"Would-be challengers are keenly aware of the enormous power Ms. Pelosi wields, and fearful of institutional retribution and reputational damage if they step forward to test the status quo", the Times reported.
Released a "Dear Colleague" letter Monday detailing his support for Pelosi, praising her as a dedicated leader and "the epitome of stamina". "She is a historic figure whose leadership has been instrumental to some of our party's most important legislative achievements", the letter says.
That means Pelosi could lose as many as 15 Democratic votes when she stands for election as speaker on January 3.
If these members - which include only two women - stick to their promise, Pelosi's road to regain the speaker's gavel would be hard, and even more so if they are joined by others. "I just think it is offensive and insulting".
"Our majority came on the backs of candidates who said that they would support new leadership because voters in hard-won districts, and across the country, want to see real change in Washington", the letter from Democrats read.
Earlier this month, Pelosi's spokesperson told Politico that "Leader Pelosi is confident in her support among Members and Members-elect". Two of them - Anthony Brindisi of NY and Ben McAdams of Utah - are in races in which The Associated Press has yet to call a victor.
Among those leading the effort against her, Rep. Seth Moulton of MA has said his group is trying to protect the freshmen so they can survive their re-elections without having Pelosi's image hanging over their campaigns.
On CNN, Houlahan said she's "leaning toward" supporting Pelosi.
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Pelosi has faced challenges before but this one - fuelled by newcomers calling for change and frustrated incumbents who feel shut out of leadership after her many years at the helm - poses perhaps the biggest threat yet.
Sixteen Democrats signed the letter, including 11 current House members.
"We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise", they wrote.
"According what I've been reading, Nancy Pelosi is now a progressive".
California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi has submitted her bid to become the most influential lawmaker in the US House of Representatives. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who is toying with a speaker run herself, was removed from the letter. If sixteen Democrats vote against her ...
Pelosi seems certain to have enough support to become her party's nominee for speaker when House Democrats vote by secret ballot on November 28. That's a similar tack to the one taken two years ago by Fudge's ally, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who challenged Pelosi during internal caucus elections.
Accordingly, a draft proposal from Democrats on the House Rules Committee proposes an "independent diversity office" tasked with ensuring the House employs a "diverse workforce with qualified candidates that is reflective of our Members and the districts they represent", because "public servants working for the People's House should reflect the faces of America".
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