Small group of House Democrats held a closed-door meeting in the office of Representative Kathleen Rice (NY) to discuss a strategy for selecting new Democratic leadership
In 2017, after Democrats lost four consecutive special elections in the House of Representatives, Pelosi's leadership was again called into question. On June 22, 2017, a small group of House Democrats held a closed-door meeting in the office of Representative Kathleen Rice (NY) to discuss a strategy for selecting new Democratic leadership. Rice publicly called for new Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives, as did other House Democrats, including Tim Ryan (OH), Seth Moulton (MA), and Filemon Vela (TX). Cedric Richmond (LA), Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, also attended the closed-door meeting on Pelosi. Rice said in a CNN interview about Pelosi's leadership, "If you were talking about a company that was posting losing numbers, if you were talking about any sports team that was losing time and time again, changes would be made, right? The CEO out. The coach would be out and there would be a new strategy put in place." In a press conference, Pelosi responded to the criticism by saying, "I respect any opinion that my members have but my decision about how long I stay is not up to them." When asked specifically why she should stay on as House minority leader after numerous Democratic seats were lost, Pelosi responded, "Well, I'm a master legislator. I am a strategic, politically astute leader. My leadership is recognized by many around the country, and that is why I'm able to attract the support that I do".