California Rep.-elect Gil Cisneros Signs Onto Anti-Pelosi Letter

Anti-Pelosi letter back up to 16 signatures but other opposition to her speaker bid also remains

California Rep.-elect Gil Cisneros signed onto a letter of Democrats who say they will vote against Nancy Pelosi for speaker on the floor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Rep.-elect Gil Cisneros has signed onto a letter of Democrats who say they want new leadership and who will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker.

In a statement noting he has ”tremendous respect” for Pelosi and her achievements for the Democratic Party, Cisneros said the voters in his 39th District made it clear they want to see change in Washington. “I intend to follow through on my commitment to support new leadership,” he said. “Our Democratic caucus is comprised of many dedicated individuals who are more than capable of leading our Party and the House of Representatives into the future.”

Cisneros signing on brings the anti-Pelosi letter’s signatories back up to 16 after New York Rep. Brian Higginsdropped his opposition just two days after the letter was released with his signature included

The anti-Pelosi contingent letter argues that Democrats won the majority “on the backs of candidates who said that they would support new leadership” and that voters want to see change in Washington.

“We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise,” they wrote. “Therefore, we are committed to voting for new leadership in both our Caucus meeting and on the House Floor.”

Cisneros had expressed those same sentiments during his campaign, but his signing onto the letter shows that his opposition to Pelosi was not a campaign promise he intends to break. 

There will be 233 or 234 Democrats next year, depending on whether Democratic Anthony Brindisi, who is one of the 16 signatories, wins in the still uncalled race for New York’s 22nd District. 

That means Pelosi can only lose no more than 15 or 16 votes on the floor, if all members are present and voting. 

Beyond the 16 on the letter, there are at least four other Democrats who’ve said they plan to vote against Pelosi on the floor: Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb and Reps.-elect Abigail Spanberger of Virgina, Jason Crow of Colorado and Jared Golden of Maine.

There are also nine Democratic members of the Problem Solvers Caucus who have said they are not ready to back Pelosi because she’s not embraced enough of their proposed House rule changes, designed to encourage more bipartisanship legislating. They are scheduled to meet with Pelosi and incoming Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts for a second meeting on the topic Tuesday.

Only one of those Problem Solvers Caucus members, Oregon’s Kurt Schrader, is also on the anti-Pelosi letter. 

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