Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi announced that she will step down as the House Democratic leader by 2022 in order to secure the votes she needs to become the Speaker of the House in January. Pelosi’s support of leadership term limits won the votes of several Democrats and ensured she would have the 218 votes necessary to become speaker.
The term limits proposal would require three-term limits for the top three Democratic leadership positions if passed. The proposal would allow members to pursue a fourth term only if they have two thirds support from the Democratic caucus. The term limits will apply retroactively, meaning that the new Congress will mark Nancy Pelosi’s third term as leader.
Nancy announced her support for the term limits Wednesday by saying, “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. I am comfortable with the proposal and it is my intention to abide by it whether it passes or not.”
However, Nancy Pelosi is not the only representative that will be affected by the proposal. Whip Stony Hoyer is the second highest ranked Democratic member and earlier this week he said he would not support the term limits. Jim Clyburn, the Assistant Democratic leader, is the third highest ranked Democratic and would also be subject to the new term limits.
Several outspoken Democrats, who previously announced they would not vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker, released a joint statement after Pelosi’s support for term limits demonstrating support for her. “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.”
Nancy Pelosi is running unopposed for the speakership and won the first round of voting for House Democratic Leadership in November.
Media Resources: BuzzFeed News 12/13/18; Feminist Newswire 11/29/18