Democrats re­write statutes after failed vote to oust Pelosi as mi­nor­ity leader

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY SETH MCLAUGH­LIN

House Democrats rewrote in­ter­nal rules govern­ing their cau­cus Thursday in an at­tempt to as­suage the con­cerns of mem­bers who tried to oust Nancy Pelosi from her lead­er­ship post and who de­manded the party strike out in a new di­rec­tion as it gears up for the 2018 elec­tion.

The changes give ju­nior mem­bers a larger voice in lead­er­ship and grant the cau­cus more say in who heads the Demo­cratic Con­gres­sional Cam­paign Com­mit­tee and the Demo­cratic Pol­icy & Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mit­tee — the cam­paign and mes­sag­ing arms of House Democrats.

“The vi­tal ef­forts of the lead­ers in these po­si­tions will be strength­ened by the man­date of their col­leagues, and I am ea­ger to part­ner with them to tackle the work be­fore our coun­try and our cau­cus,” Mrs. Pelosi said in a state­ment.

The Cal­i­for­nia Demo­crat an­nounced the changes a day after she beat back a chal­lenge from Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio by a 134to-63 vote mar­gin — ex­tend­ing her run as House Demo­cratic leader and fu­el­ing spec­u­la­tion over whether her power is start­ing to wane thanks to a se­ries of elec­tion set­backs.

Over the course of his twoweek pub­lic re­la­tions push, Mr. Ryan said the party needed to de­velop an eco­nomic mes­sage that spoke more di­rectly to the chal­lenges fac­ing work­ing-class vot­ers, and said that a lead­er­ship shakeup could help speed up those ef­forts.

In a nod to Mr. Ryan, Mrs. Pelosi an­nounced Thursday that, un­der the new rules, fresh­man law­mak­ers will tap a newly elected mem­ber of Congress to sit in on lead­er­ship meet­ings, which also will now in­clude a law­maker who has served five terms or less.

She said the DPCC, now headed by Rep. Steve Is­rael of New York, will be expanded to three mem­bers that will be elected by the cau­cus. The cau­cus also will now elect the chair­man of the DCCC, which is cur­rently led by Rep. Ben Ray Lu­jan of New Mex­ico.

Pre­vi­ously, Mrs. Pelosi nom­i­nated can­di­dates for the posts be­fore they were rat­i­fied by the cau­cus.

Reps. Seth Moul­ton of Mas­sachusetts, Ruben Gal­lego of Ari­zona and Kath­leen M. Rice of New York, who helped usher in the changes, cel­e­brated the pas­sage of the “dra­matic re­forms,” say­ing they would “in­crease the di­ver­sity of our lead­er­ship team and make our lead­er­ship ac­count­able to our Mem­bers.”

“The changes adopted to­day are a true vic­tory that will help us to em­power our Mem­bers and make our Cau­cus stronger,” they said in a state­ment. “Democrats can’t af­ford to back down in the face of a Don­ald Trump pres­i­dency and the re­gres­sive agenda he stands for. To­day’s out­come was a good first step to­ward our goal of re­claim­ing the ma­jor­ity in 2018.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Nancy Pelosi sur­vived an in­sur­gent cam­paign to re­place her as House leader of the Democrats, lead­ing to a shakeup of the party’s rules.

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