Incoming House Democrat snubs Pelosi, wants ‘new leadership’

Anthony Brindisi on election night

"Under Speaker Pelosi's leadership in the next Congress, we will cultivate and empower that new generation of leaders as we prepare for the generational change that will renew and revitalize our caucus for the years to come". While intra-party tensions did not appear to be on display Wednesday, 32 House Democrats did vote against her. Nobody came to me, and at this point, I think it's unreasonable for anyone to expect a vote when they haven't even asked. Pelosi's win in caucus has never been in doubt, but with more than 20 Democrats continuing to say they won't support her on the floor, Pelosi still has a problem.

Her run as speaker ended in 2011, however, when Republicans held a majority in the House.

Like Pelosi, the other top two Democratic leaders, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, 79, and Rep. James E. Clyburn of SC, 78, have no opposition in their bids to keep their positions.

In an interview Monday, Higgins said he, like many lawmakers, recognized that Pelosi's predicament gave him a unique opportunity to maximize his influence by making it clear precisely what he would need to throw his support to her. On Wednesday, nine Democrats from the so-called Problem Solvers Caucus reached an agreement with Pelosi on Rules reforms to advance bipartisan legislation.

'She's making a lot of headway, ' said Rep. Joyce Beatty of OH, an ally.

"She's battle tested and no one else has demonstrated that they can do what she can do", Democratic strategist Doug Thornell said.

In other House leadership races, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of NY defeated progressive icon Rep. Barbara Lee of California by a vote of 123-113, to become the next chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

Republicans, who next year will be in the minority for the first time since 2010, are expected to vote against any Democratic nominee for speaker.

Sixteen Democrats signed a letter this month vowing to oppose Pelosi as speaker.

But in an announcement posted Saturday on her campaign website, Davids said no one else has stood up to challenge Pelosi.

Pelosi, a master legislator and political strategist who served as House speaker for four years from 2007, played a pivotal role in her party's winning performance in the midterms.

Leah Greenberg, a co-founder of the progressive grassroots group Indivisible, said opposition to Pelosi was coming from a small group of moderates "who are to the right of the party".

In an endorsement letter sent to all House Democrats Wednesday ahead of the voting, Representative John Lewis, a civil rights icon and Democrat from Georgia, cited Clark's 2018 campaign work "recruiting and mentoring what has proven to be the most talented class of congressional candidates in my memory". The members who oppose Pelosi as speaker say she has not done enough to help groom younger members for leadership positions, in turn making it almost impossible for them to rise in the ranks.

Pelosi's detractors have argued that they could control just enough votes to topple her during the vote by the full House. "This is a process whereby you've got a vote, which provides you with some leverage, and you have a voice, and the best thing you can do is articulate in a convincing way what it is you want to do and why you want to do it".

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