Nancy Pelosi ‘sympathetic’ to term-limiting committee chairs
Rep. Nancy Pelosi signaled Thursday she is open to term limits for committee chairman, saying members of the Democratic caucus, including incoming freshman, have been clamoring for the rule change.
The California Democrat was named speaker-designee last week after receiving 203 votes from Democrats in a closed-door caucus meeting leaving her searching for the 15 additional votes she will need to win when lawmakers take up the vote for speaker on the House floor next month.
Asked about reports that she was warming to the idea of term-limiting committee chairman, Mrs. Pelosi told reporters during her weekly briefing on Capitol Hill that she is willing to go along with whatever the caucus decides.
“That is a matter before the caucus,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “I have always been sympathetic to the concerns expressed by our members on that subject.”
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and veteran lawmakers oppose the rule change.
Mrs. Pelosi said that Rep. Jim McGovern, the ranking member on the rules committee, has been urged to include the change when Democrats adopt rules package for the new Congress as early as next week.
Mrs. Pelosi’s comment could help her build more support for her speaker’s bid.
Her backers maintain the 78-year-old deserves the chance to lead the chamber after leading because of the role she played in helping Democrats flip control of the House in the midterm elections.
A number of the Democrats running, though, vowed on the campaign trail not to support Mrs. Pelosi as speaker, and have called for new leadership, but have failed to field an alternative candidate.
Thirty-two Democrats voted against Mrs. Pelosi last week, three left their ballots blank, and one was out sick.