Pelosi’s closest allies, it has won more than 60 signatures, including a number of lawmakers who were previously thought to be on the fence.

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“Now that we are faced with unprecedented threats to our democracy, women, minorities, and even the most basic American values by President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE, we need your effective leadership more than ever to advance our efforts to help hard-working families get ahead,” reads the letter, addressed to Pelosi.

The supporters include a number of incoming freshmen, some of whom have dodged questions this week about their position on Pelosi’s place atop the party, where she has reigned since 2003.

Reps.-elect Kim Schrier (Wash.), Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickDemocrats face voters clamoring for impeachment Arizona Dems ask DHS to appoint 'crisis coordinator' at border Democrats introduce bill to let 'Dreamers' work for Congress MORE (Ariz.), Angie Craig (Minn.) and Jennifer Wexton (Va.) all endorsed the letter. Notably absent from the list was Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), the liberal superstar who toppled Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a June primary and who is vowing to take on the party establishment in Washington.

The letter's signatories also include 17 members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), including Reps. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassBipartisan Judiciary members request probe into gender discrimination allegations at FBI academy Lawmakers sound alarm over violence in Sudan The Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck MORE (Calif.), Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersHillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns House panel to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency project On The Money: S&P hits record as stocks rally on Fed cut hopes | Facebook's new cryptocurrency raises red flags for critics | Internal IRS watchdog rips agency's taxpayer service | Apple seeks tariff relief MORE (Calif.), Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeO'Rourke: Cash reparations policy 'stops the conversation' on the issue EXCLUSIVE: Trump on reparations: 'I don't see it happening' Hicks repeatedly blocked by White House from answering Judiciary questions MORE (Texas), Gwen MooreGwen Sophia MooreThe Trump administration's plan to change the poverty line would hurt communities who need help the most Ex-White House ethics chief compares Ivanka, Kushner security clearances to college admissions scandal Dem compares college cheating scandal to Ivanka, Jared's security clearance MORE (Wis.) and Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeBipartisan House duo unveils amendment to block Iran strike without Congress's approval The Trump administration's plan to change the poverty line would hurt communities who need help the most GOP rep: Trump needs to retaliate against Iran to deter other hostile nations MORE (Calif.).

The profusion of CBC signatures is significant because Pelosi is facing a potential challenge from Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeDemocrats already jockeying for House leadership posts Black Democratic lawmaker on Buttigieg: 'Pete has a black problem' Federal employees turn their backs on Agriculture secretary after relocation plans announced MORE (D-Ohio), who previously headed the CBC and retains strong backing within the group.

Fudge, along with other Pelosi critics, argue that midterm voters sent a message of change to Washington, so Democrats should heed the call — starting with an overhaul of their leadership team.

Fudge huddled with Pelosi on Friday in the Capitol, saying afterwards that she’ll decide on whether to challenge the longtime Democratic leader after Thanksgiving.

Pelosi’s supporters, meanwhile, have launched a furious lobbying campaign designed to snuff out the insurgency and return her the gavel, which she held between 2007 and 2011 as the nation’s first female Speaker.

The letter, the latest front in that campaign, has also been endorsed by Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalOcasio-Cortez: It was easier to get elected to Congress than pay off student loan debt House Democratic leaders work to secure votes for border bill Republican lawmaker: Plan to #CancelStudentDebt 'is immoral' MORE (D-Wash.), a leading voice in the Congressional Progressive Caucus who had declined to say how she’d vote earlier in the week.

“Our next Speaker needs to be strong, smart, and strategic,” Jayapal tweeted Friday evening. “The best person for the job is @NancyPelosi. I look forward to working with her in the next Congress to advance our commitment to progressive policies that fueled our historic victories.”