U.S. Representative Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) has joined 16 other House Democrats in signing a letter pledging to not support House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's run for House Speaker.
Pelosi will need 218 votes to win. Democrats have won 231 House seats, with 5 more races still not called yet. If the 17 current signees continue to oppose Pelosi, she faces a difficult path forward.
"Her time has come and gone," Schrader tells WW. "She's actually a liability."
In a separate letter sent to Pelosi on Tuesday, Schrader and eight other House Democrats in the centrist "Problem Solvers Caucus" reminded the Minority Leader that many of them had committed "only to vote for a candidate for Speaker who embraces the spirit, direction, and specific language" of their congressional reform package. The letter requested Pelosi's public support of the package by Friday, Nov. 16.
On Wednesday, Pelosi met with members of the Problems Solvers Caucus to discuss the reform package. "I was impressed. I want to give [Pelosi] credit, she responded quickly," Schrader said Thursday. But on Thursday afternoon, Schrader said the parts of the package Pelosi supported were not yet enough to earn the support of the caucus.
In September, Schrader joined a group of House Democrats on a short-lived proposal that would have made it harder to elect Pelosi or any nominee.
Schrader, one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, was re-elected to the 5th District earlier this month by a 13-point margin.
The support Pelosi has from President Trump and some House Republicans is a concern to Schrader. Schrader said Pelosi wouldn't be a genuine bipartisan choice. "The reason they want her in power is because they want to win in 2020. They have no intention of collaborating with her," he said.
The 17 signatures on the pledge, first reported by Huffington Post, include incumbent and incoming Democrats.
Though the campaign against Pelosi pushes forward, no other Democrat has announced they will run. "There's a wealth of talent in our caucus," Schrader said, mentioning Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) as a possible candidate for Speaker. "There's pent-up interest [in moving up the food chain.]"