- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
Democrats hold back support for Pelosi
Some in conservative districts distance selves from speaker
A growing list of House Democrats are expressing reservations about supporting Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House, with freshman New York Rep. Scott Murphy the latest to say he won’t commit to voting for the Californian for the House’s top post after the Nov. 2 midterm elections.
“We’ll see. We’ll see what happens when the election’s over and we’ll look at the leadership,” Mr. Murphy told the Albany Times Union editorial board this week. “I think that I haven’t spent any time working on that issue. I’m really focused on getting through this election season and figuring out where we go from there.”
As Republicans repeatedly seek to portray Mrs. Pelosi as the face of the “tax-and-spend” Democratic Party, many Democrats running in conservative districts have distanced themselves from the speaker for fear of being associated with her liberal policies on health care, energy and the economy.
But Mr. Murphy’s stance is noteworthy because he is a moderate who most pollsters say is in good position to win in November.
He took office in April 2009 after a special election to replace Kirsten Gillibrand, who left the post after she was appointed to the Senate. Republicans have been quick to point to the number of Democratic candidates on the campaign trail showing uneasiness about their own Washington leadership.
“Seeking distance from Speaker Pelosi three weeks out from an election does not exactly qualify anyone for a ‘profile in courage’ award,” said National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokesman Paul Lindsay.
“The American people know desperation when they see it, and the newfound sense of ‘independence’ among these Democrats does nothing to mask the party-line votes they have cast in support of the Obama-Pelosi job-killing agenda.”
The NRCC, the fundraising arm of House Republicans, has reserved more than $700,000 to support Mr. Murphy’s Republican opponent, retired Army Col. Chris Gibson, a GOP aide said. The NRCC also has run at least two television advertisements on his behalf.
Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami, asked about the number of House Democratic candidates questioning her leadership, said that the speaker “is focused on ensuring that Democrats remain in the majority, and we will.”
“The speaker has said that we are not going to yield one grain of sand in this election,” Mr. Elshami added.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Democrat and a member of Mrs. Pelosi’s House leadership team, said earlier this week that the rumblings of discontent reflect in part the party’s broad majority and the number of individual members who hold seats in centrist and even conservative districts.
“What they’re doing is talking about their independence on certain issues,” Mr. Van Hollen said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “There are issues where they stood with the speaker and the president, and there are issues where they opposed the speaker and the president. That’s their job.”
“The people of my district are independent-minded folks who put patriotism above partisanship and are not looking to hire a yes man for either party,” Mr. Herron said. “I will not vote for John Boehner or Nancy Pelosi to serve as speaker of the House.”
“I am not going to vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House. Neither the leader of the minority party, John Boehner, nor the present speaker, will get my vote,” Mr. Bright told Montgomery TV station WSFA. “I will vote for someone, a centrist, who is much more like me.”
Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, a liberal Oregon Democrat who has clashed with Mrs. Pelosi, also has signaled he may not back her for another term as speaker.
Despite some Democrats’ reluctance to embrace Mrs. Pelosi, the Californian has raised more than $217 million for Democrats since she entered leadership in 2002, a senior Democratic aide said. She has held 212 political events in 24 states and one territory since last year, excluding events in her home San Francisco district and Washington, D.C.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- John Boehner demands answers on NSA, phone records
Latest Blog Entries
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Legalizing illegal immigrants is the solution to Obamacare: Democrat
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!