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Moderates Unsure About Pelosi Keeping the Gavel

Bill Clark/Roll Call
Moderate Democrats believe they will have a stronger hand in negotiations with Speaker Nancy Pelosi if the party maintains the majority in the House next year, but it is unclear whether anyone would challenge her for the gavel.

One moderate Democratic Member said Pelosi’s leadership had moved the Democratic Caucus “too far too fast” and that Democrats needed to moderate and focus on bipartisanship in the 112th Congress so they are “tailoring legislation that most of the American public can swallow.”

“I would prefer to see someone — whether it’s the Speaker now or a new Speaker — who takes a more moderate posture,” the Democrat said, adding that whether there would be a push to replace Pelosi “may depend on what happens in November.”

Right now, moderates aren’t talking about fielding another candidate, the lawmaker said, adding, “There are rumblings and rumors, but nothing concrete you can put your finger on.”

Another centrist Democrat predicted a push to install Hoyer as the top Democrat if Republicans win control.

“If we retain the majority then, I am voting for her,” the lawmaker said. “But if we don’t, if we fall short, then I think there are some of us who are definitely going to be looking at somebody else. Of course, my choice would be Steny.”

If Democrats hang on, the Member predicted moderates would go to Pelosi to make the case that she needs to move to the center.

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