Tags: | house | democrats | committee | seat

House Dems Reject Pelosi's Pick for Key Committee Seat

By    |   Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 08:12 PM

House Democrats broke with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, voting down her handpicked choice for a key committee assignment in the next Congress, The Hill reports.

Democrats voted 100-90 to name Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey ranking member of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee in what The Hill described as a setback for Pelosi following steep losses in the midterm elections.

Pelosi had openly lobbied for a younger, less senior lawmaker — Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Pelosi friend and fellow Californian — who was not in line for the committee assignment under the seniority system by which congressional caucuses traditionally operate.

"Pelosi's public endorsement —  a break in protocol for a leader who typically operates behind the scenes —  upped the stakes of the Pallone-Eshoo contest, which many viewed as a test of the minority leader's clout following a disastrous election cycle when House Republicans won their largest majority in generations," The Hill reports.

The endorsement also put Pelosi at odds with her second-in-command, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, as well as the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who argued that seniority rules required Pallone to assume the post being vacated by retiring Rep. Henry Waxman.

Some Democrats also took issue with Pelosi refusing to let another Pallone supporter, Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, vote in absentia. Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran and double amputee who is also pregnant, had asked for permission to cast her vote from home instead of having to return to Washington.

With Pelosi's early seal of approval, Eshoo won a preliminary vote on Tuesday from members of a Democratic steering committee packed with Pelosi allies.

"But Pallone's 100-90 victory within the broader caucus sends a message that Pelosi's word is not final, particularly amid grumbling from some rank-and-file members that the party needs a new direction following the midterm rout," The Hill reports.

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House Democrats broke with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, voting down her handpicked choice for a key committee assignment in the next Congress, The Hill reports.
house, democrats, committee, seat
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2014-12-19
Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 08:12 PM
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