Closely guarded talks are taking place seeking a coalition in the 117th Congress to oust Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as speaker of the House. Meetings are being held among House Republicans and 10 Democrats who voted against Pelosi becoming speaker in 2019.
“A serious effort is underway to prevent Pelosi from becoming speaker, backed by the GOP and Democrats who are disturbed by their party’s embrace of extreme rhetoric and policies like ‘defund the police,’” The Epoch Times was told on Dec. 30 by a veteran senior congressional aide who advises multiple members of Congress.
“The odds of success are less than 50-50, but it’s one of the more intriguing leadership challenges to emerge in recent decades,” said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The aide declined to provide details of who from either party is participating in the negotiations because doing so would likely make it impossible for the talks to continue.
Spokesmen for Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) didn’t respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.
Pelosi earlier this week told reporters she believes she has the speakership “wrapped up.” The speakership likely will be decided when the 117th Congress officially convenes on Jan. 3, 2021.
Pelosi’s hold on the speakership—she became the first woman speaker in 2007 and remains the only woman ever to hold the powerful position she regained in 2019—could be jeopardized if the furtive talks succeed, because of the unexpected Republican gains in the November election and the 10 Democrats who previously opposed her being reelected.
Pelosi and other Democrats expected to gain 10 to 25 seats to add to the majority they won in 2018, but when the votes were counted, it was the Republicans who gained at least 10 seats. They also lead in the two remaining disputed races.
The 10 Democrats include Reps. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Kathleen Rice of New York, Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Jared Golden of Maine, Jason Crow of Colorado, and Jim Cooper of Tennessee.
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