The Latest: Rebel Dem: Fight to block Pelosi was a challenge

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

A leader of dissident Democrats who struck a deal opening the door for Nancy Pelosi to become House speaker says his group had the votes to block her but faced factors that weakened them.

Colorado Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter says Pelosi proved her popularity when Democrats overwhelmingly nominated her for the speaker’s post last month. He notes that the insurgents produced no challenger to Pelosi.

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Perlmutter tells reporters he encountered supporters who didn’t want a chaotic opening to the new Congress, which a battle over Pelosi would cause. The House elects its speaker when the new Congress begins Jan. 3.

Perlmutter says Pelosi contacted him around Thanksgiving. He says he and Pelosi are friends and they had a dozen conversations before she and the rebels struck their deal Wednesday.

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12:15 p.m.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi says she doesn’t feel constricted by an agreement that clears the way for her to become House speaker next year in exchange for agreeing to hold the post for no more than four additional years.

The California Democrat told reporters Thursday that four years is a long time.

The 78-year-old Pelosi agreed Wednesday to a limit her service in the House’s top job. By doing that, she won over insurgent Democrats who’ve wanted to clear the way for younger leadership.

She’d spent weeks resisting a time limit, saying she didn’t want to lose clout.

Asked if she felt the agreement would make her a lame duck, Pelosi says, “What, four years? No, I don’t think that’s a lame duck.”

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12:30 a.m.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi appears to have sealed her return as House speaker when the new Congress convenes next month.

The California Democrat won over several rebellious Democrats on Wednesday by agreeing to limit her tenure to no more than four years. That pledge immediately drew the support of seven of her critics.

Not only will Pelosi be second in line to the presidency as House speaker, she will be the government’s highest-ranking Democrat and assume a leading role in confronting President Donald Trump for the second half of his term.

The question of whether Pelosi would be elected speaker has distracted attention from Democrats’ 2019 agenda focusing on health care, jobs and wages, and infrastructure projects. They also are expected to investigate Trump, his presidential campaign and his administration.

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