U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) says he will vote against Nancy Pelosi as the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives, The Tennessean said.
Cooper, recently elected to a ninth term, is among 17 House Democrats who signed a letter this week vowing they won’t support Pelosi’s bid for speaker. Other Democrats are also plotting to vote against Pelosi, according to reports.
Cooper voted against Pelosi in 2011, 2013, twice in 2015 and 2017, each time after Democrats lost the House in 2010.
“Now, with one of the largest, most diverse groups of new Democratic members ever elected, is the time to welcome a new generation of leaders to Congress, not just on the back benches, but in leadership,” Cooper said in a statement to The Tennessean.
Cooper has previously voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell as speaker since the leader does not have to come from the House.
Despite the calls for a new House Speaker – nearly 60 Democratic candidates in 2018 called for new leadership – it is not likely a new party head will emerge in the chamber, The Tennessee Star recently reported, citing Fred Lucas of The Daily Signal.
“I think there is a 10 percent chance she’s in trouble,” said Tom Del Beccaro, former chairman of the California Republican Party. “She is a prodigious fundraiser and will keep her leadership.”
Pelosi met Friday with a possible challenger, U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11), a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, ABC News said. Fudge said she would make a decision on whether to run against Pelosi after Thanksgiving.
Fudge told the HuffPost that Pelosi “has been a very good leader” but believes “it’s time for a new one.” She said she believes Pelosi hasn’t been a strong enough advocate for blacks.
HuffPost said possibly 18 House members could oppose Pelosi, including Cooper. But the Democrats could change the rules to force every member to vote for the Democratic nominee. Rule changes associated with that idea are under consideration. Some question whether this could work.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.