House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi is looking to push back party leadership elections in her chamber until after Thanksgiving. Delaying the vote seems to be a move for her to coax freshmen members into supporting her while other Democrats could be eyeing her seat.
Pelosi has come under fire from members of both parties as Republicans often use her as a prop for people to vote against and Democrats want younger leadership in place.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday unexpectedly called for a delay in caucus leadership elections until after Thanksgiving.
Pelosi’s request follows a behind-the-scenes scramble inside the House Democratic Caucus this week to force a delay in the elections, which are typically held in the first few weeks after the midterms.
Pelosi was trying to beat her own members to the punch, pushing out her letter first on Friday after word circulated that several rank-and-file Democrats had already drafted their own missive demanding a delay and were quickly gathering signatures in support.
Allowing new members to get oriented around Congress would undoubtedly teach them how stuff works behind the scenes and what caucuses they ought to join or avoid.
“I believe it is important that we follow the schedule for leadership elections that the Caucus set last cycle, allowing additional time for freshmen to get oriented,” Pelosi said in the letter, as Politico reports. “My recommendation to the Caucus would be to set leadership elections sometime after Thanksgiving, at a date to be determined by the Caucus.”
The delay could also be an effort to get out ahead of a request from members who already want the vote pushed back. Jumping in front of the effort led by Bill Pascrell, Mike Capuano, and John Larson.
From the report:
The lawmakers drafted a letter calling for the leadership elections to be held Dec. 5, nearly a month after the Nov. 6 midterms, according to a copy obtained by POLITICO.
The members present at the dinner Thursday signed the letter then, with some lawmakers working their colleagues on the House floor Friday to get enough additional signatures to force the delay.
Larson, Capuano and Pascrell all signed the first page of the letter. Other Democrats whose signatures are visible include Reps. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and John Yarmuth of Kentucky, ranking member of the House Budget Committee.
Reps. Albio Sires of New Jersey, Ami Bera of California, Peter Welch of Vermont, Filemon Vela of Texas, Mike Doyle and Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, and Tom Suozzi of New York are some of the other visible signees.
“Instead of having a leadership election jammed down our throat, let’s give it some time so that people have opportunity to — especially the new folks — absorb the process,” said one member who attended the meeting and requested anonymity to speak candidly.
Pelosi seems like she is trying to hold on to the direction of her party so that its members view her favorably. A faction within her party, with the support of new members, could cause her troubles in the leadership vote. Will there be a new Democrat House leader? Could this be an end to the Pelosi-era?