Another Dem to oppose Pelosi

Another Dem to oppose Pelosi
© Stefani Reynolds

The road to the Speakership grew a bit steeper for Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Hillary Clinton slams Trump for spreading 'sexist trash' about Pelosi Hillicon Valley: Facebook won't remove doctored Pelosi video | Trump denies knowledge of fake Pelosi videos | Controversy over new Assange charges | House Democrats seek bipartisan group on net neutrality MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday when another Democrat announced his opposition to the longtime party leader.

Rep. Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindDems walk Trump trade tightrope Dems highlight NYT article on Trump's business losses in 'tax gap' hearing Congress can retire the retirement crisis MORE (D), an 11-term Wisconsin lawmaker, noted that he voted against Pelosi’s leadership bid on the floor two years ago, and he’s planning to do the same in January.

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“I’ve been consistent in saying we’re in desperate need of new leadership on both sides, as we move forward in the new Congress,” Kind told The Hill.

A senior Democratic aide fired back, noting that Kind has supported Pelosi’s top lieutenants — Reps. Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerPelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote House Democrats seek bipartisan working group on net neutrality Steyer plans impeachment push targeting Democrats over recess MORE (D-Md.) and James Clyburn (D-S.C.) — who have also been at the top of the party for more than a decade.

“This reasoning falls quite flat given Rep. Kind’s vote for Hoyer and Clyburn today,” the aide said, referring to Wednesday’s leadership votes on Capitol Hill.

“Kind is even on Hoyer’s letter so he’s very comfortable with an older man staying put.”

For Kind, the move is not entirely unexpected. A former chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, Kind had backed Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanCNN's O'Rourke town hall finishes behind Fox News, MSNBC GOP faces new challenge in 2020 abortion fight 2020 Democratic presidential candidates rally in support of abortion rights MORE’s (D-Ohio) unsuccessful challenge of Pelosi in 2016. And he was one of just four Democrats to oppose Pelosi in the Speaker vote on the House floor in January of 2017.

Still, Kind has floated largely under the radar this year as the fight over Pelosi’s future has heated up and divided the party into dueling factions.

Kind did not endorse a letter, organized by a small but determined group of insurgents, seeking to block Pelosi’s bid for the Speaker’s gavel, which she held between 2007 and 2011. And he declined to play his hand earlier in the month, saying he first intended to meet with Pelosi.

Whatever was said during their meeting, which occurred before the Thanksgiving break, it hasn’t shaken Kind’s belief that the Democrats need a crop of fresh faces at the top of the party. And he predicted that Pelosi’s critics have the numbers this year to oust her after 15 years at the helm.

“I think she still has a math problem getting to 218,” Kind said.

Pelosi has made inroads with some of her early detractors in recent weeks, winning them over to her side after offering committee gavels and promises to prioritize favored legislation. Kind warned, however, that there’s nothing Pelosi can offer that would change his mind.

“That’s not the game that I play,” he said.

The comments came just hours after House Democrats voted overwhelmingly to nominate Pelosi to become Speaker in the next Congress. The vote was a lopsided 203-32, leaving Pelosi’s supporters confident that she can rally the additional support in the five weeks remaining before the public Speaker vote on the House floor.

The insurgents saw the vote in a different light, as their goal was merely to demonstrate that Pelosi lacks the support of 218 Democrats — the number she’ll need to win the gavel on the floor.

Ryan said he viewed the tally as a victory for the detractors in delivering that message. And Kind’s emergence as an under-the-radar opponent suggests there may be others in the anti-Pelosi camp who are just staying quiet — for now.

Rep.-elect Steven HorsfordSteven Alexander HorsfordT.I., Charlamagne Tha God advocate for opportunity zones on Capitol Hill Dems warn against deporting former Trump golf course workers Ten Dem lawmakers added to House Ways and Means Committee MORE (D-Nev.) declined Wednesday to say how he voted in the private ballot — or how he’ll vote on the floor in January.

“In January, it’ll be known,” he said.