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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' Winners and losers in the border security deal House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency 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 LoweyWinners and losers in the border security deal House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency The border deal: What made it in, what got left out 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 TrumpBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' ACLU says planned national emergency declaration is 'clear abuse of presidential power' O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could 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 KirkpatrickGOP compares Ocasio-Cortez to Trump Hispanic Caucus sets red lines on DHS spending bill Dem women rally behind Pelosi 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 BassWhitaker takes grilling from House lawmakers Congressional Black Caucus leaders call on Northam to resign Congressional Black Caucus faces tough decision on Harris, Booker MORE (Calif.), Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersOn The Money: Lawmakers closing in on border deal | Dems build case for Trump tax returns | Trump, Xi won't meet before trade deadline | Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony on lifting of sanctions on Russian firms Fox's Kilmeade: Why doesn't Trump investigate personal finances of Schiff and Waters? MORE (Calif.), Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeFive takeaways from acting AG's fiery House hearing Democrat to acting AG: 'We are not joking here' Whitaker takes grilling from House lawmakers MORE (Texas), Gwen MooreGwen Sophia MooreDems hit GOP on pre-existing conditions at panel's first policy hearing Democratic rep announces she has cancer while defending ObamaCare Ten Dem lawmakers added to House Ways and Means Committee MORE (Wis.) and Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeBarbara Lee endorses Kamala Harris's 2020 bid Dems unveil bill to let VA doctors prescribe medical marijuana Political world mourns Dingell, longest-serving member of Congress MORE (Calif.).

The profusion of CBC signatures is significant because Pelosi is facing a potential challenge from Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeCongressional Black Caucus faces tough decision on Harris, Booker Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to step down as CBC Foundation chair amid lawsuit Reporter says to expect Capitol Hill to take action on North Carolina's 9th District 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 JayapalOvernight Health Care: Push for cosponsors for new 'Medicare for all' bill | Court lets Dems defend ObamaCare | Flu season not as severe as last year, CDC says Democrats seek cosponsors for new 'Medicare for all' bill Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Utah tests Trump on Medicaid expansion | Dems roll out Medicare buy-in proposal | Medicare for all could get hearing next month | Doctors group faces political risks on guns 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.”