Kansas Democrat backs Pelosi bid for House speaker

Geneva Stokes
November 29, 2018

But the ultimate verdict will not come until January, when the new Congress must elect a speaker on the House floor.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is not backing down from the opposition to her becoming House Speaker.

His change in tone reflected the success of Pelosi's efforts to grind down her opponents through a mix of deft deal-making and quiet campaigning, which has already prompted public reversals from two Democrats and led a third to suggest he might ultimately vote for her.

But the bigger test comes in January when Pelosi will face a floor vote where she'll need a majority of the voting members of the chamber in order to become speaker.

Rep. -elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY said in a tweet: "I hope that we can move swiftly to conclude this discussion about party positions, so that we can spend more time discussing party priorities".

Pelosi has to get a majority of the entire 435-member House to be elected speaker.

After one potential rival stepped aside, Pelosi is expected to easily win the majority from her ranks. It instead supports allowing bipartisan measures to have a chance of being debated and voted upon.

The demands made by the Problem Solvers Caucus illustrate the challenge facing Pelosi in courting the support of moderates and progressives as she approaches the caucus vote on Wednesday, which will be a key indicator of her support. Higgins ended up endorsing Pelosi after she vowed to support health care and infrastructure proposals that he champions.

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., was one of the 16 incumbent and incoming House Democrats who signed onto a letter last week opposing Pelosi for the leadership position. Pelosi revived that panel and recommended Fudge for the post, elevating an issue important to the Congressional Black Caucus, especially after close races this month in Florida and Georgia.

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Pelosi is also working to mollify a less vocal group of critics who could nonetheless cause problems for her on the floor.

Newly elected members, especially those who pledged to oppose Pelosi and make way for a new generation of leaders, are caught in the middle.

Meanwhile, the number of rebels trying to oust Pelosi and vowing they can not be bought off appears to be dwindling.

His office did not reply to a request for comment or for clarification, though he did appear unhappy about that decision during his local TV interview on Sunday.

"If it becomes as a choice between a Republican and Nancy Pelosi, I'll obviously support Nancy Pelosi", Lynch reportedly said Sunday.

Moulton, a Marine veteran, said earlier he hopes it will be "a chaotic debate" for new leadership because "that would be healthy for the party". Should these incoming freshmen vote for Pelosi, Republicans would certainly highlight their support in campaign ads that decry them as hypocrites.

Smart Republicans know that Democrats are very likely to shoot themselves in the foot when they get a chance at controlling anything, and young Dems are proving this by attacking California Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Ryan was able to pass the GOP tax bill into law, but the right flank repeatedly flexed its muscle including during California Rep. Kevin McCarthy's recent election as minority leader.

Rep. Brian Higgins of NY reversed his position and announced he plans to support Pelosi in exchange for several open-ended commitments from leadership to bring an infrastructure bill to the floor next year, lower health care costs for Americans with pre-existing conditions, and work to make Medicare available to Americans at age 50.

"The whole concept of you can't beat somebody with nobody is a Nancy Pelosi talking point", she said. "Unless you have leverage, you can't use leverage".

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