Adam Schiff Is Making Moves to Replace Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker If She Steps Back After Midterms: Report

Pelosi, who is currently up for reelection, has remained tight-lipped about retirement — though she hasn't said whether she plans to seek another term as the top House Democratic leader

Rep. Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi
Adam Schiff, (left), Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Christina House / Los Angeles Times via Getty; Dave Kotinsky/Getty

California Rep. Adam Schiff is reportedly positioning himself as heir to Nancy Pelosi's speakership, if she chooses to retire from her role following the midterm elections.

The Washington Post reports that Schiff's efforts have "focused on consolidating support among his home base" in California, but that he "has not made an explicit ask for endorsements." Instead, the Post says Schiff "is gauging members' interest and planting the seed that leading the caucus is his goal."

The outlet adds that Schiff has reached out to progressive and minority-led congressional groups but that the response to some of that outreach has been "tepid."

Other Democrats reportedly gunning to lead the House Democratic Caucus if Pelosi steps back include Reps. Steny Hoyer, James Clyburn and Hakeem Jeffries.

Schiff made a name for himself as a staunch critic of Donald Trump, leading the former president's first impeachment on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in connection with his Ukraine scandal.

Pelosi, 82, was first elected House Speaker more than a decade ago. She held the position until Republicans claimed a majority in the House in 2012 and returned to the leadership role after the 2018 midterm elections. She's the only woman to hold the Speaker's gavel, a role that puts her second in line for the presidency.

Pelosi was reelected Speaker in 2022 despite five Democratic colleagues not voting for her.

After securing the Democratic caucus' nomination to lead the House in 2020, Pelosi suggested it would be her last term as Speaker, citing an agreement to put limits on leadership roles and committee chairs.

In January, however, she announced she would run for reelection.

She has remained famously tight-lipped when it comes to any plans for retirement. In fact, according to New York Times political reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns, she hasn't even told her husband.

"In the spring of 2021, her husband, Paul, had told the governor of California [Gavin Newsom] over dinner that even he did not know how long she would choose to stay on as speaker," Martin and Burns write in their book, This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America's Future, per Insider.

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Whoever ultimately fills that seat will have big shoes to fill, as fellow California Democrat Rep. Ro Khanna told CNN earlier this year

"She has a trust among Democrats," Khanna said. "They trust her judgment, and they trust her skill. Anyone who comes after her is going to have to earn that trust."

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