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 PelosiTim Ryan slams McCarthy for mocking Capitol physician, mask mandate McCarthy knocks Pelosi, mask mandate: 'This House has broken the country's trust' Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal 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 LoweyLobbying world Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority Biden needs to tear down bureaucratic walls and refocus Middle East programs 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Now that we are faced with unprecedented threats to our democracy, women, minorities, and even the most basic American values by President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt 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 confront difficult prospects for midterms Surgeon who treated Gabby Giffords after shooting launches House bid in Arizona These House lawmakers aren't seeking reelection in 2022 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 BassScott: 'There is hope' for police reform bill Biden: Republicans who say Democrats want to defund the police are lying Omar leads lawmakers in calling for US envoy to combat Islamophobia MORE (Calif.), Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersBipartisan bill will help level the playing field for small businesses Republicans hammer HUD chief over sluggish rental aid Key GOP lawmaker backs Powell for another term as Fed chief MORE (Calif.), Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeBiden signs bill to bolster crime victims fund The faith community can help pass a reparations bill Hillicon Valley: Russian hacking group believed to be behind Kaseya attack goes offline | DHS funding package pours millions into migrant surveillance | Jen Easterly sworn in as director of DHS cyber agency MORE (Texas), Gwen MooreGwen Sophia MoorePelosi picks Democrats for special panel tackling inequality Democrats offer bill to encourage hiring of groups hard-hit by pandemic Shining a light on COINTELPRO's dangerous legacy MORE (Wis.) and Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeHouse passes spending bill to boost Capitol Police and Hill staffer pay Overnight Defense: 6B Pentagon spending bill advances | Navy secretary nominee glides through hearing | Obstacles mount in Capitol security funding fight House panel advances 6B Pentagon bill on party-line vote MORE (Calif.).

The profusion of CBC signatures is significant because Pelosi is facing a potential challenge from Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeWomen's March endorses Nina Turner in first-ever electoral endorsement Biden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act Shontel Brown gaining ground against Nina Turner in Ohio: poll 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 JayapalCongress must lower the Medicare Age to save the lives of older Americans House Democrats grow frustrated as they feel ignored by Senate Schumer feels pressure from all sides on spending strategy 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.”