Democratic Caucus

They wanted term limits for leadership. Pelosi agreed. Now what?
Ed Perlmutter still hasn’t got a caucus vote. But he’s stopped pushing

Colorado Reps. Ed Perlmutter, center, pushed Speaker Nancy Pelosi to back term limits for senior Democratic leaders. For now, he’s dropping the proposal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ed Perlmutter, the lead negotiator for a group of Democrats who pushed Speaker Nancy Pelosi to agree to limit her leadership tenure to four more years, is no longer pushing for the Democratic Caucus to adopt leadership term limits as part of its rules. 

“We’re just letting it sit right now,” the Colorado Democrat said. 

Democrats close but still short votes needed to pass $15 minimum wage
Proponents of bill to double existing minimum wage over five years confident they’ll get there

House Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. Scott, D-Va., is confident he can convince enough uncommitted Democrats to support his bill to incrementally increase the federal minimum wage to $15 over five years for it to pass the chamber. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Proponents of a $15 minimum wage are bullish about the prospects of the House passing a bill to incrementally double the current $7.25 federal standard over five years, despite Democrats seemingly being short the votes to do so.

“We’re working to make sure that we have consensus, but we’re going to pass that bill with enough Democratic votes to make sure that it passes out of the House,” House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer told reporters during House Democrats’ retreat in Leesburg, Virginia, earlier this month. 

Democrats insist they’re united and delivering but obstacles abound
‘The Democratic Caucus is acting,’ Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., insists her Democratic Caucus is unified. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

LEESBURG, Va. — House Democrats gathered here for their annual retreat insist their caucus is unified and prepared to deliver on a slate of 2018 campaign promises that propelled them into the majority. But obstacles lie ahead as they seek to hold the House in 2020.

The two major challenges Democrats face are crafting legislation that unifies the progressive and moderate wings, while also working with Republicans in the Senate and the White House to enact some policies into law.

‘We are either a team or we’re not’ — Democrats struggle with Republican messaging votes
Pelosi wants Democrats to stay unified against GOP moves but moderates worry about political attacks

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wants her party to stay unified on minority procedural tools that can be used to divide the majority party. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The new House Democratic majority is having its first major family disagreement as the caucus struggles to stay united against Republican messaging votes, which the minority is deploying through a procedural move known as a motion to recommit. 

Republicans in their first two months in the minority have already won two motions to recommit because of Democratic defections. Not once during the past eight years in which Republicans held the majority did Democrats win a motion to recommit. 

Pelosi Agrees to Deal Limiting Her Speakership to 4 Years
Caucus may not formally adopt leadership term limits but Pelosi agrees to hold herself to a maximum of two more terms

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has agreed to limit her pending speakership to a maximum of two more terms to win the support of five members who otherwise opposed her bid.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:21 p.m.Nancy Pelosi is doing exactly what she said she wouldn’t in order to secure the votes she needs to be elected speaker — putting an end date on her tenure as the top House Democratic leader. 

Under an agreement reached with seven Democrats who opposed her speaker bid, Pelosi will back term limits for the top three Democratic leaders. The limit she has agreed to will prevent her from serving as speaker beyond another four years. 

Term Limits Talks Roil House Democrats
Talk of compromise on matter comes amid consternation

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been involved in talks with a few Democratic opponents to her speaker bid about term limits on party leaders and committee chairs, an idea opposed by many in her caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are at odds over whether to adopt intraparty term limits for their elected leaders and committee chairs, even as it offers them a way out of their current impasse on the race for the speakership.

The House Democratic Caucus has long wrestled with the idea of term limits. House Republicans adopted a rule in 1995 to limit committee chairs to serving three terms. Democrats kept that rule in place when they took the majority in 2007 but then decided two years later to get rid of it.

Pelosi Wins Democratic Caucus Nomination for Speaker
California Democrat and her allies want the caucus to unify around her for Jan. 3 floor vote

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California won her caucus’s nomination to be speaker of the House for the 116th Congress. She still needs to win a Jan. 3 floor vote to be elected speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who has served 16 years as House Democratic leader, is on her way to securing another two after winning the Democratic Caucus’s nomination for speaker Wednesday. 

The outcome was never in doubt given that no one was running against Pelosi for the top leadership post and the simple-majority threshold required to win the caucus’s nomination is an easy bar to meet for the veteran vote counter. 

The Lone Leadership Hopeful Not Yet Backing Pelosi for Speaker
Most leadership candidates have made sure to let the press know they support Pelosi

Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., who is running for one of the three Democratic Policy and Communications Committee co-chair slots, is the only leadership candidate who has not yet committed to supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

All but one House Democrat running for an elected leadership position is supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker. 

The lone candidate who hasn’t yet backed the California Democrat in her quest to retake the gavel is Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright

Meeting With Pelosi Doesn’t Deter Marcia Fudge From Speaker Bid
‘No,’ Fudge said when asked if Pelosi asked her not to run

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, walks into her Rayburn Building office after talking with reporters on Friday about her possible run for House speaker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:00 p.m. | Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi met with her potential competition for the speaker’s gavel on Friday, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, who left the meeting still contemplating a bid.

“No,” Fudge told reporters when asked if Pelosi asked her not to run. “What she asked me was basically how we could get to a point where I could be supportive.”

Confidence Abounds Among Pelosi Supporters and Opponents — But One Side Will Lose
Anti-Pelosi contingent claims they have numbers to block Pelosi from becoming speaker

Nancy Pelosi is confident she will be the next speaker. Her opponents are confident they can block that. Someone is going to lose. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two big questions surround the contingent of House Democrats opposing Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker: Are they bluffing when they say there are enough members prepared to vote against the California Democrat on the floor? And if they’re not, will that opposition hold until the Jan. 3 vote?

Leaders of the contingent, including Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio, Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Filemon Vela of Texas and Kurt Schrader of Oregon, have all said they’re confident that when the 116th Congress begins on the third day of January, there will be more than enough Democrats ready to vote against Pelosi on the floor — not “present” or abstaining from voting — to prevent her from claiming the speaker’s gavel.