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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not commented on rumors of her possible retirement at the end of this term, but that hasn’t stopped lower-ranking Democrats from eyeballing her position. Party insiders have begun speculating on the future of Democratic leadership if she resigns from her post.
“My gut would tell me that this would be her last term,” Democratic House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., told The Hill. “I see a lot of people who would be the presumed successors donating a lot of money to their colleagues.”
Pelosi, D-Calif., has previously kept her intentions close to her chest, telling The Associated Press in 2018 that she “can take the heat” from Republicans.
At least 23 Democratic legislators are set to retire or run for a different office this year, destabilizing the party’s rank and file lawmakers.
Additionally, increasing tensions between the far-left faction of the party and more moderate Democrats have produced a disconnect in messaging.
Despite occasional cooperation on policy, progressive members of the “Squad” have taken swipes at Pelosi’s leadership, making the future of Democratic leadership pivotal for defining a path forward for the Democrats.
Despite recent chatter that she is considering a run for reelection, Pelosi is still widely expected to cede the top spot among House Democrats to another member of her party in the next Congress, especially if Republicans take back the chamber as many expect.
By the current leadership chart, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is first in line to replace Pelosi, and House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., is second.
Neither has announced his intentions to replace the California Democrat.
Pelosi and House Democrats had high hopes in early 2021 after she secured another term as speaker along with a very narrow majority in the Senate and President Biden in the White House.
However, political infighting between moderates and progressives compounded with nearly two dozen House Democrats announcing in 2021 they aren’t seeking reelection have hurt her image ahead of the 2022 midterm elections next November.
Fox News’s Tyler Olsen and Houston Keene contributed to this report.