Pelosi wins Democratic nomination for leader as opposition crumbles

Brindisi says he'll continue to oppose Pelosi for speaker, work with Trump when possible

"She will get the votes. And the votes just aren't there", Rice told reporters outside the House. But she will need 218 votes in the binding speaker vote on the House floor January 3., meaning she can afford to lose 16 votes if every Republican votes against her, as expected.

There are also at least four newly elected Democrats who did not sign the letter but campaigned promising not to back Pelosi and have said they will keep that pledge.

In a 123-113 vote, The Hill reported that Jeffries defeated Lee for the Democrats No. 5 post. Colleagues will be asking if they really want a stalemate on the House floor as the first act of the new Democratic majority.

Pelosi has reached an agreement a bipartisan group whose nine Democratic members were withholding their support as they pushed for rules changes to allow a more open legislative process. This is the fifth-highest-ranking leadership position in the caucus.

During Tuesday's "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, Representative-elect Jahana Hayes (D-CT) shared her support of House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in her bid for House speaker.

"My responsibility is to recognize the myriad of talent and tools at our disposal to take us in to the future by showcasing the idealism, intellect and imagination of our caucus", she wrote. Opponents, including Reps. Marcia Fudge of OH and Brian Higgins of NY, now say they plan to support her. But Pelosi offered Fudge, a former chairwoman of the powerful Congressional Black Caucus and a Pelosi skeptic, a top spot on an elections subcommittee in exchange for backing down from mounting a challenge.

On the campaign trail, dozens of Democrats in red districts promised that if elected they would not vote for Pelosi for speaker. If too many vote against Pelosi before the full House, Republicans could grab control of the speaker's gavel.

Brindisi says he'll continue to oppose Pelosi for speaker, work with Trump when possible

Like Pelosi, the other top two Democratic leaders, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, 79, and Rep. James E. Clyburn of SC, 78, have no opposition in their bids to keep their positions. They were running unopposed.

With Democrats expected to have 235 members, that means Pelosi could lose only 17 Democrats and still be elected speaker ― if every Republican votes against her and none of the Democrats now opposing her vote "present".

Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., arrives for the House Democrats leadership elections at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018.

On Monday, one of the congressional rebels, Seth Moulton of MA, said he was open to negotiations with her.

"We know what's going to happen tomorrow".

Pelosi was nominated by Rep. Joe Kennedy of MA, with no fewer than eight colleagues seconding the choice, including Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, the civil rights leader, and three newly elected lawmakers. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Filemon Vela (D-TX) and Tim Ryan (D-OH), who challenged Pelosi in 2016 and fell far short of ousting her as leader. Some say only with a floor fight in view will new leaders emerge. Both say they want a smooth transition. Pelosi needs 218 to win the job, if all Republicans oppose her, which is likely. She can not afford to lose more than 15 votes on January 3 if all lawmakers are present and voting.

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