A top Democratic aide warned Thursday that Rep. Linda Sanchez's call for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her deputies to step aside would antagonize the Congressional Hispanic and Black Caucuses.
The aide called Sanchez's request "particularly craven" because it comes after the 77-year-old Pelosi, of California, managed to keep the caucus entirely unified against major GOP legislation, including a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Her spokesman, Drew Hammill, said there is no threat the 194-member caucus will try to oust her.
"Leader Pelosi enjoys wide support in the caucus and has always said she not in Congress on a shift but on a mission," Hammill said. "Leader Pelosi is focused on winning back the House and anything else is a distraction from our path to the Majority."
The senior aide noted that Sanchez, who is caucus vice chair, was barely elected to the number-five leadership post. She won the spot in a race against Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., by a 98-96 vote.
Sanchez is the youngest member of the leadership team. In addition to calling for Pelosi to step aside, Sanchez said Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who is 78, and Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn, D-S.C., 77, should also quit the leadership.
Clyburn is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Sanchez did not call on current Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., 55, to step aside. He succeeded Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., who left Congress to become California Attorney General. He was a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.