‘We need somebody who is a fresher face, that voters don’t identify with the old establishment…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) The Democratic opposition to Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) bid for the House Speakership is struggling to maintain its support, just days ahead of a critical caucus vote.
Some of the group’s members have accused one of its leaders, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), of compromising with Pelosi — despite his vocal commitment not to vote for the California Democrat within the caucus or on the House floor.
Pelosi’s opposition lost momentum after several key Democratic leaders endorsed Pelosi, including Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), the only Democrat who vocally considered running against Pelosi.
But the group gained an influential supporter on Monday: Rep.-elect Gil Cisneros (D-Calif), who signed the opposition’s letter vowing to vote against Pelosi on the House floor if the caucus nominates her for Speaker.
And others within the group have dismissed Moulton’s idea of a compromise.
“I’m trying to replace the current leadership of the Democratic Party,” Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon) said, according to POLITICO. “We need somebody who is a fresher face, that voters don’t identify with the old establishment, who is new, that shows Democrats have chosen a new direction … We don’t want her to be the face of the party.”
Moulton issued a statement on Monday saying he was open to negotiating with Pelosi.
He suggested the group might throw their support behind Pelosi if she replaced her top lieutenants, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.). Moulton also reportedly suggested Pelosi should offer to serve only one term.
“Leader Pelosi wants to boil this down to a personal argument, but this is so much bigger than her,” Moulton said in the statement. “It’s about the entire, stagnant, 3-person leadership team and having a serious conversation about promoting leaders who reflect the future of our caucus.”
House Democrats will meet on Wednesday to elect their nominee for House Speaker.
Pelosi only needs to win a simple majority in the closed-door leadership election, but to secure the Speakership, she must also round up 218 votes in January.
Pelosi’s opposition said that even if the caucus nominates her, they will have enough votes to block the California Democrat on the floor.
According to sources close to the group, the opposition’s goal is to get more than 63 members to vote against Pelosi on the secret ballot.
Pelosi must also win the support of the Problem Solvers Caucus.
Moderate Democrats in the bipartisan group have vowed to support Pelosi only if she agrees to a certain number of rules changes. According to POLITICO, nine of the Democrats in the group are prepared to vote against Pelosi on the House floor if she doesn’t agree to their demands.
Pelosi met with the Problem Solvers Democrats last week and described the meeting as “positive and constructive.” She has not vocally agreed to support House rules changes, though. She did, however, vow to continue working with members “to develop changes to the rules that will break the gridlock in Washington and deliver results for hard-working Americans.”
“While we appreciate Leader Pelosi’s broad commitment to our effort, we have yet to receive specific commitments to our proposed rules changes that would help ‘Break the Gridlock’ and allow for true bipartisan governing in this new era of divided government,” the members said Friday. “Without specific changes, we will face more of the same — small pockets of extreme ideologues will continue to block the will of the commonsense majority.”