Nancy Pelosi and opposing Democrats weigh proposal to limit her time as speaker of the House: report

The idea is part of a reported proposal to cap the time all House Democratic leaders can serve as committee chairs

Published December 11, 2018 5:25PM (EST)

Nancy Pelosi (Getty/Alex Wong)
Nancy Pelosi (Getty/Alex Wong)

Nancy Pelosi and a group of oppositional House Democrats, who have vowed to resist the Democratic leader as they call for a new direction, are weighing a proposal to cap her potential return to the speakership at four years, Politico reports.

The proposal, which is part of a broader idea being floated that would limit the time that all House Democratic leaders can serve as committee chairs, could clear the road for the longtime California congresswoman, who made history in 2007 by becoming the first woman elected speaker of the House, to wield the speaker's gavel when her party takes back control of the House of Representatives this January.

Politico's Heather Caygle and John Bresnahan explain:

"The deal, if accepted, would be a compromise between rebel demands that Pelosi produce a firm end date for her leadership and the California Democrat's insistence that she won’t make herself a lame duck speaker.

Even if Pelosi and her critics agree to something, it's unclear when the broader caucus would meet to consider such sweeping changes to its leadership and committee structures."

Pelosi overwhelmingly won support within the House Democratic caucus to become its speaker nominee during leadership elections late last month. But she still needs a majority of the entire chamber — 218 members, if everyone is present and voting — when the full House of Representatives votes on Jan. 3 to reclaim the gavel.

Pelosi can afford to lose as many as 17 Democratic votes and still become the next speaker of the House. Currently, she faces firm opposition from about 20 Democrats who have publicly pledged to oppose her bid to become the next speaker on the floor. According to Politico, Pelosi is hoping to shake off those who intend to oppose her, and "allowing a term-limits proposal to move forward could be the price she pays for any such deal."

Pelosi, for her part, has expressed confidence that she would garner the necessary support to wield the speaker's gavel once again.

By Shira Tarlo

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Democrats House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Politics