Several House Democrats recently berated House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's (Calif.) leadership and called for change before the 2018 midterm elections.
"For us to go into this election with her as our leader is absolute insanity," one House Democrat, speaking anonymously, told the Atlantic. The representative accused Pelosi of putting her own interests ahead of the caucus' and added, "if we don't win the House back, it's going to be because of her."
Pelosi has drawn criticism in recent months following controversial statements she made surrounding immigration reform and Republican tax reform debates.
Pelosi gave an hours-long speech in early February trying to force a vote on immigration reform, even while the minority leader in the Senate, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), was promoting an agreement with Republicans to keep the government open. Her filibuster-style speech was met with criticism from within her own ranks. Another House Democrat told the Atlantic that many Democratic lawmakers were "furious" with the speech.
"Virtually everyone trying to win seats outside of California feels she has hurt their chances," the representative said.
Following the tax law's passage, Pelosi described bonuses and wage increases workers were receiving as "crumbs," a description that has been condemned by some Democrats. She also described the tax bill as "Armageddon" before it passed.
Now, an increasing number of House Democrats are calling on Pelosi to step aside before the 2018 midterms. The party wants to put its best put forward as it aims to win back a majority in the House.
Rep. Kathleen Rice (D., N.Y.) had previously criticized Pelosi for describing former Democratic Rep. John Conyers, Jr. as an "icon" in the midst of sexual harassment allegations against the Michigan representative. She continues to call for Pelosi to step aside before the election.
"It's going to be harder to win in 2018 if we don't have leadership," Rep. Seth Moulton (D., Mass.) said, describing the necessity for leadership change as a "harsh reality."
A leadership aide predicted that if the Democrats manage to only win a narrow majority in the House, Pelosi would not get enough votes to be elected speaker.
"The caucus wants change," the aide said. "This is very clear."