Ryan Agrees to Compromise to Make Pelosi Speaker

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, is one of seven so-called “Democratic rebels” who have agreed to support House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi when the new Congress elects its speaker Jan. 3.

As first reported by Politico, the compromise limits the length of time that Pelosi,  Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-5 Md.) and Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn (D-6 S.C.) can continue to hold the party’s leadership posts.

Two years ago, after Democrats lost the White House and failed to regain the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, Ryan launched a long-shot bid to replace Pelosi as minority leader. She beat the Mahoning Valley native by a 2-to-1 margin.

The deal agreed to today would see Pelosi agree to transition out of her leadership role by the end of the next Congress or, if she can obtain two-thirds support of the Democratic Caucus, at the end of the 117th Congress, the congressman’s office said. Pelosi also agreed to support a change to Democratic Caucus rules to implement term limits for the top three leaders of the Caucus. If the vote passes, the top three current Democratic leaders, all of whom have already served two terms in their current positions, would only be allowed to serve one more term in the upcoming 116th Congress unless they can secure two thirds of the caucus’s support for an extra term in the 117th Congress.

“When I joined this effort four weeks ago, I said our goal was to think seriously about transitioning our caucus leadership to a new generation of Democrats in the House,” Ryan said in a statement. “The agreement announced today is a historic step in that direction. I have also been clear from the start that this effort was never about one person—but our entire Democratic leadership team which has been in power for 16 years. As such, I intend to fight alongside my colleagues to make sure the entire leadership team and future leadership teams are bound by this deal.”

Ryan called Pelosi “an honest partner throughout these negotiations” and applauded her “commitment to creating a system that will ensure the speedy rise of new leadership reflecting the diversity and energy of our caucus.

“I am very proud to have joined with my colleagues to make lasting positive change to our party – change that will ensure Democrats are in the best possible position to fight, and win, for hard working families,” his statement concluded.

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