The Times reported that Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), one of the lawmakers who signed the letter, said no challenger would come forward until it was a clear Pelosi could not get enough votes on the House floor to get the gavel.
"Would-be challengers are keenly aware of the vast power Ms. Pelosi wields, and fearful of institutional retribution and reputational damage if they step forward to test the status quo", the Times reported.
The clash intensified Monday as Pelosi's critics unveiled a letter signed by 16 Democrats, including five freshmen, vowing to oppose her. "She is a historic figure whose leadership has been instrumental to some of our party's most important legislative achievements", the letter says. At 232 seats, Pelosi could afford to lose just 14 Democrats and still become speaker. Republicans kept the Senate but lost the House, which they had controlled since 2010.
Yes, I think wasn't it Ronald Reagan who said Orange County is where good Republicans go to die? "He believes it's time for new leadership". Ben McAdams, who is challenging Utah Republican incumbent Rep. Mia Love, has fallen behind in the vote count of that race, and Anthony Brindisi's challenge to GOP Rep. Claudia Tunney in NY is still too close to call.
So far, Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) is the only one publicly saying she is considering a challenge to Pelosi but has not committed.
Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), who has suggested he'd vote for Pelosi, had to explain his support for her too.
He said that on another network, Pelosi noted that "one thing her father taught her was how to count". The majority of likely committee heads, including the ones that would wield the most power in the new Democratic congress, like Rep. Jerrold Nadler on Judiciary, Rep. Cummings on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Adam Schiff on Intelligence, are squarely supporting Pelosi.
"We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise", the letter continued.
DC Joe Cunningham Ups The Ante With Nancy Pelosi Letter Gavel up for grabs
They are heading toward an internal caucus vote when lawmakers return from the Thanksgiving recess that will test Pelosi's support.
The California Democrat is favored by most Democrats to lead them, as she has done since 2003, when the new Congress convenes in January. If that bid is successful, it could kick off a wholesale scramble that could also threaten Clyburn, the current assistant Democratic leader, and Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who is seeking to move from whip to majority leader when Democrats take control in January.
Pelosi ally Jan Schakowsky of IL says she understands the freshmen's nervousness.
"Leader Pelosi remains confident in her support", said spokesman Drew Hammill. If sixteen Democrats vote against her ...
Democrats will vote on a speaker candidate in a private meeting set for November 28.
"If we are going to turn a page and bring civility back to the political discussions, we need to change the people who are directing that conversation", she said.
Some freshmen appear to be moving in Pelosi's direction. "She's an effective person in that job".
British PM says her removal might affect Brexit negotiations
"These next seven days are going to be critical, they are about the future of this country", May told Sky News . Altmaier said: "I am sure that if one side undoes this package, other sides also will probably try to undo it".