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Dem House newcomers split on supporting Pelosi for Speaker

Greg Nash

A panel of five Democratic women recently elected to the House was split Sunday on whether or not they would support Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in her run for Speaker.

Reps.-elect Donna Shalala (Fla.) and Deb Haaland (N.M.) told ABC’s “This Week” that they would support Pelosi.

Rep.-elect Abigail Spanberger (Va.), however, said she will not be voting for Pelosi, while Reps.-elect Lauren Underwood (Ill.) and Chrissy Houlahan (Pa.) said they are unsure what they will do.

{mosads}When asked what she need to decide, Houlahan said, “I have enormous respect for Leader Pelosi, but I do want to make sure that I understand to the degree that I can what kind of reform can happen on the floor so that new voices can be heard.”

In an appearance on CBS News later Sunday, Houlahan said in regards to Pelosi, “I am actually fundamentally leaning towards voting for her. But I take this responsibility very, very seriously.”

“There are a lot of moving parts in leadership and many decisions that need to be made, not just her election, but the election of other people’s as — people as well,” she said. “And I’m a deliberative person.”

Spanberger, meanwhile, said that she has been very clear that she does not think Pelosi is the best person for the job, though she does respect her.

“I think if we are going to turn a page and bring civility back to the political discussions, we need to change the people that are directing those discussions,” she told ABC. “I have tremendous respect for everything Leader Pelosi has done … but I have been very, very clear and honest about my intentions.”

Haaland saw things differently, saying, “She is the only person, I believe, that we need in this tumultuous time with the president that we have, to stay on track.”

Shalala echoed those sentiments.

“I think that Nancy has demonstrated, time and time again, that she has a backbone,” she said. “This is not forever but at this time in this transition, I’m with her.”

Pelosi has expressed her confidence that she will win the Speakership, but a coalition has been building to block her from the role.

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) has emerged as a possible rival for that Speakership.

Many House Democratic leaders have thrown their weight behind Pelosi, as has President Trump, who says that she deserves the position.

— Updated 2 p.m.

Tags Abigail Spanberger Chrissy Houlahan Debra Haaland Donald Trump Donna Shalala freshman class Lauren Underwood Marcia Fudge Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House Women
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