Tags: 2020 Elections | bustosagriculturepelosikingheitkampDCCC

Will Pelosi Veto Rep. Bustos for Agriculture Secretary?

cheri bustos stands at a podium in front of other democratic officials
Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., speaks outside the Capitol in 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By Wednesday, 25 November 2020 06:24 PM Current | Bio | Archive

One of the worst-kept secrets on Capitol Hill is that Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, five-term Democrat and Member of the House Agriculture Committee, wants to be the next U.S. secretary of agriculture.

But while Bustos’ nomination makes perfect sense on paper, it could have one very big stumbling block: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not want vacancies in the House and resulting special elections for anywhere.

With Pelosi and other Democrats expecting to increase their 235-to-200 seat majority in the House, they were dealt a rude shock: Republicans actually gained seats.

(If ongoing recounts hold up, the party breakdown in the House will be 221 Democrats to 214 Republicans — the closest split between the parties since 1958).

On Nov. 3, Bustos clung to the 17th District (East Moline-Rock Island) by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1%,  or roughly 11,000 votes out of more than 296,000 cast.

Sources close to Republican Esther Joy King, a tax attorney and U.S. Army Reserve officer, told Newsmax that she would almost certainly run again if there was a special election.

Given her strong showing against Bustos and eager grass-roots organization, King would be favored over any non-incumbent Democrat.

Many Democrats say Bustos’ assignment as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fueled King’s charge that the congresswoman had ''gone Washington'' and was a major reason for her close contest.

Soon after the election, the Prairie State lawmaker left the DCCC and is now chairman of the Democratic Steering Committee — the only member of the House Democratic leadership team from the Midwest.

Others mentioned as secretary of agriculture are former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who also very much wants the job, Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, and California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
 

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One of the worst-kept secrets on Capitol Hill is that Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, five-term Democrat and Member of the House Agriculture Committee, wants to be the next U.S. secretary of agriculture.
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2020-24-25
Wednesday, 25 November 2020 06:24 PM
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