A top House Democrat called on Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her immediate deputies to step down so that newer lawmakers can assume the party leadership.

"I do think we have this real breadth and depth of talent within our caucus and I do think it's time to pass a torch to a new generation of leaders and I want to be a part of that transition," Sanchez said on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers," a weekly interview program.

Sanchez, D-Calif., serves as vice chair of the House Democratic caucus, which is a top leadership position. She was questioned on set Friday by reporters from the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, who posted stories about the interview. The panel rotates week to include other news outlets, including the Washington Examiner.

Sanchez explained the top leaders, including Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn, D-S.C., have been running the House Democratic caucus for more than a decade and others are eager to play a bigger role.

"I want to see that happen. I think we have too many great members here that don't always get the opportunities that they should. I would like to see that change."

Pelosi is 77 and, like Sanchez, is part of the California delegation. She represents San Francisco.

Pelosi first joined the leadership in 2001 when she earned the position of minority whip. Along the way, she earned a reputation as a strong leader and powerful fundraiser, helping Democrats win the majority in 2006 and 2008, during which she rose to become the nation's first and only House Speaker.

But Democrats have been essentially marginalized in the minority for nearly 10 years and the rank and file have become increasingly restless for change.

"They are all of the same generation and again, their contributions to the Congress and the caucus are substantial," Sanchez said on C-SPAN. "But I think there comes a time when you need to pass that torch. And I think it's time."