If there’s one person who loves all this Democratic infighting surrounding who should be the next Speaker of the House, it’s Donald Trump. If we’re tearing down our own, that’s less rage tweeting he feels compelled to do at 3am.
Let’s just say it’s more than concerning that there are Democrats who look at Nancy Pelosi and see anything other than the champion we need right now fighting on our behalf and for the nation as a whole.
Pelosi is smart as a whip, and that is the correct term, because she can whip a vote count into shape faster than you can say Blue Wave. She not only knows what she’s doing, she does it in a way that makes people fight with her and then the votes snowball in. To be blunt — she gets the job done. And she’s definitely a person you want fighting in your corner.
Republicans have been demonizing Pelosi not only because she’s a woman, but because she’s a woman who gets it done, and that’s a combination that keeps the predominately white male population of the House Republicans up at night in their Koch-sponsored onesies.
What has Pelosi done? So glad you asked.
Let’s take a look at her outstanding lists of legislative accomplishments from the last time she was Speaker.
The Affordable Care Act: Better known as Obamacare with the public option (the option was eventually taken out for the Republican compromise of the Heritage Foundation mandate, yeah the one they say they hate).
Dodd-Frank: This Wall Street reform was passed as a response to the recession of 2008 with hope that a financial crisis like that will never happen again and in hopes that banks will never become too big to fail.
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay: Sought to make sure women receive equal pay for equal work.
Economic Stimulus Act of 2008: Passed to lessen the blow of a recession and boost the economy away from a financial freefall. “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 put $787 billion into the economy in hope of blunting the effect of the recession.”
The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Which allowed LGBTQ individuals in our military to serve openly without consequence.
Via Politico, she also passed:
Credit Card Reform: The Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights issued new regulations on card companies, demanding that they increase transparency.
Student Loans: The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act increases the amount of Pell Grants for college students.
Tobacco Regulation: The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act gave the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate the tobacco industry.
Food Safety: The Food Safety Modernization Act would give the Food and Drug Administration more power over food producers (passed by Senate, not yet signed into law).
Raising minimum wage
Hate Crimes Prevention Act
Establishing the Office of Congressional Ethics
Not only is Nancy Pelosi the Speaker we need, she’s the Speaker everyone should want — everyone. The divisiveness coming from the Democratic party stating they want change is not only maddening for many, but it just shows how some seek to shake things up right as we need to be a united front against Donald Trump. And seeing as the House is the only body of government able to hold him accountable at the moment, we need someone with a record of getting the job done. That person, without a doubt, is Nancy Pelosi.
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) announced on Tuesday she will not challenge Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for the role of speaker of the House and is offering her endorsement.
"I now join my colleagues in support of the leadership team of Pelosi, [Rep. Steny] Hoyer, and [Rep. James] Clyburn," she said in a statement. Pelosi, Hoyer, and Clyburn are the three highest-ranking Democrats.
Fudge said she was concerned about "voter protection and voter integrity," and the Democratic Party "should reflect the diversity of our changing nation and guarantee all our citizens the unfettered right to vote and to have every vote count." Pelosi, she said, has "assured me that the most loyal voting bloc in the Democratic Party, black women, will have a seat at the decision-making table" and "protections of the Voting Rights Act will be reinstated and improved."
Last week, 16 Democrats signed a letter saying they will oppose Pelosi for speaker. So far, no challengers have emerged, with House Democrats set to vote to select a nominee next week. —Catherine Garcia
Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), a critic of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), reversed course on Wednesday and announced his support for the Democratic leader to be speaker of the House.
Higgins was one of 16 Democrats who signed a letter earlier this month pledging not to support Pelosi for speaker. The Buffalo-area congressman said in June he would not back the Democratic minority leader, describing her at the time as “aloof, frenetic and misguided.”
On Wednesday, however, Higgins told The Buffalo News that he had decided to back Pelosi after she agreed to prioritize two of his main goals in the next Congress: infrastructure reform and allowing people to buy into Medicare at age 50.
