Former Sanders spokesperson outlines how House progressives can force a Medicare for All vote

Briahna Joy Gray, former press secretary for the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHouse Democrats to keep minimum wage hike in COVID-19 relief bill for Friday vote Sanders slams parliamentarian decision on minimum wage Parliamentarian nixes minimum wage hike in coronavirus bill MORE (I-Vt.), said Wednesday that progressives in the House have “actual power” to force a floor vote on Medicare for All, including by potentially refusing to back another term for Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMinimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster House Democrats to keep minimum wage hike in COVID-19 relief bill for Friday vote Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow MORE (D-Calif.). 

Gray, who will appear in a #ForcetheVote virtual town hall event Wednesday evening, explained during an interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising” said that a vote on a Medicare for All plan may be more likely than it has been in recent years amid resistance from Pelosi and other moderate Democrats. 

“This isn’t a question of how many people can we convince to get on board with this,” Gray said. “Right now, today, a very small number of progressives have the power to choose not to vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker and, in doing so, make it so that Nancy Pelosi, a woman who has been really held up by the left as an obstacle to a lot of the substantive goals, policy goals that it has, can be no longer in that position of power.”

Gray added that another option for progressives in the House could be to commit to voting for Pelosi for another term as Speaker “under certain conditions.” 

“Principally, that she bring Medicare for All to a floor vote so that we can have a lengthy discussion in the middle of a global pandemic about the failures of our employer-based healthcare system,” the co-host of the Bad Faith podcast and contributing editor for Current Affairs magazine added. 

The House is set to vote on the Speaker for the next Congress on Sunday. 

Watch part of Gray’s interview above.