Kurt Schrader

Confidence Abounds Among Pelosi Supporters and Opponents — But One Side Will Lose
Anti-Pelosi contingent claims they have numbers to block Pelosi from becoming speaker

Nancy Pelosi is confident she will be the next speaker. Her opponents are confident they can block that. Someone is going to lose. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two big questions surround the contingent of House Democrats opposing Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker: Are they bluffing when they say there are enough members prepared to vote against the California Democrat on the floor? And if they’re not, will that opposition hold until the Jan. 3 vote?

Leaders of the contingent, including Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio, Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Filemon Vela of Texas and Kurt Schrader of Oregon, have all said they’re confident that when the 116th Congress begins on the third day of January, there will be more than enough Democrats ready to vote against Pelosi on the floor — not “present” or abstaining from voting — to prevent her from claiming the speaker’s gavel.

Anti-Pelosi Democrats Claim They Have Numbers to Block Her in Speaker Floor Vote
Organizers gathering signatures for a letter they say will show the strength of their opposition

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is running for speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, one of the leaders of a small Democratic contingent opposing Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker, said Tuesday he is “100 percent confident” the group has enough commitments to block the California Democrat from being elected speaker on the floor.

The anti-Pelosi group has been gathering signatures from new and returning members on a letter that calls for new Democratic leadership. It also notes that the signatories will not back Pelosi during the January floor vote for speaker.

House Democratic Factions All See Gains After Midterms
Progressive Caucus, New Democrats, Blue Dogs tout their expanding ranks

Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairman Mark Pocan expects his group to see a net gain of 13 members, not counting the uncalled races. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The two largest ideology-based Democratic factions in the House — the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition — are both projecting they’ll have more than 90 members next year after the party picked up over 30 seats in last week’s midterms.

The growth comes at a time when numbers will matter for these groups, more than they have for the past eight years when their party has been in the minority. With the House in their hands next year, Democrats will get to set the legislative agenda and control what bills come to the floor.

14 Democrats Push Back on Raising Caucus Threshold for Speaker Race
Caucus threshold should remain simple majority; members should unite behind winner, they say

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is expected to run for speaker again. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A group of 14 Democrats who support Nancy Pelosi for speaker are pushing back on a proposal from some of their anti-Pelosi colleagues to raise the caucus threshold for nominating a speaker candidate. 

House Democratic Caucus rules make all of their elected leadership positions subject to a simple-majority vote. Then, under House rules, the speaker nominee chosen by the caucus needs to win votes from a majority of the entire chamber — 218, if everyone is present and voting. 

With an Ambitious Policy Agenda, Pelosi is Poised to Lead the House Again
Calls increased from Democratic incumbents and candidates asking for new generation of leaders

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference in the Capitol on Nov. 7, the day after Democrats had retaken control of the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Basking in House Democrats’ midterm election wins, Nancy Pelosi is focused on the planks of the Democratic campaign platform that will become the new majority’s agenda: health care, infrastructure and cleaning up corruption in Washington.

But the California Democrat cannot escape questions about another theme that emerged on the campaign trail — opposition to her leadership.

Pelosi Pumps Up Policy With a Side of Speakership Confidence
Leadership contests pile up but Pelosi, Hoyer insulated from challenges so far

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds a press conference in the Capitol on Wednesday, the day after Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Basking in the House Democrats’ midterm election wins, Nancy Pelosi wanted to focus on the planks of the Democratic campaign platform that will become the new majority’s agenda: health care, infrastructure and cleaning up corruption in Washington.

But the California Democrat cannot escape questions about another theme that emerged on the campaign trail — opposition to her leadership. 

Nancy Pelosi Is Running for Speaker, but With Trump’s Help?
California Democrat has little room for error in attempt to regain gavel

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds a press conference in the Capitol on Wednesday, the day after the election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After her prediction of a Democratic takeover of the House came true, Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she is confident she’ll be elected speaker but declined to rehash the reasons she thinks she’s the best person for the job.

The California Democrat said she’s made her case about being the best person for the job, noting that her skills as a negotiator. But she said at a Capitol press briefing that she didn’t want to answer further questions on the speaker’s race. She did, however, take time to address President Donald Trump’s comment that she deserves to be speaker.

More Problem Solvers Members Pledge to Tie Speaker Vote to Rule Changes
Bipartisan caucus now has 19 members ready to oppose a candidate for speaker if they don’t back process changes

Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and the other members of the Problem Solvers Caucus say they are gaining support for the effort to revamp House rules. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Trying to show their push to amend House rules to create more bipartisan legislative processes is serious, the Problem Solvers Caucus announced Thursday that 19 of its members are willing to oppose any speaker candidate who won’t bring about change.

The bipartisan caucus unveiled a package of proposed House rules changes in July called “Break the Gridlock” and has been coalescing support for it on both sides of the aisle. Some of the caucus members have decided to add some oomph to their sales pitch by pledging not to support a candidate for speaker unless that person commits to enacting the rules package.

House Democrats Briefly Consider Upping Speakership Vote Threshold, Drop Proposal for Now
Idea expected to be raised again in the caucus after Nov. 6

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., faces potential backlash from her caucus should her party win back the House in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats on Wednesday briefly discussed a proposal to require their candidate for speaker — in case they win the chamber in November — to secure 218 votes in the caucus vote instead of a simple majority. The proposal was dropped, for now.

A shift from a simple majority to a 218-vote threshold would align the caucus rules with House rules that require a speaker to be elected by a majority of the full House.

Mike Quigley Is Congress’ Beer Champ
Illinois Democrat names beer after dog, wins cup at Brew Across America festival

Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., hoists the cup beside the Goose Island Beer Company brewmasters and Anheuser-Busch’s vice president of federal affairs, Doug Bailey. (Courtesy Anheuser-Busch)

Rep. Mike Quigley is officially the best brewer in Congress. Well, that’s according to the Brew Across America Beer Festival judges, who awarded his “Scout’s Cerveza” the Brew Democracy Cup on Wednesday.

Anheuser-Busch hosted the second annual event, and 11 lawmakers teamed up with the company’s breweries, or their craft brewery partners, from their home states to create a beer for the competition.