Tim Ryan backs term limits deal with Pelosi

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash MORE (D-Ohio) is supporting a tentative deal between House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats should rise above and unify against Trump's tweets 10 questions for Robert Mueller Ocasio-Cortez tears into Trump's immigration agenda: 'It's about ethnicity and racism' MORE (D-Calif.) and some of her Democratic critics to impose term limits on party leaders, putting her one step closer to clinching the Speaker’s gavel.

Ryan’s support brings the number of anti-Pelosi holdouts who support the agreement to six, which is likely more than enough for her to lock down the Speakership during a Jan. 3 vote on the House floor.

ADVERTISEMENT

The pending deal would involve Pelosi backing a caucus rule to impose a three-term limit on the top three members of Democratic leadership, according to sources familiar with the discussions. The effort is aimed at appeasing critics who have been insisting that Pelosi publicly name an end-date for her Speakership, something she has refused to do.

The term-limits proposal is almost finalized, but has not yet been announced by Pelosi.

“I’ll be supportive of that,” Ryan told The Hill as he hustled out of the Capitol on Wednesday. He declined to elaborate further.

Ryan, who signed on to a letter with 16 other Democrats demanding new party leadership, has been one of the ring-leaders of the small but vocal insurgency that was hell-bent on blocking Pelosi’s ascension.

Ryan unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi in a closed-door caucus vote in 2016 and later supported her on the House floor.

Other anti-Pelosi holdouts who are backing the term-limits proposal are Reps. Ed Perlmutter (Colo.), Bill Foster (Ill.), Seth Moulton (Mass.), Linda Sánchez (Calif.) and Filemon Vela (Texas).

Under the proposal, if leaders want to run for a fourth term, they would need the support of two-thirds of the Democratic conference — a much higher threshold than the simple majority currently required.

The term limits would apply retroactively, meaning Pelosi, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (S.C.) would all be term-limited after 2020 unless they ran for another leadership post or sought a fourth term.

Such a dramatic rule change would have to win approval from the caucus, but under the tentative deal Pelosi would agree to apply the term limits to herself regardless, sources said. That means the latest Pelosi could stay on as Speaker would be 2022 if she is able to secure a fourth term.