Nancy Pelosi is discussing term limits for party leaders with her House Democratic critics

Move intended to appease Democrat critics

By ASHLEY KILLOUGH, CNN
Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference December 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. 

(CNN) - As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi seeks to win support from a small group of detractors in her bid for speaker, she's been discussing the idea of term limits for party leaders in the House -- a compromise that could placate critics eager to see a new generation of leadership.

It was already known that Pelosi was in active conversations with Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, a leader in the group of Democrats attempting to block Pelosi from getting the 218 votes she needs to become speaker.

A source close to the group confirmed Monday that the discussions include a proposal for anyone in Democratic leadership to leave their post after three-to-four terms.

While the proposal has been well supported by the group of Pelosi detractors, it's unclear how far it will go -- if anywhere -- at this point, with the negotiations still fluid and ongoing.

The discussion was first reported by Politico.

Pelosi has pledged to be a "transition" leader but has so far refused to place a timeline on her succession plan.

A spokesman for Pelosi declined to comment.

Asked by a reporter late last month if there was any middle ground between those who want to see a timeline and her hesitation to make herself a lame duck speaker, Pelosi threw cold water on the idea of a compromise.

"Between saying when I'm going to retire or not? I don't think so."

The idea of term limits for leaders comes as it was already known Perlmutter and Pelosi had been discussing the idea of term limits for committee chairs. Pelosi addressed that on Thursday, saying she was "sympathetic" to the concerns of those who want term limits but argued it was an issue that would be debated internally.

If the Democratic caucus wants to impose term limits, it needs to act soon. The vote for speaker is on January 3.

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