Nancy Pelosi Insists She Won't Step Down As Democratic House Minority Leader

Increasing pressure is growing within the Democratic party to oust Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, in the hope that a change in leadership would bolster the party's chances. However, Pelosi has insisted that she won't step aside, claiming that she still has "overwhelming" support of Democrats in the House.

According to Politico, Pelosi spent a good chunk of her weekly news conference defending her long-time position as the Democratic leader in the House. The former House Speaker responded to claims that a small group of representatives is plotting to oust her, claiming that the decision isn't theirs to make, and she still commands support within the Democratic caucus.

"I respect any opinion that my members have, but my decision about how long I stay is not up to them," Pelosi told reporters gathered for her weekly press conference. "My caucus is overwhelmingly supportive of me."

Pelosi's comments came directly following a secret afternoon meeting of a dozen Democratic lawmakers, discussing how they could potentially replace Pelosi as the party's leader in the House ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. The leaders of the group later claimed that no decisions had yet been made, but support was growing within the caucus to oust Pelosi.

Representative Kathleen Rice from New York claimed that she's been approached by an increasing number of members of the Democratic caucus, telling her that the party needs to move forward with new leadership and without Pelosi. Similarly, Massachusetts Representative Seth Moulton claimed that the group's ultimate goal would be to, as aforementioned, remove and replace Pelosi as House Minority Leader ahead of next year's midterm elections.

According to the New York Times, defending her position, Pelosi boasted about her effectiveness at the top of the Democratic party. She claimed that despite Democrats losing their majority in the House under her watch in 2010, the party had never been so successful and her leadership remains a requirement going forward. In her comments, Pelosi was keen to underline that in 2006, she secured a Democratic majority in the House for the first time in over a decade.

"I am a master legislator," she boasted. "I am a strategic, politically astute leader. My leadership is recognized by many around the country. That is why I am able to attract the [financial] support that I do, which is essential to our election, I am sad to say."

Whilst there may be Democrats in the House plotting to oust Pelosi, that doesn't mean there's any clear successor to her. As it stands, many members of the Democratic caucus still see Pelosi as their defacto leader and until a suitable challenger arises, she'll remain just that.

[Featured Image by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images]