Do Democrats really want to stop Nancy Pelosi from becoming speaker?

Do Democrats really want to stop Nancy Pelosi from becoming speaker?
Speaker Of The House Race Continues As Nancy Pelosi Remains Confident
The standoff over Nancy Pelosis bid to regain the gavel intensified as Democrats left Washington for the Thanksgiving break in what has turned out to be an unsettling finish to an otherwise triumphant week that saw them welcome a historic class of newcomers to Capitol Hill and prepare to take control from Republicans.

President Donald Trump is jumping in to offer some help, saying Saturday that he could perform a wonderful service by rounding up Republican votes for Pelosis candidacy. Trump says he genuinely likes Pelosi and looks forward to working with her, but its an almost unheard of proposition for the party that relied on the California Democrat as a chief villain on the campaign trail.

I would help Nancy Pelosi if she needs some votes, Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to survey the devastation from the California wildfires. I like her, can you believe it? I like Nancy Pelosi. Shes tough and shes smart, but she deserves to be speaker, and now theyre playing games with her, just like theyll be playing with me.

But divisions do exist among the party. And by involving himself in the leadership race, Trump may be trying to exacerbate them — either tainting Pelosi by association, or genuinely favoring her in the role if it will keep the left divided and Republicans riled up. Knowing Trump, it could also just be that he wants Pelosi to owe him politically, or wants to take credit for her victory (Reed had already expressed interested in voting for Pelosi without Trumps influence).

Video: Pelosi Battles to Keep Leadership of House Democrats

Pelosi, who was the first woman to become speaker and served from 2007 to 2011, was certain that she will hold that post again. Last week she dismissed a suggestion that she could rely on Republican support to help amass the House majority needed in January when Democrats take control of the chamber after this months election victory.

Trump went so far Saturday to tweet the name of one Republican congressman, Rep. Tom Reed of New York, who has said he could be open to backing Pelosi if she committed to changes that would shift some power from the House leadership. Reed is a part of the Problem Solvers Caucus, whose members have broached the idea as a show of bipartisanship to help reform Congress. Reed welcomed Trumps tweet Saturday even though GOP lawmakers considering endorsing Pelosi would open themselves up criticism in their 2020 re-election bids for daring to support someone their base has reviled.

Democrats, set to take over the House for the first time in eight years after the midterm elections swept in a blue wave, are in the midst of deciding what they want to do with the majority and who they want to lead it. No other Democrat has officially announced a bid for the speakership, but a vocal group of anti-Pelosi members are agitating for a change.

Art of the Deal: 2020

The president understands Congress is broken, said Reeds spokesman Will, Reinert. Reed has said for months hes open to voting for anyone who promises to reform the House of Representatives for the American people.

Leader Pelosi will win the speakership with Democratic votes, her spokesman Drew Hammill said Saturday.

Trump’s unlikely support comes as Pelosi faces a tough path to regaining the gavel — which she held between 2007-11, the last time Democrats controlled the House. While Pelosi had said she is “confident” she will be speaker, at least 17 House Democrats have signed onto a document saying they won’t support her. Meanwhile, Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, is mulling a leadership challenge and said she will announce her decision after Thanksgiving.

Pelosi was expected to work the phones from California during the break after meeting privately with newly elected Democrats who could be crucial to her bid. Her foes were equally confident they have the votes to stop her ascension.

Trump did not give any indication that the support was a genuine act of bipartisanship or a political calculation, given Pelosi’s unpopularity in some part of the country. But Republican strategist Chris Wilson said on “Fox and Friends” on Friday that it was “the best thing in the world for Republicans” to have her as speaker.

For now, its a band of disgruntled Democrats, led mostly by men, in the forefront of the opposition. With a test vote looming in late November, and at least one potential Pelosi challenger stepping forward, Democrats are facing the uncomfortable prospect of the internal squabble that the speakers vote Jan. 3 could drag on for weeks.

President Trump on Saturday gave full backing to House Minority Leader, D-Calif., taking the speaker’s gavel when the Democrats take the House in January — telling reporters he would get her Republican votes if she needed them, and that those considering a challenge to her “are wasting their time.”

I think chaos is good if its productive. I think chaos is bad if it is too disruptive and it divides us too much, said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, whose leaders were upbeat after meeting with Pelosi this past week.

“A Democratic candidate who embraces these rules reforms, I will stand with,” he told CNN. “I am so frustrated with this institution being a top-down driven organization…it is time to change this and if Nancy Pelosi is the only one that’s there, I’m open to it.”

Newly elected lawmakers indicated they were having good meetings with the leader, though few said the talks had changed their minds.

To get the gavel, Pelosi will first need to pick up a majority of the Democratic caucus in internal leadership elections, then go on to win an absolute majority of the House. If all those Democrats joined Republicans in voting against Pelosi on the floor, Pelosi would not have the votes for speaker.

