Nancy Pelosi strikes deal with Democrat rebels

Washington, Dec 13 (IANS): Democrat Representative Nancy Pelosi has struck a deal with some of her party rebels intent on denying her the House speakership, paving the way for her to reclaim the position she lost eight years ago.

The California Democrat on Wednesday agreed to limit her time as Speaker to four years at most, in return, a critical number of lawmakers who vowed to oppose Pelosi, have said they will support her in a crucial January 3, 2019, House floor vote, reports Politico.

The proposal also limits the time her two deputies, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn, can stay in their posts, although those changes will likely have to be ratified by the full caucus.

"Over the summer, I made it clear that I see myself as a bridge to the next generation of leaders, a recognition of my continuing responsibility to mentor and advance new Members into positions of power and responsibility in the House Democratic Caucus," Pelosi said in a statement announcing the agreement on Wednesday.

The accord is a major triumph for Pelosi, who has spent the past several weeks engaged in a full-court lobbying campaign to line up the remaining votes she needed to clinch the speakership.

Following her announcement seven of Pelosi‘s critics released a joint statement endorsing her for speaker.

"We wish to thank Nancy Pelosi for her willingness to work with us to reach this agreement," the lawmakers wrote.

"We are proud that our agreement will make lasting institutional change that will strengthen our caucus and will help develop the next generation of Democratic leaders. We will support and vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House in the 116th Congress."

The proposal is retroactive, meaning Pelosi would be entering her third term in 2019. If she did go on to win a fourth term in 2021 with the support of two-thirds of the caucus, it would have to be her last, reports CNN.

Pelosi, along with Hoyer and Clyburn, served for two terms in leadership when Democrats controlled the House from from 2007-2011.

Pelosi announced the incoming Democratic caucus chairman Hakeem Jeffries and the incoming House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern plan to bring it up for a vote in caucus on February 15, 2019.

On November 28, Democrats voted overwhelmingly to nominate Pelosi as the next House Speaker in the secret-ballot vote 203-32, with three lawmakers leaving the ballot blank.