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Nancy Pelosi says she’s ‘comfortable’ with setting term limits for speaker



Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California says she is “comfortable” with setting term limits for senior leadership positions, and she agreed to serve no more than four years as House speaker if elected, reassuring critics within the Democratic Party who have called for new leadership.

“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,” Pelosi said in a statement on Wednesday.

“For some time, there have been a number of conversations to advance a proposal to institute term limits for senior leadership positions in our Caucus,” Pelosi said, adding that, “I am comfortable with the proposal and it is my intention to abide by it whether it passes or not.”

The proposal is scheduled for a vote on February 15. If it passes, senior Democrats would be allowed to serve three terms, and an addition fourth term if a Democratic two-thirds majority votes to stay the course.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, right, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York walk out of the West Wing to speak to the media outside the White House in Washington, December 11, 2018.
Andrew Harnik/AP

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Pelosi would need at least 218 votes on the House floor to become elected. Last month, Pelosi secured her nomination as speaker in a 203 to 32 vote. However, her role was not yet cemented after facing stiff opposition from a number of Democrats who campaigned for new leadership and “geographic diversity” within the party.

Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who spearheaded the effort for new leadership, described the negotiations as “difficult” and “contentious,” he but agreed with the proposal.

“The leaders of our caucus will no longer be determined by tenure and loyalty but by frequent and open elections, giving us a better chance to change and evolve as the country does,” Moulton said in a statement.

“This process has given us the time to choose who we want to be as a party, not let inertia decide for us,” Moulton added. “Now it’s time to move forward as one. Nancy Pelosi showed real leadership by agreeing to these reforms.”

Pelosi, the first woman to lead a majority party in Congress, previously served as speaker from 2007 to 2011.

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