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In threat to Pelosi, 16 Dems say they'll back new leadership

In threat to Pelosi, 16 Dems say they'll back new leadership

Pelosi continues to project confidence that she has the votes to be elected speaker and she is still running unchallenged, though Rep. Marcia Fudge of OH has said she is considering entering the race.

But she still faces no clear challenger to her power.

They included Representatives Tim Ryan of OH, who unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi for Democratic leader in 2016, and Seth Moulton of MA, an outspoken critic.

Pelosi's critics say the party's long-serving top leaders must make room for younger members. Democrats will have at least 233 seats in the new Congress, meaning Pelosi can afford to lose no more than 16 Democratic votes, assuming no Republicans back her.

And what was remarkable to me is, I went and I looked at the vote share, how much - what percentage of the vote Donald Trump got in those districts in 2016 and compared it to how Republicans candidates did in 2018, and that they're nearly identical. I think she deserves it.

Earlier this month, Pelosi's spokesperson told Politico that "Leader Pelosi is confident in her support among Members and Members-elect". Two of them, Anthony Brindisi in NY and Ben McAdams in Utah, are in races that have not yet been called by The Associated Press.

The widely anticipated letter released Monday was signed by 11 current lawmakers, four incoming ones and one whose race hasn't been called yet.

"He will not support her for speaker", Reynolds said.

He said that on another network, Pelosi noted that "one thing her father taught her was how to count".




Moulton and fellow Massachusetts Congressman Stephen Lynch were among the Democrats who signed the letter.

"We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise", the authors wrote, referring to campaign pledges by a number of Democratic candidates.

He said that Pelosi "knows the job and she knows how to keep the caucus together". It also includes Ben McAdams, who not only hasn't won, but is trailing.

"As we head toward the 116th Congress and reclaim our Democratic majority, we believe more strongly than ever that the time has come for new leadership", the letter states.

"But because of the dynamic that she has set up in harnessing all the power at the top, the first step is showing that she can not get to 218, and then I believe the challengers will emerge", Rice said.

While the letter technically means she doesn't have the votes at the moment, there are legislative mechanisms to lower the actual threshold of votes she would need, like members voting "present". Fudge had signed onto the letter last week, but withdrew after publicly announcing she was mulling a bid, according to one Democratic aide, which is what Tim Ryan did when he challenged Pelosi in 2016.

Fudge told reporters last week that she had not yet made a decision on whether to be a candidate for speaker, but has said she is weighing a run.

"They're going to get crucified, crucified with that first vote", Reed said in an interview.

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