House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s grip on power appears to be loosening as in recent weeks she has faced a series of subtle but significant challenges to her authority, Politico reports. Unaccustomed to hearing the word “no,” Pelosi has had to deal with vocal opposition from Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee, the Blue Dog Coalition, the Congressional Black Caucus and other members. “The dynamic stems from an ‘every man for himself’ attitude developing in the Democratic Caucus rather than a loss of respect for Pelosi, according to a senior Democratic aide. But it’s making Pelosi’s life — and efforts to maintain Democratic unity — harder. And it’s noteworthy, in part, because Pelosi’s signature strength has been a firmer hand than past Democratic leaders — an aptitude for wielding raw power in a consensus-minded caucus. But her inability — or unwillingness — to dictate when Rep. Charles Rangel would resign his Ways and Means Committee chairmanship and who would replace him is one sign that she is commanding the caucus with less authority.”
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