Even after meeting, Moulton, Pelosi still fighting over speakership

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Hoyer and Clyburn, are already the current respective No. 2 and No 3.

Typically "voice votes" for leadership positions are expected to yield a unanimous result, but this year, members were asked to circle "yes" or "no" beside Pelosi's name, indicating whether they approved of the nomination, ostensibly sparing Pelosi the embarrassment of a non-unanimous vote.

But she's not there yet.

Yet even as Pelosi faces persistent opposition, her opponents have suffered a string of setbacks. Dianne Feinstein's observation that women in politics have to know how to take a punch, Pelosi added with a broad smile: "You have to know how to throw a punch too". "I'm really disappointed in that, knowing this was an uphill battle", she said.

Aside from Fudge, another blow to Moulton's crusade came when two incoming, high-profile reps. -elect, Ayanna Pressley of MA and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY - both of whom embody the new progressive leadership that voters elected on November 6 - have announced support for Pelosi.

And she used a powerful coalition of speakers popular with different parts of the Democratic coalition to introduce her, including a pair of freshmen from tough districts and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a civil rights icon, who sources say drew a standing ovation with his speech. And that impels Suozzi to show independence from Pelosi because of her image as a liberal partisan.

"For some reason, I was told that she viewed me as a big get for her", Higgins said.

In the hours leading up to Wednesday's vote, Pelosi tried to lock down support. He and eight other members of the Problem Solvers Caucus also wrote a letter demanding major House rules changes before members could support Pelosi.

But another group against her, led by Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Rep. Tim Ryan of OH and Rep. Kathleen Rice of NY, left the leader's office empty-handed. Seth Moulton and Tim Ryan were present at the meeting, which took place in Pelosi's office.

That came as Democrats, in secret balloting, choose Pelosi, 78, as their nominee for speaker. "That what we need up here".

Moulton's position stands firm even as Pelosi stockpiles endorsements from progressive organizations, prominent politicians, including President Barack Obama, and labor unions for the San Francisco Democrat to reclaim the House speakership. He points out Pelosi's "three-person leadership team has been unchanged in 11 years". Our request was, and has always been, simple. They asked Pelosi to publicly release her plans to transition out of leadership before the end of the next term in 2020.

"For us, our rules proposal isn't about changing leadership, it's about changing a system that stymies the will of the common-sense majority", the group said in a statement Monday.

Anti-Pelosi Democrats had been downplaying expectations heading into Wednesday's closed-door meeting.

"Our diversity is our strength, but our unity is our power, and we will use that power again in a unifying way for our country", she said, maintaining that "we're in pretty good shape" for January's speaker vote.

Pelosi also met with Reps.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed victory on Wednesday, saying she had won the Democratic nomination for Speaker amid an entrenched rebellion from insurgent lawmakers who pose the starkest threat to her long reign atop the party.

In a contentious election, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn edged out fellow Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Barbara Lee to become the next chair of the Democratic Caucus. She will need about 218 votes to claim the job as Democrats will take control of the House in January after their gains in the November 6 congressional elections.

On that day, Pelosi needs half of the House - not merely half the Democrats. Ultimately, however, just four voted against her on the floor in 2017.

But that effort has lost momentum since then, with several Democrats defecting and others softening their opposition to Pelosi.

"It was easy to cast a protest vote two years ago, and you had an opponent", the Virginia Democrat said.