Loading articles...

Welcome to Washington. Will you vote for Pelosi?

In this Nov. 15, 2018, photo, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leaves a news conference at the Capitol in Washington. Pelosi's bid to return as House speaker is putting newly elected Democrats in a spot. The speaker's vote will among the first votes cast in the new Congress, with all eyes will be watching -- and cameras rolling for TV ads -- to see if the incoming freshmen who promised to oppose Pelosi on the campaign trail will actually do so in the House chamber. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON — It’s the big question confronting newly elected House Democrats: Will you vote for Nancy Pelosi?

The freshmen swept into office by the midterm elections are caught at the centre of an escalating power struggle over Pelosi’s future. And that’s before they’re sworn in.

The clash intensified Monday as Pelosi’s critics unveiled a letter signed by 16 Democrats, including five freshmen, vowing to oppose her. That could be enough to derail her bid, if it holds.

A clear alternative to the party leader has not yet emerged. A test vote is coming when lawmakers return from Thanksgiving break next week The new members get to vote in the party election, though they’re not officially in Congress yet.

Lisa Mascaro And Alan Fram, The Associated Press