House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said she has “overwhelming support” among fellow Democrats to become the next House speaker.

Ms Pelosi said: “I intend to win the speakership with Democratic votes.”

Ms Pelosi said she thought she was the best person for the job and that any Democrat who disagrees should run against her.

Disgruntled Democrats claim they have 17 names on a letter opposing Ms Pelosi’s leadership.

They say those signing are pledging to vote against the 78-year-old Californian when the full chamber elects the next speaker on January 3.

Ms Pelosi is dismissing that challenge, and she asks reporters: “Have you seen the letter?”

Democrats seeking to block Ms Pelosi argue it is time to give younger Democrats a chance to rise to high-level posts.