Sixteen Democrats have officially sent a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) informing her they’ll vote against her bid to be Speaker on the House floor, a coalition that could be large enough to deny her the leadership and throw House Democrats’ newly minted majority into chaos on the first day of the new term in Congress.
“We are thankful to Leader Pelosi for her years of service to our Country and to our Caucus,” they write in the letter, which has been floating around for days but finally got sent. “However, we also recognize that in this recent election, Democrats ran on and won on a message of change.”
The letter includes signatures from all of the Democrats who’d been on the initial leaked list of signees except Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), who is publicly weighing a bid against Pelosi. And it doesn’t include five other Democrats who’ve pledged to vote against Pelosi on the floor but decided not to sign the letter: Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) and Reps.-elect Jason Crow (D-CO), Jared Golden (D-ME), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA).
One of the letter’s signees, Utah Democrat Ben McAdams, currently trails Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) in their close race and appears less than likely to be coming to Congress.
Democrats netted at least 37 seats in the midterm elections earlier this month, with a few races left to be called. They will have a majority of at least 232 seats in the House, and 233 if Democrat Anthony Brindisi’s narrow lead over Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) holds and they don’t win the other two outstanding races where they trail. Brindisi is on the letter. Assuming he wins, Pelosi can only have 15 Democrats vote against her on the House floor on Jan. 3 and still be speaker.
The group of anti-Pelosi dissidents, led by Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Tim Ryan (D-OH), initially said they had more than 20 opposed to Pelosi, so it appears that this group’s numbers are holding steady but failing to grow.
These numbers suggest that Pelosi’s leadership is still in peril — but that she’s managed to box in her foes and keep their numbers from growing in the past week.