Some Democrats call for a new House Speaker

Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) days as Speaker of the House may be numbered. The Hill reports that, based on House results in the election, some Democrats want a new speaker. 

“Stung by their party’s dispiriting showing at the polls Tuesday, two moderate House Democrats say they and other centrists are privately discussing a plan that was unthinkable just 24 hours earlier: throwing their support behind a challenger to [Pelosi],” The Hill reports.

Time for a shakeup

One Democrat told The Hill, more or less, that the Democrats have no path forward with Pelosi at the helm.

“It’s time for Democrats to elevate a new generation of leadership in both the House and the Senate,” the lawmaker said. “Americans are clearly afraid of ‘socialism,’ want safe streets and neighborhoods, and to vote for people who they believe will help put more money in their pockets. While Democratic policies can adequately address those issues, our messaging mechanism clearly cannot.”

Such Democrats seem particularly upset about the election results in the House. It is still looking as though the Democrats are going to keep their majority, but it is going to be a much narrower majority.

Does she have enough votes?

Democrats were expecting to pick up about ten new seats in the House, but what actually happened was they lost about ten seats. With this shrinking majority, it appears unlikely that Pelosi would have enough votes to maintain the speakership.

This is a point that was recently made by House GOP Leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

“I know the vote on the floor is difficult for Speaker,” McCarthy said. “I know there were a number of people who did not vote for her last time. And as our numbers continue to grow, I think at the end of the day, no matter where we end up, we’ll be able to have a very big say, or even run the floor when it comes to policy.”

It ought to be noted that Pelosi has proven before that she can maneuver her way into the speakership. But, it will be much harder this time with progressives arguing she isn’t progressive enough, moderates arguing she is too progressive, and the smaller majority.

Pelosi responds

A representative of Pelosi responded to The Hill’s report.

“Today is not about the race for Speaker,” Drew Hammil said. “Today is about the race for the White House and ensuring that our Members and candidates in uncalled races have the support they need. That is our focus.”

This may indeed be the case. But, Pelosi has already indicated that she intends to run again for the speakership. And, she can deflect such reports as The Hill’s all she wants, but it is looking as though it is going to be an uphill battle for Pelosi.

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