They have a deal.
Rep. Seth Moulton, who was one of the most outspoken Democratic opponents to the party’s entrenched leadership, now says he’ll back Rep. Nancy Pelosi for House speaker after the two sides came to an agreement Wednesday.
According to the reported terms of the deal, Pelosi and three other top Democrats will be subjected to term limits in their leadership positions. In return, Moulton and a group of holdout Democrats said they will support her in the House-wide vote for the speakership on Jan. 3 . The four-term — or eight-year — limits would apply retroactively, if officially adopted, meaning that Pelosi could only serve four more years as the Democratic leader.
Moulton, who has called for a new generation of party leaders, was among a group of Democrats threatening to withhold their votes for Pelosi on the House floor next month. But following Wednesday’s deal, the second-term Massachusetts congressman praised the longtime Democratic leader for showing “real leadership.”
Moulton had faced national backlash — and even talk of a potential primary challenger back home in the 6th District — as a result of his outspoken opposition to Pelosi as the Democratic leader, particularly after the party won back majority control of the House in last month’s midterms. In a statement Wednesday night, he acknowledged that the conversations had been “contentious” and “difficult,” but said the party is “stronger because of them.”
“My goal has been to have party leadership that reflects the new generation of Democrats in our country and represents the people who voted for change on election day,” Moulton said. “With the agreed-upon measures, we will do that: The leaders of our caucus will no longer be determined by tenure and loyalty but by frequent and open elections, giving us a better chance to change and evolve as the country does.”
Read his full statement below:
“Our party has spent the last month debating who will lead us and where we’ll take the fight first. This has been a contentious process, with some members advocating for action on specific issues and others calling for new leadership in the top three positions of our party, as I have. After working to elect candidates across the country for the last year, I want to make sure the new generation of leaders in our caucus gets a chance to actually lead.
“These conversations have been difficult, but we’re stronger because of them. My goal has been to have party leadership that reflects the new generation of Democrats in our country and represents the people who voted for change on election day. With the agreed-upon measures, we will do that: The leaders of our caucus will no longer be determined by tenure and loyalty but by frequent and open elections, giving us a better chance to change and evolve as the country does. They will also incentivize those in power to build our bench, something our party has struggled with for years. That’s progress.
“This process has given us the time to choose who we want to be as a party, not let inertia decide for us. Now it’s time to move forward as one. Nancy Pelosi showed real leadership by agreeing to these reforms. But there’s also a lesson in all of this: tough conversations make us stronger, not weaker, and we need to keep having them if we’re going to deliver on the change that we’ve promised the American people. That’s what we’ve been doing as a party for the last month. And now, even more than we were on November 6, we’re ready to do it for the country.”