Incoming Dem Sharice Davids announces support for Pelosi

Incoming Dem Sharice Davids announces support for Pelosi
© Greg Nash

Rep.-elect Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsOcasio-Cortez chief of staff to leave her office The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller testimony gives Trump a boost as Dems ponder next steps House Democrats delete tweets attacking each other, pledge to unify MORE (D-Kan.) announced Saturday that she would support House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiJohnson eyes Irish border in Brexit negotiations Mueller report fades from political conversation Five key players in Trump's trade battles MORE (Calif.) in her bid to retake the Speaker's gavel.

“Kansans didn’t elect me to go to Washington to play political games and take symbolic protest votes. They elected me to get things done," Davids, who unseated incumbent Rep. Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers Kansas Senate race splits wide open without Pompeo Mike Pompeo to speak at Missouri-Kansas Forum amid Senate bid speculation MORE (R) earlier this month, said in a statement.

"The best way to move forward as we face unprecedented threats to our healthcare access and to our democracy is to unite behind the person who is clearly going to become the next speaker, and who, whatever differences we may have, will stand up to those threats,” she added. 

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Davids was one of several incoming Democratic lawmakers who had remained undecided or expressed skepticism at reelecting Pelosi as the Democratic caucus’ longtime leader following an election many argued reflected a desire for change.

“I’m still looking to make sure that whoever I vote for for Speaker is going to lay out a clear plan for how we’re going to do things differently,” she told local ABC affiliate KMBC earlier this month.

Pelosi is widely respected among Democrats for her fundraising prowess and ability to hold her caucus together to push legislation through Congress and she has secured the backing of a number of reticent Democrats since the midterm elections this month.

Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeHarris wins endorsement of former CBC Chairwoman Marcia Fudge The Hill's Morning Report — DOJ's planned executions stir new debate Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment MORE (D-Ohio), who was considering challenging Pelosi for Speaker, backed down and endorsed Pelosi after she was promised a chairwoman position on a committee on voter suppression.

Rep. Brian HigginsBrian HigginsHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment On The Money: Sanders unveils plan to wipe .6T in student debt | How Sanders plan plays in rivalry with Warren | Treasury watchdog to probe delay of Harriet Tubman bills | Trump says Fed 'blew it' on rate decision Democrats give Trump trade chief high marks MORE (D-N.Y.), who endorsed a letter earlier in the week opposing Pelosi’s bid for Speaker, similarly said that he had struck a deal to back Pelosi, with her prioritizing an infrastructure package and an expansion of Medicare next year.

Davids on Saturday praised the diversity of the Democrats’ incoming class of members and noted that other, less high-profile leadership positions are also attracting younger candidates.

“I am one of more than 50 new Democratic members this year. Our class is the youngest and most diverse class ever, and we’re a significant portion of the Democratic caucus. Together we will have more influence on our caucus than any freshman class since the Watergate era,” she said.

“Not only that, but a new generation of outstanding candidates for other leadership positions have stepped forward-- from Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosDCCC is out of step with Democratic values Climate report makes agri-business a target Farmers have to be part of climate solutions MORE for DCCC Chair, to Rep. Ben Ray Lujan for Assistant Leader, to Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesAnti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Appetite for Democratic term limits fizzling out Jeffries dismisses optics: We wanted testimony from Mueller, not Robert De Niro MORE for Caucus Chair to Rep.-elect Chrissy Houlahan for the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. The new generation of leaders is growing and we won’t be ignored.” 

Much of the opposition to Pelosi emerged in swing districts during the midterm campaigns by moderate Democrats running to unseat Republicans. Critics of the insurgents fear that a replacement to Pelosi, who has garnered the endorsements of several progressive groups, would be more conservative than the current leader. 

Davids cited new rules Pelosi has come out in support of as another reason for her backing of the current House minority leader.

“The proposed new rules include measures that would give the public enough time to read bills before they’re voted on, help end the brinkmanship around the debt ceiling that repeatedly threatens our country’s economy, make it easier to bring measures that have broad support to the floor for a vote, make it harder to raise taxes on the middle class, and generally restore regular order to the House of Representatives,” Davids said. 

“The Leader has also gotten behind a package of good-government reforms that I endorsed during the campaign to help rebuild people’s trust in their government and make our democracy work better with provisions on campaign finance reform and voting rights. I will continue to advocate for those changes and to hold the Democratic leadership accountable for making these things happen,” she added.

It appears increasingly likely that Democrats will select Pelosi as their candidate for Speaker later this month. However, the remaining insurgents have more power when it comes to Pelosi’s wider confirmation in January, when she must get the support of a majority of the entire House of Representatives.   

Democrats have picked up 37 seats thus far, with four races yet to be called. If Democrats win all of the outstanding contests, Pelosi could lose 18 votes within her party and still clinch the gavel if all Republicans oppose her. If Democrats lose all of those uncalled races, she could afford to lose 14. 

However, Rep. Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedRepublicans' rendezvous with reality — their plan is to cut Social Security The Democratic plan for smaller paychecks House passes bill to update tax code to help same-sex married couples MORE (R-N.Y.) told The Hill last week he and some other Republicans are committed to backing Pelosi for Speaker if she agrees to enact a package of rule reforms.