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Nancy Pelosi secures votes to become House Speaker through term limits deal with dissidents including Rep. Tim Ryan

December 13, 2018 GMT

Nancy Pelosi secures votes to become House Speaker through term limits deal with dissidents including Rep. Tim Ryan

WASHINGTON, D. C. - Democrats who sought new leadership when their party takes House of Representatives control next year brokered a term limits deal with California’s Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday that will assure her ascent into the Speakership.

Niles-area Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan announced he’ll support Pelosi’s bid for Speaker because she agreed to transition out of her leadership role by the end of the next Congress or the one after that if she doesn’t gets two thirds support from House Democrats. He said the deal will ensure “the rise of a new generation of Democratic leaders.”

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“When I joined this effort four weeks ago I said our goal was to think seriously about transitioning our caucus leadership to a new generation of Democrats in the House,” said a statement from Ryan. “The agreement announced today is a historic step in that direction.”

Ryan was among seven Democrats who announced support for Pelosi on Wednesday after she agreed to transition out of her leadership role and endorse a change in Democratic Caucus rules that would limit the terms of the Caucus’ top three leaders.

This agreement paves the way for a speedy rise of the next generation of Democratic leaders and party unity in the next Congress. pic.twitter.com/EQBvmONxh9— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) December 12, 2018

According to Ryan, if the vote passes, the top three current Democratic leaders, all of whom have already served two terms in their current positions, would only be allowed to serve one more term in the upcoming 116th Congress unless they can secure two thirds of the caucus’s support for an extra term in the 117th Congress.

“I have also been clear from the start that this effort was never about one person—but our entire Democratic leadership team which has been in power for 16 years,” said a statement from Ryan. “As such, I intend to fight alongside my colleagues to make sure the entire leadership team and future leadership teams are bound by this deal.

Pelosi released a statement that said she sees herself “as a bridge to the next generation of leaders” and recognizes her responsibility to advance new Members into positions of power within the Democratic Caucus.” She said she intends to abide by the proposal whether or not it passes when the Democratic Caucus considers it in February.

While some Democrats say they still won’t back Pelosi when their party takes control of the House of Representatives next year, she appears to have enough support to clinch the post in January’s floor vote for Speaker. Last month, Pelosi won support of Warrensville Heights Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge, who was considering running against her for Speaker, by promising to restore a House Administration subcommittee on elections and to make Fudge its chair.

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Ryan ran against Pelosi for the post of Democratic Leader in 2016, losing in a 134-63 vote. This year’s anti-Pelosi effort was hindered because nobody agreed to run against her.

Although a large majority of House Democrats backed Pelosi for Speaker during a Democratic Caucus meeting last month, enough Democrats said they’d vote against her on the House of Representatives floor to jeopardize her chances of getting the job. That prompted her term limits negotiations with Ryan’s group. The agreement was announced soon after many Democrats praised Pelosi’s performance in a televised Oval Office spat with President Trump over funding of a border wall with Mexico.

A statement from the Republican National Committee said the group’s agreement looks like a convenient excuse for “Pelosi rebels” to renege on their promises.

“One by one, House Democrats in Ohio and across the country have turned their back on their constituents and fallen in line to vote for their anointed leader,” said a statement from NRC spokesperson Mandi Merritt. “We always knew a vote for any Democrat was a vote for Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco agenda, and today’s move by Tim Ryan proved just that.”