Rep. Nancy Pelosi is “100 percent” confident she will be the Speaker of the House in January, but several members of her own party are saying otherwise.
Last Tuesday, Democrats picked up enough seats in the midterms to take back control of the the U.S. House of Representatives.
In the following days, Pelosi made several comments about how confident she is that she’ll become the party’s next Speaker. But given Democrats slim majority in the House, there may already be enough “no” votes to block her bid for the speakership.
Ten Democratic congressmen, including New York congresswoman-elect Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez, told Politico that they would vote against Pelosi for House Speaker.
In order for Pelosi to get her hands back on the gavel, she will need 218 votes in the House. Democrats are estimated to have picked up roughly 31 seats and believe they’ll gain at least six more seats once additional races are called.
If that holds, Pelosi could only afford to lose votes around 14 members.
So far, Democratic Reps. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Bill Foster of Illinois, Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Kathleen Rice of New York, Tim Ryan of Ohio, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Filemon Vela of Texas, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, and Jason Crow of Colorado have said they won’t vote for Pelosi.
Ocasio-Cortez — the 29-year-old socialist who recently attacked the “electoral system” because she can’t receive her congressional salary until she becomes a member of Congress — also isn’t ready to endorse Pelosi for Speaker.
Appearing on Democracy Now last week, host Amy Goodman asked, “Who needs to lead the House and would you consider the possibility of being the Speaker yourself?”
“Uh, I mean, I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew. I just won my seat,” Cortez said, laughing while refusing to give a definitive answer.
Ocasio-Cortez also made her stance clear when asked about backing Pelosi for Speaker.
“In terms of her leadership, in context, we need to see what our options are,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding that she doesn’t want candidates “running to her right.”
“We need to make sure we are electing party leadership with strong commitments to putting Medicare For All, tuition-free-college and more at the top of the agenda,” the socialist darling said.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not ready to back Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.
She says she wants to see more options and a leadership that backs Medicare for All, free college, and a living wage. pic.twitter.com/gTcRhyBa5A
— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) November 9, 2018
As the Democratic Party arguably become more progressive and comfortable publicly supporting socialism, it sounds like Pelosi isn’t liberal enough for her own party.
While Pelosi continues to boast about how confident she is, it certainly appears Ocasio-Cortez and almost a dozen others are mounting a serious campaign to block Nancy from the gavel.