“I have an agreement in principle with the Democratic leader that those are going to be two priorities, and that I will be the lead person on the Medicare buy-in,” Higgins said in the interview.
He addressed the reversal head-on in a separate statement from his office.
“Some will ask why I have changed my position. The answer is simple: I took a principled stand .... A principled stand, however, often requires a pragmatic outlook in order to meet with success,” Higgins said.
Pelosi, meanwhile, said in a statement that she is “honored” by Higgins’ support. She praised Higgins for leadership on “the issue of achieving quality, affordable health care for all Americans.”
What had seemed like a serious challenge to Pelosi’s second bid for the House gavel appears to be falling apart only two weeks since the November midterm elections, when Democrats picked up nearly 40 seats and reclaimed control of the House. Further hurting the anti-Pelosi effort is the lack of a viable alternative. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) announced this week she would not challenge Pelosi for speaker.
Pelosi got even more good news on Wednesday, when former President Barack Obama gave her a full-throated endorsement.
“Nancy Pelosi, when the history is written, will go down as one of the most effective legislative leaders that this country’s ever seen,” Obama said, heaping praise on her work getting the Affordable Care Act passed in the House. “Her stamina, her ability to see around corners, her ability to stand her ground and do hard things and to suffer unpopularity to get the right thing done I think stands up against any person that I’ve observed or worked directly with in Washington during my lifetime.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday solidified support among dozens of newly elected Democrats in a show of strength for her speaker’s bid designed to counter a group of Democratic dissidents.
On the eve of a crucial vote, Pelosi (D-Calif.) spoke to roughly 60 incoming members at a closed-door session, praising the newcomers, most of them women, appealing for unity, and delivering an implicit pitch for a return to the top position.
“We want to remove all doubt to how we go forward in a way that puts our best foot forward on Day One, in order to show that we can govern,” she said, according to notes from a person in the room who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss the session. “That we can govern in a way that is transparent and hopeful and fair — in a way that is bipartisan, frankly.”
House Democrats meet on Wednesday to nominate a speaker and choose members of the leadership team. Pelosi has no challenger and the backing of 149 Democrats, according to The Washington Post’s count, but 22 new and incumbent Democrats oppose her candidacy.
The corps of Democratic freshmen represents the fruit of a midterm election that could flip as many as 40 seats from Republicans, the party’s biggest single-year gains in the House since the post-Watergate election of 1974.
Twenty of the Democratic freshmen signed a letter released Tuesday endorsing Pelosi, hailing her work to pass the Affordable Care Act during her previous stint as speaker and saying that “voters put us back into the majority largely because of our promises to protect and expand people’s access to that care.”
But the new class also poses some peril to Pelosi’s campaign to return as speaker: About a dozen incoming members who ran in Republican-leaning areas have said they will oppose her in a January floor vote. Their potential opposition, along with about a dozen more incumbents, could keep Pelosi from claiming the gavel.
The leaders of the dissidents say that Wednesday’s vote will make clear that Pelosi does not have the absolute majority of House members needed to win the speakership vote set for Jan. 3.
“She’ll be the default choice because she’s the only candidate running, but we expect the vote tomorrow to show that she doesn’t have the votes to become speaker,” said Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.). “Our hope is that when Democrats see that she doesn’t have the votes on the floor, another candidate will step forward.”
Rep.-elect Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.), who committed to Pelosi on Tuesday after saying during her campaign that she was inclined to oppose the leader, questioned that strategy.
“I’m not sure I understand it,” she said. “ ‘No’ — and replace with what? If we are truly attempting to be solution-driven, then when you vote no, present a solution or offer up some alternative or a candidate.”
In her presentation, Pelosi called the caucus a “giant kaleidoscope,” aimed at quashing potential tensions between moderate newcomers elected in GOP-leaning districts and outspoken progressives from Democratic strongholds.
“Make your fight, make your case, but not every fight is the last fight,” she said. “. . . We are all resources to each other, so we don’t harm anybody along the way.”
