OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Rumors continue to swirl that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “expected” to retire or “step back” after November’s midterm elections.
A new report reveals that California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff is positioning himself as heir to Pelosi’s speakership if she chooses to retire after Republicans likely win back the House. Pelosi, for her part, has announced that she will seek re-election in November.
The Washington Post reports that Schiff’s efforts have “focused on consolidating support among his home base” in California, but that he “has not made an explicit ask for endorsements.”
Instead, the Post says Schiff “is gauging members’ interest and planting the seed that leading the caucus is his goal.”
The outlet adds that Schiff has reached out to progressive and minority-led congressional groups but that the response to some of that outreach has been “tepid.”
Other Democrats reportedly gunning to lead the House Democratic Caucus if Pelosi steps back include Democrat Reps. Steny Hoyer, James Clyburn, and Hakeem Jeffries.
These rumors have become so loud that apparently Democrats already have several successors in mind to potentially replace Pelosi.
“I think we want leadership that bridges some of the different ideological wings of the party, that is committed to listening to all of the perspectives, that will be capable of helping move the Senate or things that have stalled in the House. But whoever it is, I hope they would adopt progressive positions and also listen to the broad caucus and build consensus,” California Democrat Rep. Ro Khanna told the Post.
“I think there was a ‘holding of power’ model that worked very well for a long time, and I think now it is more about a recognition of different centers of focus within the Democratic caucus that have to be brought in and brought together. It takes some acceptance of more-decentralized leadership,” Washington Democrat Rep. Pramila Jayapal said.
Last year, Fox News host Maria Bartiromo reported that Pelosi may be planning to step down.
During a segment on Fox, Bartiromo said that sources had told her that Pelosi is stepping down after Democrats pass Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.
“First, this morning is exclusive, sources tell Sunday Morning Futures there is speculation swirling in Washington that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may step down after getting the massive spending package through,” she said.
“So all those Democrat members who had their arms twisted to vote on the multitrillion-dollar package and put their own reelection in jeopardy may be fuming to learn that the speaker could be planning a cut and run,” she added.
Back in July, a report from The Atlantic claimed that Pelosi will be stepping down as Speaker “in the not-so-distant future.”
“Sometime in the not-so-distant future, probably after next year’s midterm elections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will announce that she’s stepping down,” it said.
“Her top deputies… aspire to her job, but they’re also in their early 80s, and most Democrats in and out of Congress are counting on them to step aside too. Of course, they all have stock responses denying that anyone is ever going anywhere,” The Atlantic said. “But the day is coming.”
“Democratic members of Congress won’t talk about any of this publicly, as if Pelosi might suddenly appear and pull their hearts from their chests,” it said.
The Atlantic claimed that New York Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries could be the next House Speaker if Democrats retain control of the U.S. House next year.
“Pretty much every Democrat in Congress and beyond is confident that Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York will be the next speaker of the House if Democrats manage to hold on to their majority next year,” the report added.