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Waters backs 'steady, experienced' Pelosi for Speaker

Waters backs 'steady, experienced' Pelosi for Speaker
© Camille Fine

Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersCapitol Police report warned that Congress could be targeted three days before riot Democrats point fingers on whether Capitol rioters had inside help Lawmakers warned police of possible attack ahead of siege MORE (D-Calif.) called on House Democrats to support Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Biden unveils virus plan and urges patience | Fauci says it's 'liberating' working under Biden | House to move quickly on COVID-19 relief Overnight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 On The Money: Pelosi says House will move immediately on COVID-19 relief | Biden faces backlash over debt | 900,000 more Americans file for unemployment benefits MORE’s (D-Calif.) bid for Speaker amid opposition to her ascension from more than a dozen rebels.

Waters, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, said “there is no one more qualified to lead our caucus than” Pelosi in a Wednesday evening letter to House Democrats.

“The steady, experienced leadership of Nancy Pelosi is vital as we restore order, decorum and the system of checks and balances so fundamental to our democracy,” she wrote.

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Waters is the latest veteran Democrat to back Pelosi’s campaign for House Speaker as a cadre of young lawmakers seek to replace her.

Pelosi has brushed off threats to derail her Speakership, insisting that she has sufficient support in the caucus to lead the party in the House.

“I have overwhelming support within my caucus to be Speaker of the House, and certainly we have many, many people in our caucus who could serve in this capacity,” Pelosi said during a Thursday press conference.

Waters, in line to become the first woman to chair the Financial Services panel, would be one of Pelosi’s top allies as Speaker. In her letter, Waters touted Pelosi’s work passing the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank banking reform law and the 2009 stimulus package in the face of GOP attacks.

“Republicans have spent years demonizing the women in the Democratic caucus,” Waters wrote. “They have done everything they can to tarnish the reputation of Leader Pelosi, myself and countless others who represent change and progress.”

The coalition of roughly 20 Democrats opposing Pelosi is seeking a female challenger to the Democratic leader, after critics questioned their efforts to oppose the first female Speaker of the House.

“I’m a woman, and a lot of our new members are women, and they should not be made to feel that they are anti-woman if they don’t want to vote for Nancy Pelosi,” said Rep. Kathleen RiceKathleen Maura RiceTrust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots Trump's Georgia call triggers debate on criminal penalties Georgia district attorney says she will 'enforce the law without fear or favor' following Trump call MORE (D-N.Y.), a Pelosi critic, on Wednesday.

“We have an enormous number of talented women in the caucus — an enormous number.”