WORLD
13/12/2018 11:37 AM AEDT | Updated 13/12/2018 10:13 PM AEDT

Nancy Pelosi Backs House Leadership Limits, All But Securing Bid For Speaker

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will support a proposal to implement term limits for Democrats holding senior positions in the House of Representatives, her office announced Wednesday, a deal that will likely see her become the chamber’s next speaker.

“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. “I am comfortable with the proposal and it is my intention to abide by it whether it passes or not.”

Under the terms of the deal, those serving in top Democratic roles in the House would be allowed to serve only three two-year terms, with one additional term if two-thirds of the party supports the bid. The proposal would be backdated to include the period from 2007 to 2011 when Democrats were in control of the House and Pelosi was speaker, meaning she could serve a maximum of four additional years.

It’s unclear if the proposal will pass when the party lays out its rules next year, and some Democrats have already expressed their hesitation at term limits.

Pelosi’s acceptance of the plan comes after a coalition of Democrats said they would not vote for her, calling for new leadership in the top ranks of the party. The party secured control of the House for the first time in eight years during last month’s midterm elections, picking up at least 40 seats.

Andrew Harnik/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Pelosi appears to have fended off a challenge to her bid for speaker, effectively securing her nomination after agreeing to term limits for top Democratic positions in the House.

She has already been nominated but will need to win a majority of House votes, around 218, to secure the speakership.

The Washington Post reported at least six of those Democratic holdouts plan to back Pelosi’s bid after the announcement, and at least one member of the House who opposed her nomination, Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), publicly expressed her support on Wednesday after the decision.

“I am pleased that we have reached an agreement which creates lasting institutional change for the Caucus,” Sánchez said in a statement. “I firmly believe that the reforms we have advocated for will create advancement opportunities for the next generation of Democratic leaders and will strengthen our Caucus.”

Several Democrats are still expected to oppose Pelosi’s nomination.