It isnt about her, its about wanting new leadership, said Rep.-elect Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, a former CIA operative who defeated tea party Republican Rep. Dave Brat in suburban Richmond. There isnt anything she could say, because the decision isnt about her.

As an example, one need only look to the most recent gun control bill introduced in Congress. H.R. 7115, the so-called 3–D Firearms Prohibitions Act. Attentive readers will probably notice that the bad drafting started with the title: we live in a three-dimensional world; so all firearms are necessarily 3-D. Despite the title, the bill doesnt seem to ban all firearms, however, its provisions are so poorly drafted and show such a incredible lack of understanding of firearms that it likely does ban nearly any part intended for use in a modern semi-automatic firearm. Even simple pins and springs seem to fall within the provisions of the bill. 

Democratic Rep. Moulton draws fire for campaign to deny Pelosi speakers job

Rep.-elect Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey said he had a pleasant meeting, but remains a no on Pelosi. He is among 17 Democrats who have signed on to a letter opposing her. Van Drew said they discussed his districts and which committees hed like to serve on. I dont feel under pressure, he said.

“Universal” background checks are also a priority for anti-gun Democrats. In fact, Nancy Pelosi even promised to support criminalizing the private transfer of firearms if Democrats were given control of the House. Pelosi and her ilk will try to exploit all of the recent tragic shootings that have taken place in order to promote “universal” background check while ignoring the fact that none of them would have been impacted by such a scheme. The firearms in all of these horrific crimes were acquired through either the federally-mandated background check, or even more restrictive state systems.

Rep. Cooper to oppose Nancy Pelosi as speaker

Pelosi also has met with Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, a potential rival for the speakership who said the two had a very open and frank discussion.

In other words, if you can imagine a new, draconian restriction on guns, gun owners, firearm parts and accessories, or ammunition, expect it to not only be introduced, but to be given a hearing. Also expect the anti-gun legacy media to openly fawn over these efforts. The same goes for any old proposals that have already been introduced and rejected, or even implemented and later repealed or abandoned after proving to be ineffective.

To her credit, she wanted to know what my concerns were, Fudge said. What she asked me was, basically, how we could get to a point where Im supportive.

At the top of the list, of course, will be banning semi-automatic firearms. Extremists will try to ban Americas most popular rifle, the AR15, as well as any other semi-automatic rifle. The standard magazines that come with these rifles, as well as any that are sold separately that are deemed “too big,” will also be the target of bans. Most semi-automatic handguns and shotguns will also be swept into these bans.

One question for some Democrats is what, exactly, Pelosi means when she says she intends to be a transitional leader, a bridge to a new generation. She has led the party for 15 years.

Along with semi-auto bans and “universal” background checks, expect to see attempts to tax firearms and ammunition out of the grasp of the average American. Through incompetence or malice, these legislative proposals will be so poorly drafted that it will be impossible for law-abiding gun owners to even attempt to comply with their byzantine provisions.

Where Illinois Democrats stand on Nancy Pelosi for U.S. House speaker

If it were up to most of the Democratic Party, Pelosi easily would win. They see her as a skilled and tested leader prepared to confront Trump and deliver on priorities.

“Nancy Pelosi has demonstrated herself to be a very effective leader of the Democratic Caucus and was instrumental in ensuring a favorable vote outcome for the first time that the [Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)] language was passed on the House floor in order to restrict the Department of Justice’s ability to enforce federal prohibition against the states that have legalized medical marijuana programs. Her operation has been engaged with—and in regular talks with—our champions of the Cannabis Caucus and members who are supportive, and we have every indication that we will have her full support in moving legislation forward that would end federal prohibition.”

Pelosi, 78, first became speaker after Democrats took control of the House in midterm elections during former President George W. Bushs second term. With President Barack Obama, she was pivotal in passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

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With a narrow Democratic majority, now at 231 seats in the 435-member House, Pelosi does not have much cushion to secure the 218 votes needed, assuming all Republicans vote against her, as expected. Some House races remain undecided and the Democratic majority could grow slightly.

Rep. Jayapal — Im backing Pelosi for House Speaker

There is a chance the math could shift in Pelosis favor if lawmakers are absent or simply vote present, meaning she would need fewer than 218 votes for an absolute majority.

“Congress must now take action to ensure that state law is respected, and that Americans who legally use marijuana are not subject to federal prosecution,” she said in a press release earlier this year. “Democrats will continue to insist on bipartisan provisions in appropriations bills that protect Americans lawfully using medical marijuana. Congress should now consider expanding the provisions to cover those states that have decriminalized marijuana generally.”

Washington (CNN)House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi continues to project confidence that she will be elected speaker of the US House of Representatives when the new Democratic-led Congress starts in January — but she faces a potential challenger in Rep. Marcia Fudge.


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