Top House Dem: Time for Pelosi To Move On

Top House Dem: Time for Pelosi To Move On

Top House Dem: Time for Pelosi To Move On

A top Democrat says it's time for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to step aside.

Sanchez said she didn't know whether Pelosi could survive another challenge to her leadership position and didn't know who might seek to serve as the next Democratic leader.

The comments by Sanchez, the fifth-highest ranking House Democrat, were the strongest challenge yet by a Democratic leader to Pelosi's iron grip on the caucus. "I would like to see that change", she said. As Congress scholar Josh Huder says: "The fact a California Democrat is taking this public stand is noteworthy".

Critics argue that despite Pelosi's fundraising prowess and legislative skills, her image as a San Francisco liberal drags down some Democratic candidates, especially in Republican-leaning states.

This may have been prompted by an interview that Pelosi gave the New York Times last week, in which the 77-year-old Democratic leader hinted that she planned to stick around for a while. And Hoyer and Clyburn haven't been helpful, either.

As Politico wrote in June, "House Democrats are acknowledging there's virtually no chance [Pelosi is] going anywhere before the 2018 congressional elections ... despite a sense of unrest and scattered calls for Pelosi's resignation as Democratic leader". That she said yes, in so many words, is notable, but it's notable from the standpoint of the party's future, not its present.

Some of that can be perfectly healthy. That has a lot more to do with the lack of a Democratic majority and control of the White House than gender does.

But such criticism from a member of the leadership team is rare.

The truth is Democrats don't have much experience with this.

Sanchez, 49, was elected previous year to be vice chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, edging Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, by two votes. There have been contested spots within the leadership, but nothing like the possibility of a fully open upcoming slate. He said Pelosi is part of that, arguing the House minority leader is an intelligent and diligent leader.

Sanchez is the latest to join a small but persistent push among some in the caucus for new leadership, driven in party by Democrats' losses in 2016 and Republicans' eagerness to employ Nancy Pelosi as a conservative bogeyman. Democrats lost 63 seats that year.

Sanchez said that the leadership change did not need to happen immediately but by after next year's elections. Pelosi should have acted long ago, or at least last November - but having failed then, it's time for her to do something about her caucus's future as soon as possible, before the future runs right over her.

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