Two incoming Democratic representatives who are set to join the far-left “Squad” have not committed support to Nancy Pelosi’s bid to keep the position of House Speaker when the new Congress convenes next month.
“I am going to make sure that voices of the people of St. Louis are heard and we have what we need. And so you will find out then,” Rep.-elect Cori Bush said during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union after she was asked whether she supported reelecting Pelosi.
Rep.-elect Jamaal Bowman also failed to signal support for Pelosi, saying that people “will find out when my vote is tallied and, again, [I will be] organizing with our community to figure out what’s best.”
Some Democrats have grown concerned that their slimmer majority, coupled with the coronavirus pandemic, could give Republicans an opportunity to oust Pelosi from her leadership of the chamber.
“Let’s say, just theoretically, we had six or eight people out with COVID and the Republicans have none. They probably could elect [Kevin] McCarthy,” Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth told the Hill.
Both newly elected lawmakers unseated more centrist Democrats in their districts and are set to join the “Squad,” led by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, and support left-wing causes such as defunding the police and “Medicare for All.”
The far-Left wing of the Democratic caucus has often clashed with party leadership, attempting to push the party’s platform further left while receiving blame for the Democrats’ crushing House defeats in the 2020 election.
Pelosi lost the votes of 15 members of her own party in her bid to regain her role as speaker of the House following the 2018 election, a margin she can’t afford this time after the Democratic majority shrank by double digits.
While the two new lawmakers have yet to make their position on Pelosi clear, Democratic Reps. Conor Lamb, Jared Golden, and Elissa Slotkin have already indicated they do not plan to support her reelection.
“If someone votes for Colin Powell, it counts for the GOP,” Pelosi told fellow Democrats earlier this month. “We need people to vote with the nominee. That would be me.”
Original Author: Michael Lee