House Democrats to hold leadership elections, pick speaker nominee

Nancy Pelosi after a meeting of House Democrats. 28 November 2018

Nancy Pelosi after a meeting of House Democrats. 28 November 2018

Nancy Pelosi was expected on Wednesday to become the Democratic nominee for speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, giving her the inside track to reclaim the House's top job in January, when critics in her own party may seek to block her.

The powerful House speaker sets the chamber's legislative agenda and is second, behind the vice president, in the line of emergency succession to the president.

She's not quite there. "I will support Nancy Pelosi for speaker".

'Are there dissenters? Yes, ' the California Democrat told reporters as the ballots were being counted.

Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., downplayed the significance of Wednesday's caucus vote and said the true fight for House speaker will occur in January.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Jan. 19, 2018. Joe Cunningham of SC and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia are among those who said they'd vote against Pelosi on the House floor.

"We had two outstanding people run to be caucus chair, and it was a very close vote, and I think Hakeem will rise to the challenge", Representative Cheri Bustos of IL said. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Tim Ryan of OH and Kathleen Rice of NY met with Pelosi before the vote. She declined, they said.

"There has to be some succession plan", Rice said.

If Democrats win the handful of remaining undecided House races they will control 235 seats, meaning Pelosi can afford just 17 defectors.

'She's making a lot of headway, ' said Rep. Joyce Beatty of OH, an ally. Both say they want a smooth transition. Seth Moulton and Kathleen Rice, who are refusing to back her on the grounds of facilitating new leadership.

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In particular, Hayes said she was seeking assurance that Pelosi was open to hearing the concerns of people who have been traditionally left out of the political process.

Democrats made history Wednesday in other leadership elections.

"I see it as an opportunity to be able to strengthen the range of voices that we hear from within our caucus". Families desperate to obtain health care for their families.

Even falling short of 218 votes on Wednesday doesn't mean an end Pelosi's bid to return to the post she held from 2007-2011.

In the next Congress, the CBC will have more than 50 members for the first time since its founding in 1971, accounting for more than 20 per cent of all Democratic votes.

In fact, Democrats voted to return their entire top leadership team, including Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland in the No. 2 spot as majority leader and Rep. Jim Clyburn of SC in the No. 3 spot as whip. They are running unopposed. Stephen Lynch and Brian Higgins, and won the support of progressive newcomer Rep. -elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as a potential opponent for Speaker, Rep. Marcia Fudge.

The two lawmakers, both of whom are members of the Congressional Black Caucus, were running to replace Joseph Crowley of NY, who was ousted in a primary.

Between now and January, those who oppose Pelosi will face internal pressure to reconsider their options.

Today, Pelosi needs only a majority of the Democratic caucus.

Already the group of Pelosi detractors looks eager to make a deal. Some of her allies have portrayed the rebels as sexist.

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