Rumors that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) could be facing an uphill battle to re-election to her leadership position have been swirling for weeks, and the latest development on that front spells even more trouble for Pelosi.
Two incoming Progressive Representatives — Reps.-elect Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y), and Cori Bush, (D-MO) — have stabbed the Democrat leader in the back by refusing to publicly declare whether they support her bid for speaker of the House.
Progressives are out of line
Pelosi faces an increasingly insubordinate Progressive caucus in her quest for control of the House. Bowman shocked the nation by primarying and then beating longtime Democrat stronghold Eliot Engle — who enjoyed an endorsement from Pelosi — and Bowman appears unwilling to bend the knee to Pelosi now that he’s already defied her once.
Similarly, Bush primaried incumbent Democrat Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO), another longtime member of the Democrat establishment.
Both Bush and Bowman were asked during a joint appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday if they support Pelosi’s bid for re-election, and both avoided giving a definitive answer.
“What I’m going to do is make sure that the voices of the people of St. Louis are heard and that we have what we need, and so you’ll find out then,” Bush said after appearing to stifle laughter.
Host Dana Bash attempted to get Bush to respond to the actual question, but Bush simply reiterated her non-answer.
Likewise, Bowman refused to endorse Pelosi as well, responding to the question by saying that “So, you will find out when my vote is tallied … and again, organizing with our community to figure out what’s best.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 27, 2020
It’s crunch time
Though Bowman and Bush were not forthright about their intentions in regard to whether or not they will vote for Pelosi, other Democrat Representatives have been much more clear about their rejection of Pelosi.
Moderate Democrat Reps. Elisa Slotkin (D-MI), Conor Lamb (D-PA) and Jared Golden (D-ME) have all declared that they will vote against Pelosi when the time comes. Some have speculated that Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-NY) may join them.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has also been cagey about her support of Pelosi, most recently declaring that Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) should be ousted from leadership.
In addition to a number of Moderate and far-left Democrat wildcards, Pelosi also faces the problem of Joe Biden snatching valuable Democrat votes in order to fill out his cabinet, and the endless problems coronavirus continues to present. Politico reported in December:
Pelosi’s thinner majority will require a near-perfect showing from rank-and-file Democrats to again lock down the speakership, a far more difficult task in a year when the coronavirus has sidelined dozens of members over the course of the year.