Growing List of House Democrats Oppose Pelosi as Leader
The New York Times
November 10, 2010
By Carl Hulse
The speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, looks ahead to the new Congress in an op-ed column in USA Today on Wednesday, but she continues to face a small rebellion within her own party about returning as Democratic leader.
On Tuesday, two lawmakers — Representatives Marcy Kaptur of Ohio and Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon — urged that leadership elections scheduled for next week be put off until December to give Democrats more time to consider what went wrong on Election Day. And two Illinois lawmakers from the Chicago area — Representatives Mike Quigley, a more liberal lawmaker, and Daniel Lipinski, a moderate — joined those who said they would prefer someone else at the helm.
That means that more than 15 House Democrats have raised concerns to varying degrees about Ms. Pelosi’s hanging on to the party’s top spot. It is not a large number, but it is still surprising given the power Ms. Pelosi has wielded —and would wield as minority leader.
Allies of Ms. Pelosi said she had retained a strong core of support in the Democratic caucus and would be easily re-elected. Democratic officials say those who have gone public represent a much broader spectrum of House Democrats who are uneasy about Ms. Pelosi’s remaining as leader after the crushing losses on Election Day.
Still, no one has stepped forward to challenge Ms. Pelosi, and the main Democratic leadership fight for the moment continues to be the effort by Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina to unseat Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland from the party’s No. 2 slot.
Democrats will have about 200 people voting in their party elections, counting Congressional delegates, meaning that a majority will be just over 100 if all vote.
In her op-ed, Ms. Pelosi said the midterm election results “reflected the genuine frustration of the American people, who are justifiably angered by the continued high unemployment rate.”
“While Democrats are also disappointed at the rate of job growth,” she wrote, “it does not diminish what we have accomplished.”
She also said: “Democrats will continue to put forward innovative ideas, engage in entrepreneurial thinking and work to create the jobs for middle-class prosperity. Republicans and Democrats must work together, with President Obama, to prepare for our nation for the 21st century while creating clean energy and infrastructure jobs. As we go forward, we welcome Republican ideas about job creation.”
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