Malinowski announces support for Pelosi as Speaker

Tom Malinowski playfully ducked a question about who he wants as the next Speaker of the House this week at a crowded NJ Forward victory party. And the room – after all, a friendly crowd not interested in tripping him up – let him laugh off the question shouted from the audience (not by me). Of New Jersey’s bumper crop of Democratic district flippers – Mikie Sherrill, Andy Kim, Jeff Van Drew and Tom – Malinowski is the only one who is on record even hinting he would consider voting for Pelosi as Speaker. Sherrill, Kim, and Van Drew all made the need to replace her part of their campaigns. As opposition to her grew, Malinowski retreated into what Washington Post called the Dodged the Question camp. Mikie Sherrill and Jeff Van Drew have made pretty solid statements against Pelosi, with Van Drew a signer of the #NeverNancy open letter, which is primarily signed by centrist male members.

Now Malinowski has picked a side, further evidence that the ferocious deal-making that’s been going on all week by Pelosi and her captains, is working, solidifying her position. The Democratic caucus votes for a nominee Nov. 28, the full House in January. Below, Malinowski’s statement:


Malinowski Statement on Support for Congresswoman Pelosi as Speaker of the House

I have decided to support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House.

During the campaign, I said I would make this decision only after the election and after consulting with my constituents, and that I would only support a speaker who would help me deliver for New Jersey.

In recent days, I have spoken with Congresswoman Pelosi about the needs of our state, and I believe that she shares our fundamental concerns.  For example, she has told me that she will support taking action next year to address the SALT deduction issue, and to ensure that the federal government keeps its promise to help fund the Gateway Tunnel project.

I have also heard from many voters in the district, including at a public meeting Wednesday night, who have urged me to support Congresswoman Pelosi, and from others across the state, including over 120 New Jersey women leaders who have endorsed her candidacy.

My decision is influenced by larger concerns that inspired me to run for Congress.  This is pivotal moment in our history. Americans are dangerously divided. We have a president who disdains and seeks to undermine the most sacred norms of our democracy.  Democrats have won nothing more than a fragile foothold in one House of Congress, from which we must try to apply checks and balances, and to deliver for voters who are losing hope that Congress can deliver anything.

We must get to work from day one to pass bills that can unite sensible, patriotic Americans of both parties, on issues like health care costs, infrastructure, fighting corruption, and gun safety — while exercising oversight in a disciplined way where the rule of law and our country’s ideals demand it.  A long, bitter and divisive leadership fight is the last thing we need at this moment of national crisis. We must show results as quickly as possible, with unity and shared purpose. Nancy Pelosi has demonstrated time and again that she can unify our diverse Democratic caucus and negotiate with the other side to get results.  That is what we need right now.

At the same time, those who argue that our party should start a transition to new leadership deserve our attention and respect.  Over the next two years, we should empower younger members to speak for us, and begin an open process to identify the next generation of House leaders.  But first, let’s focus on the job we were elected to do, with a leader who has proven that she knows how to do it.

 

Comments (7)

  1. Bertin Lefkovic

    Has the Jeff Van Drew wing of the House Democrats announced who they would prefer to have as Speaker? I hope that it is Van Drew. That would be fun to watch.

    It is a shame that the AOC wing of the House Democrats have fallen in line with Pelosi, but it is to be expected. The only way that they would have taken her on would have been for AOC or someone as high profile as her like Tulsi Gabbard to run for Speaker and that didn’t happen.

    Reply
    1. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      No, Speaker Jeff Van Drew would not be fun to watch.

      Reply
      1. Bertin Lefkovic

        I am not suggesting that at all, Rosi. I am suggesting that watching Jeff Van Drew getting his ass handed to him by Pelosi or any other Democrat would be fun to watch.

        Reply
  2. vmars

    This is the right decision, and shouldn’t have been a tough one. You don’t replace the leader who presided over the biggest win in almost 50 years as your first order of business after the win. You especially don’t do it when you haven’t been sworn in yet, and have no experience with the rules, processes or traditions of the House.

    I don’t care one way or the other about Pelosi being speaker, but I do care about wasting time on things that don’t matter right now. The next two years are about stopping Trump, not about passing progressive legislation that will die in the Senate. Knowledge of the rules and history of the place is vital. We can have a speaker fight after we take make the White House.

    Reply
    1. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      But it has been a tough decision, whether you think it should be one or not, and that should tell you something. And though your comment reads like you think only freshmen House members wanted a different Speaker, that’s not true. Many incumbent Dems don’t want Pelosi.

      There’s something big you left off in your list of things that are important the next two years – that’s the next ‘blue wave.’ All these people have to get re-elected. And expand our House numbers. And take the Senate. And White House. A much bigger lift than this.

      I agree with Bertin Lefkovic above that anything better than Pelosi was doomed when someone high profile didn’t run. Pramila Jayapal was bought off early. And of course, the big-money people issued their threat to pull their checks if it isn’t Pelosi; that speaks volumes. This is the party as its highest levels doing what it does. How quickly we forget that has mostly been lose.

      I hope I’m wrong.

      Reply
      1. Bertin Lefkovic

        Now you know how I feel, Rosi, when I expect the worst and hope that I am wrong.

        I do think that this Speaker battle illustrates something truly dysfunctional about the ideological makeup of our country at this time. It is clearly something much bigger than the unrepresentative nature of the Senate or the Electoral College.

        It is all well and good that we would like to elect someone progressive like Bernie Sanders to be President, but even if it were possible to pull off a miracle like that, I am not sure if it would be possible to simultaneously elect him a House and a Senate that will do anything that he wants him to do.

        In recent years, I have suggested that the only way to get anything done is to break the Disunited States of America up into smaller more ideologically homogeneous countries, but I am not even sure if that is the answer anymore if here in NJ, a Democratic Governor and a Democratic legislature cannot get on the same page. WTF!!!

        Reply
      2. vmars

        I discussed newly elected members because the post I am commenting on is about a newly elected member. Were it a post about the general argument over Speaker I would have spoken about larger aspects.

        Reply

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