So far, 17 House Democrats have pledged in a letter to vote against Pelosi for speaker in the 116th Congress. Pelosi told reporters at today's Capitol Hill press conference that she was "largely responsible for most of the resources that went into those campaigns" of the reticent freshmen lawmakers.
Pelosi is dismissing that challenge, and she asks reporters: "Have you seen the letter?"
She's been meeting and speaking with uncommitted and incoming members all week, along with the various constituencies of the caucus - including the Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus, and members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus who are holding out support for a number of procedural rules changes in the House. She didn't win it by herself", Fudge added, also saying: "If we're going to give her credit for the wins, why is she not responsible for all the losses?" There was even some talk of creating yet another leadership position ― an assistant majority whip ― though that seems to have been shot down by some members, including the last Democrat to have a position made for him, current assistant minority leader, Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), who is running to stay at the No. 3 spot in Democratic leadership as the majority whip.
But Pelosi's detractors are betting that Democrats will want to avoid the possible dysfunction of a knock-down, drag-'em-out speaker's race.
But Fudge may be hobbled by her past refusal to co-sponsor the Equality Act, which would extend federal civil rights protections to people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
"You know I've never gone to that place", she continued.
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House Democrats are widely expected to elect Pelosi as their leader on November 28. Fudge said of Pelosi.
"I happen to think, at this point, I'm the best person for this", she said.
"I don't hate Nancy".
Look at the leadership of the Democratic Party - look at the top. "I enjoy a tremendous amount of support from the women in our caucus - from the new members who are women in our caucus - and so I get the upside, I think, of being a woman".
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) is toying with the idea of challenging Pelosi.