Nancy Pelosi continued to express confidence on Thursday that she will become House Speaker in the next Congress, despite the fact that her detractors are growing more outspoken in their criticism of the long-time Democratic leader and Rep. Marcia Fudge publicly weighs a potential challenge against her.
Pelosi downplayed the possibility that Fudge could enter the speakers’ race at a weekly news conference in Washington. “Come on in, the water’s warm,” she said, suggesting that she is unconcerned about a potential challenge, when asked about the possibility that the Ohio Democrat could launch a bid to become Speaker.
Asked if she believes she has the votes to win the election, Pelosi replied, “yes,” without hesitation. Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton, a leading Pelosi critic, told reporters after the news conference that “she’s wrong” when asked about Pelosi’s prediction she would win the speakership. “We’ve got the votes,” Moulton said.
The number of House Democrats opposing Nancy Pelosi’s bid for House speaker is growing. A total of 17 Democrats have signed a letter signaling their opposition to Pelosi, the intent of which is to demonstrate she doesn’t have the 218 votes to be speaker and encourage another person to challenge her.
With several congressional districts with outstanding races, Democrats could occupy up to 234 seats, meaning Pelosi could only afford to lose 16 votes during the January 3 speaker’s floor vote. In other words, she is still having to count votes. And there are other committed no’s who aren’t on the letter.