Politics

Pelosi Sees Wave of Endorsements Even as Opposition Ramps Up

Reps. Brendan Boyle and Dan Kildee, along with advocacy and veterans groups, endorsed her to become speaker

Image Credit: Zach Gibson/Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saw a wave of endorsements for her bid as speaker on Tuesday as opposition within her own party mounts against her.

Pelosi has been the assumed next speaker given her current role as minority leader and her past experience.

But she has been facing opposition from the more progressive wing of the party, which wants to replace the old guard with fresh people and ideas.

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Still, she’s been able to snag some critical endorsements despite that resistance.

Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) and Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), along with some advocacy and veterans groups, endorsed her to become speaker on Tuesday. She was also endorsed by others, such as Adam Schiff, the ranking member, to start out the week on Monday. This followed earlier endorsements from other lawmakers, advocacy groups, and labor organizations over the past couple of weeks.

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“I am proud to endorse Nancy Pelosi to lead our caucus,” Boyle said in a press release Tuesday.

“We need someone at the helm of our party who understands how to deliver on the promises we’ve made to the American people. Leader Pelosi has also consistently lifted up the voices of new members and supported them as they came into Congress.”

Related: Senate Democrats Release Letter Opposing Nancy Pelosi as Speaker

Kildee detailed how the minority leader helped during the water crisis in his hometown of Flint, Michigan.

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The city’s drinking water was exposed to lead that leached from the pipes due to insufficient treatment. He said that she never gave up on the city between her multiple visits and efforts to secure a $170 million aid package.

“It is exactly this type of commitment that we need from the next speaker of the House,” Kildee said in a statement provided to LifeZette. “Nancy Pelosi is tough and knows how to get things done. Because of her leadership, millions of Americans have access to health care, workers have stronger on-the-job protections and better wages, and our country is a more equal place for all Americans.”

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) also gave the minority leader a surprise endorsement Tuesday just days after saying she might challenge her for the speaker spot. Fudge said she was promised an opportunity to work on protecting voting rights and ensure black women have a seat at the table, reported Politico.

President Donald Trump is likely to be working a great deal with the new speaker. That person needs to be able to push back against the president while also knowing when to work with him. J Street, a prominent liberal group that fights for Israel–Palestinian peace, argues that Pelosi is the right leader to act as a check against the president.

“Nancy Pelosi has proven herself to be a true friend to the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement,” J Street said in a statement. “As speaker of the House and Democratic leader, she has been a champion of diplomacy and a powerful advocate for proactive and principled American leadership on the world stage.”

Related: Trump Endorses Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker

The Hill published an op-ed from a group of veteran activists, who argue she has been a critical advocate. The article was co-written by Joe Violante, who was the national legislative director for the Disabled American Veterans; Steve Robertson, a former legislative director for the American Legion; and Dennis Cullinan, a former legislative director for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“We have each spent over two decades of our lives advocating for America’s veterans on a bipartisan basis,” the authors wrote. “In all those years, no speaker of the House fought harder or accomplished more for veterans than Nancy Pelosi. That is a fact. While other members of Congress supported veterans with their words, Pelosi supported veterans with her deeds, with her strong leadership. We know because we saw it first-hand.”

Reps. Jimmy Panetta, Stanford Bishop, Anthony Brown, Salud Carbajal, Ted Lieu, Bill Pascrell, Bobby Scott and José E. Serrano all signed a dear colleague letter supporting her just a day prior, on Monday.

They also highlighted her work on veterans issues alongside her work on national security.

Pelosi previously served as speaker for a few years before conservatives were able to regain control of the House.

She continued her role as the party leader in the chamber afterward as minority leader. But that hasn’t stopped many from within her own party from calling for someone new, even if they don’t know exactly who that is yet.

The Huffington Post first reported on a growing list of lawmakers who had signed onto a letter opposing her on November 14.

Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) and Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) were among the 17 names to sign on. But the opposition group kept the actual letter a secret until it was unveiled on Monday.

“We are thankful to Leader Pelosi for her years of service to our country and to our caucus,” said the letter, which was obtained by Politico. “She is a historic figure whose leadership has been instrumental to some of our party’s most important legislative achievements.”

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Pelosi has also been backed by the bulk of the national labor movement, with groups like the AFL-CIO, AFSCME and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) endorsing her.

She was also endorsed by 100 gay rights groups.

Trump surprisingly decided to endorse her as well for speaker in a tweet on November 7.

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