House Democrats Hit Pelosi and Demand Election of Party Leader
Nov. 16, 2016 (EIRNS)—The election shock in Democratic Members of the U.S. House of Representatives has created what Politico calls an "uprising from [Nancy Pelosi’s] rank-and-file" which has forced the Minority Leader to agree to a postponement of House Leadership elections for two weeks, until Nov. 30.
The Democrats’ loss has brought long-simmering discontent out publicly. Pelosi has been Democratic House Leader for 14 years. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) said,
"It’s a big deal, because I think our leadership started out today thinking it was business as usual ... probably not just our leadership, but many people in our caucus were surprised at the level of discontent in our caucus."
Politico writers Heather Caygle and John Bresnahan report that Pelosi "was described as ‘very angry,’ ‘furious’ and ‘extremely defensive’" in what was described as "an often ‘raucous’ gathering."
Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusets and more than 30 other Democrats have been pushing for the delay since the weekend; the group met Monday night to plan their strategy. The Congressional Black Caucus backed the delay after internal discussions on Monday night, and Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), Politico reported, sent his own letter to Pelosi seeking a delay in the vote.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) offered the motion to delay the elections, and Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Mass.) seconded.
"There was heated back and forth over the issue," Politico reported, adding, "The motion was about to be ruled out of order by Democratic Caucus Chair Xavier Becerra of California when a ’furious’ Pelosi acquiesced." The Democrats do not control the House, the Senate, nor the vast majority of U.S. governorships, said Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), "so rushing to a leadership vote is something that is a bit off-topic at the moment."
So far, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) is reported to be considering running against Pelosi.
In the U.S. Senate, Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is retiring. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and his team were unanimously elected by the Democratic Caucus. Schumer has wisely added Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to what the Washington Post describes as a "junior" role in his newly expanded leadership team, along with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who remains Party Whip. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) will be the number 3 ranking Democrat, says the Post. Other members of the Democratic Senate leadership team are Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Debbie Stabenow, Joe Manchin (W.V.), Tammy Baldwin (Minn.), Mark Warner (Va.), and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), and one vacancy may be filled by Sen.-elect Chris van Hollen (Md.).