But the immediate threat to caucus unity isn’t ideology but the challenge to Pelosi’s leadership. It has opened a chasm among incumbents, between challengers intent on shaking up the top leadership ranks and Pelosi loyalists frustrated at the nature of the uprising.
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), a Pelosi ally and chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said the rebels risked widening the dispute if they carry their opposition past Wednesday’s nominating vote.
“She’ll get the overwhelming majority, and I think that makes it imperative she be speaker,” he said. “At the end of the day, it will be Nancy, whether it’s tomorrow or the day after, but all this acrimony at a time we should be showing unity is probably not good optics.”
If Democrats win two uncalled races where their candidates are leading, they will have won 235 seats, meaning Pelosi can weather as many as 17 defections.
An unsettled question is what steps, if any, Pelosi can take to win support among the dissidents or a broader group who have called for new leadership without specifically saying they will vote against Pelosi.
A letter circulated among the freshmen this week suggests there is room for negotiation.
“Politically and ideologically, we have different views,” reads a draft letter, first reported by Politico. “But make no mistake, we are united in the belief that the Class of 2019 has a responsibility and mandate for change in the U.S. Congress.”
Some of the demands laid out in the draft letter include provisions that Pelosi has already at least partially agreed to, such as mandatory 72-hour notice before voting on legislation and a streamlined process for bipartisan bills with broad support.
Other demands include holding monthly meetings with the top three leaders on the freshman-class priorities, doubling the freshman representation on the party steering committee, and designating an unspecified number of slots for new members on the most exclusive House committees — including Appropriations, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services and Ways and Means.
In the meeting Tuesday, Pelosi addressed several of those issues — agreeing to hold twice-a-month meetings with the freshmen and giving the new class the power to choose their own representative on the steering committee.
Ahead of Wednesday’s elections, Pelosi’s allies and her detractors sought to set expectations going into the closed-door caucus votes in a bid to define the stakes before the election.
A critical benchmark is Pelosi’s performance last time she ran for a top leadership position two years ago: Facing a challenge from Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio.), Pelosi won on a 134-to-63 vote.
This time, the dynamics are different: For one, she is seeking to lead a considerably larger caucus after an election where Democrats exceeded expectations. Moulton conceded that, because Pelosi has no opponent, she would garner a higher percentage
Pelosi has embraced of strategy of standing firm alongside the similarly long-tenure No. 2 and No. 3 party leaders — Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) and Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn (S.C.), who are seeking to be promoted to majority leader and majority whip, respectively. That wall of mutual support has made it difficult for Pelosi foes to expose daylight or float a candidate who has been anywhere near the most significant levers of power.
Hoyer made a show of strength Tuesday, releasing a letter endorsing his candidacy signed by 184 House Democrats — more than three-quarters of the incoming caucus, including two-thirds of the freshman class. His popularity across the caucus’s subdivisions has dampened efforts by some of Pelosi’s foes to float other names for the No. 2 spot as a consolation prize if Pelosi survives.
The lockstep support of Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn has descended into lower-profile races, such as the competitive contest for the chairmanship of the Democratic caucus between Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) and Barbara Lee (Calif.).
Jeffries, a young New Yorker who has explored running for multiple leadership posts, said Tuesday that he expected Pelosi and her allies to bring younger lawmakers into the fold.
“Once we get through all of this, we’re going to need to come together because there are real issues we have to tackle on behalf of the American people,” he said. “And hopefully we’ll do that sooner than later.”
WASHINGTON - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday easily won the support of a majority of next year's House Democrats to become the party's nominee for speaker, rebuffing attempts from a faction of rebel lawmakers who were pushing for new leadership.
Pelosi's real test of whether she can regain the gavel will come Jan. 3, when she will need the vast majority of Democrats to support her on the House floor for the final vote to elect a speaker.
The California Democrat secured 203 votes from 239 possible participants, or about 85 percent of the caucus. Thirty-two Democrats voted no, three cast blank ballots and one person was absent.
