Updated at 8 p.m. ET
In a move described as a direct shot at Nancy Pelosi, some Democrats are trying to make it more difficult for one of their own to become speaker of the House.
At least 10 Democrats in the lower chamber have signed on to a letter to Caucus Chair Joe Crowley seeking a change to caucus rules that would raise the number of votes required to nominate a candidate for speaker. Current rules mandate that a nominee receive support from only a simple majority of caucus members before advancing to the floor for a vote. The letter requests that threshold be changed to 218, a majority of the House.
Representative Ed Perlmutter of Colorado and Representative Kathleen Rice of New York delivered the letter, obtained by The Atlantic, late Wednesday afternoon.
Multiple House Democratic sources said the letter had been in the works for the past week. Those sources see it as an attempt to increase the threshold needed for Pelosi, the minority leader, to be the caucus’s nominee for speaker should Democrats take the House in November. While 10 signatures don’t even come close to representing most of the caucus, the figure is nevertheless significant: Only five are needed for a vote on a petition like this one. The proposed rule change will be voted on next week.