Representative Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday secured the votes she needs to become the next speaker of the House after she cut a deal with rebels in her party who argued it is time for new, younger blood in leadership.
Her agreement with her Democratic critics requires that she step aside as party leader in 2022 and agree to a three-term limit for the top three House Democratic leaders with a fourth if they get two-thirds of Democratic members’ votes.
Pelosi, 78, held the speakership from 2007 to 2011 and has led her party in the House for 16 years. She needs 218 votes in the January 3 election to secure the position again.
“Over the summer, I made it clear that I see myself as a bridge to the next generation of leaders, a recognition of my continuing responsibility to mentor and advance new members into positions of power and responsibility in the House Democratic Caucus,” the California Democrat said in a statement.
“I am comfortable with the proposal and it is my intention to abide by it whether it passes or not,” she said.
“We wish to thank Nancy Pelosi for her willingness to work with us to reach this agreement. We are proud that our agreement will make lasting institutional change that will strengthen our caucus and will help develop the next generation of Democratic leaders. We will support and vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House in the 116th Congress,” read a statement by seven Democrats who previously refused to endorse Pelosi for speaker.
The statement was issued by Democratic members Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Bill Foster of Illinois, Tim Ryan of Ohio, Filemon Vela of Texas, Linda T. Sánchez of California and Congressman-elect Gil Cisnernos of California.
After some Democrats floated a possible challenger to Pelosi, the veteran congresswoman was nominated for speaker last month in a 203 to 32 vote.