It marked a significant victory for Pelosi, and a prominent sign she will be able to reclaim the job she lost in 2011.
No candidate emerged to challenge Pelosi, leaving the anti-Pelosi coalition to fizzle. Pelosi also worked hard to court her critics. Before the vote, she struck a deal Wednesday with nine members of the so-called Problem Solvers caucus to change some House rules that they say will make it easier to bring bipartisan legislation to the House floor. The group had withheld their votes for Pelosi for speaker over the changes.
She has garnered the endorsements of dozens of liberal activist groups and other Democratic lawmakers. She has been holding one-on-one meetings with returning and newly elected Democrats. Pelosi flipped the only opponent who floated a challenge, Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio, into a supporter by offering her a key subcommittee chairmanship.
"I think we're in pretty good shape," Pelosi said Wednesday, regarding the Jan. 3 vote.
Behind the scenes, her allies expressed even greater confidence. They argue that there are plenty of Democrats who voted against Pelosi on Wednesday who will support her on the floor next month.
With California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy elected last week as minority leader, a victory by Pelosi would mark the first time that both House leaders will be from the same state.
Since Republicans plan to rally around McCarthy in the speaker vote, Pelosi will need to get the support of 218 Democrats, leaving little room for opposition in her own ranks.
Two years ago, Pelosi lost 63 votes inside her caucus to become the House minority leader, but lost only four Democratic votes on the House floor.
Her supporters Wednesday derided the effort to defeat Pelosi.
"It's kind of this phantom campaign that's being run and not very successfully," said Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier of California, a Pelosi ally.
Some of Pelosi's one-time opponents said a challenger would have had to announce a campaign by the time Democrats voted in their caucus if he or she would have any chance of beating Pelosi on the House floor.
Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, D-Mass., who signed a letter with 15 other Democrats promising to oppose Pelosi, all but admitted defeat late Tuesday and acknowledged that the majority of Democrats want Pelosi.
"The idea (behind the letter) was to foster a real process for someone to come forward, a consensus candidate," he said. "And so if Mrs. Pelosi is the consensus candidate, then that process has been served."
Others pledged to continue the opposition. Several members of the rebellion, including Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., met with Pelosi Wednesday on their primary demand: a succession plan from Pelosi.
"Unfortunately, our concerns were dismissed outright," Rice said. "We remain united behind our goal of new leadership and intend to vote against Leader Pelosi in caucus and on the floor of the House."
But after the vote, the group seemed less confident that a rival Democratic will emerge to challenge Pelosi on the House floor. "We'll see," Rice said.
In January, Pelosi will likely need to get 18 of the 32 Democrats who voted no to flip. She got 203 votes Wednesday, but that included four delegates who represent territories and D.C. and cannot vote on the House floor. On the other hand, Pelosi has the support of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., who was absent. That brings her to 200 votes, 18 short of the 218 she needs on the floor.
Democrats on Wednesday also elected Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., to be the House majority leader and Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., to be the House majority whip. Both have served as Pelosi's deputies since 2006 and ran unopposed.
If Pelosi wins the speakership, she would be the first person since Sam Rayburn in the 1950s to become speaker after previously losing the post when their party lost the majority.
She would also face the monumental task of keeping 235 energized Democrats unified while investigating President Donald Trump and working with, or against, a GOP-controlled Senate.
"I think it will be challenging. I mean it's a very large group, very idealistic, spread over the ideological spectrum," said Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California. But "one of the things that Nancy is so skilled at is helping people themselves find where their common ground is."
But because Democrats will only control a small portion of the government next year, keeping the party united may not be that difficult, said Rep.-elect Donna Shalala, D-Fla.
"Because the stakes are so high," she said. "This is not about getting down in the weeds and about individual objections. This is about, as (Pelosi) would say, saving the country. And when you feel like you're about something bigger than you ... that pulls people together in a very different way."
Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., who signed the letter promising to oppose Pelosi but later flipped to support her, said: "Democracy is a sloppy mess."