Tags: House Democrats | Nancy Pelosi | Xavier Becerra | midterm losses

Is Nancy Pelosi Marching Democrats 'Off the Progressive Cliff'?

Is Nancy Pelosi Marching Democrats 'Off the Progressive Cliff'?
(Bao Dandan/Xinhua/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 January 2015 12:55 PM

As the House Democratic Caucus heads to Philadelphia for a three-day retreat, storm clouds may be gathering for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Politico reports that grumbling over the party's trouncing in the November midterm elections, coupled with newer member dissatisfaction with the lengthy occupation of plum committee slots by the party's elder statesmen, some of whom have missed their fundraising goals, are causing tremors in the party and bringing Pelosi's leadership into serious question among some House Democrats.

"What crystallizes the frustration and concern you see in the Democratic Caucus is the disconnect between the economic numbers and the electoral numbers we've suffered these last six years or so," Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut told Politico.

"That provokes a lot of soul-searching. Do people not know what is happening in the economy? Do they not believe us that we have something to do with the recovery?"

In November, Pelosi ran unchallenged for House minority leader, leading Rep. Xavier Becerra, chairman of the Democratic Caucus, to tell Politico: "You heard the vote on the floor when we were trying to elect a speaker. I think it was pretty clear, as diverse a group as Democrats are, we are very united behind Nancy Pelosi."

However, Hot Air commented: "Becerra's defense of unity behind Pelosi is more damning than commendatory. They have lost three cycles in a row, including one in which their party's president won re-election, and House Democrats clearly have no Plan B in mind. Becerra and the majority of Democrats still left in the House seem content to keep marching off the progressive cliff under repeatedly failing leadership."

Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia told Politico: "I think there's a growing desire within the Democratic Caucus, at least from Democrats that I talk to, to try to get to a fundamental understanding of what went wrong, not only in this midterm but in the previous midterm, if we're going to grow and we're going to avoid becoming a permanent minority here in the House."

Younger discontented Democrat representatives are talking up three-term limits on top party seats, similar to Republicans' six-year term limits. However, any attempt to change current practice likely would run into opposition from the Congressional Black Caucus, whose chair, Rep. G. K. Butterfield of North Carolina told Politico: "We're now at a phase that many of our CBC members hold senior positions within the caucus. It has worked well over the years. Why revisit it now and cause divisions within the Democratic Caucus?"

Pelosi, 74, has not yet taken a position on term limits, Politico notes.

She has served as House Democratic leader since 2003, and has predicted that should former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton run for President in 2016, Democrats could re-capture the House riding the coattails of a Clinton victory, The Hill reports.

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As the House Democratic Caucus heads to Philadelphia for a three-day retreat, storm clouds may be gathering for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, Xavier Becerra, midterm losses
Tuesday, 27 January 2015 12:55 PM
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